Tags: 2004: | Bush-Gore-McCain | Race?

2004: Bush-Gore-McCain Race?

Thursday, 31 May 2001 12:00 AM

Yesterday on Ollie North’s radio show and then on Sean Hannity’s WABC radio show in New York, Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott did not dismiss the very real possibility that John McCain might bolt the GOP and become an independent.

Political observers are wondering, "Why would he do that?"

The answer may be that McCain – pining for the 24/7 media lovefest that was his 2000 presidential campaign – would run for president in 2004 as an independent.

From his point of view it makes some sense:

1) Ross Perot got 21 percent of the vote in 1992 – and he dropped in and out of the race and was not an accomplished politician.

2) More and more of the nation sees itself as "independent" from the two political parties.

3) GOP primary voters reviled McCain. But he is very popular among these "independent" voters.

4) McCain has virtually no chance to defeat G.W. Bush in the GOP primaries. None!

5) In a three-way race – say, with Gore as the Democrat and Bush as the Republican – who knows what would happen?

OK. That is how McCain may view it today. But the reality is this: If the economy is in good shape in 2004 – and that must also include the perilous energy situation, too – then George W. Bush will be re-elected.

However, if the economy is down, then all bets are off.

A hypothetical three-way Gore-Bush-McCain race is

In 1992 Perot cut heavily into then-President Bush's core vote. This split what would have been a Bush majority and gave the election to Clinton.

But McCain's appeal does

McCainiacs are true independents who profess disdain for the two major political parties.

McCain, the inheritor of the Goldwater seat from Arizona, no longer is a Goldwater Conservative. Nor is he a 'libertarian' Republican – as many younger GOPers have become.

No, McCain has moved left – and now often espouses Big Government mandates and controls. His personality, too, is more in sync with an authoritarian point of view.

Those who have been around him know that McCain is not open to any dissent whatsoever. It’s his way or the highway! Plus, he can be more rude and abrasive than anyone in elected politics today. He is always a temper tantrum ready to erupt.

Self-described "independents" are considered the key swing vote in politics today. In last year's presidential run, both Gore and Bush fought for months over this vote – which repeatedly swung back and forth in the days leading up to Election Day.

2004 would be no different. That vote would determine the victor.

But if McCain is in the race – with the media slobbering all over him – there is no telling what could happen.

This may very well be what is motivating an out-of-control ego like McCain.

He isn’t getting any younger, he knows he’s toast inside the GOP and he has no chance of replacing Dick Cheney on the 2004 GOP ticket.

So he may very well drag out his POW act once more and emulate – and even try to surpass – Ross Perot, who first became famous for trying to rescue our POWs.

If this happens, the just-completed 2000 race will seem like a cake walk compared to the circus that will be known as the 2004 presidential race.

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Yesterday on Ollie North's radio show and then on Sean Hannity's WABC radio show in New York, Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott did not dismiss the very real possibility that John McCain might bolt the GOP and become an independent. Political observers are wondering, ...
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Thursday, 31 May 2001 12:00 AM
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