The Corner

McCain-Powell and the Weekly Standard

William Kristol wrote an article in 1995 suggesting that a Powell candidacy offered opportunities for conservatives. Some other articles in the Standard took that view as well. In 2000, Kristol and some other Standard-ites backed McCain in the primaries. I disagreed with the Powell-boosting and the McCain-boosting at the time, although in retrospect I think a McCain presidency might have worked out better for conservatives than the Bush presidency did. Anyway, I don’t recall that the Standard predicted electoral ruin in 2000. Kristol and company thought McCain would be a stronger candidate than Bush. That was not a crazy thought. You may recall that the 2000 election ended up being rather close at the presidential level, and Republicans lost four Senate seats.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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