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McCain Continues His S.C. Courtship

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will be back in South Carolina later this month to raise money for the state GOP, his second trip to the key presidential primary state so far this year.

The event, which is being hosted by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, is set for June 29 in Columbia. Contributions will benefit the ticket being led by Gov. Mark Sanford (R) this fall. The fundraiser is three-tiered: From 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. there will be a "business roundtable," followed by a private reception from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a general reception from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"He was invited by the state party and was happy to accept," said Craig Goldman, executive director of McCain's Straight Talk America PAC.

This visit will be McCain's second to the Palmetto State this year. He spoke at the Spartanburg County Republican Party annual dinner on Jan. 16 and at a Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration that same day.

In 2000, McCain came to South Carolina fresh off a stunning victory over George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary. The Bush forces rallied, however, managing to consolidate the Republican vote behind their candidate. McCain won independents and Democrats (40 percent of the open primary electorate) but lost among Republican voters badly. Bush won a 53 percent to 42 percent victory, effectively ending McCain's chances at winning the party's presidential nomination.

As McCain readies for a second presidential bid in 2008, he and chief political adviser John Weaver are working diligently to recruit past Bush supporters. Graham, who endorsed McCain in 2000, is back on board and playing an active role, as is Richard Quinn, a leading consultant in the state and a McCain backer. Sanford, who as a member of the U.S. House supported McCain in 2000, remains uncommitted so far.

In addition to his trips to the state, McCain's Straight Talk America PAC has made a number of endorsements and donations in South Carolina primaries, which, as Hotline's On Call blog notes, have largely turned out well.

However, McCain backed former state Rep. Rick Quinn -- the son of the Arizona senator's lead South Carolina consultant -- in Quinn's primary race for state Treasurer. Quinn placed third in last week's vote and took a pass on the runoff a few days later when he became eligible after the second-place candidate exited the field.

While McCain is working South Carolina hard, he is far from the only potential 2008 candidate moving around the state. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will make his third trip to South Carolina this year later this week to participate in fundraisers for DeMint and state Rep. Ralph Norman, who is challenging Rep. John Spratt (D) in the 5th District.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has made two stops in South Carolina this year, while Sens. George Allen (Va.) and Bill Frist (Tenn.) have each been in the state twice this year. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made two visits in 2005 and earlier this spring brought a group of prominent South Carolina Republican activists to the Big Apple for an information-gathering session. And New York Gov. George Pataki has been in the state at least once in 2006.

McCain's second-place showing in 2000 and his current spadework ensure he will be in the mix in South Carolina when the 2008 presidential primary rolls around. But there is still a significant stable of activists and consultants looking elsewhere for the candidate best equipped to derail McCain's Straight Talk Express. In order to win the Republican nomination, McCain will need to prove that he can attract votes from rock-ribbed conservatives, and there would be no better way to do that than winning South Carolina.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 20, 2006; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Republican Party  
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Next: Montana Senate: Fast and Furious Mud-Slinging


Tina- Buchanan, Cleveland, and all the other distinguished gentlemen that you mentioned are all from the 19th century. This is the 21st century, and though I am a big fan of Condi, "family values" voters in even this day and age will find it awkward voting for an unmarried middle-aged woman.

Posted by: Clifton | June 22, 2006 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The reason I like Condi is that she made her life successful because of her brainpower and working hard. Not because of who she is married to. She is a self-made woman, strong leadership too.

The people who don't like the fact she is not married and want to hold that against her are just jealous that she is a woman who made it on her own. She is not from a wealthy family, nor a political dynasty. Condi comes from a middle-class family which suffered under segregation in the 1950's. To even be considered as a possible candidate for 2008 shows how much our nation has matured over the years, and those Southern states were under the control of Republicans who supported black members of Congress getting elected long before the South segregationist Democrats beat them up and tried to strip the blacks of their right to vote. Check up on your history, boys, the Southern Democrats are part of a disgusting part of our history.

Posted by: Cheryl | June 22, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

However, she's never been married, and I think that will be a problem for her. As far as I know, we've not ever had a chief executive who's never been married. I personally could care less, but considering how many people in this country like to stick their noses into other people's private business, it might even be a bigger issue than being female.

Posted by: Drindl |

So here is the answer to Drindl****
James Buchanan was elected as a single man and never married, he was also a Secretary of State. Another bachelor was elected, Grover Cleveland, and he was married in the White House. Also, at the time VP Thomas Jefferson was elected as president in 1800, he was a widower and had also served as Secretary of State.

Also, Monroe and John Quincy Adams served as Secretary of State before becoming President, so the office has a historic record of grooming the top diplomat for higher office than Senators.

The people of the United States want a person who can do the job. Condi is a success based on her own brainpower and working her way up the political/diplomatic ladder of success instead of getting into a position based on who she was married to or not.

Thanks for bringing up questions, and I hope I answered them to your satisfaction.

Posted by: Tina | June 21, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

How sad that the bury-the-truth-to-keep-on-the-Bush-good-side policy that the Post has lived by these past few years has seeped into Cilliza's politics blog too. The Bush team "rallied the troops" in SC to beat McCain???

Come on. Surely a fanatic political junkie like Cilliza knows all about the despicable, dishonest "McCain's illegitimate black child" broadcast call that Team Dubya pulled in SC. That ploy was key to Bush pulling out the state and changing the momentum of the race for the nomination.

But to mention it in this article would break Cardinal Rule #1 at the Post: Carry the Administration Water At All Costs and Keep the Access. Don't call the president on his repeated Saddam-9/11 associations. Let 70% of the country believe that Iraq attacked us on 9/11. Don't put the president's "fighting the terrorists in Iraq" mantra into the context of KNOWN FACTS (only 4-10% of the insurgency is made up of foreign fighters who fit the Al Qaida profile). Don't disabuse the public of any of the misconceptions the Administration has worked so hard to instill. DON'T GET DISINVITED TO THE PARTY. THOSE PRESS SOIREES IN CRAWFORD ARE THE HOLY GRAIL. Screw the public. Screw the country. Protect the access. Don't get yourself cut off from power. The goal is not the truth, the goal is to be a player.

Way to go Chris, you're a player.

Posted by: B2O | June 20, 2006 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Wells-- like minds. But you have to admit, it's kind of obvious and nobody wants to acknowledge it. But if you are going to talk about presidential politics, it's one of the first things that people will jump on. Your private life gets put under a microscope. And nobody knows much about hers, so it could be a mine field for them.

Which is why I don't think she will run.

Posted by: Drindl | June 20, 2006 8:08 PM | Report abuse


Funny, we wrote the same thing about a presidential candidate being single at the same time.

Posted by: Wells | June 20, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Since you brought it up, I will comment.

You say Condi is single like it is a good thing.

Not in Politics.

The white elephant in the room or in this case the the black elephant in the room is why is a older woman like Condi still single.

In steps the Religious Right
1) Is she a closeted lesbian ?
2) Is she some married guy's mistress ? (I have actually heard this rumor)
3) What is wrong with her that she can't get a guy to marry her?
4) Is she still a virgin ? Mostly likely not, so she condones sex outside of marriage. The religious right can't support a woman that does that - Jezebel.

No, single guy much less a single woman has a chance at the White House. Presidential Candidates are practically required to be married and have kids. It SUCKS. But, unless people's attitudes change, this is what we are stuck with.

Posted by: Wells | June 20, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Apologize for being flippant to you, if you really believe in Condi, that's good for you. I could never forgive her for her lies leading up to Iraq, but on the other hand, she IS a lot more intelligent, accomplished and rational than any of the other potential candidates.

However, she's never been married, and I think that will be a problem for her. As far as I know, we've not ever had a chief executive who's never been married. I personally could care less, but considering how many people in this country like to stick their noses into other people's private business, it might even be a bigger issue than being female.

Posted by: Drindl | June 20, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I would like for Zouk to clarify what he means by largest national assets.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 20, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Wells and appalled, I get tired of fending off the never-ending waves of alternating nonsense and excrement that come out of this zouk individual. He says he can't stand the people here, so he stays around just to insult us, I guess. Attack, attack, attack -- the republican way.

Posted by: Drindl | June 20, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, you come across as a only child always demanding attention. And, going to any lengths possible to get that attention.

Of all the blogs, you always stoop for the lowest common denominator. While you complain about people using name calling for politicians you proceed to name call the the blogger, debase their substance, and degrade their logic while offering no retort. You are such a SHRILL! Why don't you offer a actual idea or plan.

You say so many stupid things. I don't even know where to start.

" We are have more national debt, but we have more national assets"
Most of our national debt is owned by foreign counties, any assets are now basically owned by other foreign governments now as collateral. (PERIOD)
I am sorry you are so ignorant when it comes to finance and economics, it is just a shame that your children and your grandchildren will pay the price for your stupidity.

Posted by: Wells | June 20, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

One final point, I don't understand why the estate tax and wireless warrant tapping are matters of opinion and philosophy and the situation in Iraq is one of fact. In my opinion, Iraq is the question most central to opinion and philosophy. You would have to at least agree that the Terri Schiavo situation is the one most subject to opinion and philosophy and overwhelmingly favors the liberal persuasion. That's neither here nor there, I don't feel polls should ever be used to make policy decisions, but they will be as long as your poignant maxim about offending least as opposed to inspiring most holds true.

I enjoyed your insight into the R campaign in SC. I don't know if you agree, but I feel the primary system in modern America is kind of a shaft. The results from the first couple states are so dissected and blown up by the media that they essentially decide the race. This means if a candidate doesn't appeal to voters in NH, IA, or SC they are essentially kaput for the race. Oh well, I guess that's how these states remain players in national politics.

As for the D's, I have no evidence to back me, but I would be really surprised if Hillary wins the nomination. I don't know who will win it, but I think she'll have a harder time than most think. I personally am holding out for a strong appearance from a Bill Richardson or some other strong leader that does not currently reside in the US Senate.

Posted by: appalled | June 20, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

the death tax and wiretapping are appropriate for polls because they do not rely on matters of fact but rather on opinion and philosophy only. My main complaint about polls is trying to translate some poll into voting results.

Knowing what I do about SC, which isn't much, I suppose they will vote for the most rightward candidate presented. I don't think McCain and Romney will succeed in presenting themselves as properly right. I think Allen will take this easily. Unless there is some fundamental change in the overall structure of the electorate or issues, I also think Allen will take the ultimate nomination. no conservative is going to vote for McCain. I think Romney would make a good general election candidate but may not get the primary nod. Interestingly, the Dems may have the opposite problem with Hillary. she may get the nomination but will lose the general. all those uber-lefties will crash and burn when the money tightens up. same as all the mushy Rs. Kerry was chosen because we was supposedly electable or more so than others. To win you must offend least, not inspire most. too bad.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 20, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to belabor this point, but your response still makes no sense. And I said YOUR logic escapes me, because it wasn't there, just like it's not there now. Polls are what they are. They take a picture of what the public thinks at any given time. There is no reason why some polls should be more important than others. Should decisions be made based on polls? I would say not usually, but that is a point for debate. And the fact that religious questions can't be debated in fact is all the more reason to keep government out of making these decisions. Imposition of one's personal religious beliefs on another is against the very foundation of this country. I don't think this discussion of polls is particularly enlightening or merits any further time, I just want to say that if you're against polls, you're against them. People on this site use polls as a way to handicap races and judge the overall public mood on certain things. If you don't want to partake, then don't. But if you don't like liberals using polls to say that most of the country wants us out of Iraq or that Rick Santorum is going to be demolished in November, then don't bring up polls when you argue for the abolition of the estate tax or warrantless wiretapping. If you do that you are saying one thing, then doing another, hypocrisy. I would be interested, KOZ, to hear your take on who you like to win the R primary in SC, since that was the original topic of this blog. McCain's shift to the right enough to get it or does Romney or other alternative come through?

Posted by: appalled | June 20, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

No love for the South on this blog I see. Obviously McCain has to court SC. It's the first and most important primary in the region that is the base of the Republican party. I don't think it is pandering to court your party's's politics. It does not make McCain a better or worse candidate than he was in 2000. I think he is still the same man he was then, just maybe a little more aware of what he needs to do to win the nomination.

As for all the "ignorant southerner" know what they say; ignorance is bliss. We'll all die young eating all that fried food anyway. Please, please don't come down here and offer us will only depress us. All we really need to keep us happy is a good SEC game on TV; a 6 pack of beer; and a good dog to lick the barbecue sauce off our hands.

Posted by: FH | June 20, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I am not surprised that logic escapes you. there are some things that warrant having an expert make decisions (such as troop levels in a war zone, or economic consequences of marginal tax rates)and others that are a religious nature (based on faith or instinct and not facts). When is a fetus a person - hard to cite facts on this one presently. how many troops are needed for appropriate operations in a country? I have my own notions about these, but you can't argue about the basis in facts for religious topics and you can argue facts on technical subjects. I have studied decision analysis for many years and this background is not really that contraversial. now you may think you know more about Fed fund rates than Ben and know more about troop deployments than Rumsfeld, but I would dispute that. I would allow you to state that you know as much as I do about the existence of a soul.

FYI - hypocrisy means saying one thing and doing another, it does not mean issuing contradictory statements. Why is this word so preferred by libs and so misused?

Posted by: king of zouk | June 20, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

BTW...what was your idea worthy of consideration? Was it that we should decide issues like abortion by polls, but tax and war decisions are above the lowly citizens of the US? I guess every idea can be worthy of consideration, but I just don't agree that polls are useless when KOZ thinks they are, but entirely useful when he feels the other way. Especially, when it comes to approval of the press, b/c is that what the press is supposed to do, get the approval of the population? And how can you even poll a question like that? Approval of TV News? Websites? Print journalists? A very difficult topic to nail down. I'd hope their only concern would be getting facts, but we could certainly argue that point for many different organizations.

Posted by: appalled | June 20, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Send a message to the media by not buying their product, the exact same way you vote, that's not too hard. And your comparison of moral vs. expert opinions does not make much sense. So I can have an opinion over abortion or Terri Schiavo that is entitled to respect, but not about the estate tax or whether the Iraq War was a good idea?

And I believe you were the one in another entry pontificating about how the public was so overwhelmingly against the so-called "Death Tax", but here you are saying that normal people aren't even entitled to an opinion on the subject that merits respect. Your logic escapes me.

I don't know where I'm trying to get KOZ, I was just pointing out rank hypocrisy. And to get to the original point of the blog entry, I'm glad SC is a conservative state. I wouldn't want the voters of a liberal state to be so easily swayed by racist propaganda pushing. I'd be happy to leave such states to the domain of the conservatives.

Posted by: appalled | June 20, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Polls about people's opinion of public policy is most relevant. Polls about who someone might vote for, if they vote, or comparing popularity polls to election results is not appropriate. there is a distinction. the Press doesn't have any watchdog on it, except stock performance and now bloggers. We can send the message to politicians by sending them home every two years. how do we send a message to the NYT and WaPo?
Polls about whether the federal funds rate should be raised or whether we should leave Iraq are putting expert decisions in layman's hands. Polls about legalizing abortion are a moral question and are appropriate for all citizens to have an equal voice. See the difference?

Trying to zing me won't get you anywhere. I seem to be the only non-lib around here. And you see I do have a substantial idea here worthy of consideration. What do you think?

Posted by: king of zouk | June 20, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Not to quibble, but KOZ, haven't you been the one lambasting liberals for pointing to polls? Yet that is exactly what you just did with regard to the press. Just pointing out your double standard.

Posted by: appalled | June 20, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Condi is most certainly a formidable person and quite admirable. but hasn't she specifically ruled out a run?

Since when is divorce a non-qualifier? Reagan was divorced. now those three have some very ugly stories associated with their situations but they will not be the nominees anyway.

Question - who has a lower approval and trust rating then Bush - the press. And congress. Hmmmm buh-bye gunga Dan, bloggers caught you in a blatant lie. but so many more go unchallanged. Murtha looked like a rambling old fool on MTP. Very fact obverse that one.
Turn out the base - "Speaker Pelosi and Leader Murtha" that will do it all right.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 20, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I am a supporter of Condi, not a paid hack. Free speech on this blog is indeed freely expressed.

Regarding the Clinton comment, that is old the same "get back at the Republicans" agenda the Democrats have been yipping about since Gore got defeated.

Another reason so many people are ready to gag when it comes to politics and the GOTCHA garbage.

If I stand up for Condi, I don't have to try to destory anyone else just to make her look better. Her actions have earned her the 63% job approval rating without my help.

Posted by: Tina | June 20, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Dear Wells, if adultery boots McCain, Rudy, and Newt out of the running for 2008, then it gives Condi all the more power to climb to the head of the line. Afterall, she is not married, and won't be seen as getting her job because of being married to a former president.

Condi was selected by Esquire magazine's poll as the Number 1 woman to be selected by men over the age of 25 for dinner. Over Oprah, Jennifer Annistan, Anjolie Jolie, and even Hillary. I guess the men see her as more fun and not such a preachy nag.

Posted by: Tina | June 20, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Survey USA June Approval

McCain 64%

Other Presidential Hopefuls
Dodd 55%
Biden 64%
Bayh 54%
Brownback 50%
Kerry 57%
Hagel 57%
Clinton 62%
Feingold 50%

Other Notables
AZ Kyl 45%
CT Lieberman 55%
FL Nelson 49%
MI Stabenow 49%
MO Talent 48%
MT Burns 36% (dropped from 40% in May)
NE Nelson 72%
NJ Menendez 41%
OH DeWine 41% (biggest drop down from 46% in May; -8 net behind only Santorum and Burns)
PA Santorum 36%
RI Chafee 49%
VA Allen 52%
WA Cantwell 48% (biggest drop for Dems, down from 52% in May)

Posted by: RMill | June 20, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

biggest national debt ever - accompanied by the biggest national assets ever. Drindl, don't embarass yourself by offering ideas about economics, unless you meant it in fun and I somehow missed that. I always love the way you put someone down for calling names and then promptly call them names. "Lack of intelligence and parroting", I will have to defer to your obvious world-class experience on this topic. down the toilet - since keeping us free and safe is free? I'm going to get my 6 year old so you have someone to converse with on your level. no need to respond, I can guess - chant - "polls, the French, tax the rich, etc." no surprises here. Like a cow chewing its cud, same old regurgitated bile.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 20, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Why is that republicans can't seem to make an original statement, all they can do is parrot. I guess it's just a lack of intelligence. 'Tax and spend liberals' -- god is that tired. And sort of conveniently ignoring the reality of the biggest national debt ever. Hey zouk, know how many times the debt ceiling has been raised in the last 5 years? More often than in the history of this country put together.

Plus more than $200 billion down the toilet in Iraq. And 'flip-flopping' -- a kindergarten epithet. Plus no one does that more often than the manly dude you all love so much, FratBoy Bush.

If you hate the posts who come here, why don't you do us all a BIG favor and go away?

Posted by: Drindl | June 20, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I guess flip-flopping to try to get elected is only OK when a Dem does it. you people need to get over yourselves. SC is a very conservative state. all the ads there are about taxes. winning there implies you have a hold on the base. they don't care what a bunch of weak-kneeded tax and spend liberals think. they sit around and laugh at what a bunch of fools Kerry and Pelosi and Murtha are. This blog never fails to produce "expert" opinions from the same fools who know everything. the Republican nomination is not in your hands. We don't care what you think and if you think it is a good thing, chances are that it is not. McCain must do SC because he is a RINO and must begin to fool the voters into forgetting about McCain-Feingold et al. But elephants never forget. But, It is a foregone conclusion, as long as the Dems are the cut and run party they will continue to circle the bowl and lose national elections.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 20, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Steve Benen notes in the Washington Monthly that adultery may be a bigger problem for Republicans in the next presidential campaign.

"Lurking just over the horizon are liabilities for three Republicans who have topped several national, independent polls for the GOP's favorite 2008 nominee: Sen. John McCain (affair, divorce), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (affair, divorce, affair, divorce), and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (divorce, affair, nasty divorce). Together, they form the most maritally challenged crop of presidential hopefuls in American political history."

"Just a few years after infidelity was considered a dealbreaker for a presidential candidate, the party that presents itself as the arbiter of virtue may field an unprecedented two-timing trifecta."

Posted by: Wells | June 20, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Ohio Guy:: has anyone told George Allen yet that Alan Greenspan retired?

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | June 20, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Quote of the Day

"If you want your taxes low, keep Denny Hastert and Bill Frist as leaders of the House and the Senate."

-- President Bush during a speech last night. Of course, Frist is not seeking reelection.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 20, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

South Carolina "courtship"? Isn't this the state where Karl Rove and Bush operatives spread the rumpur about McCane having a black child and THAT wrecked his chances during the 2000 primary? So we can pretty much agree that SC is populated by ignorant racists and stupid bubbas. So, unless McCain going to join the KKK or the American Nazi Party (something that appears likely in light of his recent actions, cozying up to Bush and the whack jobs from the right in the GOP) I don't think this is going to help him in his bid for the Presidency. I mean, who would want top win SC? It would be embarrassing for anyone with a conscience.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | June 20, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

After November, it will be ex-governor Sanford. The folks here in SC aren't quite as lazy or stupid as the elites seem to think. Conservatives are as fed up with Sanford as we are with our most famouns RINO, Lindsey Graham.

As for McCain, his elbow rubbing with Governor Mark will only seal his fate in this state.

Get used to it: Ladies and Gentlemen. The Governor of the great state of South Carolina - Tommy Moore.

Posted by: Anybody but Lindsey | June 20, 2006 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The problem with McCain speaking to these people is that he is sucking up, not having legitimate discussions. He said that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were "agents of intolerance" in 2000. Two months ago he said that he no longer believes that. Why?

In 2001, Falwell basically blamed everyone to the left of him for incurring God's Wrath in the form of 9/11. In 2004, he said that we should kill everyone in Iraq "in the Blessed Name of the Lord." If anything, he has become MORE an agent of intolerance in the last six years, not less. I am sick of people using the name of my faith for such evil and I think McCain was right the first time. It is sad that he would be willing to sell his soul in exchange for the White House. (Then again, I already lost all respect for him for hugging Dubya in the 2004 campaign even after the vicious attacks and slander Bush & Co. pulled against his daughter in 2000. The embrace of the far right this year is only more confirmation of that.)

Posted by: Steve | June 20, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

What a waste. McCain used to appeal to moderates and fiscally-conservative Democrats, but has managed to make it so only those who like the new judicially-active Supreme Court and the Gestapo will vote for him now.

Selling your soul for money won't work, John. You'll still be backstabbed by your own party.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 20, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

It seems the argument of many is that McCain has shot himself in the foot by speaking to the far right - he is, in some eyes, turning his back on the independent-minded attentive voters but at the same time not being "bought" by the right.

Since when does giving a nod to the wing of a party that doesn't conform to your beliefs necessarily mean selling out or showing a "lack of respect for oneself"? I think a lot of you, like politics in the last 10 years, have gone off the partisan deep end. There was a day when the Tip O'neils and the Reagan Revolutionaries would talk on the House floor and congratulate the other after a hard fought battle.

For those independent-minded folks looking at McCain's moves from a "Washington-as-usual" point of view, maybe you should just see it from the refreshing point of view of a guy who is sick of the absence of cooperation and civility in Washington.

Posted by: sick of it all | June 20, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I will excuse you Tina. I'm a registered Republican who doesn't just vote what my party tells me.

Posted by: Bart | June 20, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

RMill, I get the impression that the GOP establishment folks in SC aren't too enthusiastic about Governor Sanford right now. He did just Veto the budget for the state that was passed by a republican controled legislature. The other thing is that all these trips to the palmetto state might be wasted if Sanford jumps in the race.
Also I wonder what Sanford brings to the table as a VP candidate? SC is going republican (unless the democrats nominate Strom Thurmond's body), he doesn't add star power, and he doesn't help in the southwest or the central US (ie Iowa, Ohio, etc).

Posted by: Andy R | June 20, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

'Not with the Democrats trying to undermine President Bush'. You mean, like the Republicans spent 8 years trying to undermine and overthrow the last legally elected president we had, Bill Clinton?

And I don't really think you could call trying to pull this country back from the brinks of utter economic disaster 'undermining'. $322 billion on this invasion and occupation, and every cent of it borrowed from the Chinese.

Cmon, Tina -- do you work for Condi? Because the way you flog her as a candidate sure makes it look that way. In any case, her 'foreign policy experience' consists largely of lying about nonexistent 'mushroom clouds', Anyone who is as closely tied to the incompetent and discredited loser bush [she even slips and calls him her 'husband' at times] is a candidate only for oblivion.

Posted by: Drindl | June 20, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Isn't McCain going to be a little old to be considered for President in 2008?

Posted by: PoliticalJunkie | June 20, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Bart speaks like a true Democrat when he gives praise to McCain. He wrote "John McCain is "the most worthy candidate for president" in 2008. I think its pretty obvious to most people of both political sides and independents if they could talk frankly about it. He was "the most worthy candidate for president" in 2004 also.

Excuse me, Bart, this is going to be a Republican nomination, not with the Democrats trying to undermine President Bush. Even states like Michigan are trying to demolish the ability of Democrats to jump into the GOP pool long enough to vote for McCain, (as they did in 2000) and then jump back in with their Democrats.

The GOP field is wide-open, no one is the solid choice for 2008. In fact, the polls in nationwide reports continue to show 20% for Rudy and Condi Rice as well as for McCain. Those Bush supporters can wrap their arms around McCain, but whether they will get conservative voters to support him is the real issue.

Given the strong message that Condi delivered at the Southern Baptist Convention, she might have changed a few minds about whether she has the strength to be our next president. The video ran on MSNBC, so Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell are paying attention.

The debate for 2008 will be completed with which Republican has the experience to become the next president. Clearly, the most Condi has success on the foreign policy efforts, the more she will seen as the only person with REAL foreign policy experience. Remember this folks, JFK was the last Senator elected directly to the White House back in 1960. The voters want leadership and executive experience, and that will lead to why Condi is still favored so highly and is equal to McCain.

Posted by: Tina | June 20, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

RMill: Sanford as a VP candidate makes sense. Both McCain and Sanford have history of pushing for 'unusual' changes in budgetary policy. It'd be interesting (although not necessarily a good thing) to see them shake up the status quo in DC. You couldn't do much worse than the current Congress which is crawling with pork-barrelers who express the highest of high dudgeon if you have the gall to question what they are doing with the tax payers dollars.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | June 20, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Only one interesting thought comes to mind and that is How does this make Sanford look in the context of making a presidential bid? He can't headline his own state parties fundraisers so they have to bring in McCain? How does the sitting Governor play second fiddle to an Arizona Senator and then have any stature to challenge for the presidential nomination. VP maybe???

Posted by: RMill | June 20, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

'The real question here is do "rock-ribbed conservatives" = "bubbleheads whose minds are easily made up by a package of out-and-out lies?"'

Considering that they chose the spoiled, incompetent frat boy who's now driving our country over a cliff over McCain, a genuine war hero, as their candidate, I don't think there's any question at all. What we have here in this country, unfortunately, is a large population of P.T, Barnum's suckers.

It's too bad about McCain. I could have voted for him, even if I don't agree with a great deal of what he espouses, because I thought he had integrity. But now he's got nothing.

Posted by: Drindl | June 20, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Even with McCain playing nice with the good Reverand Falwell i still think the holy rollers take a pass on him..if the moderate/independants decide he's moved to far right by his seeming embrace of Shrubya what else does he got? The idea of him being a political "maverick" is starting to wear a bit thin.

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | June 20, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark the following sites:

Breaking news!!!

African-American Voters Scrubbed by Secret GOP Hit List

by Greg Palast
As reported for Democracy Now!

Palast, who first reported this story for BBC Television Newsnight (UK) and Democracy Now! (USA), is author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed Madhouse.

The Republican National Committee has a special offer for African-American soldiers: Go to Baghdad, lose your vote.

A confidential campaign directed by GOP party chiefs in October 2004 sought to challenge the ballots of tens of thousands of voters in the last presidential election, virtually all of them cast by residents of Black-majority precincts.
Files from the secret vote-blocking campaign were obtained by BBC Television Newsnight, London. They were attached to emails accidentally sent by Republican operatives to a non-party website.

One group of voters wrongly identified by the Republicans as registering to vote from false addresses: servicemen and women sent overseas.

For Greg Palast's discussion with broadcaster Amy Goodman on the Black soldier purge of 2004, go to


Here's how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, "Do not forward", to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as "undeliverable."

The lists of soldiers of "undeliverable" letters were transmitted from state headquarters, in this case Florida, to the RNC in Washington. The party could then challenge the voters' registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballot being counted.

One target list was comprised exclusively of voters registered at the Jacksonville, Florida, Naval Air Station. Jacksonville is third largest naval installation in the US, best known as home of the Blue Angels fighting squandron.

[See this scrub sheet at ]

Our team contacted the homes of several on the caging list, such as Randall Prausa, a serviceman, whose wife said he had been ordered overseas.

A soldier returning home in time to vote in November 2004 could also be challenged on the basis of the returned envelope. Soldiers challenged would be required to vote by "provisional" ballot.

Over one million provisional ballots cast in the 2004 race were never counted; over half a million absentee ballots were also rejected. The extraordinary rise in the number of rejected ballots was the result of the widespread multi-state voter challenge campaign by the Republican Party. The operation, of which the purge of Black soldiers was a small part, was the first mass challenge to voting America had seen in two decades.

The BBC obtained several dozen confidential emails sent by the Republican's national Research Director and Deputy Communications chief, Tim Griffin to GOP Florida campaign chairman Brett Doster and other party leaders. Attached were spreadsheets marked, "Caging.xls." Each of these contained several hundred to a few thousand voters and their addresses.

A check of the demographics of the addresses on the "caging lists," as the GOP leaders called them indicated that most were in African-American majority zip codes.

Ion Sanco, the non-partisan elections supervisor of Leon County (Tallahassee) when shown the lists by this reporter said: "The only thing I can think of - African American voters listed like this - these might be individuals that will be challenged if they attempted to vote on Election Day."

These GOP caging lists were obtained by the same BBC team that first exposed the wrongful purge of African-American "felon" voters in 2000 by then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Eliminating the voting rights of those voters -- 94,000 were targeted -- likely caused Al Gore's defeat in that race.

The Republican National Committee in Washington refused our several requests to respond to the BBC discovery. However, in Tallahassee, the Florida Bush campaign's spokespeople offered several explanations for the list.

Joseph Agostini, speaking for the GOP, suggested the lists were of potential donors to the Bush campaign. Oddly, the supposed donor list included residents of the Sulzbacher Center a shelter for homeless families.

Another spokesperson for the Bush campaign, Mindy Tucker Fletcher, ultimately changed the official response, acknowledging that these were voters, "we mailed to, where the letter came back - bad addresses."

The party has refused to say why it would mark soldiers as having "bad addresses" subject to challenge when they had been assigned abroad.

The apparent challenge campaign was not inexpensive. The GOP mailed the letters first class, at a total cost likely exceeding millions of dollars, so that the addresses would be returned to "cage" workers.

"This is not a challenge list," insisted the Republican spokesmistress. However, she modified that assertion by adding, "That's not what it's set up to be."
Setting up such a challenge list would be a crime under federal law. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlaws mass challenges of voters where race is a factor in choosing the targeted group.

While the party insisted the lists were not created for the purpose to challenge Black voters, the GOP ultimately offered no other explanation for the mailings. However, Tucker Fletcher asserted Republicans could still employ the list to deny ballots to those they considered suspect voters. When asked if Republicans would use the list to block voters, Tucker Fletcher replied, "Where it's stated in the law, yeah."

It is not possible at this time to determine how many on the potential blacklist were ultimately challenged and lost their vote. Soldiers sending in their ballot from abroad would not know their vote was lost because of a challenge.


For the full story of caging lists and voter purges of 2004, plus the documents, read Greg Palast's New York Times bestseller, ARMED MADHOUSE: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War.

Posted by: che | June 20, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Can't help but add to what's already been said:
"McCain will need to prove that he can attract votes from rock-ribbed conservatives, and there would be no better way to do that than winning South Carolina."
Perhaps he needs to let out a contract (against Candidate X) with the same smear firm that tarred and feathered him in 2000? If X=Allen they have a rich source of anectodes to work with. If X=Romney then his Mormonism provides another rich target. Easy as pie.

The real question here is do "rock-ribbed conservatives" = "bubbleheads whose minds are easily made up by a package of out-and-out lies?"

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | June 20, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree with eRobin. Why are we ignoring the facts from the 2000 primary in South Carolina? Bush won by appealing to the racist element there. McCain needs those voters to win the primary in 2008. The real question is how low will McCain go to win them over.

Posted by: Lilly | June 20, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

John McCain is "the most worthy candidate for president" in 2008. I think its pretty obvious to most people of both political sides and independents if they could talk frankly about it. He was "the most worthy candidate for president" in 2004 also.

Posted by: Bart | June 20, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

It bugs me when this is all that's said about what happpened to McCain at the hands of Team BushCo in South Carolina in 2000. This is a blog, man. Use your linking capabilities to at least direct people to where they can get the truth behind the phrase "The Bush forces rallied."

Even if you're going to pretend that returning to South Carolina to campaign is nothing more than routine for McCain, then the opening sentence of that paragraph should have read like this:

"The Bush forces rallied (with this link to this op-ed in the Boston Globe:, however, managing to consolidate the Republican vote behind their candidate."

Posted by: eRobin | June 20, 2006 8:24 AM | Report abuse

John McCain has transformed himself from an independent maverick to an enabler for the apostles of hate and corporatist greed mongering in the GOP. His veneer of authenticity is gone. Yet he will receive no credit from GOP conservatives for his naked pandering. A genunine hero for his service in uniform. But today he is an unworthy candidate for president.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | June 20, 2006 8:02 AM | Report abuse

John McCain has transformed himself from an independent maverick to an enabler for the apostles of hate and corporatist greed mongering in the GOP. His veneer of authenticity is gone. Yet he will receive no credit from GOP conservatives for his naked pandering. A genunine hero for his service in uniform. But today he is an unworthy candidate for president.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | June 20, 2006 8:01 AM | Report abuse

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