Sunday, September 02, 2007

A few thoughts about some items in today's New York Times roundup of key upcoming presidential-election dates:

Sept. 10: Iraq Yardstick

The presidential hopefuls, who have spent months clinging to familiar scripts in the debate over the war, will carefully digest the Iraq progress report to be delivered this day to Congress by Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker.

Campaign advisers are weighing whether the report provides an opening for Republican candidates to break with President Bush....

Oh, good Lord -- when the hell are the journalists and pundits finally going to grasp the fact that the vast majority of Republicans are never going to break with Bush on the war, and certainly no major GOP candidate is going to do so during the primary season? Hell, John Warner didn't dare to even question Bush timidly on Iraq without simultaneously making plans to enter the Witness Protection Program retire. With a tiny handful of exceptions -- Chuck Hagel, Walter Jones, Ron Paul -- everyone in the GOP is terrified to deviate from Correct Republican Thinking on the war.

You know what might get the major GOP candidates to break with Bush? Hillary Clinton jumping out to a 15-point lead over the GOP front-runner. Until that happens, they feel they can stay vague but steadfast on the war and suffer no consequences with any part of the electorate.


Oct. 15: McCain's Crossroads

Watch this day to see if Mr. McCain is going to stay in the race through the Iowa caucuses....

Another bad quarter of fund-raising could leave Mr. McCain with little choice but to exit as he faces an expensive stretch of the race....

Should he drop out, the big question would be who, if anyone, he endorses. His associates say the person to watch is Mr. Giuliani: Mr. McCain has never been particularly fond of Mr. Romney. Aides to Mr. McCain said he had also been under the impression that Mr. Thompson would not enter the race as long as Mr. McCain was in it. One associate said that Mr. McCain was riled by Mr. Thompson's entry, making it more likely that he would back Mr. Giuliani.

I don't believe he'll drop out no matter what -- but this reminds me that McCain and Rudy really like each other. I've said before that Giuliani's ego is so huge that he'll never agree to be anyone's VP choice, but I really believe McCain would take a #2 slot, especially with Giuliani (or he might patch it up with Thompson, or even with Romney -- if he could go on his knees to Bush and various religious rightists, he's certainly capable of demeaning himself by joining the ticket of a guy he's attacked).

McCain as #2 would, I'm afraid, really, really help the GOP ticket. He's the Republican Lieberman -- he's loved (for no good reason) across the political spectrum, except in his own party.


Oh, and there's this:

The Republicans are not without support in the entertainment industry, but it is comparatively thin.... Adam Sandler gave [Rudolph Giuliani] $2,100.

Hmmm ... if his collected body of work and his unsufferable insufferable screen persona didn't give me enough reasons to despise Sandler, there's one more.

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