This week, John McCain indicated in his straight-talk style the two issues that are plaguing the republican primary. The twin "albatrosses around the neck" are Bush's war record, and abortion. McCain said in regards to the war, that Bush's numbers and strategy are dragging the party down. And in regards to abortion, the republican candidate who is, or was recently, pro-choice has a lot of baggage in the eyes of the republican base.
Take McCain's first comment, that the war is hurting a republican's chance for the White House in 2008. McCain has chosen to continue a stance that is in support of taking the war to our enemies, and finding those responsible for 9-11 and all terror. And even though he has been critical of Bush's management of the war, McCain is the one candidate identified as "close" to Bush's philosophy. McCain is right on this issue, much to the chagrin of the left and anti-war activists in the country. A defeat in the Middle East for the US is the beginning of a war brought to our soil, by an enemy without a country to bomb, but a nation of thousands of Islamic extremists in every realm. The polls do not reflect thinking beyond the gut reaction of "getting us out of Iraq", and that is short-sighted.
McCain's second comment is telling, for that in the republican party, 60% of voters are pro-life. To run as a candidate, aloof to abortion, is perilous. Giuliani cannot come out and say "I hate abortion" but be ambivalent in abortions nationwide, as a matter of settled law. There is no way he wins the nomination with that position. Moreover, anyone who has as recent as their last bid for office been in support of abortion has a hard sell as well. This is Romney's albatross. McCain does not have these issues with the base, and should enjoy their support of his pro-life stand.
Some polls suggest that McCain is hurting in the money race as well as the primary states. I think that as we approach the first primaries in (possibly) December of 2007, you will see a shift from the RINO's to the only consistent and experienced candidate in the field, John McCain.
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