2002 November 12 Tuesday
Stanley Kurtz: McCain Could Grab Democratic 2004 Spot

Stanley Kurtz argues that if McCain switches parties and succeeds in getting the 2004 Democratic Party nomination he'd split the Democratic Party

From McCain's point of view, the Democratic nomination must look mighty tantalizing right now. With antiwar liberal Nancy Pelosi as its newest high-profile spokesman, the party is digging itself ever more deeply into its rut. Even more mainstream Democratic presidential hopefuls will find it difficult to distance themselves from their party's leftist and anti-war base during the primaries. If McCain sails into the fray with his tough-minded foreign policy, war-hero credentials, and moderate-liberal domestic platform, it could electrify the public and bring moderate primary voters to the polls in droves. The other Democrats would split the leftist base, handing McCain the nomination.

By switching parties early next year, shifting the Senate, and announcing a run for the presidency, McCain would precipitate a media firestorm, and immediately set himself up as the most-credible Democratic critic of the president's war policy. Given that dynamic, moderate and even liberal Democrats will seize upon McCain as the only realistic option for taking the presidency away from Bush in '04.

Kurtz argues that such a move by McCain might split the Democratic Party and drive a lot of Demo voters in 2004 to either stay home or vote for a Green or other third party candidate. I think Kurtz is absolutely right to argue that the Democrats are going to be nutty on foreign policy until the Vietnam generation of Democratic voters dies off. Given that the WWII generation is still dying off that means the Democrats are going to be discrediting themselves on foreign policy for many years to come.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 12 05:24 PM 


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