Part of McCains appeal as a GOP Presidential candidate is the respect he seems to enjoy among the Democratic electorate. While not a progressive or liberal by any means, he seems to be more open minded than most other candidates. This same open mindedness is going to be a serious problem when confronted by another Bush like (or even further to the right) conservative in the early primary states. There are two possible strategies for this. First, McCain and his aides could say, Yes, he is open minded and willing to work with Democrats, that is who he is and will not compromise on his values for anyone. He is a maverick and he is his own man. The second strategy is to sellout to the conservative and religious right and tout his conservative credentials. This seems to be the option selected by the McCain campaign. According to a recent Newsweek article, McCains aids say He has an 80-plus percent approval rating from the National Tax Limitation Committee. He enjoys similarly high marks from the Christian Coalition. His legislative record is pro-life and pro-gun, his aides say. "Has he ever not voted for a conservative jurist? There may be one or two cases," says McCain's chief of staff, Mark Salter.
Senator McCain also spoke to students at the Liberty University commencement speech last weekend, the equivalent of kissing the ring of the religious right capo de tutti capo, Jerry Falwell. Yes, the same Jerry Falwell who single-handedly torpedoed McCains run for the 2000 GOP Presidential nomination by putting his support and those of his religious family behind Bush. In a way, you cannot blame McCain for selling out to Falwell. The televangelist made him an offer he could not refuse. Kowtow to me, or kiss any chance of winning the nomination goodbye. But isnt McCain the guy who was supposed to be a maverick? Who marched to the beat of a different drummer? I mean, we as the American electorate have been here before. We have been told by prospective GOP candidates that they were open minded and compassionate only to find out they are only slightly less right than Attila the Hun and completely disinterested in reaching out to anyone other than their conservative base. To quote/paraphrase George Bush, Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice well, we dont want to get fooled again. Nor should we. McCain is a political sellout as is Giuliani as I will prove later. I hope the American people can see this and make the right choice in 2008.