Monday, December 17, 2007

The Case for John McCain

. . . and The Case Against Mike Huckabee

In the December 8 - 14 issue of The Economist (, the publication makes the case for John McCain as Republican nominee for President. It's a compelling case.

The publication notes: "Mr. McCain is such a familiar figure that it is easy to forget how remarkable he is. He fought heroically in Vietnam, spending more than five years as a prisoner of war, when many other politicians of his generation discovered . . . that they had 'other priorities.' He has repeatedly risked his politicla career by backing unpopular causes."

In addition, "Mr. McCain's qualifications extend beyong character. Take experience. His ranges of interests as a Senator has been remarkable, extending from immigration to business regulation. He knows as much about foreign and military issues as anybody in public life."

As The Economist also points out, McCain may be the only Republican who can prevail in a general election over either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Hussein Obama.

On the other hand, what does The Economist have to say about Mike Huckabee, who's become the flavor of the month? It says, "Mr. Huckabee is indeed an attractive candidate -- a good debater and a charming fellow. But he is woefully lacking in experience. He knows next to nothing about foreign and military affairs, and his tax plans are otherworldly."

The publication continues: "A presidential debate between Mr. Huckabee and Hillary Clinton would be a rout."

Right now, there are two outstanding candidates on the Republican side, and Mike Huckabee is not one of them. If Republican voters are wise, they will see that the race should come down to two individuals: Rudy Giuiliani and John McCain. And may the best man win.


Joshua said...

I believe Rudy Giuliani WILL be the nominee of the Republican Party. He is ahead because of his stance on the War on Terror and his great record as Mayor of New York.

If I had my druthers, the nominee would be Mike Huckabee. Right now, he's a longshot but longshots have won the nomination before (including one other guy from Arkansas). Mike needs to do well in the Ames Straw Poll, which would help him raise more money.

Those are your words. What happened?

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Hi Joshua: The problem with Huckabee is that he's established himself as the "candidate of the evangelicals" and the candidate of no other groups. In other words, he's set himself up to win about 30% of the national vote -- and to cede roughly 70% of the vote to the Democratic candidate. As I explain in my colum today, Huck has a problem with younger voters, young female professionals, Blacks (who are 90%-plus to Hillary or Obama), Hispanics (because he believes he has to pander to anti-Hispanic voters), and urbanites.

The odd thing is that I don't believe anyone disagrees with the statement I've just made.

A major problem is that religious extremists, such as Rev. Laurence White, Larry Perrault, and Rev. Rude have coalesced around Huckabee.

Joshua, one thing you must do if you're truly serious about politics is to take a hard-eyed view of all candidates, including your "favorite one." I don't think you've done that.

I live in PA, an important state with many electoral votes. As the campaign has evolved, it's hard to see what appeal Huckabee has to Pennsylvania voters. No serious observer has come up with a way Huckabee would do well in this state (which went very narrowly for Kerry). As I point out today, Huckabee is the worst of all possible candidates right now.

steve maloney