Thursday, April 13, 2006

Explicating McCain's Pandering

Slate's editor, Jacob Weisberg, has a compelling piece about John McCain today. Like me, Weisberg sounds like someone who really wants to believe what he's saying about McCain. I hope he's right. (I think he is.) If he is, the worst you can say about McCain is that he's hiding his true nature in order to move ahead on the political landscape, which is hardly a damning judgment unless you believe an unvarnished hall monitor like Ralph Nader is a viable candidate.

Here's an excerpt, but read the whole thing:
McCain began his political career in the 1980s as an untroubled Reagan Republican. His outlook changed drastically, however, after he nearly went down in the Keating Five scandal, for which he blamed both himself and the money-politics system. In the early 1990s, McCain caught the reform bug and became the Senate's foremost advocate of campaign finance reform, as well as an outspoken opponent of corporate welfare and pork-barrel spending. His reform zeal opened the door to other heresies and formed the basis for his presidential run. Part of what was compelling about McCain as a candidate in the 2000 primaries was that he was a politician in genuine flux. On the campaign trail, you could see him losing faith in conservative orthodoxy on issues like poverty, income inequality, health care, and global warming, spurred by encounters with humans in New Hampshire and elsewhere.


Blogger Comish said...

There's an old political adage that you win the nomination on your party's flank, but you win the election in the middle. The party's most adamant members are the ones that vote in primaries, and not the party's lethargic or middling members. It's why guys like McCain never get the nomination (despite the likelihood that they'd have a good chance of winning), and why guys like Kerry do.

So every Presidential election season, we see this migration wherein Democrats move left and Republicans move right. And after two of them get the nominations, they immediately begin the move back toward the middle.

McCain probably won't get the nomination. As I understand it, he's polling horribly among Republicans. My suspicion is that the nomination is Rudy Guliani's, if he wants it.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Dezmond said...

Giuliani has problems with the Right Wing too. He's pro-choice, for instance. I see Rudy G. having similar troubles as McCain in the Repub primaries. I'd love to see a McCain/Giuliani ticket. I'd vote for that in a second. It would also kill Hillary/Whoever. The problem is, the Republicans' most bankable stars (McCain and Rudy G.) probably can't make it through the primaries.

6:09 PM  

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