February 7, 2008 [LINK / comment]
Romney ends his campaign
Mitt Romney's decision to "suspend" his campaign today seemed a bit premature to me, especially given the enormous discomfort among many in the party with the presumed nominee, John McCain. I thought Romney should have waited at least another week or two before pulling out. Nevertheless, he is to be commended for putting his party's and his country's interests ahead of his own ambitions. His speech today was very gracious, earning him great credit for the future in the party. His past willingness to reshape himself according to political circumstance made me skeptical of him, and I just hope that his eloquent words on such key issues as immigration will resonate in the party.
So, this much is virtually certain: The next president of the United States is a current member of the U.S. Senate. The last time a sitting senator was elected president was in 1960. Camelot...
McCain panders to the Right
Meanwhile, John McCain addressed the Conservative Political Action Committee today, and it was broadcast during Sean Hannity's show. CPAC members were told in advance to be polite, and the boos and catcalls were relatively subdued. McCain professed his belief in conservative principles and expressed a touch of regret over past words and actions he has taken. See Washington Post. For the next several months, McCain will be forced to endure an agonizing series of such rituals to placate the furious and resentful honchos from the GOP right wing. And that's the way it should be -- as long as he doesn't grovel or pretend that he never said something that he really did say. If he is to be the Leader of the Free World, he will have to be humble and contrite when it's necessary, while sticking to his guns. I'm willing to bet that his experience in a North Vietnamese POW camp built his character sufficiently to manage that daunting task.
Huckabee for veep?
Daniel Drezner ponders that possibility, and decides that "Huckabee is clearly not ready for prime time as a president." He notes of "the ratcheting up of standards for Vice Presidents" of the last two administrations (Al Gore and Dick Cheney)
creates a different problem -- instead of a buffoon or a lightweight, you have a talented, ambitious politician placed in an ambiguous position.
Cheney had no presidential aspirations, because of his age, but Gore's experience next door to the White House may have accentuated the frustration from his failed presidential bid in 2000.
I wholeheartedly agree with the editorial in yesterday's News Leader, endorsing the redistricting reform proposed by Sen. Creigh Deeds. It is Senate Bill 38, providing for a five-member temporary commission, with two Republicans and two Democrats. Legislative redistricting is one of my favorite pet causes (see ), but it hasn't received much attention in recent years. I still recall with distaste then-Attorney General Jerry Kilgore's comment that redistricting was always going to be political in nature, and there was, he believe, no point in trying to change that.