Should McCain call National Review’s bluff?

March 13, 2008

Is their threat of a floor fight credible?


As shown in the article above there is considerable pressure on John McCain to pick a staunchly conservative running mate. However, the editors of National Review Online have gone even further, threating a floor fight if they disagree with his choice. Indeed they cite three specific litmus tests: strong on national defence, pro-life and an economic conservaitive. They also, rather ominously, talk about ‘the names of unacceptable candidates being bandied about as possible picks’. electoral poison while Fred Thompson showed that he didn’t want to be President. I am not a conservative nor am I American, but I would like to think my beliefs are not too far from the average American voter. In this respect a litmus test that eliminates not only Conservative Democrats like Joe Lieberman but moderate Republicans like Crist or Ridge is not one that McCain should accept. Bush did not choose a moderate to balance out his ticket so the Republican right should not expect, let alone demand, that McCain will choose a strong running mate from their wing.

If the NRO cannot rally around a candidate who Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and their former editor endorsed, McCain should not pander to them. Just as Reagan was able to win with a pro-choice running mate, McCain should be able to win without the editorial staff of the NRO. However, McCain would be wise to re-affirm his pro-life credentials – especially if he picks a pro-choice running mate. After all, Ronald Reagan was able to pick another socially moderate politican from the Nutmeg State and still run a pro-family value campaign. The NRO staff should also realise that a Lieberman vice-presidency might be better for the right than someone like Pawlentry because Lieberman is not going to run for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012 or 16. Of course, this doesn’t mean that McCain should pick someone who antagonises the base for the heck of it, he has rightly rejected talk of Michael Bloomberg because of his aggresive rhetoric on abortion and Giuliani probably wouldn’t be the best move.


One comment

  1. I do not believe there will be a floor fight and yes, Mr. McCain does have the right to choose who he wishes. However, if he does choose a Conservative to balance the ticket, it will go a long way towards getting Conservatives on board. As a Conservative Republican, I intend to hold my nose and vote for any GOP ticket. Hovever, I know several people who might not vote in November.

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