The road to the White House is going to be a difficult one for John McCain. In poll after poll of loyal Republicans, I see him seriously trailing. But perhaps conservatives will embarce his particular brand of politics.
In South Carolina, one obstacle was particularly galling for McCain in ’00. He basically split the veterans’ vote with George W. Bush. One major reason was Maj. General Stan Spears, the chief of the state’s National Guard forces and the man who almost single-handedly convinced thousands of veterans to vote for Bush. Tonight, that obstacle is unblocked. At a fundraiser in Columbia, SC, Spears said publicly he will support McCain if he runs in ’08.
The timing was a surprise, even to McCain’s aides. Spears was a private supporter — one of many — but he intended to wait until after the November elections to come out on McCain’s behalf. Spears is admired and is said to informally command an army of loyal foot soldiers. As a practical matter, his validation of McCain should ease the doubts of many McCain doubters.
And yet…2008 is so far away…
However, can Rudy really steal SC from McCain? Highly doubtful.