(Page 2 of 2)
Yet there is an acute realization that a running mate for a prospective 71-yea-old president is in more than even the usual position of a vice president to be the future leader of the Republican Party. “This is so frustrating to hear this,” said the first person I spoke with, speaking of a Ridge nomination. He cited McCain’s problems with the conservative base, saying that the vice-presidential nomination was “the way to bring the conservative base on board.” To give the slot to Ridge would “do exactly the opposite.”
So who should it be, was my next question. Who would serve as a solid conservative vice president and a potential future leader of the conservative movement? This received all around the litany of names that are repeatedly mentioned in the press. Romney. Pawlenty. Jindal. Thune. Others. Interestingly, Romney seemed to be the favorite, although not overwhelmingly so.
THIS IS A REMARKABLE moment in the history of the modern conservative movement. The movement’s stunning success over the last four decades has only suffered as candidates or office holders stray perceptibly from the principles of fiscal, national security and social conservatism to which voters have overwhelmingly responded. Certainly it is always in need of new leaders.
The selection of someone who would not simply be an influential vice president but a potential president is viewed as no small matter. It is well noted that the presidency of George W. Bush would presumably have never occurred had Ronald Reagan selected Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt (Nancy Reagan’s choice) or then-New York Congressman Jack Kemp (a much-favored conservative choice) instead of Reagan’s defeated opponent, George H.W. Bush. Had there been no Vice President Bush, goes the thinking, there would have been no Governor Bush and President Bush 43.
This particular vice-presidential choice, in short, is seen as a very big deal indeed. It can continue the conservative revolution, both in January of 2009 and well into the future, or bring what amounts to a continual state of open internal political warfare between a McCain-Ridge White House and the core constituency at its base. Having seen this dynamic of personnel and policy at work in the Ford-Rockefeller White House (which eventually produced the 1976 Reagan challenge and ended in a Jimmy Carter victory) and the Bush 41 White House (producing a Pat Buchanan challenge and a loss to Bill Clinton), there is no enthusiasm for seeing the same dynamics unfold all over again.
At the end of which lies a President Hillary Clinton.
And what if the Ridge for VP trial balloon is in fact not a trial balloon but the real deal?
“We’re done,” came the instant response about support for McCain from one of the above conservatives. “We’re done.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?