After Florida, it looks like John McCain will be the next President of the USA. I suspect Giuliani will be his Vice President pick because Rudy could bring New York, New Jersey and Connecticut with him. If the Democrat has to expend resources protecting that turf, it will be tough for the Dem to win. Plus, Rudy's quitting and endorsing McCain is a huge help going into Super Tuesday.
I think McCain will beat Romney, whose pragmatism makes him seem like "Mr. Plastic," a phony man who says whatever is needed, depending on who he's talking to. (Didn't we get enough of that from Clinton and Bush 41?) McCain, whatever you think of him, comes across as an honest, plainspoken man. At least by politicians' standards. Of all the candidates in both parties, Romney is the one I'd least want to have a beer with. Still, Romney could win if Conservatives rally around him to stop McCain. Romney will have to spend his money -- lots of it.
McCain, if he is the Republican nominee, will beat either Obama or Clinton. McCain loves to flout conservatives, and that maverick streak appeals to independents. This is a shallow criterion by which to measure a candidate, but a great many people give voting little thought. I know an independent who admires McCain, because, in his words, "He seems like a nice guy." And that, apparently, is enough to win an independent's vote.
McCain is the Democrats' worst nightmare. In the end, Republicans will hold their nose and vote for him simply because he doesn't have a D after his name. The Republicans will be energized sometime in October when the Democrats begin playing dirty tricks and attempting to assassinate McCain's character. The Democrat Party is the best thing the Republican Party has going for it! Add legions of independents voting for a candidate who is more their guy than anyone since Perot in 1992, and you have the making of a rout. (Imagine Perot's 19% added to whatever Bush got in '92.)
I believe Republicans are voting for McCain because of his electability. The purpose of political parties, after all, is winning elections.
Robert Tracinski observes in his latest TIA Daily that Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Obama represents a public rebuke of Clinton's cynicism.
This means that the Democrats are now beginning to see their party's primary as a test of their own moral self-image: jaded pragmatists for the Clintons, youthful idealists for Obama. On those terms, how many Democrats—hoping to recapture their party's youthful glory days—will be able to resist Obama?
So the Democrats, a party of collectivists that would happily enslave us all to the welfare state, are voting from idealism. Meanwhile, Republicans, who until recently were known to mumble from time to time in favor of real ideals such as liberty and small government, are voting from a cynical, unprincipled yearning for power. Cue the Yeats line:
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
But that's not exactly apt, as the Republicans are far from the best we have in America.
A McCain nomination might be good for America for two reasons. First, people will better see that the Republican Party is a party of big government and welfare state. Classical liberals and other supporters of free markets and individual liberty will better see that neither party is for them. Second, if an economic crisis hits the next president, be he Democrat or Republican, it will be a little harder to blame it on capitalism.
UPDATE: Slight revision.