Friday, May 09, 2008

McCain/Clinton 2008: Not Gonna Happen

I used to respect Mike Gallagher in his early days in WABC radio in NYC. He was a talk show host who tried to keep the perspective of the common man, but with a Conservative spin. Unlike Rush Limbaugh, he did not engage in theater for its own sake. And unlike Shawn Hannity, he did not lapse into shtick when he got bored or annoyed. But after he was paired with a particular partner, Mr. Gallagher decided that the "honest, common man" approach was not paying the bills, and began a career of constantly shooting at easy targets to get a reaction via cheap shots.

This newest article is another attempt at the cheap shot. He asks the what-if question (which he claims a caller brought up first) of a McCain/Clinton ticket for 2008, and speculates that such a ticket would be unbeatable. But the reality is that such a ticket would be unelectable for a number of reasons. (1) Only hard-code McCain and Clinton supporters could stomach such a ticket. The base of the GOP (Conservatives) could never vote for any ticket with a Clinton on it, and the base of the Democratic Party (Liberals) could never vote for a ticket that includes someone who opposed their nominee. Without either base, you're in a minority. (2) John McCain's draw is as a man who sticks by his guns, even if his ideas are sometimes at odds with his friends. Hillary Clinton is opposed to John McCain in nearly every important issue. (3) While McCain is known for crossing the aisle and working with Democrats, Hillary Clinton has not been known for the same kind of spirit. It would be one thing to embrace Joe Lieberman, but another entirely to embrace an extreme partisan. (4) Hillary Clinton has seen what Vice President meant for mean like Al Gore, and that being a losing running mate can end your career. She wants power, not position, and would only take VP in an administration she knew she could have considerable control over. (5) Hillary Clinton has ambitions beyond the presidency. If she loses this nomination, she would be a front-runner for New York Governor. And even if not, she has considerable power in the Senate. Why give all that up for a political stunt? (6) Whatever John McCain does in this election is his last political Will and Testament. Do you really think he wants his last memorandum to history to be "I'll hitch my wagon to anyone to win."

So, if you hear this meme on Talk Radio, see it on Drudge, or get forwarded it by a well-meaning panicky friend, recognize it for what it is. It is a cheap shot at a showman looking for ratings. It has no connection with reality.

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