Thursday, January 31, 2008
McCain Bulldozer Gathering Steam
McCain quickly outpacing his GOP competitors
If one could judge who will be the Republican Party's candidate for president from endorsements alone, this would already be considered a closed contest.
Arnold Schwartzenegger. John Danforth (former Senator from Missouri). Rudolph Guliani. Joe Lieberman. Rick Perry (governor of Texas). Sam Brownback. If history repeats itself, a Fred Thompson endorsement may be just around the corner.
Add this to endorsements from varying media outlets, and with primary victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, it's safe to say that John McCain can look forward to February 5th's Super Tuesday primaries with confidence, if not necesssarily outright comfort.
The picture is becoming abundantly clear: with Republicans desperately needing to shake soft Democrat votes loose in order to maintain control of the White House, McCain just may be the only man for the job. As it currently stands, he's the only GOP candidate who has yet to find a Democrat willing to endorse him (albeit only one, to date), and has even managed to wrangle an endorsement out of the remarkably liberal Republican governor of California.
Certainly, conservative Republicans will have to swallow their pride in order to cast their vote in favour of McCain. His bipartisanship and tendency to put pragmatism before ideology have turned core Republican voters off in the past.
Not to mention the fact that his success to date is far from a guarantor of future success. When high-profile endorsements start to fly, the knives tend to come out (one recalls how quickly an Al Gore endorsement of Howard Dean in 2004 led to mutual-campaign-killing attack ads by General Wesley Clark).
With high-profile endorsements piling up in McCain's corners and Super Tuesday just around the corner, his opponents (especially Mitt Romney) certainly must know that the time to go after McCain is now or never.
Unless they can find some way to stem McCain's momentum, Romney and Mike Huckabee may as well be preparing their concession speeches. But for now, they're still in the race, and presumably still in the race to win. One should expect something from either camp (or both camps) soon.