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McCain vs. Romney: The Sequel

For months last spring, the campaigns of what were then the two leading GOP presidential candidates -- John McCain and Mitt Romney -- traded charges and counter-charges over who was the true conservative in the race.

What became apparent almost immediately was that McCain had little personal affection for Romney and was willing to do what it took to expose the former Massachusetts governor as a liberal-turned-conservative flip-flopper. McCain was unable to derail Romney, however, as fundraising problems led to staff problems -- all of which led to the Arizona senator falling from the ranks of top-tier Republican candidates over the summer.

McCain spent the much of the second half of 2007 struggling as Romney soared -- a rise fueled by his massive fundraising, personal donations and flawless organization. Romney emerged as the frontrunner in Iowa and New Hampshire, positions that went largely unchallenged for months.

But even as Mike Huckabee emerged to challenge (and overtake) Romney in Iowa, McCain has revived his campaign to become Romney's main rival in New Hampshire.

And as McCain rose again in the New Hampshire polls, so too have the old animosities between the two candidates and their campaigns.

Just as the candidates were going into a pre-arranged break for Christmas, Romney alleged that McCain had failed "Reagan 101" by opposing two of the tax cuts proposed early on by President George W. Bush. A tough barb, sure, but not all that rough.

In response, McCain senior adviser Mark Salter unleashed this howitzer:

"Welcome to Mitt Romney's bizarro world, in which everyone is guilty of his sins. He didn't support Ronald Reagan. He didn't support President Bush's tax cuts. He raised taxes in Massachusetts by $700 million. He knows John McCain is gaining on him so he does what any small varmint gun totin', civil rights marching, NRA endorsed fantasy candidate would do: he questions someone else's credibility. New Hampshire is on to you, Mitt. Give it a rest. It's Christmas."

Whoah. Or should we say WHOAH!

Make no mistake. Salter has been with McCain a very long time; he is the co-author of a number of McCain's bestselling books. McCain speaks in Salter's words and vice versa. Given the closeness of that relationship, this statement is properly read as a direct candidate-to-candidate rebuke by McCain and (yet another) sign that he simply does not like Romney.

Unbowed by the fierceness of McCain's pushback, Romney went at the Arizona senator again on Wednesday -- releasing a research document entitled "Straight Talk Detour." It featured a 2003 quote in which McCain seems to express support for amnesty for illegal immigrants. The document went on to blast McCain for his support for a comprehensive immigration reform measure in the Senate and for his failure to renounce that support.

McCain, personally this time, hit back. "I know something about tailspins, and it's pretty clear Mitt Romney is in one," said McCain in a nod to his own campaign problems over the summer (and a very subtle reference to his days as a fighter pilot). "It's disappointing that he would launch desperate, flailing and false attacks in an attempt to maintain relevance. As the Union Leader said today, New Hampshire voters just aren't buying his act, and these latest attacks won't help him."

Put simply: It is on.

The Fix has long believed that McCain is the wild card in this race for three reasons -- his continued strength in New Hampshire, his personal dislike for Romney, and the fact that McCain knows this is his last race and has nothing to lose.

Combine those three factors and it's clear that McCain could cause major problems for Romney. McCain is gaining ground in the Granite State with the same "straight talk" message that led him to a huge victory there in 2000. The appeal to genuineness and authenticity strikes at the heart of voters' concerns about Romney. It's a double whammy for the former Massachusetts governor.

And because McCain has nothing to lose, he will not back down from Romney's attacks and, as the past several days have shown, will in fact ratchet up the level of rhetoric. If the race devolves into a mud fight between McCain and Romney, McCain will likely win that battle. He is a better known commodity to voters in New Hampshire and they have already pulled the voting lever for him. Old habits die hard.

McCain has fought and clawed his way back into contention in New Hampshire. It's a complicating development for Romney, who likely assumed that McCain was dead politically months ago.

Can Romney fight a two-front war with Huckabee in Iowa and McCain in New Hampshire while still preparing for states like South Carolina, Florida and beyond? If anyone in the race can -- from an organizational and financial standpoint -- it's Romney. But it may well be too much even for him.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 27, 2007; 8:02 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Giuliani, Others Quickly React to Bhutto's Death

Comments

Romney conservative record? You mean his 2006 Hillarycare bill that charges small business' $295 for each employee that they don't provide health insurance to? The man is the John Kerry of the Republican party. McCain's liberal record? As the life-long proven budget hawk, the man worked 3 long years to expose the corrupt Boeing tankers deal and saved the tax payer $26 billion.

Nevermind that McCain is the only one electable in the general. Look at surveyusa.com and check key battleground states vs Hillary taken this month. Ohio - Hillary up 11% on Romney, up 4% on McCain. Virginia - Hillary up 13 on Romney, up 2% on McCain. Kentucky - Hillary up 4% on Romney, down 6% to McCain. Missouri - Hillary up 10% on Romney, up 4% on McCain. Wisconsin - Hillary up 5% on Romney, down 7% to McCain. Romney is a sure fire loser.

Posted by: donttreadonme | December 28, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice that McCain's responses to Romney's charges didn't even address the charges at all?

All one has to do is look at Romney's conservative record in a liberal state and McCain's liberal record when he should have been a conservative, and the answer is clear: Romney in 2008!

Posted by: davidcarlsen | December 28, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

the fact McCain sees thru Romney's cheap used car salesman act, and gets annoyed by it, makes me like him that much more.

Clearly the man has IMPECCABLE judgment, Romney is who he/we thought he was (used car salesman). For me to run thru all his flips and flops would take me several paragraphs (lifelong hunter of "varmints", has hunted twice.. raised taxes of Mass by 700 million is now a tax cutter, Mr. more Tancredo than Tancredo had Guatemalans cutting his lawn (maybe his sons could cut the lawn since they're not interested in serving the country in our Iraqi fiasco, which Romney parrots the W line) There's tape of Romney with Boston Globe in 2005 competely supporting all the major aspects of the so called McCain Bush "amnesty" bill.

I can go on and on. Romney would have had much better shot had he ran as the technocrat moderate he probably is, but figured he couldn't beat Guliani that way, so he had to "outflank" him by tacking harder right than anyone, and convince the evangelicoloons he's a loon too and the xenophobes that he's a xenophobe too.

Once he accomplished that, he's tack back to the center.. but he got "caught".

Too bad.

anyways... MCCain seeing the used car salesman for what he is, is displaying the same brilliance of judgment as when he looked into Vladimir's eyes and saw three letters..
KGB

can anyone else match such brilliance of insight and judgment?

Posted by: bogey666 | December 27, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Bob Perry (funder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and Romney supporter) has now donated $200,000 to the Club for Growth to run ads against Huckabee in Iowa. Another oil tycoon from Tx., also a Romney supporter, donated another $150,000 to the Club to run against Huckabee in Iowa. Think Romney is done in Iowa? No way! He's fighting to the end, and we will see what Huckabee is really made of from now until voting in Iowa. The same awaits McCain in NH, after Iowa is over. Romney will continue running 2 positive ads on himself & the Club for Growth will run ads against his biggest threat in the state of election.

We will see if Iowa & NH voters buy into the negative ads, or see them as 2 or 3 rich folks from outside of the state trying to buy their vote for Romney. I guess only time will tell.

Posted by: bryant_flier2006 | December 27, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

As a registered Independent, I watch both parties' races from the outside. John McCain's appeal to the independent voters is obvious. He seems to have his finger on the pulse of the nation's majority, rather than the fringes of the parties. Since the primaries are dominated by the fringes, it is hard for him to win the nomination. But, as has been shown in several polls, once the general election rolls around his appeal to both independent voters and middle of the road Democrats would put him in the White House.

Almost all of the other candidates, of both parties, look like they would only perpetuate the political divisiveness that has got us where we are today. McCain seems to be the only one who has demonstrated many times that he has the ability to mobilize bipartisan support in congress while maintaining credibiliity with the other arms of our government.

If he makes it out of the primaries. I can see me voting for him, particularly against Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: larrymarshall | December 27, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Romney criticizes McCain's record. McCain's reply: "Yeah, I'm guilty as charged, and I'm not going to change. But Romney is even worse because he is just as guilty as me but he has changed".

Romney is worse because he has turned away from bad positions? That doesn't make sense.

Posted by: kevenj1 | December 27, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"And because McCain has nothing to lose, he will not back down from Romney's attacks and, as the past several days have shown, will in fact ratchet up the level of rhetoric."

Well, it have been that way this morning, but it ain't that way this afternoon. We need them both and on the same ticket. Bhutto changed all the junk between them. We need McCain for his huevos and Romney to tame the out of control spending. It is time to come together boys. It is time to get serious. Your country needs you both.

Posted by: Jack | December 27, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

With families with names like Guerra, Murphy, Jackson, MacArthur, Romano, Schwartz and Greer sending their sons to fight and die for the Stars and Stripes the last thing we need for a president is Mitt who has five sons and not one willing to fight to defend our country. It would be easy for him to commit US forces, since has nothing personal to lose but some fake tears.

On the other hand, McCain comes from a family of American Knights. He has two son in the military. When McCain decides to commit our forces in harms ways, we know that that he is placing his flesh and blood on the line.

Posted by: FloresdelaHoz | December 27, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

abrown, you from Massachusetts? I am, and suffered through one gubernatorial term (and several additional years of public preening) during which Romney tried to sell his political Ken doll self and CEO approach to public policy and social justice to the state. I am grateful to the responsible Democratic legislature for blocking and/or limiting the ability of this disinterested phony to run a community of PEOPLE (whose needs he consistently either misunderstood or tried to ignore) as if it were a for-profit corporation. His candidacy is largely self-funded and almost entirely ego-driven, and I would urge those who have not experienced his closed-minded, self-interested preening and convenient adoption of policy positions first hand to think twice, three times, or more before supporting this phony.

Posted by: bokonon13 | December 27, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

akakakk, you made the totally unsupported comment: "People know that Romney made tons of promises in his gubernatorial election campaign and came across as the perfect candidate and as a result, won the election. And then once elected, he did absolutely nothing. His record in Massachusetts basically shows he just wanted to get elected as a stepping stone to the white house. He did not keep one single promise he made. He really did absolutely nothing."

The fact is that during his campaign for governor of MA, Mitt Romney made sure that he kept track of all his campaign promises (there were 100 of them). Then during his time in office, he kept each of those promises. Can you name even one other elected official who has the organization and integrity to keep track of and fulfill each campaign promise?

At times, Romney can be frustrating, as his desire to gather data and find a pragmatic solution can make it look like his core principles are not rock solid. But I find his intelligence, integrity, and competence to be a combination that is significantly superior to any other candidate (of either party).

Posted by: abrown | December 27, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Contentions that Romney got nothing done in MA? In a state that is controlled by 85% Socialist/Liberal/Dems in the legislature, what GOP governor could? Just the fact that he was ELECTED was a feat in itself. Every thing HE pushed got shot down by that legislature. Everything THEY pushed he vetoed, only to get overridden.

He's a good family man, business man, and would make a great president. Just the fact that he's not a freakin' ambulance chaser like Edwards, a closet Muslim like Barack Hussein Obama, or regurgitated real life West Wing soap opera actor(s) like HillBillie (16 years if elected...never happen) makes him worth supporting.

GO MITT!

Posted by: mrunpc | December 27, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Opa 2--I agree that this is a profound tragedy that is bound to have deep ramifications. It would be good for both parties to sit back and reflect on this

Posted by: prentis.clairmont | December 27, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

agree with the article except for this

He [Romney]is a better known commodity to voters in New Hampshire...

No NH voters know the former governor of thr state adjacent to them. At least they knew the moderae progressive Republican. They don't know this red-meat conservative who came just in time for Iowa and SC. Who will he be i Michigan? That's why he's lost the endorsement of the two hometown papers who know him best.

Posted by: prentis.clairmont | December 27, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I wish Mitt Romney would stop the negative attacks on his fellow Republicans. He's starting to sound like Hillary Clinton!

Posted by: rnst_p | December 27, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

adrienne

I am sure that Huckabee will not do well in New Hampshire. I see a bounce helping him in South Carolina and other Southern states.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 27, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

It will be difficult for Romney to win NH - two of the bigger newspapers have come out against Romney in the last week. And those papers are typically diametrically opposed. If just the Concord Monitor trashed Romney, that might galvanize support and vice versa with the Union Leader. But both are against him and the editorial boards held their opinions until the final week, so it will be fresh in everyone's minds come voting day.

It's not just that McCain has the "straight-talk" thing going for him, even though Romney's slickness is a liability - it's that most of Massachusetts doesn't like or respect Romney's performance as governor. We in NH may not think much of Massachusetts' politics, but you have to wonder why most of Romney's former staff and constituents wouldn't vote for him.

Romney will still make an impact with Tom Rath's influence driving his campaign, but anything less than a decisive victory will smack of failure. Anything close to 2nd for McCain will be a win.

Posted by: suzanngale | December 27, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This is a terrible tragedy that will have consequences beyond what we can comprehend at this time. It would behove our candidates from both parties not to use this tragedy to further their own ambitions. Let's see if they, for once, can act like gentlemen (and ladies) rather than candidates.

Posted by: Opa2 | December 27, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

jimd52: I looked into my "Crystal Ball" and found you and vbhoomes smoking the same strange weed. Joshing you a little. On a more serious note, "The hunt for Osama bin Laden" has all but been set aside by GW and his Administration. This is about as bad as it can get taking the Bhutto killing into account. The "Taliban" appears to be gaining strength there despite meager efforts from this Administration, and it is becoming reminiscent of the 80s when they were our ally against Russia, and we then betrayed them for the sake of oil in Saudi Arabia. This, taken into account the vast supply of oil in the old USSR and the thought of a pipeline to the shipping ports constitutes an alliance between the Taliban and Russia. This could, and would, IMO, reduce the price of oil and the stranglehold the Saudis have had on us for so long.

Posted by: lylepink | December 27, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

JD - Is it any wonder Pelossimo has to use sleight of hand and lower the bar to acheive any measurable sign of achievement for an entire year's worth or 'work'? Without those shady accounting methods, her "fact sheet" of victories would have exactly one line item ...an increase in the minimum wage. woohoo.

It takes a willing suspension of disbelief to buy into Pelosi's accounting of the Dem Congress' first year, yet she proclaims that "the Democratic-led House is listening to the American people and providing the New Direction the people voted for in November."

Guess what Nancy? 60% of Americans don't believe you.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 27, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

A little history for the ignorant:

'The main impetus for the country's nuclear program occurred after India test detonated a nuclear device in 1974 near the border with Pakistan. Pakistan than covertly developed its nuclear weapons over many decades, beginning in the late 1970s. By the 1980s it was thought to have/ successfully developed nuclear warheads.'

Sorry, bhoomes, you can't blame it all on Bill clinton, no matter how hard you try. You might note, however, that for 6 years now, US taxpayers have donated billions of dollars to build up Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, which is now weeks or months away from falling into the hands of bin Ladin.

Posted by: drindl | December 27, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

JimD writes
"I believe that Romney will not be a viable candidate if he loses Iowa and New Hampshire. His whole strategy was to concentrate on the early contests and use victories there to propel himself into the lead nationally. Assuming Huckabee wins Iowa and McCain New Hampshire, I think Romeny's candidacy is doomed. Huckabee would probably then win South Carolina and do well in other Southern states. McCain would be rejuvenated. Giuliani would be in trouble but could remain competitive on Tsunami Tuesday."

I read all that, and don't disagree with it, but its really just saying the GOP race is still wide open. I haven't read Novak's piece yet, but it sounds like he's assuming the R primary voters will wake up & realize they need to reprioritize in order to salvage their party's reputation. JD mentioned early in the thread "the GOP wins if it's HRC, and the Dems win if [they nominate] anyone else," which I don't entirely agree with; HRC gives the GOP the best chance of winning, but it will likely be close. I think McCain is the most likely Republican to beat her.

Posted by: bsimon | December 27, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

'Squirrel-eating'? I wonder how many americans in this day and age can relate to 'squirrel-eating'?

'The LAT fronts a look at the Republican race and notes that most of the candidates seem to have agreed on the buzzword to attack Mitt Romney: authenticity. Mike Huckabee touted his "authenticity and credibility" by hunting pheasants in front of reporters and talking about his squirrel-eating days. '

I also have to say that if your are trying to prove your manliness by shooting pheasants, you might as well shoot chickens. They are very stupid birds, can barely fly, and don't run from people.

What do you think about this, CC?

'At the doorway to the Legion post, veteran John Milford, a Giuliani volunteer, assessed the situation philosophically. "There's a tide in the affairs of men, and we're in a bit of an ebb now," he said.'

And Dana Milbank adds,

'Or caught in the undertow.'

Posted by: drindl | December 27, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

At 8:32A on the previous thread I had posted my favorable sentiments about McC, as well as a "telling" quote from Novak. For me, McC is an easy choice against HRC or JRE, and a more difficult [but at this time probable] choice against BHO. I still have hopes of the race among the adults in the room if JB can get some traction as well.

For the reasons set out by JimD, given the likelihood of a D Congress, I would be still more likely to vote for McC against any D.

The most telling quote from Novak that I cited would indicate that McC is the unique
R with a true history of slamming pork and waste and corruption, and his record on that is better than any D's as well, although some Ds have decent records in that regard.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 27, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

What do you mean "New Hampshire voters know John McCain better than Romney"? Romney was governor of Massachusetts for 4 years, and New Hampshire is essentially Boston's suburbs.

People know that Romney made tons of promises in his gubernatorial election campaign and came across as the perfect candidate and as a result, won the election. And then once elected, he did absolutely nothing. His record in Massachusetts basically shows he just wanted to get elected as a stepping stone to the white house. He did not keep one single promise he made. He really did absolutely nothing.

So given the choice between a viable alternative and Romney, no one is going to pick Romney. Romney has only been ahead due to familiarity. Mark my words - he won't win in New Hampshire.

Posted by: akakakk | December 27, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

jimd52

I could see that, but I don't see Huckabee doing well in NH at all. I do think his bounce is ebbing as well.

Posted by: adriennemichael | December 27, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Let us not forget, PAKISTAN became a Nuclear country during the Clinton watch. Now the very same people tell us to trust them. If this is their ideas of experience, we can do without it. What next if Clinton Inc. gets back in Power, A nuclear Cuba?

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 27, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

adriennemichael

I believe that Romney will not be a viable candidate if he loses Iowa and New Hampshire. His whole strategy was to concentrate on the early contests and use victories there to propel himself into the lead nationally. Assuming Huckabee wins Iowa and McCain New Hampshire, I think Romeny's candidacy is doomed. Huckabee would probably then win South Carolina and do well in other Southern states. McCain would be rejuvenated. Giuliani would be in trouble but could remain competitive on Tsunami Tuesday. The question would then become how long Mitt will keep writing checks to his campaign - given his wealth he could hang on for quite a while. If McCain, Giuliani, Huckabee and Romney remain in the race well into the primaries, we could see the convention actually choose a nominee rather than ratify the results of the primaries.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 27, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The 'center' in DC is center-right.

Posted by: drindl | December 27, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

'I am fairly confident that we would not see the kind of vicious partisanship that marked the Clinton era under a McCain administration.'

You're probably right, Jim, if it was a Dem Congress. they would work with McCain. the republican Congress under Clinton never had any intention of doing anything except blocking him and bringing him down.

However, if McCain was president and there was a republican majority in Congress, they would very likely treat him the same way they did Clinton and block him at every turn.

Look at the party's avatars -- the Limbaughs, the Coulters. they speak for the R party and hyperpartiship is what they want. They don't want to govern and compromise, they want to rule like dictators.

Posted by: drindl | December 27, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

JD

I agree that the Democrats will probably win if the nominee is not HRC, although I am not too sure that Edwards could win either.

As for Broder, the 'lefty's' on this blog routinely denounce him as a right wing stooge. I would classify him as closer to the center.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 27, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Interesting, Jimd. I think Novak is evil incarnate, but he does seem to know stuff no one else does. I'm glad to see McCain fighting back against the phony Mittens. There is film of Mitt saying he didn't support Reagan, btw. Although the whole Reagan myth makes me laugh. I was there -- he really was no different than GWBush. Borrow and spend and deep deficits.And incpacitate with Alzheimers all through his second term. He didn't know what the hell was going on. Nancy answered all the questions.

Even though the econ cons are behind mitt, it looks like Huck is cornering the religious market. He's got some strange baggage, anti-constitutional baggage, so to me he's more dangerous than Mitt, and also a lot less honest than he looks on the surface. Ijust read this:

'Huckabee's decision, to accept paid speeches when he can, first reported by The Politico, does not appear to pose any legal dilemmas for the presidential candidate. It is, however, highly unusual for a White House hopeful to accept money to speak. His fee, according to Fedewa, is up to $25,000 per speech.

She says his practice is not to accept money to speak at churches.

The Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas did give the former preacher $10,000 for delivering a sermon there this past Sunday, but Fedewa says Huckabee donated the money to a church in Little Rock, Arkansas'

Okay, he doesn't accept money to speak at churches. except this church last week gave him $10,000. Even if he gave it to a church, {which church, I'd like to see documentation--do reporters nowadays just take a candidate's word for everything?] why did they give it to him in hte first place, if he doesn't accept money? Sounds fishy.

Lyle--as far as Bhutto? She was an opponent of our 'ally' Mushareff, whom we give billions of dollars to--without strings. He is a dictator, you see. He doesn't want political opponents. She had a following. He had her murdered. It was only a matter of time and she knew it, but she was a brave woman.

Broder a democrat. Omigod. that's hilarious. The man can't exhale without trashing a democrat. Yeah, he's a dem like Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman. What a joke. Oh right, and George W. Bush is a liberal, and up is down and black is white.

Posted by: drindl | December 27, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

It would seem that Romney's finally got a race on his hands. His money will keep him alfoat for longer than Huckabee or McCain, so he can still pull it out by math. The wildcard in the pot is if he doesn't meet expecatations in IA or NH, meaning probably first or a close second. If the media narrative carries Huckabee, either as the winner and he gets a huge dump of cash, I can see Huckabee making a run at SC and southern states later on FL, etc. If Huckabee places second in IA, he's done. The narrative will be about Romney not winning by a landslide, not about Huckabee beating expectations. Huckabee is being exposed now to all the stuff he wasn't before when he was unknown. His "country bumpkin, aw shucks" shtick is starting to ware. With foreign affairs events not going away, he comes across as not credible. And, there is a media narrative out there that the fundamentalists have had their day and they need to regroup. They cannot carry Huckabee.

McCain may be able to leverage NH into something if the Huckabee bubble goes down steeper than it is. McCain will have to raise a lot of cash, pander a bit, and move on Romney even more. I think this is Romney's thinking, that he's got to get out ahead of McCain because is campaign has realized that Huckabee is not a contender after IA, and McCain is not only resurgent, but seen as the GOP standardbearer/fallback guy/"oh it's his turn, we're not going to take this election anyway"

Mitt knows he has to spend it all and hope he wins the math.

Posted by: adriennemichael | December 27, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Following up on my last post, as a centrist I tend to like divided government. It can produce good results for the country as it did when Bill Clinton dealt with a Republican Congress and we had welfare reform, trade agreements and deficit reduction. I am fairly confident that we would not see the kind of vicious partisanship that marked the Clinton era under a McCain administration.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 27, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Many people base their vote on a candidate's personal characteristics rather than some ideological checklist. I believe that McCain would trounce HRC or Edwards in the general election. The contrast between McCain's directness and HRC's 'Stepford Wives' demeanor is dramatic. I would certainly vote for McCain against those two and I tend to be smoewhat closer on the ideological scale to HRC than to McCain. I believe that McCain could accomplish things working with a Democratic Congress.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 27, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Novack's column today says "Sen. John McCain, given up for dead a few weeks ago as he ran a cash-starved, disorganized campaign, today is viewed by canny Republican professionals as the best bet to win the party's presidential nomination. What's more, they consider him their most realistic prospect to buck the overall Democratic tide and win the general election."

Posted by: jimd52 | December 27, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Just in :: Bhutto Killed in Pakistan. Yesterday a friend and me was talking and I said I had had a "Feeling" this was going to happen for about week now. Say what you want about these "Feelings" I have from time to time, but it is almost like looking into A "Crystal Ball". I had hopes of someone having an explanation of some sort for this, and yet have found nothing. Anyone have any ideas??

Posted by: lylepink | December 27, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

as for the topic of the day, Chris: Listen up. This election is not about who the GOP nominates (as long as it isn't a whackjob like Paul or Keyes).

This election is about the Dem nominee. The vote will be for or against him or her, not for the GOP nom.

Personally, I think the GOP wins if it's HRC, and the Dems win if it's anyone else (not counting their whackjobs like Gravel or Kucinich).

Posted by: JD | December 27, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the threadjack.

Hey Proud, to continue the conversation from yesterday ('generalissimo pelosi'; ha!), read Broder today

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/26/AR2007122601484.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

And remember, Broder is a lefty, a wholely owned subsidiary of the DLC.

Posted by: JD | December 27, 2007 8:40 AM | Report abuse

This isn't about a two-front war anymore. While Mitt's attacks on NH contender McCain have exploded, his wipes at Huckabee have dropped or been rather tepid. He's given up on IA and is banking on a New Hampshire win.

http://political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | December 27, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

This isn't about a two-front war anymore. While Mitt's attacks on NH contender McCain have exploded, his wipes at Huckabee have dropped or been rather tepid. He's given up on IA and is banking on a New Hampshire win.

http://political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | December 27, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

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