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The Conservative Case Against Huckabee And McCain

Thursday, January 3, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Rush Limbaugh made the case yesterday, blasting both men as not conservatives.

The American Spectator’s Quin Hilyar explains at length today why either candidate would be a disaster for the GOP:

As truly horrific as it would be for the liberal and unethical Mike Huckabee to win the Republican presidential nomination, many Republicans still believe it would be almost as difficult to stomach the nomination of John McCain.

Huckabee, of course, would utterly destroy the old Reagan coalition, as even his campaign chief Ed Rollins has acknowledged. Huckabee’s bizarre propensity for letting criminals return early to freedom, combined with his utter cluelessness about foreign policy, also means that he would get absolutely crushed by the Democrats in a general election contest.

Read the whole thing. Hilyar runs down all of McCain’s many assaults on conservatives but also adds these more practical observations:

McCain is, and looks, more than two years older than Ronald Reagan was when Reagan was elected president, and a poll last year showed that 42 percent of respondents said they would not vote for somebody who is 72 years old. That is a far higher percentage than that of people who would not vote for a Mormon (24 percent), a woman (11 percent), or a black person (5 percent)…

And speaking of which, McCain seems almost constitutionally unable to disagree without being disagreeable. When he disagrees with somebody on just about any issue, he gives the sense of being so angry that he is having trouble not jumping out of his own skin to wring the other person’s neck.

McCain’s response to the age issue is to note his pace of campaigning, which has been steady though nothing like Romney’s, as well has to joke about his mother’s longevity. His aggressiveness he argues will be useful against the Democrats, but may turn out to be exactly the wrong sort of campaign to run against Senator Obama’s “rope-a-dope politics of hope, new generation of politics” nonsense. McCain’s heroism will never be disrespected by the Democrats, it will be honored and then categorized as irrelevant to the present.

If Obama does indeed win Iowa today, the McCainmentum will be finished at least among Republicans. The last way to beat the next big thing is with the oldest candidate ever to take the field.

Huck’s a one-state wonder that couldn’t even put it away. McCain is the next vessel into which MSM will pour their hopes and dreams of a hobbled GOP ticket.

Mitt and Rudy should arrange for their own debate and invite the press to attend. It would be good if at least once in the campaign, conservatives had a chance to see their top two choices debate the issues that matter to them.

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