McCain’s Mutiny

March 5, 2007

White House Hopeful Guesses Right on Conservative Conference

The Conservative Political Action Conference, held last week in Washington, D.C., is the preeminent annual All-Star outing for GOP politicos and pundits. If you”re in the business of wooing the right, you”d think it”s a must-attend in the run-up to 2008. So why in the name of intelligent design was John McCain (R-AZ) a no-show?

Whether by design or good luck, it played perfectly for the presidential hopeful as the incendiary Ann Coulter unleashed her radioactive slur on the unwitting John Edwards (a weak Label if you call this strategy) and notables like Rudi Giuliani and Mitt Romney ran feeble Crowds with politically aligned but unmemorable talks.

However prescient, McCain ran a Pass, a strategic and typically counter-intuitive withdrawal from a competitive front. Perhaps McCain thought the sheer volume of big name speakers would dim his spotlight or pull him politically off-center. Maybe with 10 months before the first primary he thought it too early to start the rhetorical boxing match that Giuliani and Romney would invite. Perhaps, too, he wanted Romney — Mr. Flip Flop — and The Mayor — a three-time-hubby — to breed GOP distate before consuming the meat of the Republican meal. Whatever his rationale, the Pass seemed to allow the stubborn Senator to keep his Straight Talk Express on track to 2008.