Friday, February 29, 2008

Obama & McCain: The Battle Begins

Some interesting insights from Peter Wehner on last night’s Kudlow & Company. Mr. Wehner worked in the Reagan and both Bush administrations. He is now senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

"...At this point, my own sense is that it’s an uphill struggle for McCain. I think most of the metrics, the underlying factors, favor the Democrats. Whether you’re talking about fundraising, voter turnout, or enthusiasm. There’s some fracturing still on the right with McCain. There’s a huge amount of enthusiasm both for Clinton and Obama.

Now, having said that, McCain is a formidable candidate. And the fact that Hillary Clinton couldn’t hurt Obama doesn’t mean that he can’t be hurt. I think one of the things that limited her was that she wasn’t able to contrast herself with him. Because both Clinton and Obama are essentially liberals. McCain is not. Conservatives tend to win philosophically contrasting, ideologically contrasting, elections. I think McCain should [use this approach].

… Obama is one of the most impressive candidates that I’ve ever seen…he would be hard to attack. But no candidate is flawless. And I think he does have vulnerabilities. I think his chief vulnerability is he’s an orthodox liberal in a nation that’s not. McCain has to make that argument. He needs to make an economic argument, domestic argument and national security argument. As I said earlier, Hillary Clinton didn’t make that line of attack, because she couldn’t. Now it could be that the country is tending liberal, or is liberal, [but] I don’t think that it is. That’s the chief area [where I think Obama is vulnerable.] "