The EFM Feature

…but my fiancee is at work, so why not do some blogging?
Conservative godfather (and evangelical, to my knowledge) Paul Weyrich has a column up today on 2008. He begins by pointing out that he’s not keen on either McCain or Rudy:

Arizona Senator John S. McCain, III is everywhere. He virtually lives at NBC. If not there how about CNN. And talk shows. And late night shows. Oh, how the media loves him. A maverick who came close in 2000, he is looking to make one more run at the Presidency. And at the same moment, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says he is thinking very seriously about running for President. Rudy, too, is loved by the media. How many times have you heard “America’s Mayor” in introducing him. He is available to any network at the drop of a hat. My fondest hope is that they both run because they will be going after the same voters. Those voters within the GOP are driven by one issue alone and that is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). Fear of Clinton’s election to the Presidency is palpable.
To cast aside issues of great importance from immigration to right to life to guns to marriage and many more merely for a theoretical match-up in the media is stupid to say the least. Polls I have seen show McCain edging Hillary by only a point or two. The same for Rudy. We don’t know for certain that Clinton will run in 2008.

He goes on to point out, as we have, how wide-open the field is:

This is the first time in many years that neither party has a presumed nominee, although with the Democrats Hillary is well ahead at the moment. Think about it. Ronald W. Reagan became the presumed nominee after his close but failed attempt in 1976. So Reagan won in 1980 and again in 1984. Then Reagan’s hand-picked Vice President, George Herbert Walker Bush, won a convincing victory in 1988. He sought reelection in 1992 and went down miserably. Senator Robert J. Dole was the 1996 nominee because it was “his turn,” not because anyone thought he could win. Meanwhile George W. Bush had been elected and re-elected as Governor of Texas, and he ran for President in 2000 and won one of the closest contests in our history. He ran for re-election in 2004 and polled more votes by far than any Presidential candidate yet his victory was one of the narrowest in history as well, although he won by an outright majority. Now comes 2008. There is no presumed nominee. Had Florida’s retiring Governor Jeb Bush agreed to run he would likely start out as the favorite. But Governor Bush has said no, no way. That is where McCain and Rudy step in. There are Republican voters for whom defeating Hillary is their only motivation. So which of these two popular candidates to choose? Would it be McCain? No Senator has won the Presidency since JFK in 1960.

But then he claims that Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas would be a good candidate–he is a social conservative and Weyrich claims he is “coming around” on taxes. I haven’t seen any evidence of that. Weyrich also claims that “[n]o one was more outspoken against Clinton despite Clinton’s continued popularity in Arkansas than was Huckabee”–not exactly something that’s tops on my list in looking for an ’08 candidate. In fact, it seems to me that if Weyrich wants conservatives to “elect a winner in 2008,” he should say a bit more about Gov. Romney than that he is “touring the country, seeking support.” As we note many times on this site, Gov. Romney is good on the issues, and I think he also disproves Weyrich’s statement that “[n]o one remotely resembles [Ronald Reagan]” in the 2008 GOP field. Gov. Romney does–beyond being solid on the issues, more so than Allen, Huckabee, or especially McCain/Giuliani, he’s also got Reagan’s gift for explaining complex issues and his sunny optimism.
Mr. Weyrich, look no further. Conservatives, unite. We’ve got your man right here.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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