U.S. Sen. John McCain said Monday that he has “no confidence” in Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld…
“I have strenuously argued for larger troop numbers in Iraq, including the right kind of troops — linguists, special forces, civil affairs, etc.,” said McCain, R-Arizona. “There are very strong differences of opinion between myself and Secretary Rumsfeld on that issue.”
When asked if Rumsfeld was a liability to the Bush administration, McCain responded: “The president can decide that, not me.”
Regardless of how you feel about Secretary Rumsfeld, he is quite popular among the GOP base. And it is the GOP’s conservative base who votes in Republican primaries, and therefore decides who will be the GOP’s nominee. It is not the media, or Democrats, or moderates, or Independents, or any other McCain-loving constituency that decides such matters.
Possibility: McCain loses some early Republican primaries rather badly in 2008. He then quits the party and runs as an Independent with a moderate Democrat (like Joe Lieberman or Evan Bayh) as his running-mate. Hillary easily becomes the Democrat nominee.
So: Rudy vs. McCain vs. Hillary in 2008? It could happen…
(BTW, I’d probably vote for McCain in such a situation, though with little enthusiasm…)