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John McCain Gets Nod from FOX News Beltway Boys

Reported by Deborah - December 29, 2007 -

Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke, in a final FOX News wrap up before the Iowa Caucus, gave John McCain a slightly veiled endorsement today, 12/29/07, on The Beltway Boys.Barnes stated that all the candidates except one had unacceptable responses to Benazir Bhutto's assassination. According to the Boys the one exception was John McCain.

The Democratic candidates got the first serving of criticism. Hillary Clinton's video clip showed her praising Bhutto and mentioning that she knew her. Kondracke made a sarcastic crack about Hillary mentioning her association with Bhutto as if she was name dropping just to impress.

The Obama got hammered because his campaign used Bhutto's death to highlight Clinton's support for the Iraq War which took the focus off Afghanistan. Kondracke had no objection to an attack on Clinton but thought Obama should have offered some policy. John Edwards, frequently mentioned last on FOX, was accused of arranging a phone call from Musharraf as a PR ploy to show his experience.

On the Republican side , Fred Barnes made a crack about Rudy's constant return to the subject of 9/11 and Huckabee and Romney got tossed out for something or other. Then it was time to cheer McCain who they claimed was the man with experience. Kondracke seemed sure the next president would be tested by an attack either here or abroad and they bot agreed that McCain was the clear choice.

David Yepsen, Des Moines Register, was a rare guest today and the boys had a chance to question him about the candidates. They seemed disheartened when Yepsen reported that Huckabee's numbers were growing and Romney was stalled. Barnes pressed him for information about McCain's possibilities and Yepsen said there was momentum.

Although they wanted to hear that Bill Clinton was hurting Hillary, Yepsen said Iowans loved him. He also noted that Obama was drawing young voters while Clinton attracted older women.
Finally when there was seconds before the break, Barnes asked about Edwards. Yepsen was very positive saying his populist message resonated with Iowans.

comment: It was pretty clear that John McCain is the Boys favorite and Barack Obama, considered harmless, is therefore acceptable for a Democratic nomination. Clinton, of course, is always unacceptable but an Edwards win in Iowa would be intolerable.