Monday, January 29, 2007

Lieberman May Back McCain

Joe Lieberman has said that he is open to supporting a Republican for President, opening the door to him backing his ally and friend, John McCain.

Lieberman has said that while he sides with Democrats on most domestic issues, he finds himself agreeing more with Republicans on foreign policy matters. This leaves room for an endorsement of McCain, who Lieberman has been spending a lot of time with recently.

Although he didn't win the Democratic Primary last year for the Senate in Connecticut, Lieberman was still able to secure a victory against Democrat Ned Lamont in November.

Lieberman said that he is " to supporting a Democrat, Republican or even an Independent, if there's a strong one. Stay tuned."

His Senate colleague from the nutmegger state and Presidential hopeful, Chris Dodd has said that he believes that Lieberman will eventually be in his corner.

Could Lieberman endorse a Republican and a Democrat in the Primaries, then endorse another for the Presidential election? All very confusing, but quite possible.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

McCain at 26% - Poll

A new poll released by CNN today has John McCain at 26%, trailing Rudy Giuliani who is on 32%.

This poll continues the trend of McCain and Giuliani as front runners. Closest to them are Newt Gingrich on 9% and Mitt Romney on 7%.

The poll was conducted between January 19 and 21 and has a margin of error of 5%.

Attacks on McCain

It seems likely that the age issue is going to rear its head in the near future. And John McCain will be at the rough end of it.

Last week, McCain was accused by some bloggers of being asleep while the President delivered the State of the Union address. See video below. However, as is more likely, McCain was reading a distributed copy of the speech.

Then, we see there is some criticism over his performance on Meet the Press last weekend.

Given that McCain is one of the two frontrunners, it stands to reason that in a crowded field, there will be an effort to cut them down. Looks like they are heading for the easy attack, rather than addressing any real issues that might exist.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

POST/ABC Poll - McCain 27%

John McCain is the preferred Republican candidate by 27% of respondents to a Washington Post and ABC poll conducted last week.

The poll determined that Rudy Giuliani was in the lead with 34%. The only two others with significant totals at this stage were Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, both on 9%.

This poll comes after the new plan for Iraq, announced last week by President Bush, and heavily backed by McCain. In fact John Edwards has called the new plan "The McCain Doctrine", a term that is being picked up by the media.

The fact that the Iraq war is damaging President Bush's standing will also be having some effect on the poll rating for McCain.

However, there is still a way to go yet.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 to launch ads against McCain

The political action group is today set to launch attack ads on John McCain for his support of the escalation to the war in Iraq.

According to the organization, the ads are set to run in key early voting states, Iowa and New Hampshire as well as on national cable.

The McCain camp have critisized the advertisments, saying that " is an out of the mainstream organization that has a long history of airing inflammatory material".

The ads are said to cost about $275,000 to run.

Meanwhile John McCain appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday to defend the Bush plan for Iraq. Democrats such as John Edwards have been calling the new plan for Iraq, "The McCain Doctrine".

McCain said that he believes that the new strategy in Iraq can succeed. He stated that although he "...i can't guarantee it will succeed...I can guarantee catastrophe if we fail or continue the present strategy."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

McCain defends Bush troop surge

John McCain has supported the new Bush plan for an escalation of troops to Iraq.

McCain has long been calling for more troops, saying that the reason for the delay in securing the peace was because the U.S did not have a large enough presence there.

However, late last year McCain suggested that the U.S would need to send 30,000 or more troops in order to have any effect, so it is unclear if he thinks 21,500 is enough.

Linking himself so closely with the war is a dangerous strategy for McCain, but one that he acknowledges. If this plan sinks, there is a good chance that the nomination of McCain might sink too.

The problem is of course, that the other leading contender for the GOP nomination, Rudy Giuliani, is also a supporter of the escalation plans.

In other news, there has also been speculation this week that a McCain for President ticket might include former Democrat and VP candidate, Joe Lieberman. McCain and Lieberman appeared together last week.

Friday, January 12, 2007

McCain's race for the Nomination

John McCain, Senator from Arizona, until this point has been considered the most likely GOP nominee for President of the United States. Time Magazine has McCain as an odds on favorite, with the closest opponent, Rudy Giuliani at 5-1.

As a candidate for the Republican Nomination in 2000, McCain is no stranger to the contest. And he already has over $1.5million is his campaign account, and growing, after he launched his Exploratory Committee last November.

McCain has learned lessons from 2000, after he secured a victory in New Hampshire early, but then couldn't maintain the momentum, and was considered to have gone off message. He made various attacks on the religious right of the GOP at that time, but since then has been working hard to win their favour.

Like Mitt Romney, McCain has determined that to win the nomination, he needs to court the conservative base of the GOP. However, the media view McCain as a maverick in the GOP and he hasn't gone out of his way to change this perception, emphasising his desire to try to secure moderate Republicans too.

Yet McCain's detractors consider that he is terribly inconsistent, and his positions cross a wide spectrum of views. The religious right accuse him of being soft on same sex marriage, given that he voted in the Senate for States to have the right to decide on this issue. The conservative base also point out his fairly moderate and less hard line view on illegal immigration, particularly from Mexico. McCain's efforts on Campaign Finance reform also put him at odds with many in the party.

And John McCain, who would be 72 at the time of Inauguration in 2009, would be the oldest ever first term President.

John McCain has tied himself inextricably to the the Iraq War. As a Hawk, McCain is one of the strongest supporters of the war on terror. Since the Mid-Terms, McCain has been talking very loudly about the need to send more US troops to Iraq to try to secure a victory.

If the 2008 election is all about Iraq, and the failed US position, there will be question marks about the strategy of nominating such a strong supporter of the war.

McCain is likely to be the favorite candidate for some time, but there is no doubt that Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are close on his heels. As is usually the case, being a front runner can often be a burden, with other candidates attacking in order to get their much needed coverage.

McCain's varying positions in the last few years, and his possible attempts to try to be all things for all people might yet bring him unstuck in his quest to be President.