Monday, September 8, 2008

McCain = Nixon

First, Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention was excellent. She was folksy and biting. She also took up with relish the traditional position of the Vice Presidential candidate as chief attack dog. She passed the first test, but now she has to match Joe Biden. That is no small task as Biden is both well informed and politically savvy. She will have to use the interim to prepare well. Stay tuned.

John McCain’s speech was good, one of the better speeches I have seen him give. His personal story as a POW in Hanoi is political gold, providing a tangible story of devotion to country and comrades-in-arms. He struck a note of conciliation and gracefulness, reaching out to moderate Democrats and Independents. He did not provide much in the way of policy, but understandably so, as the more he gets into issues, the more he looks like Bush III. He looked and sounded dignified and I think came off as someone who could be a sound administrator of the public trust.

He reminded me very much of Richard Nixon. Consider these two men in relation to the Republican party. Neither man was or is a GOP insider. Each was and is uncomfortable having to be tied to a party and the party was and is less than comfortable with their maverick sensibilities. An uneasy alliance was forged in both cases. Each man had and has supreme confidence in himself and simply desired and desires to be good governors remembered for their statecraft and willing to be accepted as mediocre politicians. The question remains: is McCain going to be Nixon ’60 or Nixon ’68.

Mason Slidell

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