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Can John McCain Save the Republican Brand?
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Can John McCain Save the Republican Brand?

Election 2008

Can John McCain Save the Republican Brand?

Can John McCain Save the Republican Brand?
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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
John McCain

Conservative Republicans wonder whether John McCain can reinvent the party. photocredit hide caption

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On this morning's show, Jim VandeHei of took a look at the state of the Republican brand. And what a picture.

VandeHei says the GOP is in the worst shape with voters that the party has seen since Watergate. The editor spent time recently with Republican governors, looking for a preview of their strategy for the presidential campaign. "It's clear they feel that the one ace in the hole that they still hold is national security and fighting terrorism," he says.

And that brings us to Sen. John McCain, the presumptive nominee and Vietnam war hero. VandeHei says conservative Republicans who dismissed McCain as not Republican enough are now hoping he can reinvent — and reinvigorate — the party. Even if they don't much like the results.



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I'm possibly one of the few people who is not surprised by the Mississippi result. This has been a strategy of the Democratic Congressional Committee under the leadership of Roam Emmanuel since John Kerry lost in 2004.

What lost the presidency for John Kerry in 2004 and what has lost congressional seats for Democrats in rural districts has been abortion. Before 2004, the Democratic Party's leadership love affair for the abortionist trumped its desire to win. After 2004, Roam Emmanuel encouraged (and funded) pro-life Democratics to run against pro-life Republicans. Lo and behold, the pro-life Democrats won, and that trend continues. Pro-life Democrats are the reason that the Democratic Party is the majority party. You're welcome.

Now, if the Democratic Party leadership were to forget this, and start back in the rhetoric of demonizing pro-lifers (are you listening, Obama?), John McCain will have a easy walk to the White House. Mark my words.

Sent by Matthew Scallon | 2:46 PM | 5-19-2008

This big story, that was only reported on NPR, was that the Democrat gave away free tanks of gasoline in the district and that party affiliation was not listed on the ballot in that Mississippi election.

When you got your fill up, you also met a candidate that said he was pro-life pro-gun gave your a hardy handshake and told you his name. All they had to do was to look for it in the booth.

Great campaign but was it legal?

Sent by Zooter | 4:14 PM | 5-19-2008

The John McCain of eight years ago could have saved the Republican party -- the John McCain of 2008, I don't think so.

Sent by Ed | 12:03 PM | 5-20-2008

It would be refreshing to hear a Republican candidate talk about issues that are important to ALL Americans, rather than issues that divide our country. Issues like improving education, helping the elderly and the impoverished, restoring our standing in the world, balacing the budget, having a thoughtful, rather than dogmatic foreign policy, and having an achieveable energy policy would all be helpful matters to address in the Fall campaign. Leave out the off repeated sound bites of getting back to the core, restoring our values, gun control, gay rights and other such peripheral issues from the discussion for our next President.

Sent by Dennis | 1:28 PM | 5-20-2008