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So What Happens Now? The Republicans Open a New Chapter

John McCain stepped over the mystical threshold of 1,191 delegate votes needed to secure the Republican nomination last night. Mike Huckabee, his last vocal competitor, dropped out of the race. It was a victory to be sure, but it lasted approximately 37 seconds. By the time McCain left the stage, he was in an entirely new phase of the campaign, for better — or worse.

  • First, the good: according to a Pew Research study just released, "Overall, 20% of white Democratic voters say they would vote for McCain if Obama is the Democratic nominee. That is twice the percentage of white Democrats who say they would support McCain in a Clinton-McCain matchup." So although Obama is far from assured, McCain still enjoys the dangled carrot of defecting Democrats.
  • McCain has to make a big decision now, re: the company he keeps. President Bush is expected to give his endorsement of McCain this morning. It's a dicey proposition to balance, given Bush's 19 percent approval rating. McCain has not hinged his platform on embracing nor rebuking the current administration, but potential voters may. Al Gore faced a similar dilemma in 2000, deciding whether to shake the scandals of his former boss, or enjoy the glow and credit for the good. His distance seemed petty at the time. What's McCain to do? Can he be a maverick and a party man all at once? Is now the time to accept the endorsement, while there's still time to forget it?
  • Now that he's the nominee McCain has to balance the sum between malaise and scrutiny. It will be open season on John McCain — while whoever becomes the Democratic nominee gets to skate on by for a little longer. Adding to the protection of not yet being the nominee, is the excitement surrounding the Democratic race. How can John McCain compete with that? He's a fine speaker, but he only gives one kind of speech — can that hold voters' interests until election day? How can he remain both relevant and intact?
  • The Veep? Okay. It's on. Let the rumors fly! Who's going to be the #2? I'll be accepting your short lists in the comments!


Join The Conversation
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Thanks Michelen, you got my point. If you know a little about me, I'm a very strong Constitutionalist, and I like many of the concepts that Ron Paul stands for as they align with what a true conservative is. But, for me, I disagree heavily on his foreign policy and because of where we currently are, he is not a presidential candidate who I could support whole heartedly. (My ideal candidate was Fred Thompson, I'm a Fred Head and darn proud!) I believ Michelen said it very well: "His 2008 presidential campaign may be a lost cause, but the message is still worth fighting for."
mandy_frost mandy_frost 9 years
mmm I think is right: Pawlenty or Sanford would be my guess.
demeter demeter 9 years
Oh no I was rooting for Huckabee!!
Michelann Michelann 9 years
Slm, I'm a Ron Paul supporter too, but they're right in saying it's not going to happen this time. I voted for Paul yesterday in the Texas primary mostly to show that there's at least one Texas voter who isn't completely controlled by the media. I think we have to continue to support Paul's message and work to convince other elected officials to do what's right for this country. His 2008 presidential campaign may be a lost cause, but the message is still worth fighting for.
slm21bl slm21bl 9 years
He doesn't have the vote because the media has left him out on purpose. And who can say that there has been no voter fraud? In his own district he received 70% of the vote for his congressional seat but only 9% for the presidency??? Seems a little strange to me. Maybe the people are just selfish and want to keep him for themselves.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Slm, it is because he doesn't have the votes to win. Yes, theoretically people could vote differently at the convention, but that is a very far fetched idea to actually see that happen.
slm21bl slm21bl 9 years
Why would be a cold day in hell if Paul won???? Has anyone being paying attention to our economy? We are spending money that we don't have. We are selling our inflated money to China and then borrowing it back from them on interest!!! Read up on the federal reserve. You are probably right though, because sadly our country is being run by people who only care about their checkbook. And everyone else is watching American Idol. It makes me sick to my stomach. Ron Paul brings back the principles that this country was founded on. Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We need to rebuild our country (starting at the education system) and teach people to think for themselves and to live for themselves. What are we teaching the poor by handing them everything? The system is set up to keep the rich richer and the poor poorer.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
As far as Jeb goes, I remember hearing rumblings of him as a pres. or vp possibility several years ago because he's from Florida and could help win the Hispanic vote, but I don't think there's a chance at all that McCain would pick him now.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Now I'm stating that I should probably be getting more work done instead of restating things.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Then I stated this..... But maybe he'd like a nice ficus in his office. Who knows?
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
I just stated this somewhere else.... Jeb has been brought up a few times and pretty much everyone has counted him out for the VP nom. There's no reason to take him on. If W. wasn't Pres I doubt anyone would really be mentioning Jeb's name in relation to the VP. Additionally, I don't think McCain would want a Bush in his office.
sofi sofi 9 years
oops I missed this post and just stated this somewhere else... I heard a commentary on the radio that was also on a tv shoe this morning regarding a running mate of Jeb Bush (lil bro). Don't think he'd be that dumb, but he may need to pay up for George Sr. and Jr. endorsements. Just what I heard- interesting, yet not very believable.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
It almost seem like people are more amp ted for the VP nom then McCain! I know it is true for me. And nothing against Paul, but it will be a cold day in hell before he wins.
piper23 piper23 9 years
Mark Sanford supports school vouchers, which I am for. He also brought piglets to the state house in protest of pork barrel spending. I thought that was pretty funny. He's also one of the lone holdouts on the federally mandated Real ID program. Not sure how that's going to turn out but at least he is not just bowing down to the federal government. I also like Lindsay Graham but he and McCain on the same ticket would not be a good idea because both of them heavily supported the failed immigration bill. Jim DeMint's also a good choice. He was one of the first Senator's to go after Beserkly after they tried to kick the Marines out. So take your pick, McCain!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
3M, exactly what I was thinking on the Ron Paul front. I think in a way it would be cool if the loser became Vice President, but I guess it caused a lot of problems. And, in 1800, one party came up with a way to cheat the system and ensure their two candidates got the two top spots. For a while, the two elections where completely separate, as well. Even today, they are technically separate, with two separate electoral college votes.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
"And if that's the case, wouldn't it be sort of awesome if instead of appointing veeps, the loser of the general election would get the position?" - That's how it worked back in the day...... I believe it was a Wednesday.
bethany21 bethany21 9 years
I just recently moved to SC, so I don't know very much about Mark Sanford, but I keep hearing dissatisfaction around here due to his not being "Republican" enough. Can any of you SC ladies shed some light on this? I can definitely say, however, that Haley Barbour is generally all-around unimpressive, and I can't see him being on the short list of potential veeps. I forget now who mentioned it, but Lieberman would be an interesting choice! He is one of my favorite Dems simply because he's pretty much the best example of a true moderate, in my opinion. But is that even legal? A Republican/Democratic ticket, I mean? And if that's the case, wouldn't it be sort of awesome if instead of appointing veeps, the loser of the general election would get the position? Then everyone would be kind of happy.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
slm21bl: Just because it is possible does not mean it is by any means plausible. Nader has a better chance of winning the general election than Ron Paul of taking the Republican nom.
Zahara-Pitt Zahara-Pitt 9 years
I love my governor too mush to let him go (Charlie Crist)
Zahara-Pitt Zahara-Pitt 9 years
Fred is away too Lazy, i don't trust Romney, and Rudy is a rat .. am going with Bloomberg and his money
slm21bl slm21bl 9 years
I think everyone should read this and brush up on how the actual process works. I do not believe this is over. Ron Paul still has a chance. From what I understand, delegates are bound or unbound, BUT depending on the state may only be bound during the first round of voting at the national convention. After the first or second vote (again depending on the state), the delegate then becomes unbound and can vote for whoever they want. And usually, there are atleast three or four rounds of voting at the convention. Therefore, there is no way anyone can say right now that McCain has it. Atleast, I hope not. Ron Paul is the only candidate who wants us out of Iraq. We cannot afford this war or our current foreign policy. There is no argument to that! The media lies! Our country and our dollar are going down the tube. Vote Ron Paul!
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
I hear ya!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
You're welcome, cine. Thanks to everyone who actually read my post! I'm such a politics junkie, especially in an election year!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Thanks Lil, just wondering. ANd thanks for all the info!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
great info lilkimbo! with that, i am off to pay my debt to uncle sam!
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