The Corner

McCain’s Overblown Conservative Problem

People, including me, have been talking about the things McCain has to do to get right with conservatives. But let’s not forget that most Republicans, including most conservatives, have a favorable impression of the senator. His bigger challenge this fall is going to be winning enough independents to defeat the Democrats. One of the reasons McCain should make overtures to the Right now is so that he can turn more quickly to that more difficult task.

Conservatives are not in a strong position to be making demands of McCain now, and shouldn’t ask him, in this difficult year for conservative political prospects, to do anything that compromises his standing with independents or his (related) reputation for straight talk. If they do ask him to do that, he will probably ignore them. 

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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