UPDATE 2: I watched the debate last night, and... So far it isn't looking like a dream team is coming together. I am just crossing my fingers at this point.
I was really really hoping that Mitt Romney would win last night.
I wanted to see Mitt gain a head of steam and take it all the way to victory.
Mitt is still my candidate. I'll support him until the convention. But I do want to put some of my current thoughts out there about McCain.
First - I supported McCain in 2000. I like McCain. I may disagree with him sometimes, but I'll take McCain any day. It's easy to get caught up in a primary election and be overzealous toward your candidates' opponents. If Rudy, or Fred had ran away with the nomination I would not have been upset and would gladly have voted for them. It looks to me like John McCain has the most reasonable trajectory toward the nomination at this moment and I'm not freaking out about it.
I support Mitt still because I think he's better than McCain, Rudy, Fred, and the rest of the crowd. But it was never a question for me of whether or not I would vote for these guys. If Rudy had gotten the nomination, I wouldn't be one of those voters pushing for a 3rd party candiate. I voted for George W. Bush in 2000, and 2004 specifically because I trust him to pick supreme court justices more than I trusted Al Gore, or John Kerry. I trust GWB with my tax dollars more than I trust them with John Kerry. My opinion: Mitt Romney is the best choice for America. But the other guys would have been okay too.
Let's assume McCain gets the nomination and Mitt tapers off in the next few weeks.
- McCain still will have trouble competing financially with Billary Clobama in the general election. Remember both of those candidates have raised over 100 million dollars each.
- McCain still needs to reach out to all aspects of the republican coalition.
- McCain needs a competent VP pick who has the energy and capacity and competence to take over if McCain keels over and dies in office.
- McCain needs an organization with infrastructure that can counter the Clinton Machine.
- McCain needs a narrative that can unite the Republicans, and compete with the Democratic narrative that has been shaping up within the mainstream media.
- McCain needs to realize that the media support he has enjoyed up to this point will end the moment he receives the nomination, if that happens.
McCain needs to put together a 'Dream Team'
If McCain gets the nod, Romney should be the VP.
- He's got the infrastructure
- He's got the fundraising capacity
- He's got the rhetorical skills to counter the Bill Clintons, and the Barack Obamas.
- He's got the executive skills, to be President, but he's also got the consultant skills that can be unleashed behind the scenes to re-reinvent government.
- Any point Clinton or Obama could make in a debate in a general election, with Mitt as VP could be countered with... 'Healthcare? My VP has more healthcare experience than all of us in this room put together. We have a team. We're not going to change this country alone, we're going to unite and solve our problems as one America.' 'Budget balancing? We've got more fiscal hawk experience on my team than all the democrats put together.' Etc...
What about the other candidates?
- Rudy - Has shown class in the way he has run his campaign. His personal life may not be totally perfect, but he should rightly be proud of what he accomplished in NYC. His talents should be brought to bear in a 2008-2012 republican administration. Rudy should be the Secretary of State.
- Fred Thompson - He should be on the ticket somewhere, but I'm not sure where.
- Huckster - he needs to be put to use somehow. He has shown an uncanny ability to turn out small town, squirrel eating, narrow minded, uneducated voters in droves. We're going to need all the votes we can get in the general election. Huckster and Romney have reason not to like each other, and in my opinion it has everything to do with Huckster playing the religion card during the primaries, and the fact that Huckster is a big idiot. McCain could very well be the best person to convince Romney and Huckster, and their supporters (like me) to bury the hatchet. Also Romney could easily hook Huckster up with some legitimate way to pay his mortgage without accepting bribes.
With a dream team put together, the republicans can counter the democrats. What I don't want to see is personal vendettas that tear apart the republican party. I've read several places that McCain 'hates' Mitt Romney. I don't want the democrats picking our judges for the next decade. I don't want the democrats dealing with health care, or social security or anything else. PLEASE? Can't we all just get along?
Mitt. In my opinion, you should just run your organization for the next 14 days. Get all the delegates you can. Don't blow a lot of money on advertising. Everybody knows you've got plenty. You're the obvious choice for President. You're also the obvious VP pick. You and McCain could unite the party.
Mitt, you've had my vote this whole time. You're my guy. Play this right please?
McCain. You and I are cool with each other. Please play this right? Please do this in such a way that if you get the nomination you can unite the repubicans.