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South Carolina

By Barbara Gordon - Posted on 19 January 2008

Really pleased to see McCain making such a comeback. I still don't think he can win the nomination, but he'd be a great nominee for the party. Polls show he would carry the swing vote quite well. Current head-to-head projections show he could defeat Hillary and maybe Obama, although the latter margin is smaller. He's the only Republican that leads against the Democrats in head-to-head projections. I just don't understand why the Republican establishment seems so set against him.

You can see all the head-to-head projections at RealClearPolitics.



It is because of his willingness to work across the aisle on various social issues that are core to the social conservatives. McCain's unwillingness to pander to their interests in 2000 partially attributed to his defeat (in addition to the fact that he stuck his foot in his mouth a few times and the Bush campaign embarked on a scorched earth, win-at-all-odds--regardless of ethics and integrity--approach). Those same voters are still lurking out there, and the Republican Party will continue to have an identify crisis until they can ascertain how to reconcile the right-wing ("we're right, everyone else is wrong, and we'll never talk to or compromise with the "other side") and more moderate wings of the party. Frankly, a third party that brings together the moderate wings of both the Democratic and Republican parties would be a huge win for this country. There was a window in 2002, but Ross Perot was too wacky and unstable to take advantage of the fortuitous political winds.

Obama is losing out with the established Democractic electorate because he hasn't participated in the political spin and pandering of Democratic candidates for the past 30 years (since Jimmy Carter). It is partially because of this reason that the African-American leaders are endorsing the Clinton machine; they are willing to pander and participate in the spin they want to hear.

I supported McCain in 2000 and 2004 (wrote in his name in the general election), as he embodied the characteristics of leadership, integrity, and vision the country desparately needs in its president. He is certainly a huge upgrade to the current occupant, but I believe 2000 was the time when we needed him. (His age and health hasn't been a huge factor, but I'm sure the Democrats--and certainly the Clinton machine--will exploit it to the fullest.) Unfortunately, the extremes in both parties held sway, and we ended up with individuals lacking the character to move beyond simply telling what the establishments--and even independents--what they want to hear. In Hillary and Romney, we have the consummate panderers; I cringe at the thought of enduring four--likely eight--years of either of them.

You know, Patrick, I agree with you. 

I'm tired of both parties treating liberal and conservative as a dichotomy. According to the GOP, either you're as conservative as the party ideal, or you're labeled a not-conservative, or worse, a liberal. Just because McCain is not as conservative as some of the other candidates does not mean he's not conservative. He's still more conservative than the Democratic candidates running. It seems to me the GOP would be wise to consider what's the worse case scenario for their party: winning the White House with a candidate that's less conservative than they'd like, or losing the White House altogether.

 I like what this article says on the matter:

"In fact, McCain has always been far more conservative than either his supporters or detractors acknowledge. In 2004 he earned a perfect 100 percent rating from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum and a 0 percent from NARAL. Citizens Against Government Waste dubs him a "taxpayer hero." He has opposed extension of the assault-weapons ban, federal hate crimes legislation and the International Criminal Court. He has supported school vouchers, a missile defense shield and private accounts for Social Security. Well before 9/11 McCain advocated a new Reagan Doctrine of 'rogue-state rollback.'

"He's a foreign policy hawk, a social conservative and a fiscal conservative who believes in tax cuts but not at the expense of the deficit," says Marshall Wittmann, a former McCain staffer and conservative activist who now works at the Democratic Leadership Council. McCain's ideology resembles an exotic cocktail of Teddy Roosevelt, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan--a conservative before conservatism was bankrupted by fundamentalism and corporatism. His centrist reputation simply proves how far right the center has shifted in Republican politics. "The median stance for Senate Republicans in the early 1970s was significantly to the left of current GOP maverick John McCain," write political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson in their book Off-Center. "By the early 2000s, however, the median Senate Republican was essentially twice as conservative--just shy of the ultraconservative position of Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania."




McCain aside (sorry, new question), can a truly informed voter be for Hillary Clinton? Place your vote whether voters are informed:

I am glad McCain is making a comeback also; however the most important thing to me is that Obama wins the Democractic nomination. I have never voted Democratic, except in Georgia in the 70's. In those days people like Sam Nunn were Democrats(maybe closet Republicans) but they believed that we were in this together. They were Americans first and Democrats second. For the first time in my life, I am thinking Democratic and Obama. We need a Uniter and though I do not believe in all he professes, his core belief is mine. We must find a way to focus on our commonalities not our differences!

Why is there not a group in Florida?...Certainly I am not alone!

Hi, Fritchie,

I'm with you in hoping that Obama will pull out the win. I have to admit I'm losing hope, though. He's trailing in every major SuperTuesday state. And Clinton has made it clear she (and husband) will pull no punches. Here's hoping he gets a huge bump from today's anticipated win in SC.


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