Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Now What?

Senator McCain has won the New Hampshire Republican primary. Though his victory was, in part, a reaction to Huckabee's surprising Iowa win, McCain is now "the comeback kid". By losing next-door NH, the conventional wisdom holds Romney is toast--though, naturally, he vows to fight on, as do his fans. As for Giuliani, he's polling below Huckabee so far: a fittingly succinct obit.

Which strands me. For various reasons, McCain is my least favorite Republican--years ago, I joined (the now retired) Daisy Cutter's "Blogs for McCain's Opponent" movement. Still, McCain is likely to be the Republican nominee. (Senators Clinton and Obama are separated by fewer than 4,000 votes as I write.)

Questions: Is any Republican better than any Democrat? In particular, is a flawed McCain preferable to Hillary? How about to Obama?

MORE (10:58 pm):

Hillary beat Barack. And I agree with Thomas Sowell:
The question of what kind of President each candidate would make is infinitely more important than all the "horse race" handicapping that dominates the media.

By far the best presentation as a candidate, among all the candidates in both parties, is that of Barack Obama. But if he actually believes even half of the irresponsible nonsense he talks, he would be an utter disaster in the White House.

Among the Democrats, the choice between John Edwards and Barack Obama depends on whether you prefer glib demagoguery in its plain vanilla form or spiced with a little style and color.

The choice between both of them and Hillary Clinton depends on whether you prefer male or female demagoguery.

Among the Republicans, there are misgivings about the track record of each of the candidates, especially those who have shown what Thorstein Veblen once called "a versatility of convictions."

There are fewer reasons for misgivings about Fred Thompson's track record in the Senate but more reason to be concerned about what his unfocused and lackluster conduct of his campaign might portend for his performance in the White House.

When it comes to personal temperament, Governor Romney would rate the highest for his even keel, regardless of what events are swirling around him, with Rudolph Giuliani a close second.

Temperament is far more important for a President than for a candidate. A President has to be on an even keel 24/7, for four long years, despite crises that can break out anywhere in the world at any time.

John McCain trails the pack in the temperament department, with his volatile, arrogant, and abrasive know-it-all attitude. His track record in the Senate is full of the betrayals of Republican supporters that have been the party's biggest failing over the years and its Achilles heel politically.


Iowa_John said...

I'd prefer any republican due to the knock-on effects of judges and cabinet appointments. That said, both Huckabee and McCain leave me cold.

I'd take McCain over Clinton (I know, we're all supposed to call her Hilary now but since her candidacy is based on nepotism...) for several reasons.

1- There is not one part of her policy platform that isn't the same, tired liberal claptrap.

2- She'd be better then Obama on the war but that isn't terribly comforting.

3- Rightwingers, probably including me, will take her administration as an opportunity for payback of the eight years of BDS and associated tantrums by the left. We won't behave that well, good intentions aside.

As for Obama, who knows? The guy is clearly very intelligent, but his voting record doesn't fill me with confidence about his willingness to face the jihadists head on.

God help me, I'd have to vote for McCain. Even though I'd like to think we learned something from nominating Dole, it looks like we're going to have a rerun.

Carl said...


I agree that "I'd prefer any republican due to the knock-on effects of judges and cabinet appointments." But is McCain, in fact, a Republican in such matters? In any event, my biggest beef with McCain is temperament, as outlined by Sowell above; is an "R" with unsuitable temperament really better than any "D"?

Iowa_John said...

I wish I knew. Still early going, and I've been wrong on every prediction I've made about the early races, so hopefully I'm wrong about McCain winning.

As for the r vs. d discussion, there are a couple of Dems who I think would have a a steady hand in times of crisis: Lieberman, Phil Bresden from Tennessee, and even Al Gore. The problem is that the modern Democratic party has become an insane asylum and I think that the unsavory associations that any Dem. president has to have will create such negative knock-on effects as to outweigh McCain's personality issues. That's a specific answer to a general question. The more general answer is that I don't know, but I think we're all about to find out.

Nathania said...

Will Bloomberg run as an Independent and if so, is that a choice for Republicans?

I wish Sen. Kay Hutchinson or some real conservative with good communication abilities would run.

Rudy's my ultimate choice, but he started losing when he never truly defended himself in the faux scandal over his security detail.

Carl said...


New Hampshire having wounded most fringe candidates, "Nurse" Bloomberg isn't likely to run. If he did, his policies are not Republican--indeed, the New York Times rates him "well to the left of top-tier Democratic candidates like Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama." As a cheerleader for expanding the "nanny-state," he's not an alternative for disaffected conservatives.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is a possible Vice President, but hasn't the record or the recognition to head the ticket. And as you say, surprisingly, Rudy never caught fire.

In sum, I don't foresee any Deus Ex Machina.

Stan said...

My vote wouldn't really matter, as I'm in Utah, but if I had to choose, it'd be McCain. Now it seems that were looking for people who turn this this country to ruins in a manner more slowly than the other candidate.

If McCain is nominated, expect a Democratic president. I just don't see Republican voters getting excited about him.

Carl said...


I live in DC--my vote counts less than yours.

Long experience with McCain -- he was Chair of the Senate Telecom Subcommittee for years -- scares me. As do his positions, some of which seem motivated by enjoying his status as the liberal media's favorite Republican; on some issues -- though not the GWOT -- essentially a Democrat.

Is responsibility for electing a bad Republican really better than enduring a random whacko Democrat we can critique?

Stan said...

To answer your question, barely, imo.
SCOTUS nominees matter to me, a lot. Maybe they shouldn't but that is the only thing that will make me vote (R) rather than sit out, should a RINO be nominated.

Carl said...


I agree on SCOTUS nominees--I view selecting quality Justices as the single most important duty of the President. My problem is that I don't have confidence McCain would nominate only those "who would not . . . write laws, but who would be strict interpretations of the Constitution," as President Bush promised and -- ultimately -- delivered. Though McCain's choices would be inarguably superior to, say, Hillary's.

Stan said...


Oh God.