McCain probably better off without Limbaugh endorsement
Rush Limbaugh is an asshole.
Even though they may loathe to admit it, a lot of dyed-in-the-wool American conservatives probably recognize this too.
Whether it's labelling Canada "Soviet Canuckistan", taking disgusting cheap shots at Chelsea Clinton (then lying about it afterwards) or making fun of Michael J Fox's Parkinson's disease, Rush Limbaugh tends to be an embarrassment for both American conservatives and for himself.
He also tends to be one of the most divisive figures in America when it comes down to fickle politics.
Limbaugh insists he's a mouthpiece for American conservatism, so many American conservatives feel obligated to defend him even if he says things that any proper-thinking individual can clearly tell crosses the line. (Of course, we have our own equivalents north of the border, from both the right and left.)
So, if one were to find oneself in the position of being a Republican presidential candidate who needs to woo significant numbers of soft Democrat voters, an endorsement from Rush Limbaugh may well be the last thing one would want.
At least, Limbaugh himself seems to think so.
"If I really wanted to torpedo [John] McCain, I would endorse him," Limbaugh recently announced on his radio show. "Because that would send the independents and liberals who are going to vote for him running away faster than anything."
And with good reason.
Whether this is Limbaugh being unusually sincere or merely trying to justify raging against the best chance the Republican machine has to win the 2008 presidential election is entirely uncertain. The one thing that is certain is that Limbaugh -- shudder to say -- just may be right.
"What people don't realize is that I am doing McCain the biggest favor that can be done for him by staying out of this," he continued. "If I endorsed him thoroughly and with passion, that would end the independents and moderates, because they so despise me and they so hate me."
"Couldn't it be said, if somebody wanted to…that I am secretly supporting McCain, because I secretly do want him to win, but I know full well that if I come out and endorse him, he's cooked?" Limbaugh asked. "Who may be in this whole kit and caboodle, this who shebang, the most valuable asset McCain has?"
Well, maybe. Maybe not. Maybe McCain's most valuable asset is Limbaugh's silence. If not McCain's most valuable asset, then it is certainly so for the rest of us.