Who Best To Beat McCain?

With Mitt Romney announcing the end of his presidential bid, it looks like John McCain, the 71 year old senator from Arizona, will be the likely Republican presidential nominee. (Sure, Huckabee or Ron Paul could surge ahead, but it’s not probable that either will unseat McCain from his frontrunner status at this point in the race.)

More than 20 states still have primaries to hold, and for Democrats the focus must now shift to who can best beat McCain- Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

McCain is not embraced by all members of the Republican party equally, and by some not at all, so there is reason to suspect that in a general election some Republicans could jump fences and vote for the Democratic candidate. Even McCain seems to recognize this fact.

“It is my sincere hope that even if you believe I have occasionally erred in my reasoning as a fellow conservative, you will still allow that I have, in many ways important to all of us, maintained the record of a conservative….

I am acutely aware that I cannot succeed in that endeavor, nor can our party prevail over the challenge we will face … without the support of dedicated conservatives,” McCain told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday at an annual meeting in Washington.

Now facing a candidate not fully embraced by his party, the Democrats need to settle on the candidate best positioned to scrape off votes from unhappy Republicans and moderate independents.

Democrats have been giddy with their candidates up to now, seeming to bask in their historic choices for president, but the time for giddiness is over now. Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, they will be a historic candidate-either because of race or gender. No longer can Democrats look at these two candidates as barrier breakers, but instead must look to see who could beat McCain. You might think that either of the Democratic contenders would beat a 71 year old opponent, but the truth is not so simple, even with McCain’s own troubles within his party.

To think that Republicans would cross the aisle to vote for Hillary in a general election is an exercise in wishful thinking. For many in the GOP, a vote for the Ebola virus would be preferable to a vote for Hillary, meaning that in a general election, the contest would be too close to call with Republican voters backing McCain and Democrats backing Clinton. Independent voters in that match-up have seemed to prefer McCain, but who knows? Frankly, I don’t want another president selected by the Supreme Court if the race is so close. We all know how well that has worked out for America.

But when you match up McCain and Obama, it’s a different story altogether. Polls show him having a much better chance of taking the presidency against McCain than Clinton has. Consider that in the Super Tuesday primaries, Obama bested Clinton among independent voters by huge margins- 37 points in Missouri, 39 points in New Mexico and 10 points in Arizona and New Hampshire. In red states on Super Tuesday, Obama got more votes than even some of the Republican contenders. Clearly, Obama has crossover power that Clinton does not. And in the general election, this is what really matters. In many other national polls, Obama beats McCain everytime. Clinton does not, and where she does, the margin is too slim for comfort.

A McCain presidency wouldn’t likely differ too much from the current Bush presidency, especially considering that McCain is a “maverick” who seems to know what he knows. He shoots from the hip and is known to have a less than presidential temperament. Oddly though, a Hillary presidency isn’t going to look much different than Bush either. She is too entrenched in the mire of Washington politics to even consider looking outside the box (so to speak) for new, innovative ways of solving problems. And as I’ve said before, Hillary’s still stuck in the “I” of politics, as opposed to the “We” message of Obama.

It seems clear that Obama represents the best chance for America to turn away from the insidious politics that have so divided this country. He offers the best opportunity to reform the way our government represents our citizens. He seems to understand that being liberal and progressive isn’t synonymous with “Big Brother” politics. And he certainly doesn’t have a sense of entitlement to the office. Obama appeals to people of all parties (or lack of a party) where Clinton does not.

And for what it is worth, I think Obama really could offer an opportunity to put away some of the partisan rancor in our government by turning the page on American political dynasties. A fresh start, a fresh face…this is what America really needs.

Those who have yet to cast a primary vote need to strongly consider whether they want a close race that could as easily return the White House to “business as usual politics” with an entrenched and entitlement driven Democrat or another 4 years of Bushlike myopic Republican control, or whether they are really ready to give America a chance to redeem herself in her own eyes and the eyes of the world.

Who best to beat McCain? Barack Obama.

Americans of both parties have said they aren’t happy with the direction of the country. A vote for McCain or Clinton will assure that this direction does not change. The only hope for change is through an Obama presidency, supported by average Americans of all political stripes. It is within reach folks. Stick out your hand and grab it.

One Response to “Who Best To Beat McCain?”

  1. manapp99 Says:

    Obama is clearly the best choice the Dems can make to defeat McCain. If Hillary ends up the choice, she had better pick Obama as VEEP if she is to have a chance. If the Dems cannot decide and it goes to the super delegates and Clinton gets it she is toast. IMO.
    McCain does not enjoy the support of Rush, Hannity, Coulter or other high profile right wingers and this will help him with independents and cross over Dems that do not particularly like the right wing talkers.
    If Obama wins and takes Hillary as VEEP he risks keeping the “I hate the Clintons” vote alive and will discourage crossover Republicans.
    The press have done a lot to boost McCain and Obama however now that McCain is the GOP nominee they will turn on him with a vengence. I saw the first shot on the Mcafferty File over McCain not voting on the stimulas package. The Dems have the momentum however if O’Bama is not the man, I think the youth vote virtually disapears.

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