Saturday, May 1, 2010

Schmidt sees the future

(posting from Leo's Pub in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, where Steve maintains a temporary presence)

Facing for the first time the possibility that he may be outmaneuvered from the right by J.C. Hayworth in Arizona's Republican primary, John McCain has begun exploring the possibility of running as an Independent, a path to success used by his good friend Joe Lieberman as well as the remaining ray of light for Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

It makes imminent good sense,” said lead McCain strategist Steve Schmidt. “You've got to keep in mind that John McCain is the original Independent, if you don't think about that statement too closely, and I'm sure most voters won't. You could even call John a maverick, just not to his face. At least not this week. I don't think. Give me a second and let me check with his press agent... No, Hayworth is still making fun of the maverick label, and John is still assuming he might win, so nix this whole conversation.”

The conversation, although nixed, is significant as a signpost of a new Republican strategic direction – leaving the party.

It makes imminent good sense,” said lead McCain strategist Steve Schmidt. “Currently the radical right politicians who appeal to the teabaggers have caught the imagination of the small number of voters who actually bother to vote in these primaries, particularly in off year elections. It's hard to compete among such a small subset, so some of the wackos like Hayworth and Rubio may actually get in. But the thing is, they'll get in as Republicans, and the Republican brand has pretty much worn out it's welcome. Hold on, I need to take this call... Yeah, John, I did call to ask about the maverick thing. Ed told me... Oh, he's out and it's okay now? Well, welcome back Mr Maverick... Uh huh, I am talking to a reporter, but... just talking straight political theory, John, nothing speific about you... Trial balloon? Okay, can do... All right, later.”

As the Tea Party gains visibility, it is invariably tied to the Republican label, and the prevailing thought among long time party stalwarts is that it may be better to just let them have the damn thing.

It makes imminent good sense,” said lead McCain strategist Steve Schmidt. “The teabaggers had their window of opportunity but they've pretty much squandered their chance to challenge the Republican Party from the right, instead becoming synonymous with it. Yeah, let's just call it the Republican Tea Party, the party of Beck, Limbaugh, and that obnoxious orange guy Boehner. What America wants is fresh ideas from proven leaders who are independent. Not the party of 'yes' or 'no', but a party of 'maybe' and 'I'll get back to ya on that one'. Just kidding you on that last one, John McCain is a man who learns from his mistakes. He knows the nation wants a party of mavericks.”

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