At Hotair, Allahpundit can’t decide whether Fred Thompson’s latest shot at John McCain is a “good straight jab” or an uppercut, but in any case the punch landed flush. Glenn Reynolds asked Thompson about McCain’s support amongst conservative voters. Thompson struck where McCain’s guard will always be down: taxes, immigration, and global warming. Thompson wraps up:
You know, he has his strong suits and his weak suits. But I think that the direction that he and Huckabee and others really, I think Giuliani and where Romney has been in the past all are going in a so-called moderate direction, which is going to lead to, you know, so-called big government conservativism or bigger government conservativism anyway.
There’s no question that a Reagan coalition conservative can compile a quick and tidy anti-McCain checklist. But as David Brooks put it in his much praised, but not at all heeded, January 1 piece on Mitt Romney, “If any Republican candidate is going to win this year, he will have to offer a new brand of Republicanism.” Which kind of takes the sting out of Thompson’s shot.
Additionally, McCain has a unique ability to instill trust in those who disagree with him. As the most pro-Iraq War politician in the country polls show he swept up New Hampshire’s anti-war voters. No one should be shocked if he finds support amongst those who resent his “big government conservativism,” too. Call this mysterious trait character.