[At the outset, let me say that I am not under the mistaken impression that John McCain or any of his handlers will ever see this “open letter”, nor would they necessarily respond or react to it if they did. So, rest assured, I am not living in some delusional state.]
Dear Mr. McCain:
Congratulations on your presumed nomination to represent the Republican Party in the 2008 presidential election. You have executed a successful campaign to date, and have accomplished the first step in what is clearly your long hoped for goal. If you think that the primary process has been difficult to this point, I would suggest that the hard work is still before you, and I am not referring to the ultimate contest between you and whichever democrat candidate is ultimately nominated. Your tough task is to rehabilitate yourself with a huge subset of the party you claim to represent.
It is clear to me and probably most others that you really want to be president of the United States of America. You tried unsuccessfully to gain the nomination 8 years ago. Barring something unforeseen, this will be your year to try to make it happen. And, I submit to you, that 2008 will be your last opportunity. Notwithstanding the health and vigor or your 90+ year old mother, who may have passed her longevity genes on to you, this will clearly be your last shot at being president. Not because of your age, as Chuck Norris contends, but rather, it is simply not reasonable to assume that you could be re-nominated in 2012, should you lose in November this year. Mostly because in the next presidential election cycle, you would be running against an incumbent president, to whom you lost the 2008 election. That just won’t happen. So, this is it.
In your speech before the C-Pac convention today, you acknowledged correctly that you will need the support of the entire party, if you are to achieve your goal. I hope that you have taken stock of the gravity of this statement. Not simply because of its accuracy, but rather, because of the huge gap that currently exists between YOU and the conservative wing of the party. While you may wish to discount the recent rhetoric from conservative radio hosts, you really do need to take their concerns seriously. And by seriously, I do not mean trying to refute them by continuing to remind us that you are “conservative”, or that you have an 82% conservative voting record. OR, by suggesting that you are more conservative than either of your democrat opponents. The simple fact of the matter is that the 18% of your voting record that is not deemed to be conservative by whatever league compiled the statistics, is so egregious to conservative principles that you simply must stop trying to talk around it, or over it. Rather, you should consider the extent to which you look more like a democrat than a republican by virtue of some of those “reaches across the aisle” that you are so proud of. You need to become a “born again” conservative, and the conversion needs to be real. And while using the metaphor usually reserved for the Christian faith, just as there is noticeable evidence of the regeneration of persons who have been saved by faith, you have between now and November of this year, to evidence your conservative regeneration. I am not holding my breath that I will see any such evidence.
The other thing I would suggest to you is that you need to figure out some way to manage your rhetoric about Hillary Clinton in such a way as to not damage her, thus doing your part to insure that SHE becomes the nominee of the democrat party. My concern is that while Barack Obama is even more liberal than you, thus giving you a wider gap between your left-leaning proclivity and his, I think he is far more likable than Hillary, and sorry to say, he is far more likable than you. So, the best chance to win the election, whether you have rehabilitated yourself with true conservatives or not, is to be able to compete against Hillary in November. Because you see, ultimately your BEST hope may be that you receive not only the votes of honest-to-goodness supporters of John McCain, but that you also receive the votes of the those people who will vote for anyone but Hillary. I suspect the block of voters representing the latter is larger than the former.
Best regards, and good luck with your campaign.