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Mehlman, Rove boost McCain campaign
Capitol News Company ^ | 03/07/2008 | David Paul Kuhn

Posted on 03/08/2008 6:55:07 AM PST by OnRiver

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Mehlman, Rove boost McCain campaign By: David Paul Kuhn March 8, 2008 08:37 AM EST

John McCain is getting much more than President Bush's endorsement and fundraising help for his campaign. He’s getting Bush's staff.

It’s no secret that Steve Schmidt, Bush’s attack dog in the 2004 election, and Mark McKinnon, the president’s media strategist, are performing similar functions for McCain now.

But other big-name Bushies are lining up to boost McCain, too.

Ken Mehlman, who ran Bush’s 2004 campaign, is now serving as an unpaid, outside adviser to the Arizona Republican. Karl Rove, the president’s top political hand since his Texas days, recently gave money to McCain and soon after had a private conversation with the senator. A top McCain adviser said both Mehlman and Rove are now informally advising the campaign. Rove refused to detail his conversation with McCain.

The list could grow longer. Dan Bartlett, formerly a top aide in the Bush White House, and Sara Taylor, the erstwhile Bush political adviser, said they are eager to provide any assistance and advice possible to McCain.

Rove explained that he and McCain “got to know each other during the 2004 campaign.” In a separate interview, Mehlman noted that “McCain was completely loyal to the president in 2004 and worked incredibly hard to help him get elected.” According to Taylor, “The Bush Republicans here in town are excited for John McCain.”

Despite the president’s low approval ratings, there are clear benefits to this cozy relationship with the Bush team. They are seasoned operatives with a track record of winning back-to-back national elections in tough political environments. But there are obvious drawbacks. First and foremost, any association with the Bush administration helps Democrats make their case that McCain represents a clear extension of an unpopular presidency.

Spotlight reveals Obama camp missteps A tough spring ahead for McCain? Plouffe questions Clinton's openness One of those making that argument is Matt Dowd, Bush’s chief strategist in 2004.

“[McCain] has sided himself so closely to the administration, especially on Iraq, now having various Bush advisers — that doesn’t sit well with the public,” said Dowd, who has recently broken with the Bush inner circle. “The public wants the non-Bush candidate.”

Dowd also argued that he believes that the proximity of Bush’s advisers could lead McCain to a strategic mistake: refighting the 2004 campaign. “There is a real danger of that,” Dowd added. “And I think some of the things John McCain has done, and how he’s done it, has been a fight or a battle that’s gone. I don’t think this is going to be a terrorism election or a national security election.”

The McCain adviser said Dowd's concern is unwarranted, pointing to the campaign’s belief that the economy will play a far greater role in the 2008 race than in 2004's.

That hasn’t stopped Democrats from seizing upon the Bush-McCain axis. When Bush and McCain met at the White House on Wednesday, a Democratic leaning group aired an ad that day in the swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio titled “McSame,” attacking McCain as a Bush clone with similar policies on taxes, health care and the war in Iraq. The Democratic National Committee quickly posted a video of the news conference on its website. Beneath the video, it read that McCain would carry on Bush’s “failed economic and foreign policies.”

The McCain campaign, for its part, has been coy about how — or whether — the senator will distance himself from the president.

McCain said that he intended to campaign with Bush but quickly added a caveat: only “as it fits into his busy schedule.” The scheduling disclaimer followed each of the five times — in the 10-minute press conference — that McCain invited Bush to join him on the trail.

For now, said a senior adviser to McCain who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the “the No. 1 strategic goal” was “to solidify the base of the party.” A strong majority of Republicans continue to approve of the president.

Yet independents and Democrats do not share Republicans' approval of Bush. And former Bush aides recognize the political exigencies surrounding the McCain-Bush relationship.

“We agree on far more than we disagree on,” Bartlett said. “Everybody will do everything they can to help. And if part of being helpful means [to] stay away, I’m sure people will stay away.”

At the moment, McCain’s campaign seems to believe Bush’s assistance is more valuable than not. But the McCain adviser noted that, down the road, the campaign will “reinforce that [McCain] is an independent.”

TM & © THE POLITICO & POLITICO.COM, a division of Allbritton

1 posted on 03/08/2008 6:55:08 AM PST by OnRiver
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To: OnRiver

Was anyone else thinking “Larry Bud? I thought he was dead? Wouldn’t be much of an endorsement anyway.”

Is Ken much of an endorsement? He’s really a back office guy.


2 posted on 03/08/2008 6:59:27 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: OnRiver

I’ll take a Rove over a Dowd anyday.


3 posted on 03/08/2008 7:01:18 AM PST by mimaw
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To: OnRiver
I don’t think this is going to be a terrorism election or a national security election.”

It should be

But the majority of voters have their heads up their butts when it comes to security issues
4 posted on 03/08/2008 7:05:25 AM PST by uncbob
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To: OnRiver

If McCain does manage to pull a come-from-behind victory over Hillary/Obama (and you have to consider him the underdog due to financing, width and depth of support, national mood, etc) it will be so lovely, the sound of all that wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout the land at the thought of: another 4 years with Rove!


5 posted on 03/08/2008 7:07:53 AM PST by samtheman
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To: FreedomPoster

tagline BTTT


6 posted on 03/08/2008 7:11:05 AM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (Senator McCain, what did GWB promise you back in 2000? And you believed him? BWAHAAAAA!)
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To: OnRiver

7 posted on 03/08/2008 7:12:10 AM PST by mirkwood (Good gun control is a sharp eye and a steady hand)
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To: OnRiver

8 posted on 03/08/2008 7:13:23 AM PST by mirkwood (Good gun control is a sharp eye and a steady hand)
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To: samtheman

Yes, I agree. I would love to see the man win. I think it starts with all of us here giving him a chance. Let’s look from now to the future. I think when you see the man, where he started and where he is now, you have to be impressed. I would rather have seen someone like Romney in office as the govt needs a financial shakeup, but McCain can get good people around him.

I don’t think there is any chance for Hillary to beat him, I don’t care what Ann Coulter says. In fact, Ann, if you’re reading this, Joe McCarthy would roll in his grave if he heard you say that you’re voting for Hillary. Have you forgotton what you’ve written and said for the past five years about liberals?

John McCain is NOT a liberal, and the more the occasional FR out here says he is, the sillier they look.


9 posted on 03/08/2008 7:22:01 AM PST by nikos1121 (I'm voting for McCain...and fixin' to get excited about it.)
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To: mirkwood

comic book intelligence ...


10 posted on 03/08/2008 7:28:04 AM PST by OnRiver
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To: OnRiver

According to Taylor, “The Bush Republicans here in town are excited for John McCain.”

Both of them?


11 posted on 03/08/2008 7:31:45 AM PST by Son House (The Democrat's High Tax Rates Suppress American Freedom, Opportunity and Jobs..)
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To: samtheman
Rove is a legend in his own mind. He almost lost the 2004 election despite having an incumbent, wartime President, in good economic times running against the most liberal senator from the most liberal state in the country and with a ton of personal baggage, including his phony war record and traitorous antiwar activities. If it weren't for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Bush would have lost.

Rove's legacy is the loss of the Rep Congress and a fractured Rep party due to Rove's pushing amnesty and calling those of us opposed as nativists and bigots. Rove has been a disaster for the Rep party.

12 posted on 03/08/2008 7:34:49 AM PST by kabar
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To: OnRiver

Rove & Mehlman are on board? Whew! I feel so much better now. /sarc


13 posted on 03/08/2008 7:37:27 AM PST by alicewonders (The Republican Party - gettin' stupider and stupider.)
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To: TitansAFC; meandog; onyx; MARTIAL MONK; Kuksool; freespirited; Salvation; furquhart; mossyoaks; ...
Bringing the big guns aboard!

The McCain List.
14 posted on 03/08/2008 7:41:51 AM PST by Norman Bates (Freepmail me to be part of the McCain List!)
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To: OnRiver

McKinnon has got to go. His comments about not attacking Obama were disgusting. McCain doesn’t need someone who buys all the Messiah crap on his staff.


15 posted on 03/08/2008 7:54:34 AM PST by montag813
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To: FreedomPoster

Larry Bud was great with the Celtics.


16 posted on 03/08/2008 7:58:50 AM PST by MARTIAL MONK (I'm waiting for the POP!)
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To: kabar
Thank you.

Your post was spot on.

17 posted on 03/08/2008 8:06:13 AM PST by SIDENET (Hubba Hubba...)
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To: OnRiver

Now that Ken Mehlman is officially on board, I sincerely hope John McCain gets clobbered in November. I don’t even care any more.


18 posted on 03/08/2008 8:26:05 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: uncbob

But the majority of voters have their heads up their butts when it comes to security issues

A lot of people also think that security issues start at the border, my friend.
And a majority of McCain supporters have their heads up their butts about that, as well.


19 posted on 03/08/2008 8:26:49 AM PST by bill1952 (I will vote for McCain if he resigns his Senate seat before this election.)
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To: TommyDale

I have officially resigned from the Republican Party and have officially become an Independent.


20 posted on 03/08/2008 8:27:46 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: FreedomPoster

Mehlman is a “back orifice guy”? Thats downright funny.

He is one of the things that is all wrong with the GOP.


21 posted on 03/08/2008 8:28:29 AM PST by dforest
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To: nikos1121
>John McCain is NOT a liberal, and the more the occasional FR out here says he is, the sillier they look.

John McCain is NOT a conservative either, and the more the occasional FR out here says he is, the sillier they look.

Hillary will beat him like a drum if she is the nominee.

22 posted on 03/08/2008 8:29:15 AM PST by bill1952 (I will vote for McCain if he resigns his Senate seat before this election.)
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To: TommyDale

then don’t post....sounds logical doesn’t it.


23 posted on 03/08/2008 8:31:28 AM PST by OnRiver
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To: indylindy
"Mehlman is a “back orifice guy”? Thats downright funny.

He is one of the things that is all wrong with the GOP."

Ken Mehlman is a Log Cabin Republican who undermined the GOP more than any other single person.

24 posted on 03/08/2008 8:32:41 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: OnRiver; TommyDale

OR, who made you posting police on a conservative forum?

I believe those that support McCain are the square peg in the round hole.


25 posted on 03/08/2008 8:33:58 AM PST by dforest
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To: bill1952

why would you want him to resign his senate seat then the democratic governor would replace him and we loose a vote in the Senate? you don’t make sense ....conservatives are supposed to have brains.


26 posted on 03/08/2008 8:34:09 AM PST by OnRiver
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To: OnRiver; indylindy; Liz; calcowgirl
"...then don’t post....sounds logical doesn’t it."

I have been here longer than you, and I am certainly more of a conservative than you. I will continue to post the anti-McCain materials as I see fit, it is my right to free speech. Oh, I forgot -- McCain doesn't like that, does he?

27 posted on 03/08/2008 8:35:23 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: kabar
>Rove has been a disaster for the Rep party

I don't think that you can lay all of that on Rove.
The country's voters are changing, and they certainly aren't getting more brilliant.
Not that I am supporting Rove, you understand, just that I think that the current direction of the GOP (LEFT) is 100% wrong if they are really concerning about winning elections.

But, you see, I don't think that this is their primary concern anymore.
I think that their primary concern is an agenda, and that agenda does not include principled conservatives at all.

Given the evidence of the past few years, that is a conclusion that has become more clear, at least to me.

28 posted on 03/08/2008 8:35:53 AM PST by bill1952 (I will vote for McCain if he resigns his Senate seat before this election.)
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To: indylindy; Liz; calcowgirl

These McCain RINOs think they will come here and force us all to vote for the maniac. Ain’t gonna happen.


29 posted on 03/08/2008 8:36:39 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: OnRiver
"why would you want him to resign his senate seat then the democratic governor would replace him and we loose a vote in the Senate? you don’t make sense ....conservatives are supposed to have brains."

I would like to see him waterboarded.

30 posted on 03/08/2008 8:37:42 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: indylindy

well gosh how can anyone argue with those bits of wisdom. Like 70% on this forum are going to vote for McCAIN...now what were you saying about a conservative forum? Do you deadenders think before emoting this isn’t Huffington Post...


31 posted on 03/08/2008 8:38:44 AM PST by OnRiver
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To: TommyDale

bravely spoken


32 posted on 03/08/2008 8:39:50 AM PST by OnRiver
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To: OnRiver

Haven’t they done enough to destroy the GOP?

Take a vacation, guys.


33 posted on 03/08/2008 8:41:12 AM PST by B Knotts (Calvin Coolidge Republican)
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To: TommyDale; OnRiver; calcowgirl
"...then don’t post....sounds logical doesn’t it."

OR, Logical would mean not trying to somhow convince yourself McCain is a conservative.

Conservatives have an understanding of the Constitution and would never try to undermine the guarantees granted within it. McCain seems to have a perverse understanding of the reason for the Constitution.

Maybe McCain merely has it confused with Constipation, which is common in someone long in the tooth.

34 posted on 03/08/2008 8:42:53 AM PST by dforest
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To: OnRiver

The polls here are not scientific polls and you know it.


35 posted on 03/08/2008 8:44:06 AM PST by dforest
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To: OnRiver; indylindy; Liz; calcowgirl
"...70% on this forum are going to vote for McCAIN..."

Let's get this straight: The people here who are saying they would vote for McCain are really voting AGAINST the Democrat, not FOR McCain. Big difference. That other 30% are conservatives with principles that cannot be compromised. Get it?

36 posted on 03/08/2008 8:44:28 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: OnRiver
you don’t make sense ....conservatives are supposed to have brains.

You don't see it - perhaps you don't have brains?

Lookie here: If McCain - and you truly believe that this is the guy who is going to lead us to victory in 08, then he is going to vacate that seat upon ascending to POTUS.

So with that scenario the issue is moot.

If you - and he - do not actually believe that McCain is going to win, then withdraw NOW. - Why run if you don't believe that you are going to win and achieve victory for us?
A beauty contest?? - No, this is for all of the marbles, so put up or go back to the Senate.

As far as him losing the election and being replaced for a couple of years by a dem... well, other than caucus numbers, who will really notice besides his buddy Kennedy?

37 posted on 03/08/2008 8:44:37 AM PST by bill1952 (I will vote for McCain if he resigns his Senate seat before this election.)
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To: OnRiver

Is this the Rove who led Republicans to a popular vote loss in 2000, and a small margin of victory against one of the worst candidates the democrats have fielded in 2004?

Golly, 2008 should be...interesting.


38 posted on 03/08/2008 8:45:02 AM PST by Mr Rogers (Let's win Congress - the Presidency is lost!)
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To: OnRiver
For true Reagan conservatives, we are in a lose-lose situation.

If Juan "no borders" Mcnasty wins in November, surely he will discard conservatives & conservative principles even faster than he has in the recent past.

If barry hussein or hellry wins, they will shred America of any remaining conservative principles for their marxist fascism.

sigh.

39 posted on 03/08/2008 8:46:47 AM PST by newfreep ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." - P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: kabar

Rove has been to Republicans what Bill Clinton has been to Democrats.


40 posted on 03/08/2008 8:46:51 AM PST by Mr Rogers (Let's win Congress - the Presidency is lost!)
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To: kabar

spot on


41 posted on 03/08/2008 8:46:55 AM PST by Guenevere (If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.)
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To: bill1952

you want him to resign so the seat will go to a democrate ....did you fall on your head....


42 posted on 03/08/2008 8:51:44 AM PST by OnRiver
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To: kabar

Great post. Thanks for the clear analysis.

Rove’s sterling work in the disastrous 2006 elections is another reason I flip past the channel when he comes on the TV.


43 posted on 03/08/2008 8:53:37 AM PST by exit82 (People get the government they deserve. And they are about to get it--in spades.)
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To: newfreep
For true Reagan conservatives, we are in a lose-lose situation.
do you know anything about Reagans record ....saying you are a Reagan conservative with all your vile goes against Reagans 2 important rules. We are all Americans after 5pm and never speak ill of a fellow republican...you flunk both test...
44 posted on 03/08/2008 8:55:54 AM PST by OnRiver
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To: nikos1121

“John McCain is NOT a liberal, and the more the occasional FR out here says he is, the sillier they look.”

That, in itself, is a pretty silly statement. The evidence is there for anyone with open eyes. McLoser is a supporter of amnesty, global warming, and for abridging free speech.

Those are not conservative values.


45 posted on 03/08/2008 8:56:25 AM PST by exit82 (People get the government they deserve. And they are about to get it--in spades.)
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To: OnRiver
"you want him to resign so the seat will go to a democrate ....did you fall on your head...."

Why not? It is evident McCain has suffered some sort of permanent brain damage.

46 posted on 03/08/2008 8:58:07 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: OnRiver

The Arizona governor is obliged to appoint a Republican Senator to replace McCain, should he resign his seat.


47 posted on 03/08/2008 8:58:16 AM PST by exit82 (People get the government they deserve. And they are about to get it--in spades.)
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To: OnRiver
"do you know anything about Reagans record"

Do you know anything about Conservatism?

48 posted on 03/08/2008 8:59:24 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: TommyDale

straight? from you....hardly...you just bitch and gripe with no real conviction except hate...


49 posted on 03/08/2008 9:00:07 AM PST by OnRiver
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To: samtheman

I just love the thought. Can you imagine another 4 years of Rove associated with a Republican administration? And we all thought they were bat$hit nutty now? You just wait...


50 posted on 03/08/2008 9:01:15 AM PST by KC_Conspirator
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