Morris, columnist, New York Post
& president, Vote.com
I do not think that McCain will leave the GOP this year.
I think that there is little for him to gain and much for him to
lose in the animosity of Republicans. He is pro-life, anti-tax,
and basically a conservative, so there is no reason to leave.
do believe that McCain may become an independent and run for president
in 2004 against Bush. I think that he would have a very good chance
to win in that event. Bush is drifting too far to the right and
the Democratic field is very weak. The thing about McCain is, once
he takes a lead, he'll be hard to dislodge with the kinds of negatives
that brought Perot down. He's been through a race already and his
background well vetted and with his war-hero record, it will be
hard to attack him personally.
not any Democrat, is the big threat for Bush in 2004.
Smith, editor-in-chief, New
I have about as much respect for John McCain as I do for David Bonior.
Yes, I think he'll leave the GOP: The timing will be determined
by his ego and need for further media attention. President Bush
ought to monitor McCain's various acts of betrayal, but not be consumed
by him. He has as much control over McCain as he does over the New
York Times or the Washington Post. There is an upside:
If McCain decides to run for president, perhaps he'll hire David
Brooks, the "conservative" Gail Sheehy of his generation, and thus
take this awful journalist out of public circulation.
Washington editor, National Review
Now that newly liberated Minority Leader Trent Lott no longer has
to cater to his whims, the odds are that John McCain, fueled by
anger and envy, will bolt the GOP. Sen. McCain is convinced that
an inferior man cheated him out of last year's nomination, and John
McCain can't allow the media adulation Jim Jeffords enjoyed following
his defection to cut into his base. If hero status was conferred
on the "media shy" Jeffords, just imagine the reception that awaits
McCain when he throws off the shackles of a Republican party that
doesn't deserve him.
Once Sen. McCain goes Independent, the McCainiacs will get to work
defining George Bush as a failure, to lay the ground for a 2004
challenge. The sooner McCain makes his switch, the better for the
GOP. Republicans can then stop pretending he is a valued member
of their team, and conservatives will have plenty of time to appreciate
that there's nothing conservative about the Arizona senator.
Mark R. Levin,
a former Reagan administration official
Will John McCain leave the Republican party? Well, let's see if
the man is worth having in the first place. He's a politician of
average wits and a rapacious ego, who has an obsessive-compulsive
need to trash conservatives in order to curry favor with an adoring
liberal media. He voted against President Bush's tax cut, the keystone
of the administration's economic program. Yet, McCain joins Ted
Kennedy in promoting national health care, supports Joe Lieberman
in advancing gun control, and teams with Russ Feingold in advocating
speech control. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, John McCain is
an immodest man with much to be modest about. But, if the Democrats
are so enamored with McCain, I assume there's room in their "big
tent" to accommodate him.