Thursday, February 07, 2008

And Then There Were Two

So, Mitt Romney has gracefully bowed out of the Presidential race. I saw that coming before Super Tuesday. So that leaves McCain, Huckabee, and Paul - two candidates (one whole and two halves.) By the time the North Carolina primaries hit in May, there won't be any point going to the polls. It will have been settled long before then.

My prediction? McCain and Obama. Hillary is in deep trouble. I doubt that she can make it to the end of March. She'll never beat Obama between here and the convention without having him killed. (And I wouldn't put it past her. By the way, when does her Senate seat expire?)

I heard another statement by Dr. Dobson today that he will abstain rather than vote for McCain, Clinton, or Obama. I wonder if he would have voted for Romney? I have just found out that he is endorsing Huckabee. I dare say it is too little too late. That endorsement two months ago would have probably gone a long way. It looks like Dr. Dobson won't be voting. How foolish. But the scary thing is that many are actually considering doing just that. Cleta Mitchell, chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation said, "It's a very American privilege not to vote."

Privilege not to vote?! Beg pardon, but those folks that have been dying in the Middle East aren't doing it so that we can pout, take our ball, and go home, leaving our country's leadership to chance. Please don't get me wrong. I have a lot of deep-seated misgivings about McCain, but I would vote for former President Clinton before I would vote for Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. I can say that without reservation.

I suppose we will see if anyone but Senator McCain is still in the race in May. If Huckabee is still in, I may vote for him as a protest vote, but it seems pretty certain that the Senator is the Republican's man - officially anyway even though Rush Limbaugh is still blistering McCain on his show. And Michael Reagan (Ronald Reagan's son) even went so far as to say,

"If you are a newcomer to politics and you're undecided on who you are going to vote for, but know you are going to vote for the candidate who gives you substance instead of mere promises, there is no doubt in my mind you are going to vote for the Democrat nominee because that's where the beef is."

"...Unless Republicans start acting like Reagan and quit talking like Reagan, the only place they are going in November is home."

I have to give Mike this, Obama can speak - wow. Seriously, even with the inherent absurdity of some of the things that he was promoting his speech was inspiring.

McCain isn't without his allies though. Senator Bob Dole has sent a letter to Rush Limbaugh in McCain's defense. McCain reached out to conservatives today, but his statements made it clear that he was not willing to go as far as many of the party base want him to.

Tonight, speaking to the CPAC McCain defended his conservative record and his commitment to a conservative platform.

Speaking just hours after Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential race, McCain acknowledged he had “the distinction of being the GOP front-runner,” and “intended to keep it.”

As such, he said he had the “responsibility to unite the party, and conceded: “I cannot prevail over the Democrats without conservatives…

“I have defended many positions we share. I am proud to be a conservative … My record is one of a mainstream conservative.”

As a candidate, he promised to “offer a clearly conservative approach to government, and to “stand by my conservative convictions.”

McCain vowed to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax, and protect second-amendment rights. He boasted of his “24-year pro-life record,” and his support of the troop surge in Iraq.

One thing is certain, McCain has a lot of bridge building to do with the conservatives if he has any hope of beating the Democrats in November. The party is too divided right now for him to have a chance.

This consternation should also be as a warning to those in Congress. This conservative angst is running deep. Those in Congress would do well to note the frustration level of their constituents, and represent the party that elected them better. It is high time that they get something done in Washington, lame duck or no. The people of this country won't put up with four more years of this sort of nonsense.

I do hope that whomever eventually wins the nomination will be able to unify the party. The Clinton years were dark years in my memory. I would hate to have to endure even four more years of Democratic leadership.

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