Friday, May 9, 2008

Does McCain Help?

USA Today raises the issue:

Republicans have 23 Senate seats to defend in the fall, and four incumbents — Sununu, Susan Collins of Maine, Gordon Smith of Oregon and Norm Coleman of Minnesota — are among the most vulnerable.


Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the non-partisan Cook Political Report, said the deciding factor for GOP incumbents in November could be whether Democrats can succeed in efforts to "morph McCain into George Bush."


Anthony Corrado, professor of government at Colby College, said Allen and the Democratic Party are chipping away at the independent credentials of Collins and McCain by linking them to Bush. "Tom Allen voted against the war and the (Bush) tax cuts from the start," he said.
Yes, her term-long embrace of Bush is a problem for Sen. Collins.

But is her puzzling attachment to Sen. McCain--whose presidential candidacy she endorsed long before he was the presumptive nominee--any less troubling?

Remember, McCain ran the most fervently pro-occupation campaign of all the major GOP candidates, and would be happy for us to stay in Iraq for a hundred years. But Collins, who professes to be looking for ways to reduce our involvement in that country, still wants him to be President.

McCain also wants more Supreme Court justices in the mold of Samuel Alito And Collins, who calls herself pro-choice, still wants him to be President.

Why endorse--and so early--someone you profess to disagree with on the major issues of the day? And how are voters supposed to make sense of these (and many other) self-refuting stances?

These are the kinds of question you'd think an enterprising reporter might want to pose to the junior senator.

UPDATE: Of course, Collins voted for Alito. And that's a topic that deserves further probing as well.

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