Thursday, December 27, 2007

McCain: The Unity Candidate

I've been floating the idea that McCain may be the only candidate capable of unifying the Republican coalition, particularly if he can find a way of mending fences with the evangelical conservatives. One of the ways he's been doing this has been by cultivating a good relationship with Huckabee; I've suggested that Huckabee would even make a wise choice as VP candidate, politically speaking, should McCain somehow pull off the nomination.

In the NY Daily News, James Kirchick points to another surprising way in which McCain is mending fences with evangelicals: the Lieberman endorsement. This is of course, counterintuitive: Lieberman is a Jewish Democrat from Connecticut- how could he possibly help McCain mend fences with evangelical Christian Republicans from the Bible Belt?

But according to Kirchick, that is precisely what is happening:

Lieberman's endorsement makes only 15% of independents more likely to vote for McCain, yet it persuades 25% of Republicans.

Just as Lieberman's obvious comfort talking about religious faith irritates many on the left, it endears him to evangelical Christians, as does his campaign against violence and sex in movies and video games.

The McCain comeback is looking stronger every day, isn't it?