|The longtime GOP consultant (and former Reagan chief of staff) had some words of wisdom for John McCain in today's Politico:
“McCain is already starting to pull the Republican Party together, with the exception of the radio talk-show wing,” Duberstein said.
“And sometimes that wing uses controversy to build listenership. The fact is that John McCain is uniting the Republican Party.”
Duberstein went on: “People seem to be looking for candidates who can govern. We are through with simply appealing to the base. McCain is trying to reach out to independents, weak Republicans, weak Democrats and conservative Democrats to put together a new governing coalition that is less confrontational.”
Duberstein believes McCain’s success thus far is a good sign for Republican chances in November.
“People are saying that Washington doesn’t work, we have to fix it somehow, and they are looking for people to get the job done,” Duberstein said.
“McCain has shown the ability to reach across the aisle and get things done.”
Democrats had better look alive. The McCain candidacy may seem like a walk -- he's elderly, he's dull, and he's a one-note Johnny (War ... on terror ...) but because McCain is perceived as a "maverick" -- despite being in the Senate for an eternity -- he's perceived as "anti-Washington," bi-partisan, and different from GWB. All he has to do is hold the 31 states Bush won in 2004. That's it, and he wins. The GOP looked at its rather pitiable field and actually picked the strongest candidate they have. Unless he makes the mistake of tacking all the way to the right to pander to Limbaugh and the chattering classes, he has a shot at gaining the White House.
Pay attention, Dems ... this won't be a cakewalk. The Democratic Party -- and by this I mean the super delegates -- had better think long and hard about which candidate they put up against this guy.
Labels: 2008 election, John McCain, presidential candidates, Republicans