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January 25, 2008

New York Times Gives McCain the Kiss of Death

While this morning's New York Times endorsement of his Presidential campaign might warm Senator John McCain's populist soul, it could very well be the kiss of death in the upcoming Florida primary, which is GOP only - McCain can't pander in this one to his usual assortment of independents and disaffected Democratic supporters. In fact, if you read the language of the NYT's endorsement, you'll find spelled out very clearly why the Republican base (especially conservatives) haven't trusted the man since the 2000 Presidential primary campaign.

Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.

We have shuddered at Mr. McCain’s occasional, tactical pander to the right because he has demonstrated that he has the character to stand on principle. He was an early advocate for battling global warming and risked his presidential bid to uphold fundamental American values in the immigration debate. A genuine war hero among Republicans who proclaim their zeal to be commander in chief, Mr. McCain argues passionately that a country’s treatment of prisoners in the worst of times says a great deal about its character.

Is the Times is endorsing McCain because he is the one that would  govern the way that the NYT would like the country to be governed? Or does the Times view McCain as the best bet on the Republican side to beat Hillary Clinton, whom they also endorse, and they cynically feel that their endorsement will kill McCain's primary candidacy and get him out of the way for their girl? Probably a bit of both.

This is gold for the Romney campaign, if they use it correctly. If McCain wins Florida, then he really does have momentum and he would be harder to beat. If he doesn't, however, Mitt Romney has the momentum and the money going into Super-Duper Tuesday, and all smart money would be on him in the rest of the primaries.

Oh, and since when does the New York Times refer to Vietnam veterans as "war heros"? Up until now, according to the New York Times, Vietnam vets were all druggies, murderers, baby killers, and homeless. Nice endorsement...


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