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08 May 2005

"McCain: 'absolutely' want to be president" and polling

In an article found in the Tuscon Citizen and several other newspapers, especially in Arizona, there seems to be growing evidence that Senator John McCain will be running for president again in 2008.

Highlights from the article:
WASHINGTON - Sen. John McCain said that he "absolutely" wants to be president and that he is qualified for the job but that he is focused on his Senate duties and will "wait a couple of years" to decide about a White House bid in 2008.

"I have the luxury of being able to wait because I don't have to lay any of the groundwork. I don't have to go meet all of the state party chairmen - I've done that before," McCain said in the June issue of Men's Journal magazine, due Tuesday on newsstands.

He also declared that the right wing of the GOP has become "more accepting of me than they used to be - not accepting but more accepting - because of the fact that I worked hard for Bush's re-election."
Plus, for those worried about his health,

The 68-year-old Arizona Republican also discussed his battle with melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer, and described his health as fine.

"I just came from my dermatologist yesterday with a clean bill of health, McCain said.

Reading this, you'd think that McCain has the advantage over all other potential GOP candidates. And, in a way, he does: everyone knows his name, he's respected by the American people, and he has at least some support for turning down Kerry and backing Bush. Especially among independents, he has support not because people agree with him, but because he's willing to break with the party when he feels the need.

In fact, during the 2000 primaries, when it was clear that Vice President Gore had things wrapped up before they began, I supported McCain in the Michigan GOP primary (which was open to independents as well as Republicans). In part, it was because I disliked (and still dislike) then-Governor Engler, who promised then-Governor Bush that Michigan would go to him (it didn't, by the way). But more than that, when compared with Bush, McCain was far more qualified to be president. I rather suspect he thinks that too, though he won't come out directly and say it. The closest he's come in this article is:
McCain, who was defeated by George W. Bush in the 2000 GOP presidential primary, explained that he continues to want to be president "because I think I'm qualified to help make the world a better place; I'm qualified for the job."
While I certainly don't like a lot of his positions, I'd take McCain over other Republicans any day.

Of course, we're still a long way away from a Feingold vs. McCain race anyway, according to a recent poll.

On the GOP side, Rudy Giuliani is leading, getting 27 percent of nationwide Republican support, where McCain only receives 20 percent. However, the party machinery will likely start working against him, as fewer and fewer moderates seem to be in the party. Once the Rove wing of the GOP decides to support someone (my money is on Senator Frist), expect both these candidates to lose support.

On the Democratic side, Senator Feingold faces a bigger problem, with Senator Hillary Clinton receiving 40 percent in the poll, compared to his single digits. There's still a lot of work to be done.

I'll have more on Feingold, Clinton, and other Democrats later, but right now I'm going to go see my mother. Happy Mother's Day, everyone!


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