Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Maverick is His (Media-Anointed) Name

I have been mulling the return from the political dead of John McCain's presidential campaign and the attendant wailing and gnashing of teeth among the so-called "movement" conservatives. The big question now seems to be how McCain will reconcile himself with The Base now that he is the presumptive nominee.

What I am wondering in all of this is why he needs to reconcile himself with The Base in the first place. The early knock on McCain was that he came in second to Romney et al. in terms of support among self-identified Republicans. However, he took advantage of his support among independents to pull out victories in early (and therefore important) primaries, thus establishing momentum heading into Super Tuesday. With his dominating performance in yesterday's primaries under his belt and the resulting increase in momentum, I do not see why he needs to go back to The Base for any assistance, either in the remining time before the convention or in terms of selecting a vice-presidential running mate.

This is especially true given the presumptive Democratic nominee. Hillary Clinton is the Brett Favre of electoral politics in that she can keep both teams in the game until the last whistle blows. Her presence on the ballot will do more to increase Republican loon turnout than anything McCain could or would do between now and November. Besides, we hear this bleating every four years. By some coincidence the bleating stops the morning of Election Day and the GOP faithful remain just that.

This, I suspect, is precisely what is driving the wingers crazy: McCain does not need them, nor do I sense that he particularly wants them. Indeed, I suspect that McCain will bring some relatively moderate presence onto the ticket as a further bid for the votes of independents.

Whether this drives Viguerie, Coulter etc. off the deep end is, frankly, immaterial. They may well decide that it is better (and suits their "talents" more) to be the bombthrowing backbencher than the ones actually responsible for running things, in the mold of Newt Gingrich in the runup to 1994. Their loss of influence will be mourned by no one outside of their incestuous feedback loop and the media-savvy ones will adapt to the new reality soon enough.

Update: Dobson hearts Huckabee. But only as a private citizen, of course. Wouldn't want to jeopardize his teat's tax exempt status.

3 comments:

J. said...

Please leave Brett Favre out of it. Hasn't the man suffered enough? Now you compare Hillary to him? For shame, David. For shame.

Both HRC and Johnny Boy scare me. And I think given a choice between the two, the American electorate will elect the latter overwhelmingly -- despite the cries of Coulter and the other Right Wing Cuckoos.

Nine more months till this baby is birthed. Ouch.

Dave S. said...

Hey, I'm not the one throwing picks in an apparent attempt to put that record out of reach. I actually remember watching the 1994 Dallas-GB playoff game with you and Kenny, and wincing as Favre threw at least one WTF INT.

I meant no other offense to St. Brett. When she was younger Fiona actually saw an ad with a picture of his head inside a football helmet and said "Daddy!" One of my proudest moments as a father.

jjv said...

It appears Fiona's eyesight matches her father's, unlasiked. More to the point, McCain needs activists to work to get out the vote. Coulter and Vigurie simply can't sway an election. However, if Hillary is not the nominee Obama will be trouble and a dispirited Republican Party can not cope with him. I have always been for John McCain because of the War and the Court and my view that the conservatives are tired and worn and he, like another old warrior in the desert, is are only hope, against an Evil Empire.