So here are the reasons I think John McCain will be the Republican nominee for President:
- Republicans want to win -- The GOP rank and file, if given the choice between an unelectable pure candidate and John McCain, they will pick John McCain.
- Republicans pick the candidate whose "time" it is -- Republicans tend to pick candidates who put in the hours. In 1960, Richard Nixon was nominated as he was Ike's loyal vice president. In 1980, it was Reagan's time, having help revitalize the conservative movement. In 1988, Bush was Reagan's loyal vice president. In 1996, Bob Dole, having put in the time in 1976, 1980, and 1988. So that gets us to 2008. Unlike past years, there is no establishment or movement candidate. The closest you get is John McCain, who ran in 2000 and has put in his time.
- The other major candidates have too many flaws -- Mitt Romney is now seen as too much of a flip flopper. Rudy Giuliani has some political positions that will be difficult to mesh with the GOP base. Fred Thompson, after a at times comes across as an actor playing Fred Thompson.
- The GOP wants a warrior as president -- McCain is a warrior, something lacking in our current political class. Given the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the GOP base wants a warrior as a president at this time.
The next test is the FEC money reports due early in October. McCain did not do well in the money primary. The report may turn out to be a disaster and he will be announcing his withdrawal soon. But I doubt it -- if he can hold on monetarily until January, he will be the GOP nominee.