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GOP 2008 Starting in 2005?

flip2

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There is a lot of establishment/insider talk of Senator George Allen of Viriginia being the leading candidate "sent from above" to be the GOP presidential nominee in 2008.

Rick Santorum is going to test the waters not AFTER the mid-term elections, but DURING the mid-term elections. His true test for a run in '08 begins with his re-election. He is running neck and neck with his democratic opponent, too close that doesn't sit well, nor translate well. It all depends on how well he does. Does he win by a hair, does he win in a re-election landslide or, ultimately, does he lose? There is also added pressure for his campaign, given the very simple fact that he is a US Senator from a very strong swing-state. Granted, Pennsylvania is edging closer and closer to being red at the presidential level, but can Santorum deliver his own home state for himself? 2006 will only tell.

Bill Frist just lost any top standing with his loss on a clear up-or-down vote for the judicial nominees.

John McCain--for whom I voted in the Florida Primary in 2000--has burned too many britches with base conservatives, which is not good. There will be another dog fight should McCain be one of the last two candidates in the primaries.

Rudy Giuliani--who could EASILY win the presidency but NOT the primaries/nomination--does not sit well with conservatives on 3 key issues within the party: gay rights, gun control, abortion rights. Strength in homeland/national security and defense might not be enough to get him to the top. But he would fit well for second-in-command. Would he accept that spot? If he realizes he will never win the GOP's nomination for president EVER with his moderate positions, he would be wise to take the VP spot.

Condi Rice--who I believe OUGHT to be the nominee--has flat out said "No." She is a woman of her word. But don't rule out a spot for Veep.

Jeb Bush, I think, will not run for President, but just like Rice, he could agree to a VP spot on the ticket. Otherwise, he understands the political lightning bolt of "Bush-fatigue." Just as there was "Clinton-fatigue."

VP Cheney has health issues to worry about. He also is a man of his word.

JC Watts would be a formidable candidate, but would be heavily attacked from the left for being a black man who dares not to be a democrat.

Mitt Romney would have a lot of explaining to do within his own party regarding the taxes he had to raise, mainly on businesses, in order to save revenue in Massachusetts.

Bill Owen lacks the political savvy to muster a large following.

Marc Racicot suffers the same problem as Governor Owen.

Mike Huckabee could be the "media's darling" of '08. Another governor from Arkansas running for president. the renewed marriage vows. The INCREDIBLE weight loss. Trust me, the media would love this guy for stories.

Newt Gingrich would do very well at running. He's already started softening his image by pairing with Hillary Clinton to attract the middle votes. Don't rule out Speaker Gingrich.

George Allen looks to be the most ideal candidate my party would want in 2008. He is an attractive candidate in every sense. Conservative, religious, charismatic, charming, folksy and down-to-earth, southern with that hypnotic southern drawl, relatively young, handsome, popular as senator, governor, congressman, and state legislator. His father was a famous football coach. This kind of appeal worked before. And because of it, George W. Bush is now a 2-termer. If we learned anything from Bush and Rove, it's that these kinds of qualities a person can possess is a formula for success. President George Allen. Sounds very nice.
 

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The last election, if Kerry took a stand against illegal immigration, he could have won more of the south and possibly the election. I think the same is true for '08. Hillary Clinton has also figured this out, she has already been discussing the problems of illegal immigration. I fear if the Republicans don't follow suit, we may have our first female Pres..
 

GarzaUK

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Why not John Bolton! You Republicans seem to LOVE him!

Honestly does Bush hate the world so much, that he wants Bolton to be the top diplomat in the UN. It truely boggles the mind.
 

RightinNYC

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GarzaUK said:
Why not John Bolton! You Republicans seem to LOVE him!

Honestly does Bush hate the world so much, that he wants Bolton to be the top diplomat in the UN. It truely boggles the mind.
He's disgusted with the UN, with good reason.
 

RightinNYC

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flip2 said:
There is a lot of establishment/insider talk of Senator George Allen of Viriginia being the leading candidate "sent from above" to be the GOP presidential nominee in 2008.

Rick Santorum is going to test the waters not AFTER the mid-term elections, but DURING the mid-term elections. His true test for a run in '08 begins with his re-election. He is running neck and neck with his democratic opponent, too close that doesn't sit well, nor translate well. It all depends on how well he does. Does he win by a hair, does he win in a re-election landslide or, ultimately, does he lose? There is also added pressure for his campaign, given the very simple fact that he is a US Senator from a very strong swing-state. Granted, Pennsylvania is edging closer and closer to being red at the presidential level, but can Santorum deliver his own home state for himself? 2006 will only tell.

Bill Frist just lost any top standing with his loss on a clear up-or-down vote for the judicial nominees.

John McCain--for whom I voted in the Florida Primary in 2000--has burned too many britches with base conservatives, which is not good. There will be another dog fight should McCain be one of the last two candidates in the primaries.

Rudy Giuliani--who could EASILY win the presidency but NOT the primaries/nomination--does not sit well with conservatives on 3 key issues within the party: gay rights, gun control, abortion rights. Strength in homeland/national security and defense might not be enough to get him to the top. But he would fit well for second-in-command. Would he accept that spot? If he realizes he will never win the GOP's nomination for president EVER with his moderate positions, he would be wise to take the VP spot.

Condi Rice--who I believe OUGHT to be the nominee--has flat out said "No." She is a woman of her word. But don't rule out a spot for Veep.

Jeb Bush, I think, will not run for President, but just like Rice, he could agree to a VP spot on the ticket. Otherwise, he understands the political lightning bolt of "Bush-fatigue." Just as there was "Clinton-fatigue."

VP Cheney has health issues to worry about. He also is a man of his word.

JC Watts would be a formidable candidate, but would be heavily attacked from the left for being a black man who dares not to be a democrat.

Mitt Romney would have a lot of explaining to do within his own party regarding the taxes he had to raise, mainly on businesses, in order to save revenue in Massachusetts.

Bill Owen lacks the political savvy to muster a large following.

Marc Racicot suffers the same problem as Governor Owen.

Mike Huckabee could be the "media's darling" of '08. Another governor from Arkansas running for president. the renewed marriage vows. The INCREDIBLE weight loss. Trust me, the media would love this guy for stories.

Newt Gingrich would do very well at running. He's already started softening his image by pairing with Hillary Clinton to attract the middle votes. Don't rule out Speaker Gingrich.

George Allen looks to be the most ideal candidate my party would want in 2008. He is an attractive candidate in every sense. Conservative, religious, charismatic, charming, folksy and down-to-earth, southern with that hypnotic southern drawl, relatively young, handsome, popular as senator, governor, congressman, and state legislator. His father was a famous football coach. This kind of appeal worked before. And because of it, George W. Bush is now a 2-termer. If we learned anything from Bush and Rove, it's that these kinds of qualities a person can possess is a formula for success. President George Allen. Sounds very nice.

Good analysis, I like a lot of the thoughts.

I think Santorum, Frist, Jeb, Cheney, Owen, Racicot, and Huckabee aren't likely contenders. 2008 isn't going to be a huge dogfight for the reps like it was in 2004 for the dems. There's going to be 4 or 5 candidates going into the primaries, and it will likely get sorted out relatively amicably. Gingrich is fooling himself to think that he has any hope.

Dream? McCain/Rice

Likely? Allen/McCain/Giuliani - two of the three in some combination
 

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RightatNYU said:
He's disgusted with the UN, with good reason.
If he is disgusted with the UN, he is disgusted with world outside the UN. Therefore he is disgusted with me.

If that is Bush's legacy then so be it, but it will make the US more lonely than ever, even from the UK - your greatest ally. Coz the UK believes in the UN more than you'll ever know.
 

akyron

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GarzaUK said:
Why not John Bolton! You Republicans seem to LOVE him!

Honestly does Bush hate the world so much, that he wants Bolton to be the top diplomat in the UN. It truely boggles the mind.

I dont think its hate at all. It is just time for the the corrupt money laundering going on at the UN to taper off. Dont take it personally.
Bolton appears to be a take no crap kind of guy who is task oriented.
The whiney liberal turn the other cheek and come hat in hand time is over. That technique has failed miserably...again.


Heh. I notice there is no middle ground with you guys.
"Bush HATES the world"! "Republicans seem to LOVE him"
Maybe you should take a step back and draw in a deep breath....b r e a t h e......

Relax.

You will live longer.
 

GarzaUK

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akyron said:
I dont think its hate at all. It is just time for the the corrupt money laundering going on at the UN to taper off. Dont take it personally.
Bolton appears to be a take no crap kind of guy who is task oriented.
The whiney liberal turn the other cheek and come hat in hand time is over. That technique has failed miserably...again.


Heh. I notice there is no middle ground with you guys.
"Bush HATES the world"! "Republicans seem to LOVE him"
Maybe you should take a step back and draw in a deep breath....b r e a t h e......

Relax.

You will live longer.
Well I was pretty drunk when I wrote this. LOL swish :lol:
 

RightinNYC

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GarzaUK said:
Well I was pretty drunk when I wrote this. LOL swish :lol:
Hahahaha, I hear you. I've done that many a time on here...
 

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RightatNYU said:
He's disgusted with the UN, with good reason.
What's so wrong with the UN that isn't also wrong with Enron, WorldCom, the state of Florida, TRMPAC and Tom DeLay, and the entire Bush regime?
 

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GarzaUK said:
If he is disgusted with the UN, he is disgusted with world outside the UN. Therefore he is disgusted with me.

If that is Bush's legacy then so be it, but it will make the US more lonely than ever, even from the UK - your greatest ally. Coz the UK believes in the UN more than you'll ever know.
Give it up, Garza. The Republican Party in this country hasn't gotten over the Revolutionary War yet. They're still working on moving up to dealing with the War of 1812. Have you ever noticed that Republicans as a group tend to be a much angrier bunch? That would explain the perennially out-of-control John Bolton. He's a road-rager with four flat tires (or tyres, as you may prefer).

"L'État -- c'est moi." -- Louis XIV

"La Droite -- c'est moi." -- George W. Bush, en faisant campagne en Caroline du Sud, 2000
 

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geekgrrl said:
What's so wrong with the UN that isn't also wrong with Enron, WorldCom, the state of Florida, TRMPAC and Tom DeLay, and the entire Bush regime?
You throw up a lot of disparate entities with no unifiying characteristics and expect me to explain why each one is better than the UN?

The UN is a world governing body that has completely failed to address or resolve any of the significant issues facing it, and has made itself completely irrelevant when it comes to the important things it was created to address.

Aside from all of your examples, I'd say that that's something to be disgusted with.
 

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geekgrrl said:
Give it up, Garza. The Republican Party in this country hasn't gotten over the Revolutionary War yet. They're still working on moving up to dealing with the War of 1812. Have you ever noticed that Republicans as a group tend to be a much angrier bunch? That would explain the perennially out-of-control John Bolton. He's a road-rager with four flat tires (or tyres, as you may prefer).

"L'État -- c'est moi." -- Louis XIV

"La Droite -- c'est moi." -- George W. Bush, en faisant campagne en Caroline du Sud, 2000
Yes, we're far angrier.

Funny, I've seen dozens of anti-war, anti-israel, anti-everything protests on the streets around me where it was leftists who were throwing things at the police, starting riots, and generally being angry in groups.

If we're so much more angry, why aren't there violent right-wing protests all the time?
 

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RightatNYU said:
You throw up a lot of disparate entities with no unifiying characteristics and expect me to explain why each one is better than the UN?

The UN is a world governing body that has completely failed to address or resolve any of the significant issues facing it, and has made itself completely irrelevant when it comes to the important things it was created to address.

Aside from all of your examples, I'd say that that's something to be disgusted with.
The UN was set up to prevent a destructive global war, 2 global wars happened within 40 years of each other last century.
The UN was vital during the Cold War to set up dialogue between the USA and USSR. It prevented the USSR and China from officially getting involved in Vietnam. It is only when nations disrespect the rules of the UN that each nation signed up for, is when organisation is devalued.

American fingers were in the Oil-For-Food scandal (Fair and Balanced Fox described it as UN Blood Money) as well, some people have seemed to forget that.

Regarding Iraq, all the UN wanted was a few more months for the UN weapon inspectors. What was a few months? Seriously? I suppose in hindsight though, the US wanted to go to war anyway regardless of WMD's or not. So is the UN to blame, when you had already decided to go to war.

Or are you just pissed because an organisation said "no" to the USA.
 

RightinNYC

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GarzaUK said:
The UN was set up to prevent a destructive global war, 2 global wars happened within 40 years of each other last century.
The UN was vital during the Cold War to set up dialogue between the USA and USSR. It prevented the USSR and China from officially getting involved in Vietnam. It is only when nations disrespect the rules of the UN that each nation signed up for, is when organisation is devalued.

American fingers were in the Oil-For-Food scandal (Fair and Balanced Fox described it as UN Blood Money) as well, some people have seemed to forget that.

Regarding Iraq, all the UN wanted was a few more months for the UN weapon inspectors. What was a few months? Seriously? I suppose in hindsight though, the US wanted to go to war anyway regardless of WMD's or not. So is the UN to blame, when you had already decided to go to war.

Or are you just pissed because an organisation said "no" to the USA.
You're right that the UN did a lot of good things in the past. However, lately, it has become more and more ineffective.

Isn't one of the main purposes of the UN to protect the innocent from slaughter, and to bring their force to bear to prevent genocide? What did they do in Rwanda? Sudan? Didn't Kofi Annan need to be nudged by none other than President BUSH to actually declare Darfur a genocidal situation?

I don't see how you can use Oil-For-Food to attack the US. Oil for food, the UN's LARGEST humanitarian program, was used to

a) provide Saddam with money to do what he pleased, rather than feed his people

b) buy votes from France and Russia, two members of the Security Council

c) benefit over 250 officials from over 50 countries, exactly 2 (minor players) of which were from the US. So much for the US's involvement.

And the program did all this while managing to avoid benefitting the people it was created to help: iraqi citizens.

That doesn't look like a great program to me. Aside from Annan's own son making money illegally, when a humanitarian organizations biggest humanitarian program is a complete sham, it's not a good sign.

This incident has proven that the Security Council is incapable of effectively regulating important issues. In the future, when important decisions have to be made, how can we be sure that Russia is opposing the US because of their beliefs and not illegal kickbacks from Syria/Iran/NK, etc...?
 

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RightatNYU said:
Isn't one of the main purposes of the UN to protect the innocent from slaughter, and to bring their force to bear to prevent genocide? What did they do in Rwanda? Sudan? Didn't Kofi Annan need to be nudged by none other than President BUSH to actually declare Darfur a genocidal situation?
What the UN needs is a proper army I think, but the US would reject that anyway.

Funny I remember Governoe Bush and most Republicans against battling the genecide in Kosovo. Made Clinton even more unpopular.

I agree that the UN should be more effective. Tell me though, how is Bolton going to "help" the situation? One who dislikes the organisation, the brainchild of Churchill and Roosevelt so.

RightatNYU said:
I don't see how you can use Oil-For-Food to attack the US. Oil for food, the UN's LARGEST humanitarian program, was used to

a) provide Saddam with money to do what he pleased, rather than feed his people

b) buy votes from France and Russia, two members of the Security Council

c) benefit over 250 officials from over 50 countries, exactly 2 (minor players) of which were from the US. So much for the US's involvement.

And the program did all this while managing to avoid benefitting the people it was created to help: iraqi citizens.

That doesn't look like a great program to me. Aside from Annan's own son making money illegally, when a humanitarian organizations biggest humanitarian program is a complete sham, it's not a good sign.

This incident has proven that the Security Council is incapable of effectively regulating important issues. In the future, when important decisions have to be made, how can we be sure that Russia is opposing the US because of their beliefs and not illegal kickbacks from Syria/Iran/NK, etc...?
Some American UN diplomats were involved in the scandal I think.

May I remind you the Oil For Food program was set up to combat the sanctions against Iraq set up by the USA that resulted in the deaths of 1 MILLION Iraqis. The Oil for Food program shouldn't have existed at all!

The United States is innocent of illegal kick backs then? I heard a billion dollars worth of Iraqi oil mysteriously disappeared.

Maybe then we should get rid of the security council and have one country, one vote. No vetos. Nah the US wouldn't like that either.
 

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GarzaUK said:
What the UN needs is a proper army I think, but the US would reject that anyway.
Who would provide the soldiers? The US already provides far more than our share of the peacekeepers.

Funny I remember Governoe Bush and most Republicans against battling the genecide in Kosovo. Made Clinton even more unpopular.
As a Governor, Kosovo is not in your realm of responsibility. As President it is.

I agree that the UN should be more effective. Tell me though, how is Bolton going to "help" the situation? One who dislikes the organisation, the brainchild of Churchill and Roosevelt so.
Bolton won't stand for the obstructionist bullshit that has come to be the norm in the UN. He's there to shake it out of it's self-induced lull.

Some American UN diplomats were involved in the scandal I think.
http://healingiraq.blogspot.com/oillcoupons.html

A list of the 250+ benficiaries, from 50 different countries. If you look at the list, only TWO are from the US, and they are both incredibly minor kickbacks. The US had less to do with this than Bangladesh, Algiers, Belarus, Canada, Cyprus, Ireland, Kenya, Panama, etc etc.


May I remind you the Oil For Food program was set up to combat the sanctions against Iraq set up by the USA that resulted in the deaths of 1 MILLION Iraqis. The Oil for Food program shouldn't have existed at all!
You are ill-informed. Look at the actual description of the program:

http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/background/index.html

Oil-For-Food was set up to provide resources for average Iraqi citizens so as to fill the gap left by the sanctions set by the SECURITY COUNCIL (not the US as you claim). It most certainly should have existed, and if it had worked properly, those million lives would have been saved. However, thanks to the greed of Saddam, and the corruption of countries like France and Russia, those million died. I know it's become habit for most of the world, but don't look at the US for blame.

The United States is innocent of illegal kick backs then? I heard a billion dollars worth of Iraqi oil mysteriously disappeared.
Where'd you hear that? I heard 10 billion went to France, 10 billion to saddam, 8 billion to Russia etc etc, yet none to the US.

Maybe then we should get rid of the security council and have one country, one vote. No vetos. Nah the US wouldn't like that either.
Yea, and let countries like Sudan, Gambia, NK, China, the US, the UK, Guatemala, and Jordan all have an equal voice. That'll fix the gridlock.

:roll:
 

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Funny I remember Governoe Bush and most Republicans against battling the genecide in Kosovo. Made Clinton even more unpopular.
To add to the clarification that RightatNYU pointed out, then Governor George W. Bush stated during the 2000 Presidential Debates--in which this issue was raised--that he supported President Clinton's decision to send U.S. troops into that region, under NATO alliance.

By the way, what do you all think about the GOP possible presidential candidates?
 

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akyron said:
I dont think its hate at all. It is just time for the the corrupt money laundering going on at the UN to taper off. Dont take it personally.
Bolton appears to be a take no crap kind of guy who is task oriented.
The whiney liberal turn the other cheek and come hat in hand time is over. That technique has failed miserably...again.


Heh. I notice there is no middle ground with you guys.
"Bush HATES the world"! "Republicans seem to LOVE him"
Maybe you should take a step back and draw in a deep breath....b r e a t h e......

Relax.

You will live longer.
I agree. It's making decisions based on emotions. Sometimes you just can't be nice all the time. There really is a place in the world for the UN. They are very important but some tough guy, John Wayne type needs to go in and rescue the UN from itself. Bolton can be diplomatic and show self control. I seen how he handled himself while the Dem. Senators were grilling him and basically calling him a liar on several occasions in front of the entire nation. He showed more self control and civility then I could have.
 

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GarzaUK said:
Regarding Iraq, all the UN wanted was a few more months for the UN weapon inspectors. What was a few months? Seriously? I suppose in hindsight though, the US wanted to go to war anyway regardless of WMD's or not. So is the UN to blame, when you had already decided to go to war.

Or are you just pissed because an organisation said "no" to the USA.
It had already been 8 years and I think 12 resolutions.This is why Saddam was so emboldened.Not to mention the paid off security council. Much of this is political. When Clinton was elected, the first time he had trouble with Saddam he called for an all out invasion on the spot. Our entire military was sent in the direction of Iraq until Saddam got scared and backed off. The Dems. applauded him (without UN permission) Reps. except me, criticized him for wasting money.
 

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The last U.S. Senator to be elected President was JFK. We've seen numerous senators become their party's nominee under the capacity of senator, VP (but previously a senator), or private citizen, but fell short of being elected. The last person to succeed at this-post JFK--was Nixon in 1968 (private citizen for 8 years, previously DDE's VP).

Nixon in '60, Goldwater, HHH '68, McGovern '72, Mondale '84, Dole '96, Gore 2000, & Kerry '04.

Given that record of defeat, I really feel the GOP can yet again claim another "first time since . . ." title with George Allen. I'd encourage the conservatives on here to check out his record of achievements in the Senate, as governor, etc. He helped increase the majority in 2002 for the Senate as the Chair of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. He's quite the attractive candidate.

Bill Frist--for me--just does not seem like a strong enough person to hold the party banner high. Very disappointing that he could not get the up-or-down vote on all judicial nominees; he could not muster enough Democratic votes to end the debate on Bolton; he's more than likely now going to have to constantly deal with McCain; overall, he's becoming a lame duck majority leader, knowing he's not running for re-election in '06. More difficult to handle, as Bob Dole dealt with in '96, is his defense and explanation of his role as majority leader, let alone any and all votes as a senator.

I'm not as coherent as I should be, as I'm getting tired this Memorial Day evening.

I just wanted to return to the question I posed, and not focus on the UN. But feel free to continue that if you want.
 

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flip2 said:
The last U.S. Senator to be elected President was JFK. We've seen numerous senators become their party's nominee under the capacity of senator, VP (but previously a senator), or private citizen, but fell short of being elected. The last person to succeed at this-post JFK--was Nixon in 1968 (private citizen for 8 years, previously DDE's VP).

Nixon in '60, Goldwater, HHH '68, McGovern '72, Mondale '84, Dole '96, Gore 2000, & Kerry '04.

Given that record of defeat, I really feel the GOP can yet again claim another "first time since . . ." title with George Allen. I'd encourage the conservatives on here to check out his record of achievements in the Senate, as governor, etc. He helped increase the majority in 2002 for the Senate as the Chair of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. He's quite the attractive candidate.

Bill Frist--for me--just does not seem like a strong enough person to hold the party banner high. Very disappointing that he could not get the up-or-down vote on all judicial nominees; he could not muster enough Democratic votes to end the debate on Bolton; he's more than likely now going to have to constantly deal with McCain; overall, he's becoming a lame duck majority leader, knowing he's not running for re-election in '06. More difficult to handle, as Bob Dole dealt with in '96, is his defense and explanation of his role as majority leader, let alone any and all votes as a senator.

I'm not as coherent as I should be, as I'm getting tired this Memorial Day evening.

I just wanted to return to the question I posed, and not focus on the UN. But feel free to continue that if you want.
While Allen might be a solid conservative nominee, that's not what we need now. There's the makings of a backlash against the conservative backlash, and a more moderate conservative is needed for 2008.

It should be McCain.
 

flip2

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RightatNYU said:
While Allen might be a solid conservative nominee, that's not what we need now. There's the makings of a backlash against the conservative backlash, and a more moderate conservative is needed for 2008.

It should be McCain.
I feel that if McCain becomes the nominee, we may see a repeat of 2000 with Pat Buchanan. Only the dissent will be more controversial, larger, and devastating to the party.

If party politics over the past decade for the GOP has taught us anything, especially during the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections, it's that loyalty from the base is now largely the religious bloc. I don't think the conservative religious wing of our party is that forgiving, compromising, and willing to throw their support behind John McCain as the top dog. I see him more as the vice presidential nominee, though I doubt he would ever accept that post.
 

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flip2 said:
I feel that if McCain becomes the nominee, we may see a repeat of 2000 with Pat Buchanan. Only the dissent will be more controversial, larger, and devastating to the party.

If party politics over the past decade for the GOP has taught us anything, especially during the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections, it's that loyalty from the base is now largely the religious bloc. I don't think the conservative religious wing of our party is that forgiving, compromising, and willing to throw their support behind John McCain as the top dog. I see him more as the vice presidential nominee, though I doubt he would ever accept that post.
But it's not the religious bloc that voted for Bush. Of the 23% of the country that identifies itself as evangelical, 75% voted for Bush. That's only 18% of Bush's 52%, about a third. Bush will have a hard time breaking 75% of evangelicals, and the number of evangelicals isn't increasing rapidly enough to provide the support he needs.

If you look at all Christians, they broke about 55-45 for Bush, which still isn't much.

McCain would improve over Bush among people who think abortion should be mostly or always legal (55% of the country), military families (18% of the country), the growing southwest (20% of the country), and among all sorts of moderates. His gains would be enough to offset the losses from the evangelicals, and the loosening of the evangelicals influence would attract many disgruntled libertarians/moderate republicans back to the fold.
 

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I wouldn't discount the Christian movement, which now has strong ties with the party establishment. And the party establishment, a.k.a. elite, of both parties have a lot of say.

Although your analysis in the latter part of your post is persuasive and well-thought, I personally feel the "brass" of the party would bring any sway they have to prevent a McCain/_______ticket. I think they'd much rather have a ______/McCain nomination, as a balancer to the more conservative person at the top of the ticket.
 
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