Saturday, June 28, 2008

Why conservatives worry about John McCain dept

Peggy Noonan in her most recent column thinks up another reason.
One I hadn't thought of:

"And there is another problem that is bigger than all of that, and he is going to have to think himself through it. And that is that there is a sense about his campaign that . . . John McCain has already got what he wanted, he got what he needed, which was to be top dog in the Republican Party, the party that had abused him in 2000 and cast him aside. They all bow to him now, and he doesn't need anything else. He doesn't need the presidency. He got what he wanted. So now he can coast. This is, in the deepest way, unserious. JFK had to have the presidency—he wanted that thing. Nixon had to have it too, and Reagan had to have it to institute his new way. Clinton had to have it—it was his destiny, the thing he'd wanted since he was a teenager."

She's right. You have to want it--to have that "fire in the belly", as numerous candidates and strategists have called it. Another good example of one who had "it" was Abraham Lincoln. He was a very humble and modest man. But I remember reading how in 1860, when he found out that there were those who thought he had a real shot at the Republican presidential nomination, Lincoln threw his hat in the ring. "The taste is in my mouth a bit," he told a friend; and he went after that nomination, and got it.

We'll know eventually whether the taste is and was truly in John McCain's mouth.