Saturday, January 19, 2008
The political resurrection of John McCain
Just three months ago, John McCain's win in the South Carolina Presidential Primary seemed impossible to most pundits, including albeit quietly, those who supported McCain.
While I have already received emails from some fellow Huckabee supporters who blame the raw weather in the upstate, a cold rain followed by snow, as a reason that Huckabee could not catch McCain, I see something else.
The undecideds from a week or so ago broke McCain's way. South Carolina Republicans did what they normally do, hee and haw and then go and vote for the closest thing to an establishment candidate. McCain, despite his maverick standing of eight years ago, is the closest thing to an establishment candidate this year.
The South Carolina victory, coupled with the win in New Hampshire, resurrected John McCain's political career. I am frank enough to admit to you I thought McCain was done a few months ago and that I was wrong. (Some of his "supporters" surely now will not admit the same feelings they had a few months ago.) McCain and his folks deserve all the credit in the world for pulling out a close victory and winning over a third of South Carolina Republicans in a crowded field.
But, there is lot of work left to do for McCain. He will have the "Big Mo" now has Bush the Elder called his political momentum in 1988, but how will things shape when the field dwindles and it is just a three candidates in field? Will the GOP go to a brokered convention, or will McCain's "Big Mo" carry him to the nomination as Republicans take up their traditional ways of nominating the candidate who "deserves" it?
Florida and Super Tuesday will tell. But, for now, the McCain comeback is a solid story and one that supporters of other candidates can not ignore. I respect McCain for keeping up the fight and making himself relevant again when all but written off. He is a true American hero. Though I voted for Huckabee, and I am proud of that vote, I respect Senator McCain for the character he showed by staying in the fight and getting the win.
Though I still hope, that somehow, someway, Huckabee wins the GOP nomination, I can say with no hesitation, I will have no problem with John McCain as the Republican nominee. The man has guts. He was left for dead before in Vietnam. Being left of politically dead had to pale in comparison. He survived both ordeals. There is something to be be said for that. Like John McCain or not, support John McCain or not, disagree with him on this or that, but you have to respect the man for his ability to survive and thrive.
As an afterthought, do not be shocked if Fred Thompson drops out of the race and at a time and place politically viable, endorses his old friend John McCain. If McCain wins the nomination, he will likely have to pick a running mate who appeals to social conservatives. The maverick that he is, McCain could pick a wildcard candidate. However, I think the choice would be between Huckabee and Thompson. A quick exit and timely endorsement by Thompson might give him the upper hand on the VP nomination.
What do you think? Did you brave the raw weather to vote? Let me know your comments. Thanks again for reading, and congratulations to John McCain and his people for the victory in South Carolina.