I was going to write my own post about the night’s fairly dismal, but usefully clarifying outcome. But Mark Steyn said it all first, and probably better. Mitt is a good guy who just doesn’t have what it takes to grab the electorate. It is too easy, whatever kind of Republican you are, to project onto him differences that make it easy to dislike him. McCain is divisive and weak. I think much of the base wishes to project a full complement of virtues on to him that might inhere in the words “war hero.” Or maybe you can be a war hero and have other, deeper flaws.
I certainly hope, Mark, that you are right, that he understands that Mike Huckabee is not a clever idea for a Vice Presidential candidate. It will be interesting to see what Huckabee ends up with, on the off chance that McCain wins the election. As for the Veep candidate — I got the idea, some time ago, that strategists were thinking about a GOP governor in a swing state that last voted blue but might be persuaded to go red. Hint: where is the convention going to be? The Democrats have the same incentives to do the inverse thing — a Democrat governor in a state with a changing electoral make-up, that went red and could go blue.
And yes, both of the Democratic candidates are intelligent, highly articulate, and look good. Excessively familiar as she is, Hillary’s makeover leaves her looking fresh enough. One may be a Stalinist, and the other may be, as someone wrote, brilliantly (below) a version of Princess Diana. But they are strong candidates, and their party loves them. The Stalinist really can be effective on day one — since she knows how to work the levers of government toward her ends. That is not the same as executive experience. It is very perverse experience indeed.
I think conservatives are going to have to work hard, these coming years, to grow a couple of new leaders of our own. And while we are at it, time to make greater inroads into the culture.
One last thing: Andy McCarthy — are you actually saying that Governor Clinton didn’t allow Nicaraguans or whoever it was to run drugs through the Mena airport? I always assumed that one was true….