Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the second republican race is under way

McCain beat Romney and Giuliani in Florida and he looks like the front-runner. So now, the second Republican presidential contest is under way.

The contest for 2012.

John McCain would be 76 years and 5 months old in January 2012, should he defeat Clinton or Obama this November. And I've got to tell you, McCain doesn't look all that healthy at 71, as he is now. It is entirely likely that in the fall campaign, Clinton or Obama would seek to use McCain's age against him. And it isn't implausible that McCain would, if elected, not be seeking re-election in 2012.

First, he might die. People aged 72-76 do that, you know, at a higher rate than somebody in their late 40s or early 60s. Second, he might be old and frail enough at 76 not to seek reelection.

And so more than ever, the Republican VICE-presidential choice becomes important. This person will be the anti-Cheney. This will be a Republican candidate with his or her eye on the main prize - the Presidency (in name; Cheney has a pretty good share of it in fact).

McCain is still not entirely distrusted by the troglodyte conservative wing of the GOP. It's entirely possible he will, despite his overhyped reputation as a straight-talking maverick, select somebody from one of the wings of the party that despise him, and that he has often criticized himself. The Grover Norquist/Club for Growth types who want repeated tax cuts for the wealthy, or the Pat Robertson/Gary Bauer godboys who want to continue in their quest to create a capital-C Christian, Domininionist America.

So let's just wait and see that Mr Straight Talk comes up with. Because it isn't so much McCain I fear and loath, as it is the company he keeps. Republicans.



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