Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Friday to Remember

From Rick Davis, Campaign Manager for John McCain:

Friday marks the 40th anniversary of the day John McCain was shot down and became a guest of the North Vietnamese, spending much of his captivity in a prison camp which would come to be known as the Hanoi Hilton.

Earlier that year, he narrowly escaped death aboard the USS Forrestal. A missile misfired on the deck of the carrier and it hit the fuel tank on John McCain's plane. He jumped from the cockpit of his fighter jet into the inferno below, rolling to escape. After the fire on the Forrestal, he would have been eligible to safely return home, but John McCain volunteered to continue fighting and transferred to the USS Oriskany.

On October 26th, 1967, while on his 23rd bombing mission, a surface to air missile hit McCain's plane, forcing him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and his leg. He fell into a lake where he used his teeth to inflate his life vest. A North Vietnamese mob dragged him out of the water, where someone in the crowd bayoneted him and turned over to the local authorities.

By the time John reached the infamous prison, he had received precious little medical treatment and was tossed into the care of Colonel Bud Day. His captors preferred that he die in American hands. But John McCain didn't die. Colonel Day nursed him back to health.

The Vietnamese soon realized that they were holding the son of the US Commander of the Pacific Fleet - they called him "The Prince". They offered him an early release, but McCain knew accepting an offer would violate the military code of conduct through which he pledged, "I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy." He repeatedly refused early release.

The story of McCain's five and a half years of torture, beatings and solitary confinement is well known. Less known is the powerful faith he developed in his God, his country and his fellow prisoners of war. He says his closest relationships and friendships today are with the men who served with him as a POW.

John McCain came home more committed than ever to the notion of honor and service to his country. He has spent a lifetime in the service of the American people. We are lucky that a leader of his caliber, intellect and bravery is running for president.”

Ponnuru: McCain Should Play the Polk Card

Ramesh Ponnuru on National Review Online makes a case for John McCain. Ponnuru came out in the spring endorsing John McCain, which is significant for Ponnuru is a respected conservative author. Aside from the debacle with immigration, McCain has been a solid conservative, despite his cantankerous nature with the Right. Ponnuru is convinced that McCain is the most solid candidate for the Republicans, who can win in a general election. While Romney and Giuliani are leading the party polling right now, neither can overcome Hillary in the national polls. Moreover, their baggage (Mormonism and flip-flopping for Romney and pro-choice and no family values for Giuliani) may be too much of a burden for the national race. McCain brings none of that, except a long career in public service with a consistent record.

Ponnuru hits on a point I made a few months ago, that the party needs to think about an “interregnum”, someone who has the qualities of the past generation and the ability to bridge the party to the next generation. That bridge is of course, over the gulf of Dubyan or Cheneyan neo-conservatism that is killing our chances nationally.

Ponnuru cites that this is the first election since 1960 where we are coming out of two long presidencies (Truman/Ike in 48-60 and Clinton-Bush from 92-2008), and a “break” is really needed. This line of thinking means that the next president is likely to be a one-termer no matter what. And so, Ponnuru thinks McCain should come out with a one-term promise, to accomplish the main issues of his entire career, and pass the torch, the bridge, to the next leader…who could be a young vice-president.

It has been done before. James Polk, 11th President, ran on a one-term pledge, was a workaholic, and died shortly after his one-term. Polk ran a small platform and completed all of his goals, including “manifest destiny”, the hot potato of his day. Polk followed in the wake of a strong and reviled president, Andrew Jackson. The concept is very much the same for McCain…elder statesmen, coming in to clean up the mess of a long-term firebrand, and with a limited agenda.

More recently, in the example I cited months ago, was that of the Catholic Church, where the College of Cardinals selected an “interregnum” pope in Benedict XVI after the long reign of John Paul II. Benedict serves to enforce John Paul II’s hard work, add his own twist, and is old enough that it is unlikely that he will serve for 25 years. He is also a bridge, and so, the concept is not lost on people. Like Benedict, McCain can choose the best of the Republican Party platform, and leave behind the controversy with Bush. He can clean up the fine points enough for a younger successor (like Huckabee, or any number of young governors, like Mark Sanford of SC, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, or Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota) to take the helm.
Ponnuru believes the act of declaring a one-term pledge will make McCain’s opponents seem self-serving. I believe it is more the reality of our times, that with the middle east in turmoil, the climate wrecking havoc on our cities, energy shortages and dependence, and a polarized society, one term is all the next president can expect. Nonetheless, given his age and experience, McCain seems to be the best fit for a four-year overhaul of the government.

His original article can be found on

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Roster McCain:

Congressional Endorsements for McCain come in at 28, only a couple behind Mitt Romney.

Richard Burr
Susan Collins
Lindsay Graham
Jon Kyl
Trent Lott
Gordon Smith
Olympia Snowe
John Thune
John Warner

Spencer Bachus
Mario Diaz- Balart
Lincoln Diaz- Balart
Mike Castle
Jeff Flake
Ric Keller
Mark Kirk
Ray LaHood
Steven LaToruette
Dan Lungren
Chip Pickering
Todd Platts
Rick Renzi
Peter Roskam
Ilena Ros- Lehtinen
John Shadegg
Chris Shays
John Shimkus
Fred Upton

Governor Mitch Daniels
Attorney General Steve Carter

Washington Post: McCain Shines at Latest GOP Debate

WaPo writers declare McCain’s victory over rivals in Sunday’s Debate.

WaPo’s Dan Balz says that despite McCain and Giuliani’s reversal for the top spot in the primary field, McCain is still a force to be reckoned with. Says Balz:

“McCain can be a slow starter in these debates, but after warming up with an afternoon town hall meeting, he hit the stage running. His opening line was a zinger aimed at his nemesis, Romney, over who was the real conservative in the race.

‘Governor Romney, you've been spending the last year trying to fool people about your record," he said. "I don't want you to start fooling them about mine... I stand on my record of a conservative and I don't think you can fool the American people. I think the first thing you'd need is their respect.’

A few minutes later, he had the audience cheering and laughing at Hillary Clinton's expense, while reminding everyone that his public service includes six years as a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton. Blasting Clinton's proposal to spend $1 million in tax dollars for a memorial to the Woodstock rock concert, a "cultural and pharmaceutical event" that he said he could not attend because, "I was tied up."’

According to Balz:

“The last thing Giuliani needs now is a McCain on the rebound. He prefers a rising Mike Huckabee and an improving Fred Thompson to splinter further the most conservative wing of the party and thereby cut into Romney's potential support. That's just what appears to be happening.

The more those conservative voters are divided, the better for Giuliani. The danger for Giuliani from a revitalized McCain candidacy comes in New Hampshire. The Giuliani campaign sees New Hampshire as the best opportunity to derail Romney's early-state strategy, but he and McCain are competing there, especially for many of the same socially moderate voters. McCain's roots there are stronger than anywhere else, a byproduct of his big 2000 victory over Bush in the state.”

Chris Cillizza says in “The Fix”:

“The first 30 minutes of the debate provided some of the best moments of the campaign so far, with John McCain accusing Mitt Romney of seeking to fool the American people about his record, and Fred Thompson challenging Rudy Giuliani over his public declaration that he voted for Democrat Mario Cuomo in New York's 1994 gubernatorial race.”
Cillizza declares McCain the winner:

“McCain won the debate with a single line. Talking about the fact he wasn't able to attend the Woodstock rock festival back in 1969, McCain said: "I was tied up at the time." Wow. A subtle reference to his time as a POW in the "Hanoi Hilton" that the crowd slowly but surely caught on to and eventually rewarded McCain with an extended standing ovation. McCain also nicely balanced seriousness (his unwillingness to gratuitously attack Hillary Rodham Clinton) with his trademark wit (poking fun at his advanced age in a question on Social Security). It felt like McCain was at the center of the debate last night.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

National Review gives McCain a Second Look, and the Conservative Nod

In an article by Kate O’Beirne, National Review catalogues why McCain deserves the GOP nod. In sum, the GOP field is now complete; no new people are going to join. There are no more holdouts, no pining away from Ronald Reagan to return from the grave an run for a third term. This is it. And when looking at the field, we are still left with a Flip Romney, whose Mormonism will cost him evangelical voters, Giuliani, whose marriages and family estrangement will const him values voters, Thompson, who simply has fizzled under folksy pretentiousness and a checkered lobbying career, and McCain, who has been McCain for all seventy of his years.
Add in the recent poll from Zogby that a whopping 50% of voters will not vote for HRC, we need a candidate that can unite the center, and keep conservatives from staying home.

The full text from “A Second Look at McCain Could he be the strongest GOPer?” is below:

“While Hillary Clinton is looking like a sure bet for her party’s nomination, only the reckless would wager their own money on the likely Republican nominee. With the presence of Fred Thompson and the absence of Newt Gingrich, the GOP field is now complete — and completely without a conventional frontrunner. Its fluidity has prompted a second look by the rank and file: Republicans seeking to keep their party’s base intact, while appealing to independents in order to have a shot at defeating Hillary, are taking another look at John McCain. A veteran GOP congressional aide who has been a critic of McCain, most recently on the issue of immigration, recently surprised himself by concluding that the Arizona senator would be the best general-election candidate. This strategist seeks a nominee who will unify and energize the base, who has the potential to win, and who makes fellow Republicans competitive. He notes that McCain is pro-life and strong on national security, and has long been in favor of fiscal restraint. In addition to unifying social, economic, and national-security conservatives, he argues, McCain has a maverick image that can appeal to the independent voters who abandoned the GOP in droves in 2006. The Christian-conservative leaders toying with the ruinous idea of a third-party challenge represent the legitimate concern that the nomination of Rudy Giuliani would fracture the winning coalition that has prevailed in five of the last seven presidential elections. The coalition includes both evangelicals and ethnic Catholics who have backed Republican candidates based on their positions on social and cultural issues rather than on tax policy or national security. In a year when Democrats are heavily favored to win the White House, many conservatives are unwilling to experiment with the notion that a wholly new coalition, with fewer social and cultural conservatives, will coalesce around a socially liberal Northeast Republican. No such candidate has been recently elected statewide, even in the Northeast.

Giuliani enjoys a persistent perch at the top of the national polls, while the resistance to his candidacy remains equally persistent. Pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that the former mayor’s support is less than 30 percent and doubts that it can grow by much. (Hillary Clinton’s lead is far more formidable, besting her nearest competitor by 30 points in some national polls.) Republican voters obviously know Giuliani as “America’s Mayor,” a hero of 9/11 — but despite this positive image as a tested, tough leader, a large majority of Republicans resist him. Even his supporters aren’t well-informed about his positions: A September CBS/New York Times poll found that only 41 percent of those who favored Giuliani for the nomination knew that he is pro-choice on abortion. National polling by Pew Research has found that only 4 out of 10 Republicans nationwide are able to identify his abortion position. It is hard to imagine his support growing among conservative voters, given what they will come to learn about both his liberal views on social issues and his operatic personal life. Many Republicans are also doubtful of Mitt Romney’s ability to unify and energize the Republican base. Some worry about the recent vintage of his conservative views on abortion, gay rights, and guns. Others note the regrettable but real resistance to a Mormon candidate on the part of some evangelicals. If a significant number of these people stay home because they reject the appeal that the former governor shares their values, if not their faith, other Republican candidates will also pay a price for their prejudice. While Fred Thompson’s record and platform should be able to unify the GOP base, it is unclear whether he will prove to have the fortitude and drive John McCain displayed in 2000. McCain’s present underdog campaign is marked by that same energy and determination. The initial bounce in the polls that met Thompson’s entry into the race has been slipping away. Some have predicted a “Fred fizzle” that Scott Rasmussen is not yet willing to declare; John McCain is the candidate most likely to benefit from a second look by Fred Thompson’s supporters, should it appear his candidacy is not as viable as they had hoped. When the false assumptions that the case for Giuliani rests on are stripped away, McCain emerges as the stronger candidate. According to Giuliani’s supporters, the fact that he has the best chance to beat Hillary is chief among the former mayor’s attributes. He is leading the pack in part because plenty of Republicans share this mistaken view. A late September NBC/Wall Street Journal poll revealed that 47 percent of GOP primary voters think Giuliani is their best bet against Hillary. Giuliani topped Thompson and McCain as the most competitive general-election candidate by 30 points.

But this impression is flatly contradicted by the candidates’ standings in head-to-head match-ups: In the average of polling results compiled by RealClearPolitics, McCain is the most competitive candidate against Hillary. In recent polling, Hillary has been beating Giuliani by a margin of 6.2 points; her winning margin against McCain is 4.7 points. Giuliani’s backers argue that his candidacy would put Northeast states like Pennsylvania in play and boost Republican prospects in other battleground states such as Ohio. But, again, recent polling indicates that Giuliani is no more competitive than McCain in these states. An October poll by Quinnipiac University found Hillary beating both Giuliani (48–42) and McCain (48–41) in Pennsylvania, and in Ohio as well (46–40 against Giuliani and 48–38 against McCain, with the difference within the poll’s margin of error). Giuliani and McCain poll virtually the same against Hillary in Florida: She wins 46–43. Both candidates clearly benefit from being the most widely recognized Republicans. Based on the false assumption that Giuliani is the most competitive candidate against Hillary Clinton, the false choice offered Republican voters is to back either the candidate most likely to win or the candidate they most agree with on the issues. But based on current polling, McCain is as likely to win as Giuliani — and his positions on the issues are in closer accord with those of Republican voters. Republicans are also being told that during these perilous times they should be willing to prioritize a concern with national security over social issues. Voters need not make that tradeoff if they support McCain, who has both a pro-life record and more national-security experience than Giuliani. McCain is a conservative whose heterodox views on campaign-finance reform and immigration are shared by the more liberal Giuliani. With the defeat of the “comprehensive” immigration bill he championed, McCain recognizes that the public demands concrete enforcement measures — and he now pledges to secure the border before pressing for the legalization of illegal aliens. (He will, of course, have to convince conservatives that he is a genuinely reformed reformer committed to an “enforcement first” agenda.) Finally, McCain is in a long-term, stable second marriage and talks to all his children, although not as frequently as he would like. One son is a midshipman at the Naval Academy and another is an enlisted Marine serving in Iraq. Should Republicans reject the false choices being offered — and make a considered choice based on the man and the merits — a second look could give John McCain a second chance.”

McCain's Debate Moments--Taking Romney to Task

Some bloggers have come to the erroneous conclusion that John McCain’s purpose in this campaign is to clobber Romney enough so his pal Rudy Giuliani can win the nomination. Some say McCain’s bipartisanship with guys like Ted Kennedy is too uncomfortable for their meat and potatoes conservative stomachs. McCain is a consensus builder. That is what we want in a president. McCain is also seasoned enough that he does not need on the job training for his convictions, like Slick Flip Romney of Massachusetts (who, recall, agreed to defend abortion in his Senate campaign debates with Ted Kennedy).

McCain again demonstrates his ability to lead the party and the nation at Sunday’s debate. When addressing Romney, McCain explains his readiness in detail:
“Governor Romney, you've been spending the last year trying to fool people about your record. I don't want you to start fooling them about mine," McCain responded before launching an explanation of why he is best prepared for the White House.--FOXnews
"I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn't a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn't a governor for a short period of time. For 20-some years, including leading the largest squadron in the United States Navy, I led. I didn't manage for profit, I led for patriotism," he said.—FOXnews.

Add in McCain’s terms in the Senate, and his has been in the public service of the United States for nearly 50 years. Or better put, when John McCain was graduating from Annapolis at the Naval Academy, Mitt Romney was beginning puberty. When McCain was an involuntary guest at the Hanoi Hilton (“I was all tied up”), Romney was partying at Stanford before he “discovered” his Mormon self. (Romney explains that only by leaving Stanford for Brigham Young did he come of age…thanks to Mormonism, which we are not supposed to ask about). When Romney was serving himself as a venture capitalist, McCain was serving the nation in the Senate. Romney’s great public triumph is saving the Salt Lake Olympics, which apparently would have collapsed if not for him. John McCain has over thirty years of service in Congress.
But the most telling moment from the debate for me was McCain’s candid assessment of Russia and China. No other candidate touched it, nor understood the long term meaning of our foreign relations with these countries.

On international issues, McCain said he was concerned about Russia's recent moves. He said unlike President Bush, when he looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes, he didn't see his soul, he only saw three letters: "a K, a G and a B."--FOXNews

"He bullies his neighbors and he wants to get a control of the energy supply of Western Europe. This is a dangerous person. And he has to understand that there's a cost to some of his actions. And the first thing I would do is make sure that we have a missile defense system in place in Czechoslovakia [sic] and Poland, and I don't care what his objections are to it," McCain said, suggesting that tough times lie ahead because Russia and China are "blocking meaningful action to keep us in a peaceful world in the United Nations."—FOXnews.

Friday, October 19, 2007

New Polls show McCain Most Likely to Beat Hillary

Recent polls indicate that if the election were held today, the race for the presidency would be close. We have always known that it would be. How close depends on who the Republican nominee will be. In head-to-head competition with Hillary Clinton, John McCain comes closest to beating her.

The October 9-10 FOXnews/Opinion Dynamics poll puts John McCain as the only republican who is competitive with HRC. Rudy trails Clinton by 4%, and Romney and Thompson would get trounced by 12%.

McCain 44%
Clinton 47%

Clinton 47%
Giuliani 43%

Clinton 50%
Thompson 38%

Clinton 50%
Romney 38%

This poll validates a recent Rasmussen poll that puts McCain only one point behind HRC, and Rudy at least 7% behind Hillary.

Christian Conservatives, like James Dobson, have already called for a third-party movement should a pro-abortion or weak pro-life candidate emerge from the Republican Primary. Romney has flip-flopped on abortion his whole public career, Rudy still is pro-choice publicly, and Thompson once lobbied for a pro-choice group. Only McCain has been a solid conservative his whole career, and could gain the support of the Christian Right, enough to win that 3% margin of error against HRC. Should another contender get the nod, Dobson might bolt with 10% of the Republican base and nominate their own candidate.

A third party Christian candidate delivers the race to HRC with any other contender.

McCain 44%
Clinton 47%

Clinton 47%
Giuliani 33%
Christian Third Party 10%

Clinton 50%
Thompson 28%
Christian Third Party 10%

Clinton 50%
Romney 28%
Christian Third Party 10%

Quoting McCain Chair Rick Davis:

“What do these polls mean? They mean that John McCain's experienced leadership, courageous service and the bold solutions he is proposing on the campaign trail are resonating with the American people. They also mean that our party can nominate a candidate who can beat Hillary Clinton without compromising the bedrock principles and values that are our party's foundation. Republican primary voters are figuring out that supporting a candidate who is not prepared to be Commander in Chief from day one, or one who is out of step with our party's core values, is a recipe for another Clinton Administration.”

In the final analysis, this is great news for McCain, and pretty good news for Huckabee too, who, as a definitive Christian Conservative, could make solid a McCain ticket even better, and ensure
a sure victory.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Former Bushie Barlett Sees McCain's Momentum

If Bush’s brain were divided into lobes, Karl Rove was the left side, and Dan Bartlett the right. The way right side. Recently, he offered the assessment that many have been drooling for, that is the Neocon/White House assessment of the field. No one is seeking the endorsement of this administration, and Bush might be the least busy campaigning lame duck since Rutherford Hayes. His candid assessment? From a recent Washington Post column:

John McCain: could pull a repeat of his 2000 performance by winning New Hampshire yet losing the battle. Bartlett was more sympathetic to McCain, calling the senator from Arizona the ‘biggest wild card’ at this point. ‘He is now where he does his best,’ Bartlett said. ‘He's lean, he's mean, he's out there, he's fighting in New Hampshire. The problem's going to be it always comes down to money, money, money. He doesn't have it. The irony could be he could see this thing play out the exact same way it did in 2000. He could win in New Hampshire and not have any infrastructure or funding to maximize it in a national campaign.’”

“Bartlett declined to predict the nominee. "Republicans, I believe, are terrified about losing the presidency after losing Congress," he said. "I think this is going to be the season of the pragmatic Republican voter. That bodes well for Rudy and it gives McCain a shot, because I think people feel McCain can go toe-to-toe with Hillary in the general election.’”

“’Bartlett gave his appraisal during a Sept. 13 joint appearance with Terence R. McAuliffe, campaign chairman for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Video excerpts were posted on the Web site of Leading Authorities, a speakers bureau. Bartlett said he was not conveying Bush's opinions. "They were my views only," he said. White House press secretary Dana Perino echoed that: "He is a private citizen now, expressing his private views. He is not speaking for the president.’”

I for one, think that Bartlett’s assessment is pretty candid. While he does berate the rest of the field, I left that out to focus on the McCain analysis. Bartlett is right, the pragmatic Republican voter, the one who says that having a leader ala Giuliani/McCain in the White House, who can stop Hillary Rodham Clinton from becoming president, is where the votes will fall. Many well-heeled contenders have fallen to the ash heap because their message was not clear (Forbes, Kerry, Perot, Dean, and so on). The boring, slack jawed start to Thompson’s campaign, Flip Romney, and the like will not keep Hillary out. McCain’s leadership and pragmatism can.

While Some Reach for Gravitas, McCain Defines It.

It is one thing to claim mantles that do not belong to you, such as Gov. Romney’s recent claim of being the “Republican Wing of the Republican Party”. Insert “Democratic Wing” and rewind to early 2004 and you have another nutty New Englander, Howard Dean. Sure, you can claim gravitas, but as the old Chinese saying goes, “the more you brag, the more you diminish your accomplishments.”

It is another to be presidential. McCain is not wasting time telling people who and what he is. He is doing what a president does, that is, by “doing”. Another cliché for you, “actions speak louder than words”. And for McCain, by introducing his plans for healthcare and the war, and immigration, he has been presidential. He doesn’t need to tell you who he is; you can figure that out by what he stands for. Sometimes that might not be the answer you want to hear, as a Granite Stater found out a few days ago.

"US Senator John McCain (R), campaigning this week in New Hampshire, fended off hostile questions from a town hall audience member upset with McCain's immigration stance. "Do the people in Washington — the politicians and the lobbyists and the rich people writing the checks — do they understand the amount of anger the average European Christian, native-born American feels when they see their country turning into a multicultural chaos Tower of Babel," asked an angry man, according to CNN. When McCain tried to answer, the man interrupted McCain. Finally -- after expressing support for "first securing our borders" -- McCain fired back: "I believe the greatest strength of America is the lady who holds her lamp behind the golden door that says send me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses. And I am grateful to live in a nation that has been enriched by people coming to our nation from around the world. I will do everything in my power to secure the borders, but I love this nation and I love the people who have come from around the world." The NH audience gave McCain a loud round of applause for his answer."

McCain is back to being McCain. He is not a front runner, he is a maverick, an independent thinker, and despite his near half century of public service, an outsider. He runs best from behind, and New Hampshire has always appreciated that, as will a nation ready for leadership that is both innovative, experienced and proven by time. That candidate is John McCain.

McCain Momentum II: The Debates

Here’s what they are saying about John McCain. The big story here, I really think, is John McCain. He's the comeback kid. I think he's back in this race. We all wrote him off six weeks ago, we all thought he had suffered the knockout punch. I think he actually did look presidential." Says Steve Moore of WSJ (CNBC's "Kudlow & Company," 10/9/07).

"Mr. McCain had a pretty good evening, did he not? ... And he's kind of on the upslope now. It's an interesting story, from down in the depths, Death Valley days, a couple of months ago - he seems to be on the rise." Larry Kudlow (CNBC's "Kudlow & Company," 10/9/07)
Despite some agencies making the race a three way between fourth polling place Freddie Dalton Thompson, Giuliani and Romney, McCain still polls close, real close in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Romney appears to have a lead in New Hampshire, but Romney keeps putting his flip-flops in his mouth. Earlier this week, Romney claimed to represent the “Republican Wing of the Republican Party”, a charge that McCain took head on:

“When Gov. Romney donated money to a Democratic candidate in New Hampshire, I don’t think he was speaking for Republicans. When he voted for a Democratic candidate for President, Paul Tsongas, I don’t think he was speaking for Republicans. When he refused to endorse Contract with America, I don’t think he was speaking for Republicans”—John McCain, 10/9/2007

You will probably not hear Romney use that sound bite in a debate again. But you better believe McCain will bring out this line again. That is because, we do not need a pretender as president; we need a real leader.

While Romney has a considerable war chest to manufacture his RINO propaganda, it is only a matter of time before voters in the key early primary states will see through the soothing Hansel and Gretel act of Romney’s campaign and realize that the man campaigning in the Green Mountains is no Republican. They will look to leadership and proven skills, in someone who is talking straight. That is John McCain.

McCain to Pandering Paul: "You're not voting for me, Pal!"

McCain dropped his “gravitas” on Ron Paul in the recent debates in Michigan. When asked if he could support the GOP nominee if they supported the war, Paul gave his usual emphatic “No”. Of which, McCain dissected the libertarian’s utopian foreign policy and dropped the bomb, “You’re not voting for me, Pal!”

Paul’s dalliance with the internet crowd, who debate spending their money on either iTunes or on his candidacy for President, is less of a nuisance and more of a worry than you might imagine. Paul sits in the seat that has been warmed in previous president runs by John Anderson, Pat Buchanan, Ross Perot, and even Eugene Debs. He is an anomaly, certainly not a president, but enough of a player to draw votes in the primary, and even the national race. Paul has been a libertarian candidate for president before, in 1988. He has more money than anyone thought he could muster, and will be a farce, err, force in this cycle. However, in this latest round, it was McCain and not Giuliani who scored points off the blathering (yet misplaced, thoughtful, and anachronistic) sayings of Paul.