Friday, September 05, 2008

Base to McCain: keep your heading a few degrees to starboard

With the republican national convention in the books and with the pick of Sarah Palin, Senator McCain is riding high in the polls. If early last week you asked me to bet the ranch on which convention would attract more television viewers, I would be living in a cardboard box under Steven's bridge on road 94b.

An average of 34.5 million Americans tuned in to watch the republican convention. That is the largest viewing audience in the history of political conventions. However, a word of warning to the maverick John McCain; nice convention kid, don't get cocky.

With the conservative base still in shock over their shiny new Vice Presidential candidate, McCain has to be very careful in the next 60 days not wander too far from the themes of the convention. For all the admiration of his personal story, his service, his courage and the self sacrifice McCain received over the past three days, he may forget just how unpopular some of his ideas are with those same millions who tuned in to watch and the thousands in Minneapolis who stood and cheered for him.

I did not follow the conventions too much this year, but I'm pretty sure Senator McCain did not mention the cap-and-trade legislation he proposes to limit greenhouse gasses in America. This legislation is economic suicide as well as a huge expansion of the role of government. Didn't we just hear about how that's a bad idea Thursday night? He didn't mention giving million of illegal aliens amnesty, an idea that will cut the legs out from under the base like nothing else.

As McCain takes off on his campaign tour across the nation, my fear is the farther from the base of the republican party and the red states he travels, the more he will stray away from the message that united republicans and independents behind him at the convention. '

Right now Senator McCain is enjoying the honeymoon period of his candidacy. Most of the conservatives, including me, are willing to overlook McCain's faults because he is the best candidate for President, by a factor of twelve. However, my motivation will wain if I start hearing this cap-and-trade nonsense and amnesty for all. No matter how many stirring speeches Sarah Palin gives on the campaign trail, if 'the Maverick' starts to twist the noses of his base too hard, the grassroots ground game will take a huge hit. That folks, is where this election will be won or lost, who can get out their vote. The Democrats are fired up and enraptured with the junior Senator from Illinois, they will be door knocking, walking precincts, and making phone calls to get their voters to the polls.

If John McCain starts turning left of republicans, the honeymoon will be over, and this marriage will become one of convenience. That is no way to win an election.

1 comment:

無名 - wu ming said...

that's the catch, really. to come up with a platform that can patch together a majority from both one's base and the muddled middle and from the other side.

should be fascinating to see how it pans out. i was amazed bush pulled it off in both 00 and 04. mccain in 00 could have run the tables, not sure about now.

FWIW, think the difference is that the left is hungrier, more willing to tolerate deviations for a victory. of course, that carries within it its own perils, if one cares about actual policies and ideology, and not just winning.