Giuliani Blog Tracking the likely Presidential candidacy of Rudy Giuliani

Thursday, November 09, 2006

McCain Now in a Weaker Position for '08?

That's what McCain-booster (and generally smart guy) LJ says in the comments in R4'08, now that Democrats have gained control of the Senate:

Here’s my theory: With the Senate in Democratic control, McCain loses the vaunted Armed Services Committee that he’s been pining over for more than a decade (he’ll become the ranking member now). He and his advisers had hoped that with that committee he could make a high profile impact on our Iraq policy (presumably working to end the conflict or at the very least stabilize it more). That would neutralize any potential attack on him in the general that he is an uber-hawk that has not offered any plan to end the war besides sending more troops (which will be much more untenable in 2008 then it is right now). Now he will have even less effect of military policy then he did during the 109th Congress.

Most importantly though, the Dems control what bills will get voted on. If McCain continues to look very strong heading into mid-late 2007, it’s very conceivable that Harry Reid will force McCain to vote on bills like, say, more ethanol subsidies. If McCain votes against it, he stands on his principals but it will severely damage him in Iowa. If he votes for them, the Dems have a ready made ad calling him a flip-flopper. Now image that happening on dozens of bills. This is the main reason that senators have such a hard time getting elected to the White House. If the Senate had remained in GOP hands, this wouldn’t be a problem at all.

Of course there is a chance that the Dems won’t take this course of action, but I am not hopeful of that luck. Because of that, I think that Rudy Giuliani is in a better position for 2008 now (as much as that pains me).

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At 3:52 PM, Blogger LJ said...

Thanks for the praise.

I think McCain must have anticipated this happening (hence his suicide joke last month), so I wonder if he has thought of any way to counteract this from damaging his Presidential prospects? In the same thread, I mention that he might resign from the Senate, but that's a last ditch move and one that I don't think he'd make. Now that Gates is in the DoD, there isn't any position in the Bush cabinet that he would want. Given that, I think he'll just have to ride it out and see if he can reverse the curse of the Senate.

What do you think?

At 10:20 PM, Blogger RudyBlogger said...

I'm curious as to how he handles the amnesty issue when it comes up again in 2007. It can't be helpful to him to have the McCain-Kennedy bill in the news during his Presidential run. On the other hand, with the loss of 6 seats in the Senate, it's unclear whether a successful filibuster could be mounted (as Senate Rs were pretty accommodationist on this to begin with). McCain's Senatorial rivals, Frist and Allen, are gone. House Republicans no longer control the floor, so they'd have to count on some sort of alliance with the newly elected Blue Dog Dems to defeat amnesty on the House floor, not an easy proposition if you're the minority.

The vote scheduling thing is a problem, both for McCain in the primary and for Republicans (no matter what) in the general. In 2004, Frist engineered some rather embarassing votes against Kerry. Our power to do that against Hillary is now gone. Especially if McCain is the nominee, expect Harry Reid to make his life hell.

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