February 8, 2008
Conservative Hell (Bob Franken)
@ 12:24 pm
If you can judge a person by his or her enemies, then you gotta love both John McCain and Hillary Clinton. They share the same enemy, the right-wingers who confuse conservatism with extremism.
To them, a McCain-Clinton election would be a choice between two Satans who have had the damnable audacity to disagree with their zealotry.
Right now we’re seeing some of those from that so-called Republican “base” warily line up with McCain as the devil they know, or at least the one who will try and keep their party in power.
If nothing else McCain could maintain GOP solidarity with a campaign slogan like “Hey, at least I’m not Hillary.”
Of course, it’s a different scenario if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee. Then we have a lot of unknowns for the McCainicans.
What factor will racism play in uniting against Obama? How much more of an issue will age be in an election, if it’s a race between one candidate in his 70s, the other in his 40s?
Either Democrat will be playing one card that’s the same, the George W. Bush card. They will be doing their level best to tie McCain to Bush and certainly to his war in Iraq, which has become McCain’s war too.
But McCain is no Bush clone, to put it mildly. He’s had so many public arguments with the administration, and with so many of his fellow Republicans, that he holds a lot of appeal to independent voters. His problems, as we’re already witnessing, come from many of the party faithful, who say he’s constantly unfaithful.
McCain is widely regarded as the one candidate who might keep the White House for the GOP. Apparently, he’s going to get the chance to prove that. Of course, he might also be the one who gets buried because he has antagonized so many on his side that they’ll simply vote “No” by staying home.
Obviously his choice as a running mate is crucial. He can go with someone with true qualifications or pander to those on the fringes.
In the other camp, it’s now a battle between Obama and Clinton. Both will try to convince Democrats they are the best candidate to take on MCain.
What we’ve certainly discovered, though, is that predicting the future is risky business. It wasn’t very long ago that the Republican front-runners were Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, while McCain was down and nearly out.
If you’re into uncertainty, this is one hell of a political year. Do yourself a favor: Wait awhile before you place any bets.