Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

McCain -- The Hits Keep Coming

The senator from Arizona has run into yet another problem in his camapign for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. This time, it is in Florida:

The financial meltdown of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign could cripple his hopes in Florida and, in doing so, dramatically hasten the fall of the man once considered the Republican front-runner.

On Monday, senior McCain strategists announced that poor fundraising totals forced the campaign to lay off dozens of staffers and aides, including those specifically assigned to Florida. The campaign already had lagged behind rivals Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani in building a formal statewide organization.

McCain officials said Tuesday they will not abandon their Florida campaign, saying the momentum from early primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina would propel McCain south to Florida.

But even some supporters admit McCain's margin for error is falling.

The once-popular Arizona Republican is at odds with evangelical voters as well opponents of the Iraq war, which he has supported.

Now it appears McCain will not have the resources to mount an aggressive campaign in Florida, which moved its primary ahead to Jan. 29 to play a more pivotal role in the presidential process.

"I'm not trying to put an 'Oh, no problem' face on this, " said J.M. "Mac" Stipanovich, a McCain adviser who has helped both Jeb Bush's and Charlie Crist's campaigns for governor. "He's in a difficult situation."

Difficult, but not unprecedented, Stipanovich said. In 1984, former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart used a victory in New Hampshire as fuel to beat the much better organized Walter Mondale in Florida.

Supporters say McCain has a strong grass roots organization in Florida that could help sell his message.

He also has the potential support of Crist, who has not endorsed a candidate in the race, but has been most closely aligned with McCain. The two campaigned together last year.

"It's too early to tell what Jan. 29 will look like, " said Phil Handy, the former chairman of the Florida State Board of Education who is backing McCain. "I wish there was more money, but I think they'll be enough."

Though he's fallen well short of expectations, McCain has raised nearly $25-million nationwide since the start of the year. In addition, McCain's financial slump for the upcoming reporting period is mirrored in the fundraising totals expected by all three top-tier Republican candidates.

Still, the McCain campaign has been troubled. Once the consensus 2008 nominee, McCain trails Giuliani in most polls, and lacks the deep pockets of Romney or the enthusiasm of Fred Thompson's supporters.

A recent Quinnipiac poll asked voters who they would chose if McCain dropped out of the race, something he has said he will not do.

His name recognition isn't the problem, said Brett Doster, a Republican strategist who says he is not supporting any candidate.

"The tough issue for McCain is that everybody knows who he is, and he's still losing traction, " Doster said. "When you're a former front-runner, the day people start asking are you going to drop out, it's certainly not a good development.
"It's hard to come back from that."

We never considered John McCain as a "serious" presidential candidate for two very valid reasons: A) We know his record over the last few years, as does the rest of the nation, and B) He is a senator. Senators usually have a snowball's chance in Hades of making it to the Oval Office. The last one that did, directly from the Senate, was John F. Kennedy, and John McCain is no JFK.

Fundraising has been a problem for him. There is no arguing that. But that is not his overall problem. The underlying problems with the campaign revolve around his trustworthiness, and his genuineness to voters. Many potential primary voters do not see in him what they see in Mayor Giuliani, Governor Romney, or Senator Thompson.

The fact that this is occurring in Florida is even more disastrous given the fact that they did move up their primary date. They will be among several states kicking off the primary race starting on January 29th. A good deal of states have moved their dates up, pushing the campaign season into a long, drawn-out, wionner-take-all fight. McCain's other weakness comes in his attacks towards other contenders. The low-brow swipe at Governor romney during the immigration debate was picked up on, and it did not please voters.

In the end, that will be his undoing -- the support for the amnesty bill. He cannot spin it nor can he walk away from it. Everyone knows he was attached to it, that he supported it, and he voted for cloture on it. He used the bill in stump appearances, and did his best to spin the thing in a way that voters were not pleased with; especially when confronted by more than one voter that knew what was in the bill itself. Thanks to his support of this bill, the nation knows they cannot trust this man.



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