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Thread: McCain risks ‘flip-flop’ jibes by voters

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    Post McCain risks ‘flip-flop’ jibes by voters

    McCain risks ‘flip-flop’ jibes by voters
    By Edward Luce and Andrew Ward in Washington

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/7b4c2270-3c9...print=yes.html

    Published: June 17 2008 19:32 | Last updated: June 17 2008 19:32

    Nobody is yet calling John McCain a “flip-flopper”. But the Republican nominee’s increasingly finely balanced efforts to shore up his support among the shrinking Republican base while reaching out to independents is starting to fire up the critics.

    On Tuesday morning, he launched an advertisement reminding voters of his repeated clashes with President George W. Bush over climate change, which Mr McCain believes is real and requires urgent action.

    In the afternoon, he delivered a speech to the oil industry in Houston, calling for a lifting of the moratorium on offshore drilling in order to reduce petrol prices.

    Mr McCain’s shift on offshore drilling – which contrasts with his strong support for upholding the moratorium in his 2000 bid for the Republican nomination – could further chip away at his reputation for being a “straight talker”.

    Some even compare his shifting stances with those of John Kerry, the 2004 *Democratic candidate, who was skewered by Mr Bush for his contortions over the Iraq war.

    “John McCain was against Mr Bush’s tax cuts before he was for them, and now he is in favour of offshore drilling after he was against it,” says Thomas Mann at the Brookings Institution think-tank. “If Senator McCain continues to try to appeal to the base and to the centre simultaneously in this way, then his straight-talk brand is going to suffer.”

    Mr McCain’s dilemma is real. Unlike Mr Bush in 2004, Mr McCain cannot win the election simply by turning out the Republican faithful, because the number of Republicans has shrunk dramatically. Since 2004, public support has shifted heavily towards the Democrats.

    However, nor can he win without the Republican base, much of which remains sceptical of his conservative credentials. They point to his history of support for campaign finance reform, his continuing opposition to new drilling in the Arctic and the perception that he is only lukewarm in his opposition to abortion.

    Mr McCain’s attempts to reassure the base have led him to water down some long-held principles. As a former prisoner-of-war who suffered torture in Vietnam, he has long called for the US detention centre in Guantán*amo Bay, Cuba, to be closed and for torture to be banned.

    But last week he criticised the US Supreme Court for “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country” after it ruled that detainees should be allowed to challenge their detentions in US courts.

    He has also moved towards more conservative territory on the Supreme Court – one of the main issues for many evangelical Christian voters. Until recently he was considered a moderate, having been part of the “Gang of 14” that secured a bipartisan compromise over judicial nominations in the Senate three years ago. But recently he has stressed his commitment to nominate conservative judges – raising the possibility that the Supreme Court would tilt decisively to the right in a McCain presidency.

    Some Republicans think he is jeopardising his support among independent voters, whom most analysts think will hold the whip hand over this year’s presidential contest. They point to a new poll showing Barack Obama, his Democratic rival, leading him on centre-ground concerns, such as his ability to stand up to lobbyists and handle the energy crisis.

    “John McCain is being misled by the Republican establishment who want him to embrace the issues they support,” said Matt Towery, who was a senior aide to Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House speaker.

    “I cannot decide whether John McCain is being duped by the Republican establishment that really doesn’t want him to win, or whether his strategists are grossly misreading the concerns of the American people.”

    Mr Towery’s former boss, Mr Gingrich, is spearheading an online petition to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling, which, he says, is the single biggest voter concern. With petrol prices at a historic average high of $4.07 (€2.62, Ł2.08) a gallon, Mr McCain is probably more in tune with public opinion on this than Mr Obama, who backs the ban.

    “If McCain had changed his position six months ago, you might have seen it as pandering to the base,” said Vin Weber, a Republican strategist. “But when the facts change, you’re allowed to change your mind.”

  2. #2
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    I think McCain is trying to have it both ways.

    He boasts --rightfully-- that he has taken more political risk than Obama has while reaching across the aisle (Obama's bipartisan efforts, while numerous, have tended not to come on hot button issues), but he now repudiates many of his own stands.

    By far the two greatest political risks he's ever taken were on resisting the Bush tax cuts and on immigration reform. Both were politically courageous at the time, and frought with peril, politically. But now he says he wouldn't do either.

    He wants the maverick cred from those stands, but not the accountability for doing anything unpopular with his base.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuu faaola View Post
    I think McCain is trying to have it both ways.

    He boasts --rightfully-- that he has taken more political risk than Obama has while reaching across the aisle (Obama's bipartisan efforts, while numerous, have tended not to come on hot button issues), but he now repudiates many of his own stands.

    By far the two greatest political risks he's ever taken were on resisting the Bush tax cuts and on immigration reform. Both were politically courageous at the time, and frought with peril, politically. But now he says he wouldn't do either.

    He wants the maverick cred from those stands, but not the accountability for doing anything unpopular with his base.
    excellent post. That sums up his issue in a nut shell. You could see the storm clouds coming when, after McCain was clearly going to win the nomination, criminals like Tom delay began to say things like "He is going to have to work hard to earn our trust if he wants our support". You can translate that into; "if you want us to manipulate the same morons who voted for Bush, then you better start falling in line with the special interest groups that run our party".
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 06-17-2008 at 06:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuu faaola View Post

    I think McCain is trying to have it both ways.
    Me too, but that's what happens when you don't have many core beliefs, you come off not as a maverick {as McCain likes to fancy himself}, but a phony engaged in a cynical power grab

    At least Obama, for all his faults, seems to have a set of sincere core beliefs .. they might be the wrong beliefs, most of them are from my perspective, but at least he's committed to a set of core beliefs, he's a committed liberal, and he seems more willing to lose than abandon his principals

    I envy that, the man knows what he believes and how to articulate it, and we're stuck with a cranky old man who's more interested in picking fights with his own party {and calling himself a maverick} than actually inspiring people to vote for him for any reason other than they are scared to death of Obama

    I don't see how we win this way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Jets & Ham View Post
    Me too, but that's what happens when you don't have many core beliefs, you come off not as a maverick {as McCain likes to fancy himself}, but a phony engaged in a cynical power grab

    At least Obama, for all his faults, seems to have a set of sincere core beliefs .. they might be the wrong beliefs, most of them are from my perspective, but at least he's committed to a set of core beliefs, he's a committed liberal, and he seems more willing to lose than abandon his principals

    I envy that, the man knows what he believes and how to articulate it, and we're stuck with a cranky old man who's more interested in picking fights with his own party {and calling himself a maverick} than actually inspiring people to vote for him for any reason other than they are scared to death of Obama

    I don't see how we win this way
    We win cause the neocons go out of their way to make Obama appear as muslim and scary as possible

    I think their tactics are despicable frankly, but I do believe it's the best chance of avoiding a liberal congress and oval office.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTM View Post
    We win cause the neocons go out of their way to make Obama appear as muslim and scary as possible

    I think their tactics are despicable frankly, but I do believe it's the best chance of avoiding a liberal congress and oval office.
    Yeah, it's the bad old neo-cons, all of whom are old Jewish
    ex-Trotskyites, who forced B. Hussein Osama into two decades of
    following an American hating racist, ex-NOI, "spiritual leader"
    Rev. Wright who also pals around with Louis Farrakhan.

    The Neo-cons tricked B. Hussein Osama into associating himself
    with domestic terrorists like Ayers and Doern.

    The Neo-Cons made his wife Lady Macobama only proud of
    being American this year, despite pulling down big bucks
    in her day job

    And naturally The Neo-Cons made B Hussein Osama, when he was faltering down the stretch so testy that he begged to be left alone to finish his waffle breakfast rather than face semi-tough reporters' questions

    None of the above is despicable but perfectly acceptable?

    If associations don't count then why all the smearing of say,
    Rudy Giuliani?

    The only thing scarier than the spectre of a higher taxed, compromised in 1000 ways, disincented, moral relativist, libtarded America presided by B. Hussein O. and Lady Macobama are the idiotic statements by B Hussein O's fanboys,apologists, and sickophants in blind support of a thoroughly unaccomplished unpatriotic political grifter.

    Its amazing how many dummies there are out there who think a guy who pauses every 3 words is a master orator.

    Sure GOPers cant agree on McCain-but because every other candidate was perceived as too liberal or too conservative or too unacceptable in one aspect or another, this go-round we got someone relatively right down the middle who is starting to swerve/tilt right.

    I will say this much-even if people who consider themselves center-right dont like McCain,and deservedly so for some past stances- I think at this stage it whollly uninformed to think you are going to reform/punish the GOP or improve things that need improvement by voting for BHO, sitting it out, or voting for fringe candidate X (fill in the blank) it aint gonna happen automatically.

    If we in a fit of national mass stupidity get BHO, he's everyones CinC, that has to be respected. But if he stinks it up to high heaven like I know he can I'll know who to blame

    YOU
    Last edited by flushingjet; 06-17-2008 at 11:20 PM.

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    What a strange post by an even stranger dude.......

    Quote Originally Posted by flushingjet View Post
    Yeah, it's the bad old neo-cons, all of whom are old Jewish
    ex-Trotskyites, who forced B. Hussein Osama into two decades of
    following an American hating racist, ex-NOI, "spiritual leader"
    Rev. Wright who also pals around with Louis Farrakhan.

    The Neo-cons tricked B. Hussein Osama into associating himself
    with domestic terrorists like Ayers and Doern.

    The Neo-Cons made his wife Lady Macobama only proud of
    being American this year, despite pulling down big bucks
    in her day job

    And naturally The Neo-Cons made B Hussein Osama, when he was faltering down the stretch so testy that he begged to be left alone to finish his waffle breakfast rather than face semi-tough reporters' questions

    None of the above is despicable but perfectly acceptable?

    If associations don't count then why all the smearing of say,
    Rudy Giuliani?

    The only thing scarier than the spectre of a higher taxed, compromised in 1000 ways, disincented, moral relativist, libtarded America presided by B. Hussein O. and Lady Macobama are the idiotic statements by B Hussein O's fanboys,apologists, and sickophants in blind support of a thoroughly unaccomplished unpatriotic political grifter.

    Its amazing how many dummies there are out there who think a guy who pauses every 3 words is a master orator.

    Sure GOPers cant agree on McCain-but because every other candidate was perceived as too liberal or too conservative or too unacceptable in one aspect or another, this go-round we got someone relatively right down the middle who is starting to swerve/tilt right.

    I will say this much-even if people who consider themselves center-right dont like McCain,and deservedly so for some past stances- I think at this stage it whollly uninformed to think you are going to reform/punish the GOP or improve things that need improvement by voting for BHO, sitting it out, or voting for fringe candidate X (fill in the blank) it aint gonna happen automatically.

    If we in a fit of national mass stupidity get BHO, he's everyones CinC, that has to be respected. But if he stinks it up to high heaven like I know he can I'll know who to blame

    YOU

  8. #8
    flushingjet
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    What a strange post by an even stranger dude.......
    oh great.
    first it was your queer avatars...
    now you're creepin' me out with this stalkin' bit, Javert....
    why don't you make a salient point for a change, or STFU.

    every post you make is "you're strange, you're this, you're that."
    is that how you make conversation with the rest of the screws?

    now, back to your Friday night poker game...

    http://wastingcotime.files.wordpress...ace-monkey.jpg

  9. #9
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    Cause you crazy.'

    Quote Originally Posted by flushingjet View Post
    oh great.
    first it was your queer avatars...
    now you're creepin' me out with this stalkin' bit, Javert....
    why don't you make a salient point for a change, or STFU.

    every post you make is "you're strange, you're this, you're that."
    is that how you make conversation with the rest of the screws?

    now, back to your Friday night poker game...

    http://wastingcotime.files.wordpress...ace-monkey.jpg

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