McCain for President - NO WAY!!!
There is no Republican up on Capitol Hill more disliked by his own GOP brethren than John McCain. That's why, despite the size of his fan club in the mainstream media, McCain seems rather unlikely to capture the party's nomination for President in 2008.
Here's a short, but sweet primer that may help explain why so many conservatives believe John McCain would be a very poor choice as the Republican nominee in 2008.
The Age Issue
John McCain will be 72 years old in 2008, which will make him 3 years older than Ronald Reagan was when he became the oldest man to ever be inaugurated as president back in 1981. In the Senate, where doddering fossils like Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd can be elected over and over, McCain looks like a spring chicken in comparison. But, Reagan's age turned out to be a campaign issue and McCain, who would be 80 years old at the end of his 2nd term, would certainly have a lot of people questioning --with good reason -- whether he's up to the job. Were McCain to be the nominee, his age could be the deciding factor that puts a Democrat in office.
How Electable Is McCain Really?
The mainstream media loves John McCain and they regularly write fawning articles referring to him as a "maverick" and a "straight-talker." Because of this, McCain polls well among Democrats and Independents.
However, the reason McCain is so well liked by the media is because they're liberals and they love it when he trashes other Republicans. But, what would happen if John McCain actually became the Republican nominee? The same members of the mainstream media who gush over him today would turn on him in a Minnesota minute and once his great press ended, his poll numbers with Independents and Democrats would start to drop precipitously.
Moreover, it's no big secret that McCain is roundly despised by more than a few conservatives. The thinking there usually goes, "Well, what are they going to do, vote for Hillary?" No, they won't, "vote for Hillary," but will they contribute money to McCain, volunteer for his campaign, or defend him from attacks made by Democrats or the press? No, they won't.
More importantly, they may throw their votes away by voting Libertarian or for the Constitution Party in 2008. Given that the outcome of three of the last four elections may have been decided by these sorts of protest votes (for Perot in '92 and '96 and Nader in 2000), this is not an issue that should be taken lightly.
One of the most galling things about the idea of having John McCain as the Republican nominee in 2008 is that whether he's a loyal Republican or not is a question that can't truly be answered. Back in 2001, there were rumors that McCain might, depending on how the election turned out, switch parties in order to help the Democrats retain the Senate. In 2002, there were rumors that McCain was considering switching parties and running for President as a Democrat. In 2004, "on several occasions," McCain talked with John Kerry about becoming his vice-president. Obviously McCain hasn't pulled a Jim Jeffords yet, but you have to wonder about where he really stands.
McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.
Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)
Though he was not convicted of anything, McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating's airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."
- Mafia ties: In 1995, McCain sent birthday regards, and regrets for not attending, to Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family, who had retired to Arizona. Another politician to send regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of 7 felonies relating to fraud and extortion.
- At least one veteran's group (U.S. Veteran's Dispatch) really hates him, and accuses McCain of cooperating with the North Vietnamese while he was their prisoner. They also sketch McCain's ties, through his wealthy father-in-law, to various Arizona scandals including the murder of reporter Don Bolles.
Check out their version at the US Veteran's Dispatch web site.
- Family troubles: McCain has a reputation as a politician who has difficulty keeping his pants zipped, according to Republican sources. He acknowledges that his adultery broke up his first marriage. His second wife Cindy, the daughter of a wealthy Budweiser beer distributor, was addicted to prescription narcotics and even stole hard drugs from a medical charity that she ran.