Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 29, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

McCAIN WINS IN FLORIDA....CNN just called the Republican race for John McCain. Question: does this mean that the McCain haters are going to redouble their efforts and go absolutely ballistic over the next week? Or are they going to start realizing that McCain is now inevitable and begin the process of dialing down the vitriol and circling the wagons in preparation for taking on the Democrats in the fall?

Amazingly, it's now quite possible that the Republican Party will pick a candidate before the Democrats will. I sure didn't see that coming.

Kevin Drum 9:21 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (30)

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I can't wait to see how people like Rush are going to respond.

So many conservatives have been so bitter about McCain.

It should be interesting.

Posted by: neil wilson on January 29, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

It is really difficult to come up with a scenario where Romney can defeat McCain, now. McCain is looking inevitable.

I predict you will see mudslinging until next Tuesday, but after that the Republicans will consolidate around McCain.

Both nominees will be clearly known after next Tuesday- McCain vs Clinton.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 29, 2008 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

When Clinton mentioned getting Florida's delegates "seated" what do you think she meant? Any polisci guys out there know if "seated" means getting to vote at the convention?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 29, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."

Posted by: humanfaculties on January 29, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

The main problem w/Hilary Clinton as a candidate is that she's perhaps the only person in the US- other than her husband- who can convince the GOP base to vote for John McCain. They might hold their noses, but they'll vote for McCain to keep another Clinton out of the White House. Meanwhile, Clinton leaves the Democratic base lukewarm, at best.

Combine these factors with inevitable voting shenanigans, and get ready for 8 more years of GOP misrule.


Posted by: Zorro on January 29, 2008 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, well, fuck the Republicans.

Here's the real story -- even though the Florida Democratic primary "officially" doesn't count, over two million Floridians will have voted on the Democratic ballot. If that's how they turn out for an exhibition game, it's a great harbinger for November.

And for what it's worth, if tonight's trend continues, Hillary Clinton tonight will have gotten about 1.1 million votes in Florida, which is more than twice all of Barack Obama's aggregate vote totals in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina combined.

Just something to think about, when assessing various scenarios and possible outcomes come next "Super Tuesday."

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 29, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Actually I know some Republicans that would rather vote for Hillary, ex Goldwater girl, before they would vote for McCain.

Posted by: Ya Know... on January 29, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

I just don't see Rush taking that walk of shame back to McCain.

Posted by: Disputo on January 29, 2008 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Long Reign John McCombover!

Only a courageous man wears a hairstyle like that.

Posted by: Crab Nebula on January 29, 2008 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Ya Know,

Yeah, I know some of those as well. However, the statements are hyperbole. They might stay home in November, but a Republican that hates John McCain would never actually vote for Clinton.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 29, 2008 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK


Yes, he will make that walk, but couch it in terms of keeping the Clintons out of the White House. He will, in fact, make a big deal out of how great a Republican he is in doing so.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 29, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

once (in my estimation) thompson kept huckabee from winning in south carolina, the odds of a quick wrapup by mccain jumped enormously (and yes, when i saw my parents over christmas and my mother said "who's going to win the gop," i said, "i can't see who other than mccain can win it given the overall disposition: rudy can't, huckabee won't, thompson won't, paul won't, so it's left to romney who was just eviscerated by the new hampshire editorials or the tried-and-true mccain").

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2008 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is the Republican that's disliked the least, so it's not surprising he's coming out on top.

The GOP of course hates Democrats so much that they'll put aside their quarrels and back McCain. They're rather like orcs that way.

Posted by: David W. on January 29, 2008 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

Just heard on the news that Rudy is dropping out and will endorse McCain

Posted by: Ya Know... on January 29, 2008 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

If "change" is really what people want (and I think they have, for some time) -- I think the change they seek is genuine bipartisan cooperation that results in things getting done. There are only two peole in Washington or elsewhere who have the pedigree to get that done. McCain and Lieberman.

Posted by: wavemaker on January 29, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

The Corner is coming around in the last 30 minutes and sucking it up.

Posted by: sj on January 29, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Ya know ...: "Actually I know some Republicans that would rather vote for Hillary, ex Goldwater girl ..."

Geezus. Well, of course you know some Republicans. How else to explain why you sound exactly like them, cerca 1995?

And FYI, Hillary Rodham was all of 18 years old when Barry Goldwater was the GOP nominee back in 1964, dipshit -- and even then, she couldn't vote because the age of majority was 21!

Hillary-haters are hopeless -- Ya know ...? You're just like a fuckin' cult.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 29, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Probably be McCain vs. Hillary.

Hopefully Obama will use his talents to make sure his demographic get to the polls.

Hopefully Bill will be sent on a long vacation somewhere -- he's Hillary's biggest liability.

I give a slight edge to Hillary in the contest, but Bill's the wildcard. Gotta keep that narcissism in check. Maybe he and Bush Sr. can be sent on a year long mission to measure polar icecaps are something.

Posted by: lobbygow on January 29, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary-haters are hopeless -- Ya know ...? You're just like a fuckin' cult.

You really should put your crystal ball down Donald, it makes you look silly when you make such foolish assumptions

Posted by: Ya Know... on January 29, 2008 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

There you go again, Donald, freaking out and projecting your personality disorders onto everyone else....

I suggest you spend the next week meditating....

Posted by: Disputo on January 29, 2008 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Can you believe that guy, Donald, projecting his strawman upon me and then actually believing what he typed over an internet blog?

Kevin, could you delete that unwarranted and immature personal attack by the amazingly wrong Kreskin.

Posted by: Ya Know... on January 29, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Romney took a big hit tonight, but he's still in the game. He hit very good notes in his speech tonight that he needed to start hitting weeks ago, and he'll have plenty of money.

Having said that, Romney has -- or more accurately has created for himself -- a big problem. Lots of people are coming out of the woodwork now for McCain: Sen. Martinez a week before his state's primary, Gov. Crist a couple of days later, Giuliani (so they say) tomorrow. Who is for Romney besides Romney?

There are people influential within the GOP who speak to a specific, limited audience: Limbaugh, Hannity, the other radio clowns. They will go ballistic on McCain. But even they won't get people enthused about voting for Romney -- for one thing, with only a week to go before Super Tuesday, they won't have enough time. To them, he's just Not McCain, which probably isn't enough, not now. If most of the exposure the candidates are getting now is from free media, McCain and the politicians endorsing him have the advantage.

Truth is, there are some people and some organized interests in the GOP with long records and deep feelings of hostility toward McCain. Among the people getting media attention at this stage of the campaign, though -- mainly elected officials -- most of them like McCain. And they don't like Romney. They don't like his aloofness, they don't like the way he's campaigned, they resent his paying for his own campaign when nearly all of them have to spend half their time raising money. Six months ago, with McCain's campaign on life support, this didn't matter. It matters now.

Posted by: Zathras on January 29, 2008 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

I may be wrong, but it seems that Hillary supporters (not all of course) are more likely to be aggressive and abusive in these threads.

The Obama legions, led by the gentle nepeta, seem more serene and patient to me.

Unfortunately it looks like it's going to be McCain vs. Clinton. There's going to be other wars, my friends.

Posted by: JS on January 29, 2008 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

your mammy!!!!!!!!

blah blah liberals you hasvent won yet

i am furious and my money not go to idiot mckain


Posted by: Norman Rogers on January 29, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

I just don't see Rush taking that walk of shame back to McCain.

I think Rush is going to get thrown under the bus slowly and gently in the form of an announced retirement of sorts-or maybe a significant script change. Kind of like how Rove ducked out of the action when it was clear their team was going tits up.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 30, 2008 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

I come from a long line of conservatives, but I judge conservatives on how much they spend, not how cheap they are in paying taxes. These borrow-and-spend policies of post-Reagan Republicans seem more selfish and irresponsible to me than conservative and are contrary to the welfare of the country as a whole as we drown in debt. So I'm OK with Hillary over most Republicans, especially Jose McCain. Bill Clinton had budget surpluses after all. The Republican party is really the liberal spending religious party today.

Posted by: Luther on January 30, 2008 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

You didn't see that coming? The Republicans fall into line like good little footsoldiers and the Democrats eat their young every primary season. It's like an Iron Law of Politics.

Posted by: Tracer Hand on January 30, 2008 at 6:53 AM | PERMALINK

My guess is that the Republicans will go into kamikaze mode, with last-ditch efforts to knock him down. Many will argue that a defeat in November might be the best way to preserve the movement.

Given his age and history of cancer, does not McCain owe the nation some straight talk about his health?
My sense is that he does not have the energy to run an administration. His doctors need to give the nation a full accounting.

Posted by: bob h on January 30, 2008 at 7:04 AM | PERMALINK

I've been listening to a lot of conservative talk radio: Hannity, Rush, Medved, Ingram, et al. A couple of my observations:

They don't like McCain, but they (especially Hannity and Rush) somewhat back pedaled on McCain. They have said that none of the candidates are bonafide conservatives.

I also think they're going to adopt an 'experimental' attitude: Okay, let's try this moderate Republican who's willing to deal with the liberals. Let's see if it succeeds.

I think this is a step towards retrenchment because they don't think McCain will win. In their minds, he won't win because he's not a true conservative, taking away from his eventual failure that the GOP needs to stick with real conservatives. They won't see that Americans are rejecting the Republicans because of the failures and hypocrisy of 'real' conservatives.

Posted by: tx bubba on January 30, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Everyone has to check out the article “White Voters with a Side of Hispanics” on the blogzine Savage Politics. This is an awesome discussion and analysis on the current Democrat and GOP candidates and their eligibility.

Here is an excerpt: “Tuesday night’s Florida Primary was a very important episode in the drama in which both the Republican and Democrat Parties are unfolding towards the Presidency of the United States. It also dramatically demonstrated the incredible bias that the Media continues to display towards the Democratic hopeful Barack Obama, in spite of all the evidence pointing to his lack of viability. From MSNBC’s Chris Mathews, who openly stated the day before that any Network that decided to report on the Democratic voting results in Florida was proving a “gross” favoritism for Hillary (ironically enough his Network ended up having to cover it nevertheless), to CNN’s pundits, who continuously utilized the exact same rhetoric that the Obama Campaign was spewing to excuse their defeat (”Beauty Pageant” was their favorite phrase, with all the sexist connotations it implies). All the same, the Florida results in the Democratic side were overwhelmingly favorable to Hillary Clinton, who won a 50% margin, to Obama’s 33%, Edwards’ 14%, and Gravel’s 1%. On the Republican side, it was John McCain who came out victorious with a 36% margin, to Romney’s 31%, Giuliani’s 15%, Huckabee’s 14%, and Paul’s 3%. Let’s discuss each Party’s results and their realistic consequence.
First, we have the very significant victory of John McCain. His candidacy was, from the very start, labeled as a failure due to his unpopularity amongst most “base” Republicans, much of it owed to McCain’s overwhelmingly dubious record on Conservative issues. His notorious tendency to side with multiple (highly despised) Democrats on issues like Immigration, Bush’s Tax Cuts and other measures, have always been enough to marginalize him from even the “moderate wing” within his Party. Still, when the Florida Exit Polls are analyzed, they reflect many unexpected re-alignments in his favor. Evangelical/Born Again Christians voted for John McCain in a 30% margin, in comparison to both Romney’s and Huckabee’s 29%. This may seem like an insignificant difference, but when you also consider that the majority of non-Evangelicals (Catholics, Atheist, etc.) also…” Find the rest of the article at http://savagepolitics.com/?p=64

Posted by: Elsylee on January 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK



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