Rich Galen

I don't have any idea that this has actually happened, but I would be surprised if surrogates for Charlie Black (McCain) and Ed Rollins (Huckabee) haven't been on the phone laying down the ground rules for a discussion about what role Huckabee will have in the campaign and what role his delegates will have at the Republican National Convention.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yesterday, John McCain showed confidence and courage by standing before the very group which Rush, Sean, Laura and the rest have been attempting to agitate like a washing machine on steroids against him.

Watching the speech on television - first on Fox then on CNN - it appeared those in attendance appreciated McCain showing up, his willingness to openly speak about their differences, and his recitation of his Conservative creds.

It did not hurt that former Sen. George Allen stood with McCain as he was introduced, thus demonstrating that a favorite of core Conservatives - Allen - was pronouncing McCain satisfactory, acceptable, and … OK by him.

John McCain has nearly nine months to consolidate Republican support behind him. He will, with the aid of other Conservatives, do that.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are going to be duking it out until at least April and maybe all the way to the Democratic National Convention in August - leaving the nominee only a couple of months to accomplish that feat on the Dem side.

The Talk Show Set should get on board and stop doing the work of the New York & Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek and Time.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at