The McCain Scenario

Bob Novak wonders if John McCain might not be the GOP’s Last Man Standing

This scenario does not connote a late-blooming affection for McCain among the party faithful. Indeed, he remains suspect to them on global warming, stem cell research, tax policy and immigration controls, not to mention his original sin of campaign finance reform (with authorship of the McCain-Feingold Act). Rather, his nomination would result from him being the last man standing, with all other candidates falling. Rudy Giuliani’s baggage is getting too heavy to carry. Fred Thompson never got started. Huckabee’s Republicanism is even less orthodox than McCain’s and seems unviable beyond Iowa. Romney is burdened with anti-Mormon prejudice and the accusation he is “plastic.”

This is pretty much what I was getting at a few weeks ago when I wondered if McCain was the “leftover alternative.”

At a minimum, we are going to know an awful lot in just under two weeks: this race is not going to be nearly as wide open by the morning of January 9th as it is today.

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Climate Change, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Wayne says:

    This election cycle has produced many surprises and I think it will continue. I think most top two tiers candidates for the GOP primary will remain in the race and competitive until Super Tuesday. I would like to see Thompson do well and can see it happening. Chance is not great that he will though. Many are underestimating Huckabee. I have my doubts about him but think he will do well. I think Mitt is in trouble. Rudy has lost steam but I can see that changing. McCain is spoiled goods. His long time supporters will be there but won’t gain many from other opponents. His biggest supporters are the MSM and beltway types.

  2. Tlaloc says:

    I don’t think McCain can keep the coalition together. Too many on the right spent too much energy hating on him the last seven years.

  3. Eneils Bailey says:

    I think a lot of Conservatives find themselves on the proverbial “horns of a dilenma ” these days.
    I like John McCain, a “man’s man,” even though he is seventy-one years old. He has more manhood hanging between his legs than all the democrats combined, and that includes HRClinton.
    Going back, many decades ago, if you were to wake me up at 3 am, and want me to fly through the gates of hell and choose a naval aviator to go with me, it would be John McCain, hands down, no vote, or contemplation required.
    Conservatives don’t “hate” John McCain, they have disagreements with his stance on certain policies.
    I would think if he stood before the American people, and did a perfunctory “mea culpa” for his lack of judgment in the past, it would serve him well.
    He really has to come out and tell the American people that McCain-Feingold was either a mistake or mis-interpreted by the Supreme Court, his view on illegal immigration was wrong, and poking his finger in the eyes of the conservatives in America was a grave mistake
    I am an older fart, ex-Navy, and given to fits of independence that sometimes don’t make sense.
    I hope he gives me more reasons to vote for him than he has professed to this point.

  4. Tlaloc says:

    Conservatives don’t “hate” John McCain, they have disagreements with his stance on certain policies.

    Go back and read redstate from 2002-2006. McCain was very much hated for being anti-torture, for supporting the G14 compromise, CFR, immigration, et cetera.

    Seriously. Venomous hatred. Which is not to say everyone on the right hates him, far from it, but like every other first tier candidate one part of the base is revolted by his very existence.

  5. DL says:

    To paraphrase Charlton Heston: They’ll have to pry my cold dead body from my living room chair if they want me to vote for McCain.

  6. floyd says:

    You from Chicago??

  7. floyd says:

    Sorry, wrong party!![lol]