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Posted by on Jun 12, 2008 in Politics | 5 comments

McCain and the New Gang of 14

MacNosferatu.jpgIt seems that Barack Obama may not be the only one having trouble consolidating his fellow party members behind his campaign. The Hill is reporting that there is a new “Gang of 14” saddling up to ride in Washington, DC and this time they are all Republicans. The other thing they have in common is that they are either “not endorsing” or “not supporting” John McCain in his presidential run.

CORRECTION: Hold on… one moment… Ok, yes… I’m being told by our editor that the picture to the upper left is not actually a photograph of Senator John McCain, but is actually a file photo of his less well known, younger brother James McCain, who remained behind in Panama to work as a chiropractor during the late 1890’s. He is shown here doing a spinal adjustment on a patient in the small, hillside town of Chepo. Let’s see if we can’t find a correct file photo.

MccainOld.jpgThere… that’s better. On to the text of the story.

At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator.

Republican members who have not endorsed or publicly backed McCain include Sens. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Jeff Sessions (Ala.) and Reps. Jones, Peterson, John Doolittle (Calif.), Randy Forbes (Va.), Wayne Gilchrest (Md.), Virgil Goode (Va.), Tim Murphy (Pa.), Ron Paul (Texas), Ted Poe (Texas), Todd Tiahrt (Kan.), Dave Weldon (Fla.) and Frank Wolf (Va.).

McCain’s interparty issues seem to stem largely from his failure to toe the traditional conservative line, but observers may be surprised to find this level of revolt within the ranks. Given the likely close nature of the November contest and the precarious position the GOP finds themselves in regarding Congressional races, holding on to the White House should be their one and only priority. If McCain can’t put the face of a more unified front on the Republican effort, it may be a long four years.

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  • kimbutgar

    I thought the picture in the corner was Rudy Guilani.

  • Amanda

    You know, the supposition that McCain isn’t conservative enough probably doesn’t apply to Gilchrest and Hagel. Gilchrest is the only Republican Rep from MD and he represents an area that is an odd mix of blue collar social conservatives and wealthier social liberals – both groups that don’t match up well with either major party candidate. Hagel opposes McCain’s foreign policy stance, especially when it comes to Iraq, so it’s no surprise that he isn’t endorsing McCain.

  • Amanda,
    It depends on your definition of conservatism. As Ron Paul dutifully points out, the Republican brand of conservatism used to include a non-interventionist foreign policy. That had been the purview of the Democrats.

    What’s happened is that since 2002, the Republican party has tied its election strategy to war, war and more war. What they didn’t count on, and what they’re paying for now, is that these wars would become unpopular. I think it’s only appropriate they pay a very heavy price for using a grave matter like war as an election season sledgehammer.

  • DLS

    Re Maryland, an example of northeastern liberalism (though New England is a more stark example — Collins, Snowe, Chafee are liberals in Republican drag).

    Montgomery County, Maryland (one place I’ve lived before) has at least one Republican who was bitterly opposed to the long-and-badly-needed freeway from Rockville-Gaithersburg-Germantown over to Dullas across the Potomac River.

    For all I know, Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe (both northeastern liberals in Republican drag), or Lincoln Chafee or Arlen Specter (ditto) would be considered too conservative to be elected to office there.

  • DLS

    (Dulles, not “dullas” or with an extra S at the end as some would refer to our current president)

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