Sunday, September 17, 2006

# Posted 10:40 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

FRUM ON McCAIN (A RESPONSE TO TAYLOR): Ask and ye shalt receive. Frum has two main arguments. First, senators almost never become president. Second, GOP primary voters don't trust McCain anymore than Connecticut primary voters trust Lieberman.

I'm not sure the analogy to Lieberman holds. Lamont supporters didn't have to worry about their man facing a credible GOP challenger in the general election. There was simply no way the GOP was going to take Lieberman's seat in the Senate.

But when GOP primary voters pick up their ballots, they will know that the price of rejecting McCain may be a Democratic victory in November. And if Hillary is still the frontrunner when primary season begins, a Democratic victory will be a very scary prospect.

So what about the senate curse? Can a candidate without executive experience prevail? Unless being First Lady counts as executive experience, being a senator won't hurt McCain in a showdown with Hillary.

But what if McCain faces Mark Warner or some equally inoffensive Democrat? Although I think executive experience is worth something at the polls, I doubt it's decisive. John Kerry lost because had no clear position on big security issues. Bob Dole lost, among other reasons, because national security didn't matter in 1996. But McCain has impeccable credentials when it comes to national security.

It's also worth noting that Democrats with executive experience -- think Mondale, Dukakis and Gore -- don't exactly have a great record at the polls.

Finally, might a lack of executive experience cost McCain the primary? I doubt it. Frum mentions that Giuliani and Mitt Romney have strong executive resumes, but I just can't imagine how voters who think McCain is too conservative will choose one of them instead.
(11) opinions -- Add your opinion

You don't understand Republicans, David. McCain is not acceptable because he is the darling of the liberal media. On that point alone, he can't be right, and regular GOP voters will not trust him. You cannot imagine the contempt in which they hold his liberal media friends. He might win in a general election, but he will play hell getting anywhere in a GOP primary. Strike two is his advanced age. Finally, nobody forgives him for McCain-Feingold, which seems to have been designed for George Soros, CBS and the NY Times. (For that matter, nobody forgives Bush for not vetoing it, either). And Hillary is no lock. With an enemy cutting people's heads off, many just don't want a woman president, and have trouble visualizing her telling the generals to go out and kill them. Besides, she is having as much trouble as Lieberman in straddling the war issue, and is turning off her Deaniacs, of whom there are quite a few... Many of us haven't forgotten the SBA swindle or the cattle future bribes, or the pornographic Christmas tree ornaments, or the insulting use of military aides to serve canapes. Or the indictment of Billy Dale because of course he was stealing because any of us would have been stealing in his position, right, and that is why we want to get rid of him so we can have his honey pot... She also hired that thug Livingstone, who went through all the security clearance files of Bush 41 White House personnel... You will not see G. W. Bush renting the Lincoln bedroom and selling pardons to drug dealers and filling a moving van with public property from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on Jan 20, 2009. You wouldn't have seen Walter Mondale do that, either, or most other Democrats. My point is you may be totally approving of sexual lib and totally forgiving of the Clinton sexual antics, (tho I can't imagine how), and feel the impeachment was a mistake, and his public policies were simply marvelous, and still find yourself uneasy about supporting for president someone who is clearly not of good character. Of course she may be less sleazy than he is, but she has been involved in many sordid activites with him up to her neck. Maybe Joe Sixpack doesn't pay close attention to this stuff, but there is a measurable slice of the electorate which does. By the way, JFK was a senator when elected president, although the election was very fishy and probably stolen.
Thanks David! One question, is Giuliani really that much more conservative that McCain? Do they fall in different directions on different issues?
It's also worth noting that Democrats with executive experience -- think Mondale, Dukakis and Gore -- don't exactly have a great record at the polls.

It is worthless to bring up these 3 Dems w/executive experience to highlight the Senate curse (or lack thereof)

Mondale was against Reagan and was not going to win that one, no matter what his job was prior to running.

Dukakis lost because of his own campaign decisions, namely deciding that MA needed to be governed, even during a presidential campaign.

Gore chose not to differentiate himself from Bush and that is what cost him the race.
Actually Gore did win the election before he lost it. :)
Taylor, I mis-blogged. I meant to write that primary voters who see McCain as too LIBERAL would never vote for Giuliani or Romney.

FYI for all Canadians, Giuliani has a very liberal record on "social" issues, i.e. gay rights and abortion.
got ya. glad I'm not going crazy! -T
I'm confused. I diistrust most of the media as much as the next Republican, but isn't the fact that McCain is able to play the media to his own ends a plus for him? I know having the media on our side isn't priority #1 of most Republicans. But wouldn't having a candidate who manages to make the media think he's on their side be advantageous for us? I don't think a reflexive attack against anyone who is portrayed as positive on TV is a healthy strategy.

As for McCain, yes, I'm not thrilled with McCain Feingold or the degree of his opposition on the Geneva Conventions issue. But I consider McCain-Feingold to be nowhere near the top of the issues I look for in a candidate. I do look for impeccable credentials on national security and foreign policy, and to me, McCain has that. The Geneva issue aside, McCain has stood by the President on the war in Iraq and war on terror when most other senators were too squeamish to be seen as too close to the President, leading them to criticize this or that aspect of the administration but offer no alternative plan. There are a number of Republican Senators and Congressmen I have become unhappy with b/c they choose their positions based on which way the wind is blowing. I don't think McCain is like that though. He has supported a strong defense, foreign and national security policy throughout his career. That's what I'm looking for, at least. Where a candidate stands on campaign finance, while important, is not how I'm going to decide who I support.

The only thing that has me worrying about McCain is his age. I'll have to think more about that (and see who he would pick as a VP nominee)
McCain's finest hour was when he got up at the last GOP convention and said "the status quo in Iraq was not a viable option." As for his being a media darling, the awful part is you wonder if they know something you do not know about McCain and where he really stands, because they are not so stupid as to pump him up for no reason, and their leftism is an all-consuming, over-arching religion.
so if mccain doesn´t make it past the rep. primary even after sucking up to the agent of intolerance, how bout we support a bipartisan centrist ticket -- mccain leiberman 2008!

"I diistrust most of the media as much as the next Republican, but isn't the fact that McCain is able to play the media to his own ends a plus for him?"

McCain's not good at playing the media, he's good at being the sort of Republican the media like. And the reasons they like him are directly related to why the Republican base doesn't.

And, yes, McCain/Feingold is very important. It represents a conscious and deliberate attack on the ability of interested members of the public to influence electoral outcomes. Of course the activist base of the GOP counts it agains McCain: It was aimed at marginalizing THEM!
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