Bush State Of The Union Might Actually End Up Helping John McCain - First Time A Republican Not Hurt By The President's Inability To Shut-Up
There is a joke being told around New Hampshire about John McCain's support of President Bush's proposed troop surge in Iraq -
"President Bush has used up all his political capital for Iraq and so now he's spending John McCain's."
It's not very funny.
But, it's accurate.
And, as one of the most unpopular President's in history is tied (fairly and unfairly) to one of the most popular Senator's in history, McCain's poll numbers have suffered.
In New Hampshire, McCain's popularity among likely NH "independent" primary voters has dissolved. Granite State independents don't support the President's escalation of the Iraq War and they just don't support John McCain's support of the escalation.
Yes, the NH Primary is 12 months away. Yes, McCain is still the one to beat in NH even after his recent slide. But the drop is alarming.
McCain wants (needs) those independents back. And not just in New Hampshire.
But the Straight Talking Senator is not going to waiver in his support of the troop surge. He feels that the surge is the right thing to do (we agree) and has repeatedly said,
"If my support for doing what I feel is right in Iraq costs me the Presidency so be it."He ain't bullshitting. The Senator doesn't play politics with national security. Not after the sacrifice he's made protecting this country. Not when he knows that two of his own children will be joining the fight in Iraq shortly.
They ain't no Senator's sons.
But, McCain still needs the independents back if he is going to win the Presidency. How might he bring those independents back?
Well, Green is the new Red, White and Blue.
After the Iraq War, we believe that meaningfully addressing Global Warming by overhauling our national energy policy will be topic #2 on the presidential candidate's agenda in 2008.
Independents love talking about this issue. Independents vote on this issue.
The good news? Senator McCain has a long history of voting for the environment as this 2004 fundraising letter from the Environmental Defense League attests:
We've also learned that some energy industry lobbyists are stepping up their opposition to the bill, realizing that Senators McCain and Lieberman are dead serious about forcing another vote in this session of Congress. This is on top of the ongoing campaign by the big polluters to discredit some of the world's leading scientists and muddle the science of global warming. That's why it's so urgent that we be able to respond with effective organizing and advertising in these final countdown days.That's some real Straight Talk. It's also inoculation against the Democrats plan to try and use Global Warming as an issue against the Republican nominee for President in '08.
I believe we can astound the pundits and deliver a total of 51 votes for the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act in the Senate test ahead. Against all odds, and against the intense lobbying of our opponents, we were able to defy the pundits' predictions and come within striking distance of a majority last October.
But since the vote could come up any day now, every minute counts. We are nearing the home stretch and must now redouble our efforts. So even if you've made a generous gift recently, please consider making an additional contribution today. Click here to link to our secure online giving page.
Quite frankly, the stakes are so high for the environment that we simply must succeed. I hope you will help make history.
But, as much as John McCain needs the independents to fall in love with him all over again because of his green tendencies (and they will), he can't isolate the GOP base at the same time.
Which brings us back to Bush's State of the Union tonight.
Tonight the Commander-in-Chief, who just can't seem to shut-up and go away, is actually going to do something that is politically useful for McCain . Bush is going to give the Senator political cover on the Global Warming issue with the GOP base:
The main uncertainty is what Bush will say about energy and the environment. Amid much talk about climate change and energy security, the president and his aides have promised unspecified "bold" ideas. Officials have ruled out binding caps on emissions of greenhouse gases, despite support among Democrats and some corporate executives who came to Washington yesterday. But they told allies that Bush will advance ideas for greatly expanding ethanol as an alternative to oil, and some insiders expect changes in fuel efficiency standards for vehicles."Bold" ideas on Global Warming? Bush? Not a chance.
But whatever Bush does end up saying will be all the cover Senator McCain needs bust out his sterling Global Warming credentials with the independents and not have to worry about the GOP base defecting from his camp at the same time.
Terry Nelson is loading up the targeted mail trucks right now. With 100% recycled paper of course.