Monday, May 12, 2008

McCain Mutinies

Before he is anointed by the Republican convention this summer, John McCain's legendary temper will be tested by a swarm of stings from both Left and Right.

Not only do Arianna Huffington and a pair of "West Wing" actors claim he told them he didn't vote for Bush in 2000 and Senate Democrats insist he considered switching parties, McCain is still not free of doubts about his Conservative conversion emanating from admirers of Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Mike Huckabee.

The Los Angeles Times reports that "the forces of Rep. Ron Paul have been organizing across the country to stage an embarrassing public revolt against Sen. John McCain when Republicans gather for their national convention in St. Paul at the beginning of September."

In addition, former Congressman Bob Barr, who led the outcry for Bill Clinton's impeachment, is looking for the Libertarian nomination this fall, another potential outlet for Far Right unhappiness.

To top it off, Robert Novak, the master of Republican intrigue, reports McCain "has a problem of disputed dimensions with a vital component of the conservative coalition: evangelicals...These militants look at former Baptist preacher Huckabee as 'God's candidate' for president in 2012. Whether they can be written off as merely a troublesome fringe group depends on Huckabee's course.

"Huckabee's announced support of McCain is unequivocal, and he is regarded in the McCain camp as a friend and ally. But credible activists are spreading the word that Huckabee secretly allies himself with the bitter-end opposition."

As the Democrats sort themselves out in a bid for unity, McCain is having his own problems in that regard, and his anger-management skills may be sorely tested in the coming weeks.

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