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McCain shares TRís wooing ways
The Hill ^ | 11/30/05 | David Hill

Posted on 11/29/2005 8:59:47 PM PST by Jean S

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore, John McCain spoke about two things that should frighten Republicans and Democrats alike: Teddy Roosevelt and Bull Moose.

Although Moore recounts that McCain characterized Roosevelt’s bolting to the Progressive Party (popularly called the Bull Moose Party) in 1912 as “a mistake,” it’s not clear whether McCain felt the mistake was Roosevelt’s or the Republican Party’s.

Whatever McCain’s analysis of that almost-century-old mess, there can be no denying some of the close parallels between McCain and TR and between the partisan alignments of then and now. The Republicans were seen as strictly a party of “haves,” while the Democrats were a party of “have-nots.” Sound familiar? The Republicans were viewed as protectors of big business, whereas the Democrats were perceived as proponents of workers. That does sound familiar, doesn’t it?

The parallel that interests me most, though, is that the parties of Roosevelt’s era seemed so self-satisfied. Party platforms were tailored mostly to satisfy their respective base constituents. There was little or no interest in wooing nonaligned voters to one or the other party. Independent-minded voters were dished up a heaping of partisan proposals and expected to eat the Democrat or Republican stew, even if neither was particularly tasty.

Some diners balked. Wisconsin Republican Bob Lafollette was disgruntled enough with the Republican menu to initiate a reform movement. It’s important to recall that Lafollette didn’t immediately start a new party. Instead, he formed the National Republican Progressive League as a movement for change within the Republican Party. Only later did the Progressives evolve from movement to party.

I’m no Roosevelt scholar, for sure, but I have read some of his speeches and I’m interested that he most often spoke to voters of his alignment with a progressive “movement” rather than the Progressive Party per se. He never seemed to reject the people in the Republican Party; he was repelled only by the party bosses that, in Roosevelt’s words, “stole the nomination and wrecked the Republican Party for good and all.” But TR made plain that he had no beef with ordinary Republicans.

What’s remarkable, and should be a lesson for all Republicans, is that Roosevelt made appeals to all sorts of voters, attempting to win them to his cause.

In one 1912 speech in Wisconsin, he said: “Now, friends, what we progressives are trying to do is enroll rich and poor, whatever social or industrial position, to stand together for the most elementary rights of good citizenship.”

This is simple yet powerful rhetoric when compared to today’s speeches. Can you recall any Republican or Democrat overtly calling both the rich and poor to join their ranks? Some politicians talk around such themes today, but almost none directly tries to woo Americans of every social standing. I suppose they worry that everyone might actually join their party and then there’d be problems reconciling the differences. So mainly, parties just keep dancing with the ones that brought them.

In a day and age when other giant and historic institutions stand on the brink of bankruptcy (GM), irrelevance (AT&T, until SBC rescued the name) or outright oblivion (think of Pan Am or Eastern Airlines), it’s surprising to me that our two major political parties take their existence for granted and adopt such a lackadaisical attitude toward voters. Unless they do a better job of winning over voters, they could drive populists like McCain from their ranks. And that could spawn replacement parties.

Like Roosevelt, McCain seems to have a sense for the need to woo others to his ideas. He’s inclusive in his outlook. Those qualities alone shouldn’t mean that McCain is awarded the Republican nomination. But Republicans should look, learn and listen when McCain speaks. And be respectful of his contribution, win or lose, lest Republicans drive him down the path Roosevelt was forced to tread long ago.

Hill is director of Hill Research Consultants, a Texas-based firm that has polled for GOP candidates and causes since 1988.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: mccaine; teddyroosevelt

1 posted on 11/29/2005 8:59:48 PM PST by Jean S
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To: JeanS

PULLLEEEZZZEEE! McLame is no Rough Rider!


2 posted on 11/29/2005 9:03:35 PM PST by RasterMaster ("Bin Laden shows others the road to Paradise, but never offers to go along for the ride." GWB)
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To: JeanS

When Republicans truely listen to John "Campaign Reform" McCain they will deserve massive defeat. Moderates will be the death of the Republican party.


3 posted on 11/29/2005 9:06:06 PM PST by stocksthatgoup (Polls = Proof that when the MSM want your opinion it will give it to you.)
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To: JeanS
-down the path Roosevelt was forced to tread long ago.--

--that path gave the world Woodrow Wilson---one of the most horrible mistakes the voters ever made--

4 posted on 11/29/2005 9:06:24 PM PST by rellimpank (Don't believe anything about firearms or explosives stated by the mass media---NRABenefactor)
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To: JeanS
"Unless they do a better job of winning over voters, they could drive populists like McCain from their ranks. And that could spawn replacement parties."

HHMMMMMMMMMMMM

5 posted on 11/29/2005 9:10:20 PM PST by goodnesswins (We would have WON in Vietnam, without Dim interference.)
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To: JeanS

6 posted on 11/29/2005 9:12:19 PM PST by mirkwood (Atlantic Brewing Company)
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To: JeanS


7 posted on 11/29/2005 9:14:03 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Bull Moose?

Well, he got it half right..... Bull something.

I knew Teddy Roosevelt, and you, Mr. McCain are no Teddy Roosevelt....:-)

You are not even a Brian Keith who played TR in the excellent film "The Wind and the Lion".


8 posted on 11/29/2005 9:15:02 PM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: JeanS

I have looked. I have listened. No way.


9 posted on 11/29/2005 9:19:45 PM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: LegendHasIt

They're both horrible socialists.


10 posted on 11/29/2005 9:20:11 PM PST by AlexandriaDuke
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To: AlexandriaDuke
Far from it. I believe that you are confusing Teddy with FDR, who was truly a horrible Socialist.
11 posted on 11/29/2005 9:35:14 PM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: bill1952

A populist can be just as bad or worse than a socialist.


12 posted on 11/29/2005 9:38:17 PM PST by Minus_The_Bear
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To: JeanS
Teddy Roosevelt was a much loved president and ex-president. He was also a war hero and adventurer.

And still he lost, when he went fringe party!

McLame is HATED by the GOP base, his father-in-law has mob ties, McNasty is a known crook ( the Keating 5 ), his showing in the '00 presidential primary was NOT good, he's old, he has cancer that keeps coming back, and if you need me to list any more of McQueeg's negatives, I'll gladly comply.

The lefties in the MSM LOVE McCrackers, but he'd never get their vote, so he's grossly stupid if he thinks he has any chance of doing well on the '08 presidential primary.

13 posted on 11/29/2005 9:48:02 PM PST by nopardons
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To: rellimpank

Exactly so.


14 posted on 11/29/2005 9:48:51 PM PST by nopardons
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To: Minus_The_Bear

Perhaps, but TR was a giant among men.

McCain isn't even a pale shadow of that.


15 posted on 11/29/2005 9:58:42 PM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: JeanS
The parallel that interests me most, though, is that the parties of Roosevelt’s era seemed so self-satisfied. Party platforms were tailored mostly to satisfy their respective base constituents. There was little or no interest in wooing nonaligned voters to one or the other party. Independent-minded voters were dished up a heaping of partisan proposals and expected to eat the Democrat or Republican stew, even if neither was particularly tasty.

Would someone tell me what world this fool lives in?

Has not the discussion been about CONSERVATIVE backlash the last few months? Miers? Immigration? ANWR? Patriot Act being continued? Tax cuts made permanent? Borders? Lack of SPINE in favor of Dem/MSM appeasement?

It's fascinating to get insight into the mind of a McCain-ite, but terrifying at the same time.

As to not courting others, LOL!!! This President had Dems like Koch and Zell Miller, polar opposites, supporting him last year. the Party has specifically reach out to minorities, big outreach to the black community.

Here's the bottom line. I am not voting for McCain unless Lucifer steps up on the Dem ballot. Isn't going to happen. I'll suffer a Liberal for four years to keep that loose cannon from having his finger on the nuke button.

The base will do everything in its power to unite to keep him OFF that ballot. I think we'll probably succeed, though I grant we'll have the MSM against us. No biggie, since most of us despise them. As well we'll have Dems/Indy's trying to sabotage our primaries by voting for a candidate to win our ballot that they know will lose. We'll still outnumber them as we did in 2000. Nor will Mort Kondrake's nonexistent moderate army rise up to win the nom for him. McCain will lose one way or another.

This leaves two options. Compete as a Dem or bolt the Party. He's not going to compete as a Dem. If TR is his Idol he's going solo if he leaves. BTW, if he left I'm throwing a huge Party to celebrate the departure the King of all RINO's.

He runs third way, expect the more moderate/sane Liberals in the DEMOCRAT Party to split for him. Expect the Rockefellar's to split for him. What is the end result? Conservatives outnumber Liberals. Conservatives outnumber the Koch's and moderate Dems. So long as we like our candidate, MCCAIN LOSES. So does the Dem.

Play Over.

16 posted on 11/29/2005 10:15:29 PM PST by Soul Seeker (Mr. President: It is now time to turn over the money changers' tables.)
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To: JeanS

McCain THINKS he popular because the media fawns over him. But they only do it because McCain's so willing to bad-mouth the admin or Bush. McCain is not even 1/10th as popular as the media tries to make people believe he is.

He will NOT win the nomination! And .. if he tries to take off with another party, he will end up like Buchanan.


17 posted on 11/29/2005 10:30:28 PM PST by CyberAnt ( I believe Congressman Curt Weldon re Able Danger)
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To: JeanS
"McCain shares TR’s wooing ways"
In his own mind.
Look as much of a pain in the ash as he has been, we should all hope he doesn't run. If that happens the real stories of the Hanoi Hilton will come out. Of course I was not there, but for a long time there has been talk of stories that don't fit his "recollection".
18 posted on 11/30/2005 5:54:07 AM PST by jmaroneps37 (We will never murtha to the terrorists. Bring home the troops means bring home the war.)
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