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November 14, 2007

McCain Gets Slimy

John McCain appears to have decided to advance the idea that a Rudy Giuliani candidacy would split the Republican party. Patrick Ruffini has the details.

John McCain has a new quiz show-style game up on his Web site. It's very nicely produced.

It also makes news, showing how McCain is sharpening his attacks against Rudy Giuliani.

A user who answers "Rudy Giuliani" on question 7 of the game -- "Which candidate is the best general election candidate the Republican Party could nominate?" gets this answer.

The nomination of Rudy Giuliani would likely lead to the formation of a third party made up of social conservatives. He would also likely get "swift boated" by fireman (sic), police officers, and even victims of 9-11 who are upset with his performance. According to recent polls by Survey USA, Rudy Giuliani loses swing states such as Ohio, Kentucky and Washington against Senator Clinton and even loses Virginia -- a state that has not voted Democrat since 1972. Rudy Giuliani changes the electoral map in a way that makes it very difficult for the GOP nominee to win. The correct answer was John McCain.

We went round and round about this last month after a meeting of social cons threatened to throw the election to the Democrats. My conclusion then was that it was a bluff; it wouldn't really happen. Has anything changed since then?

Also, is John McCain really the best person to make an attack-from-the-right on Rudy Giuliani? I never really thought of him as socially conservative.

Point-Counterpoint [Ace]: I don't see anything wrong with McCain's ad. Reagan's 11th Commandment has always been more honored in the breach than in real life, and there is a plausible case that social cons would sit out the election in numbers high enough to guarantee GOP defeat were Giuliani the nominee.

McCain is, in fact, fairly social conservative, at least on paper. One senses from his answers about pro-life positions, for example, that it is neither a priority for him nor something he actually believes in in his bones, but on paper, he's solidly pro-life.

On gay marriage I don't know. On immigration-- which I suppose is a sort off social con issue at this point -- obviously he's not, um, a mainstream conservative.

I don't mind the candidates attacking each other -- after all, each candidate himself isn't going to lay out all of his negatives for you. And the idea that this weakens candidates in the general election... well, I'm pretty sure that Hillary! is ready to unload on any one of them when the time is right. I don't find it plausible that she might learn something about a candidate through such attacks that her own opposition research team didn't have three years ago.

They're going to be hit eventually. Might as well make it early. Get it all out there.

PS, Gabe is of course free to respond to this. Didn't mean to just grab the last word and call neener-neener on him.

Counter-counterpoint [Gabe]: I think Ace is right about getting this stuff out in the open as early as possible. Allah says this is about going negative. But let's be clear, it's not "going negative" to talk about the electability of oneself and one's opponents.

As far as McCain's socially conservative stances, I skimmed his positions over at On the Issues and must admit, he does look pretty conservative on paper. I simply may not have noticed it because the man completely turns me off for reasons having nothing to do with being conservative.

I'd hold my nose and vote for him if I had no other choice (or maybe a gun to my head), but I'm not looking forward to another four years of amnesty battles. I say four years, because I can't imagine that he'll make it to two terms.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 02:26 PM

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