McCain All but Clinches; Romney Departs

John McCain sought to mend his tattered relationship with conservatives and unify a splintered GOP as he all but clinched the party’s presidential nomination Thursday. Mitt Romney, his former chief rival, dropped out, and a parade of prominent Republicans swung behind the Arizona senator.

“We’re continuing campaigning and not taking anything for granted,” McCain said in an Associated Press interview, still reluctant to call himself anything more than the front-runner. “I certainly think that we have enhanced our chances.”

Only Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul remained in what has been a crowded and wide-open nomination fight for the past year. Both have narrow voting constituencies and are far behind in the hunt for delegates to the GOP’s nominating convention this summer.

Romney’s departure left McCain, whose independent streak rankles many in the Republican rank-and-file, poised to assume President Bush’s position as the party standard-bearer. It was a remarkable turnaround for McCain, whose campaign was barely alive last summer, out of cash and losing staff.

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

17 comments on “McCain All but Clinches; Romney Departs

  1. Geofrey says:

    After studying this issue for a while, I am fairly optimistic that McCain will bring in the right advisers who will in turn pick the right judges. He’s made promises that are going to be hard to go back on. That combined with electability makes me think he’s the best choice of the R’s with regard to the Court, in a crucial year. I recommend for reading the recent WSJ editorial by Calabresi and McGinnis. Ramesh Poneru of National Review is convinced. Sam Brownback has strongly endorsed McCain and said he was the first one to join him in the fight against the Miers nomination. This election really could be the difference between overturning Roe (if Alito & Roberts go with us, we just need one more vote), or, with Obama/Clinton, affirming Roe for the next generation and perhaps undermining traditional marriage to boot (and possibly giving us lots of new eugenics and who knows what else).

  2. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    “He’s made promises that are going to be hard to go back on.”

    Oh, like the Bush Sr. promise? “Read my lips, no new taxes!”

    If there is anything you can count on from a politician, it is that they lie and do it horribly well. Past record is the best gage of future performance. I will vote for a rock before I vote for McCain. He is a liberal who pretends to be a conservative to garner votes. His disdain…make that contempt…for conservatives belies his own supposed conservativism. The Republican party deserves to go down in flames for their arrogance in putting up only RINOs for us to vote on. There has been a massive movement by conservatives to just stay home because of what the Grand ‘ol Party Elite have done. The Rockefeller Republicans may have the reigns of power in the party, but that doesn’t equate to winning elections. Conservatives were duped by G.W. the first time. They held their collective noses and voted for him the second time. We are tired of holding our noses and voting for RINOs. In their arrogance, they think we have no where else to go. I will vote for a democrat rather than McCain. I would rather have the socialism that is coming placed squarely on the doorstep of the Democrats than the alledgedly conservative Republicans. That way, when the American people have had their fill of the socialist lunacy, there will be a clear distinction of who is to blame and possibly a genuine choice available. In the meanwhile, since there is no real difference in their social policies between the two parties, I will stop voting against my economic interests because I was hoping for socially conservative policies. Oh, yes…to the Rockefeller Republican Leadership; good luck with that general election thing without your conservative base showing up to the polls.

  3. APB says:

    Maverick has created an interesting situation. Normally, Democrats run left in the primaries, Republicans run right, and they both head toward the center for the general election. However, in this case, he does not, yet, have his needed base, and will need to continue toward the right to solidify that base. A tricky task indeed, given the need to attract independents, and one which the Democrats will probably take good advantage of.

  4. libraryjim says:

    I thought it interesting that in spite of being booed loudly, McCain still repeated his lie that he was not offering any form of amnesty in his immigration bill. He needs to wake up and start facing reality if he wants the conservative vote.

  5. Geofrey says:

    RE #2: “In the meanwhile, since there is no real difference in their social policies between the two parties, I will stop voting against my economic interests because I was hoping for socially conservative policies.”
    But they are significantly different with regard to their social policies. George Bush gave you as judges Alito and Roberts. There is reason to believe McCain would do likewise. The Democrats are permanently committed to abortion. It’s virtually part of their DNA now. Have a look at Ramesh Ponnuru’s [i]The Party of Death[/i] sometime. Don’t give up on McCain.

  6. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “There is reason to believe McCain would do likewise.”

    No, actually, there isn’t.

    GB Senior and Ford appointed terrible justices. And they were more conservative than McCain.

    Bush Senior appointed Souter . . . Ford, John Paul Stevens . . .

    I can’t imagine McCain doing better than Bush Senior, as McCain is not nearly so conservative as Bush Senior [who himself was a strikingly weak man, although a man that I respect].

  7. Geofrey says:

    RE #6
    I agree that another Souter or Stevens would be a disaster. But there are some qualified to judge who think McCain would do otherwise, Stephen Calabresi for one, the co-founder of the Federalist Society. Here is a quote from his recent WSJ editorial:
    “In fact, there is no reason to believe that Mr. McCain will not make excellent appointments to the court. On judicial nominations, he has voted soundly in the past from Robert Bork in 1987 to Samuel Alito in 2006. His pro-life record also provides a surety that he will not appoint judicial activists.”

  8. Will B says:

    libraryjim: It may seem very clear that all we need to do to secure our borders is to round up the illegals and send them back. However, it is not so easy. Entering this nation illegally is a crime; “being” here–that is– “living here” illegally is not. Any number of illegals are in the military or other government service and it is, therefore, not so easy to deport them. There are thos ewho have been born or married here and who or their children are citizens and so sending them back is not so easy. The list goes on. While I do not like a great deal of McCain’s immigration plan, I think we must accept that there must be some sort of condition to allow some of those here illegally to stay.

  9. Katherine says:

    Sarah, GB Senior and Ford were both pro-“choice” and moderate-to-liberal on a number of other issues. They had no ideological reason therefore to think as you and I do about Supreme Court Justices. GWB is, like his father, not a program conservative, but he is staunchly pro-life, and therefore appointed good judges and justices (with a wobble on Meirs, but he was persuadable because the pro-life base was so outraged). McCain is consistently pro-life, so I think he is much more likely to appoint good judges than GB Senior or Ford. I intend to be part of the public outrage if he wobbles.

  10. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    “Entering this nation illegally is a crime; “being” here–that is– “living here” illegally is not. “

    LOL That’s funny stuff! Let’s see how that shoe fits on other feet:

    Refusing to pay your taxes is a crime; “continuing” to refuse to pay your taxes is not.

    Not getting a license to carry your firearm around is a crime; “continuing” to carry your firearm without a license is not.
    Oh, that really is a fun game!
    McCain wants to give amnesty to millions of criminals in our country! I guess if you are in a favored constituency, the laws don’t apply. It must be nice for those who enjoy the suspension of law, but for the rest of us…move along, there’s nothing to see.

  11. Will B says:

    Please do not get me wrong. I deeply resent the idea that people like my mother in law, who came here legally and honest intentions, had to study, pass a test, and demonstrate some knowledge of reading and speaking English and now, the proposal is if you’re here, no matter how or why you came, hallelujah you’re an American. I also resent the fact that there will be little if anything done about those who have amassed wealth under our system and who enjoy the benefits of this nation but who have not paid anything in taxes or social security, etc. But the fact is, and it is not my interpretation but the way an official explained it to me, that is a crime to enter this country illegally but not a crime to be here illegally. Is it stupid? Yes, but it is the law!

  12. libraryjim says:

    As illegals are discovered, they must be deported back to their country of origin, regardless of where they work or what they do. Instead of giving them an option of ‘moving to the head of the line’ for worker status, they need to be put in the back of the line (simple Kindergarten policy, actually) and take their turn like everyone else.

    My dad’s neighborhood has been taken over by illegals in a ‘sanctuary city’ in South Florida. Crime has risen a couple of hundered percent, drug deals in the streets, ‘whites’ are being harassed in the streets and even in their own driveways, 20 people living in filth in a 900 sqft house, etc. And the city refuses to do anything because they want to be seen as ‘inclusive and welcoming’.

    Sorry, but one reason I don’t support McCain is largely because of his statement that if the immigration bill were to come up again while he was president, he’d sign it immediately.

    it’s a bad bill, and bad policy.

  13. Ad Orientem says:

    Re: #2
    Is it not possible that since the Republican Party keeps nominating people you and the others on the far right despise that is in fact YOU who are the RINO? Think about it. You and the other Free Republic types seem to have been severely out of step with the vast majority of not only the country but the GOP for quite some time.

  14. Ad Orientem says:

    See my opinions on the Republican Naderites here…

  15. Regressive Neanderthal says:

    With Romney out, there are only two options for conservatives at this point:

    (1) Vote for McCain to ensure a continuation of the Bush policy on Iraq, even though McCain will push through amnesty for illegals and sell out conservatives on every domestic issue that matters; or

    (2) Vote for Ron Paul, and get a true conservative who will fight Roe v Wade, lower taxes, oppose amnesty for illegals, appoint strict constitutionists to the Supreme Court, protect states’ rights, etc., — but who disagrees with Bush on Iraq.

  16. libraryjim says:

    Which will lead to:
    split the Republican vote which will give the victory to the Democrats, no matter which candidate they nominate.

  17. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Ad Orientem
    My bad. You are right. I guess I am not a Republican anymore. I am a Conservative. Good luck with the election.