Carol Platt Liebau: McCain Wins

Saturday, January 19, 2008

McCain Wins

John McCain has won the South Carolina primary, as almost everyone knows by now.

Michael Medved says that his victory shows the impotence of talk radio -- which should stop going after McCain and Huckabee. Mark Steyn says McCain's the man to beat.

There's no denying it was a good night for McCain in a state with a heavy military/veteran's vote. But this nominating race is far from over; Romney still leads in delegates, and Rudy still has an opening on Super Tuesday. So what is the point in talk radio simply shutting up and supporting McCain -- particularly when he's shown talk radio (and, by extension, its listeners) little but contempt over the years? If it does turn out that a lot of Republicans simply have to swallow hard and vote for a candidate who is distinctly unappealing to them, why, exactly, should they start having to quash their misgivings with so much yet to come? After all, if there's anything we've learned from McCain's resurrection, it's that nothing's over 'til it's over.

Finally, Jonah Goldberg advises McCain to make a speech that, in essence, reaches out to the conservatives who are so disenchanted with him. As a conservative myself, I'd like that fine. But one of the few reasons I could force myself to become reconciled to a McCain candidacy is if it became apparent that he was the GOP's best chance to beat Hillary or Barack. Assuming there are others who think like me, why does it make sense for McCain to compromise his most attractive feature (his "winnability") by making pledges that could be used against him in a general election, all in the service of trying to win over people who will, pretty much, find it impossible to become "fired up" about his candidacy no matter what he does? In other words, why does it make sense to force McCain to run to the right at this late date -- especially when we all know he doesn't really want to, and that cuddly overtures to the right wing wouldn't just come off as pandering (incompatible with the famous "straight talk" image) but they'd also just give fodder for Democratic attack ads?


Blogger Marshall Art said...

If people don't know McCain by now, they just weren't paying attention. What could seriously be done to persuade them?

McCain is definitely of the "bite the bullet and vote for him" kinda guy, but not until he's declared the nominee. Until then, I'll continue to support Thompson and/or more Hunter. But he'd make a good VP for anyone, if he'll take it.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Oh yes, and another thing: Any of the Republican candidates can beat any of the Dems, if we actually go to the polls and vote for them. Electability is a matter of numbers. If an overwhelming number punches his box, that candidate will win.

11:28 PM  

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