Dems, You Don't Want McCain Knocked Out

...because then it's either Huckabee or Romney. And both of those guys scare me. I have no idea if Porkgate is even a real scandal, but, if you're a Democrat, you want to run against McCain. I realize that's contrary to the conventional wisdom (which, remember, decreed that McCain's candidacy was circling around the bowl only a few months ago...).

I've listed elsewhere the reasons why I think Romney would be the toughest Republican candidate to beat, but there's something else that make Romney and Huckabee far more potent: they are likable. These guys both know how to work a room and a TV screen.

To the extent that campaigns are driven by narratives, unlike Romney and Huckabee, McCain has far less raw political talent than either of them (he is, however, quite adept at stroking the traditional media). It's like a movie: you need a good screenplay and an actor who has a good on-screen personality. With Republican operative Ari Fleischer having $250 million dollars to 'rewrite' the Republican script, the 'talent' he can work with will matter. Senator Snuggles McCrankypants isn't the guy I would want to cast:

McCain looks tired. I think the more people see McCain, the more tired he looks. Romney, on the other hand, looks energetic. I think elections are decided far less by content, and far more by how that content is expressed, even if said content is a steaming pile of shit. I would much rather face McCain.

Dems, careful what you wish for....

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The thought of Huckabee as president scares me. The thought of Huckabee as Republican nominee leaves me laughing.

Didn't Romney drop out of the race already?

By anonymous (not verified) on 21 Feb 2008 #permalink

The depths of my cynicism knows no bounds. I think the source of this story is coming from the Bush camp. I think that they waited until there was a known last man standing from the party of none-of-the-above, and that they had a depth charge ready for whoever that was. They can then "endorse" mcCain with a ten foot pole, keep a safe distance and let 'er rip. This way they have "clean hands" while smearing the "liberal" press, they spend no money on discrediting McCain, and they install someone such as Bloomberg or Hagel at the Republican convention - someone who wring the votes out of the dominionista xtianists and the corporate oligarchs.

Annie, interesting analysis, you don't think it's just the NYTimes unloading on the default repub.nominee?

By aggiemicro (not verified) on 21 Feb 2008 #permalink

Nope - because if there's one thing that the Bushco mafioso do well, it's in never letting go of a grudge. W is consistent and predictable. If he says something, the opposite is true. Bush undermined and hated McCain. Nothing has changed, except the tactics of revenge. But as I said, it's simply speculation on my part.

I'm a utilitarian pragmatist, and I am viewing this from a SWOT analysis perspective. What are the strengths (none of the candidates is accepted by enough of the factions of the base, thereby creating the need to eliminate the last man standing), the threats (how do we get rid of the candidate selected by the primaries without detection that it's us doing the demolition), the opportunities (where can we plant a story with legs, how do we divert attention from the Republican party as the source of the smear, how do we keep our ammunition - money - dry for use against the Dems, and how do we control the timing of the smear) and the threats(how do we protect ourselves if we are exposed as the source of the smear, what if we can't find a candidate that can compete against Obama/Clinton, what if we need more $$ than we can raise, what if the dominionista xtianists and the corporate oligarchs won't play along with the scheme)?

The Rethugs and the Bushies use a business model, and as far as my lil noggin can reckon, these are how the stakeholders are being used, abused and disabused. Bush is an abject failure at business, but his syndicate has always had his back and bailed him out. I think this is the syndicate in action.

/tinfoil musing