The top and bottom of last year's Republican ticket represent the recent failed past and future potential of the party. Both are vying for party leadership, but the past should get out of the future's way.[# More #]
Sen. John McCain is, as Politico noted last week, "working behind-the-scenes to reshape the Republican Party in his own center-right image." The loser of last year's run for the White House is recruiting candidates, raising money and campaigning for them, and even taking sides in GOP Senate, House and gubernatorial primaries.Read the full editorial here.
Some people apparently need a hook to exit the stage. McCain's personal story is one of the most compelling in America, but as a politician, he leaves much to be desired.....
The McCain campaign does have one positive legacy, however: It made Sarah Palin a national figure.
The former Alaska governor, already popular among grass-roots Republicans, is growing in credibility. Her much-criticized decision to resign the governorship is beginning to look like a move that made perfect sense — not just for herself but for Alaskans — in the face of the long knives the Democrats had ready for her as a sitting chief executive.
Palin is becoming a bold, principled voice on issues ranging from the global war on terror to financial markets. "Now is not the time for cold feet, second thoughts, or indecision," she said regarding White House skittishness on Afghanistan.
She has warned that "we're ignoring the looming crisis caused by our dependence on foreign oil," arguing that America will be at foreign powers' "mercy if they decide to dump the dollar as their trade currency."
Democrats are apoplectic about her charge that their health care revolution will mean "death panels" — but she touched the nerve of instinctive American distrust of government, which is why Democrats find they can't stop talking about it.
The supposedly unsophisticated Palin is being advised by some impressive heavyweights. Randy Scheunemann, for instance, has been a foreign policy and national security adviser to prominent Republicans ranging from McCain to Sen. Bob Dole and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. He has also represented and advised the pro-free market government of the Republic of Georgia, which is struggling against Russian aggression.
Another sometime adviser to Palin is Ford Motor Co. executive Stephen Biegun, a member of President George W. Bush's National Security Council. Biegun advised former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and was chief of staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under the late Sen. Jesse Helms.
Biegun, who helped with Palin's Hong Kong speech last month and was her chief foreign policy aide during last year's campaign, told Investor's Business Daily that the former governor showed "great passion for foreign policy and national security" during the campaign, calling it "an area on which she has great instincts."
She's "free-trade oriented," he says, with "a strong sense of the importance of American leadership in the world."
That sounds like the kind of candidate McCain is now doing his best to defeat around the country. As Palin grows in stature , it would be a good idea for McCain to let some air out of that ego — and accept the defeat he was handed at the ballot box last year.