Most major conservative radio-talk-show hosts are virtually in tears over the success of John McCain in this first part of the primary season. He’s just not, it seems, conservative enough for them.
Apparently these conservative talking heads are missing the point — the point being that it is the people who are making McCain their choice over Romney (Mitt Romney, the man that Conservative talker Hugh Hewitt loves so much that he wrote a book about his candadacy). This begs two questions: Could the far-right philosophy of Hewitt and his ilk be out of step with the public’s attitudes? Or could the problem be Mitt Romney? I think the answers are yes!
Romney comes off as too slick for my tastes; too polished, and not as believable as John McCain. And then there is the fact that Romney has been spending enormous amounts of money on advertising in the early primary states and he has been finding that the voters are apparently not buying what he’s selling. It could be that there are hunderds of thousands of others who are having the same trouble as I am trusting ‘Slick Mitt’ Romney.
Granted, as a Senator, McCain has made some bad decisions — has put his name on some bad legislation — but this is a man who, I am very sure, did what he did not for personal gain but because he believed it, at the time, to be the right course of action for the people, the country and his party. This being said about John McCain does not imply that Mitt Romney is a bad guy or that he would ever intentionally wound our country for personal gain.
Another factor in John McCain’s early success is candidate Huckabee. Huckabee’s “huckaboom” has turned into a “huckabust” but he continues to hang in there; the interesting question is why. To me it’s obvious that Huckaby is draining some of the far-right Conservative vote as well as some of the just plain religious folks’ vote from Romney and is, as a result, helping McCain. If I were McCain I would be tempted to contribute big bucks to Huckabee’s campaign just to keep him in the race.
Still another factor is Rudy Guiliani. Originally, Rudy Guiliani was my personal choice for the Republican nomination because of his knack for getting things done — for taking bad situations and turning them into positive victories. If he had had better advisors, he would have participated in all of the early primary contests and would now, I have no doubt, be one of today’s top contenders for the Republican nomination. That however is a ‘what if’ and ‘what ifs’ don’t really count. Guiliani has done the logical thing and thrown his support to McCain — why logical? Because Guilaini and McCain are the only two Republican candidates who realize that you must sometimes take an unpopular position to obtain the best possible results; this was exemplified by Guiliani’s sanctuary city program in New York and by McCain’s decisions to work with the Democrats to break deadlocks and make progress in the Senate.
Of course its early yet and Super Tuesday is just a couple days off. I will be watching and learning along with you. Here in Texas we have our primary election in March — by then the field might be even narrower.
New York Times: McCain Looks Confident; Democratic Race Tightens
Boston Globe: Romney tries to rally conservatives
From the blogs:
Britannica Blog: Why So Hard on McCain, So Easy on Romney?
Try 2 Focus: Romney All Talk?