The Fates smile on McCain, laugh at Giuliani

As I suggested earlier this month, Giuliani effectively left his campaign in the hands of the Fates by waiting until Florida to really campaign. McCain’s victory in that state demonstrates that his choice was a poor one – the hare spent so long sleeping under the tree that the tortoise was already approaching the finishing line by the time he got up.

Clearly McCain is the Republican front-runner – Giuliani’s has endorsement will help him in large states such as New York, New Jersey and California. Not all votes will go McCain’s way, but Romney is kidding himself if he thinks he can win a majority of Rudy’s backers. Although Super Tuesday may not give McCain an automatic victory in getting the magic number of delegates, I believe he will get enough to ensure the following states fall into line.

So, after McCain was written off a few months ago, how did it all turn around? I’m not sure anyone can easily put their finger on it. It’s many things, such as Huckabee stopping Romney gaining momentum in Iowa so New Hampshire could go to the senator from Arizona. News reports from Iraq improved and the immigration debate disappeared from many people’s minds when the legislation in question was killed off.

But at the end of the day I think his one strong point has been his image (I make no comment on whether that is true or not) as the “Straight Talker”, the guy who does actually believe in something and will stick with that even if people don’t like it. Romney, who was happy to tell people what they wanted to hear, was unable to come across as a reliable, honest candidate despite spending millions of dollars in every state to get his message across. This should please even Democrats, as it shows Americans can’t be fooled by someone just throwing money at the TV and radio stations.

Raj

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

So, after McCain was written off a few months ago, how did it all turn around?

I guess a lot of Republicans want a third term for Bush, and McCain is the next best thing. His greatest legislative achievement largely weakens the 1st amendment, and he’s folded completely on any matter of principle like torture. Oh, but he’s a ‘straight talker’. Woo hoo!
Also, he’s the only one of the candidates who has personal experience bombing a country.

January 31, 2008 @ 8:38 am | Comment

I heard in the “rumor mill” today that Edwards dropped out with a VP invitation from Obama and that McCain was considering Willary as a VP on his ticket.

I’m not sure as to whether or not the McCain-Hillary ticket is factual, but that’s why they call it the rumor mill. Personally, I’d vote for Ron Paul in that case because there’s no way in hell that I’d ever vote for Hillary in any capacity.

January 31, 2008 @ 12:32 pm | Comment

A combination of all the reasons you cited, Raj, especially Huckabee. He simply siphoned off the religious right’s vote, weakening Romney considerably but probably not fatally. It was Romney’s say-anything approach, being pro-Roe vs Wade and pro gay rights before he was against them, that caused a huge wave of distrust.

I wish Romney had won, because McCain is the only conceivable Republican candidate who can possibly win the November election. And the last thing we need is another pro-war Republican, no matter how sane he is on torture and immigration.

The reason we saw the big reversal of McCain’s fortune was the fact that independents and moderate Republicans are sick of the reckless cowboy talk of Giuliani and Romney, each one stumbling over the other to prove he would torture with the most gusto. The far-right Fox News Republican agenda of constantly cutting taxes for the rich, praising torture, promising to expand Gitmo and reduce our civil liberties further – the American public is simply tired of this crap. McCain offers, they believe, an alternative. The age of evangelist-driven far-right only-the-rich-matter rule is over.

I was reading some of the winger blogs and was amazed to see commenters saying in effect what Gordon is saying – if McCain is nominated they’ll vote for anyone, even Clinton. Such animosity; hard for me to figure it out. Wha’d they do that was so horrible?

The worst news of the day is that Nader may run again as an independent. Whether it’s Obama or Clinton, Nader’s entrance could create a replay of November 2000 and bring a broad smile to Republicans everywhere.

January 31, 2008 @ 1:36 pm | Comment

From what I heard, McCain won in Florida because immigrants voted for him. Yep. The only Republican candidate who did not make illegal immigration one of his big issues won because of this.

A few years back, a lot of Republican strategists thought that they could ensure Republican Party domination by courting the Hispanic vote, but this hard anti-immigrant stance has pretty much screwed that pooch.

January 31, 2008 @ 4:06 pm | Comment

Lisa, you just made my day. I hadn’t heard about the immigration issue helping McCain win but it makes perfect sense. Sweet – the right wing gets hoisted on its own petard.

January 31, 2008 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

Lisa, you’re right on the Latino vote – I should have mentioned it. McCain’s refusal to bash away on the subject helped him in Florida and could help him in the general election if he wins the nomination.

January 31, 2008 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

Checking out Michelle Malkin’s blog, uh, I kinda get the impression that Malkin and her fans who post comments are all…okay, this isn’t my impression, this is what I’ve been reading…they are all, obviously in loathing of Hillary Clinton, like many Democracs (frankly, I don’t like her or Bill, either, but these people are obsessed). They hate, or rather, ridicule John Edwards.

But Malkin and Co. hate John McCain more. They hate McCain more than any Democrat who ever was, it seems.

The odd thing is, Malkin and Co. don’t seem to have many bad or unfavourable things to say about Obama, other than about his stance on illegal immigration. It seems like they are going out their way to do this. They are defending him for suppposedly snubbing (true or not, I don’t know) Hillary Clinton when she went to shake Kennedy’s (and possibly Obama’s) hand.

Can you imagine? Certain far right Republicans might actually support Obama. I guess stranger things have happened.

Like Intelligent Design, perhaps.

February 1, 2008 @ 1:21 am | Comment

Checking out Michelle Malkin’s blog, uh, I kinda get the impression that Malkin and her fans who post comments are all…okay, this isn’t my impression, this is what I’ve been reading…they are all, obviously in loathing of Hillary Clinton, like many Democracs (frankly, I don’t like her or Bill, either, but these people are obsessed). They hate, or rather, ridicule John Edwards.

But Malkin and Co. hate John McCain more. They hate McCain more than any Democrat who ever was, it seems.

The odd thing is, Malkin and Co. don’t seem to have many bad or unfavourable things to say about Obama, other than about his stance on illegal immigration. It seems like they are going out their way to do this. They are defending him for suppposedly snubbing (true or not, I don’t know) Hillary Clinton when she went to shake Kennedy’s (and possibly Obama’s) hand.

Can you imagine? Certain far right Republicans might actually support Obama. I guess stranger things have happened.

Like Intelligent Design, perhaps.

p.s. I accidentally put the wrong info in the url field, so the admin. can erase my first identical comment, if necessary.

February 1, 2008 @ 1:23 am | Comment

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