Will the Right Ever Back Mac?

He again looks like the GOP's best bet, but critics may not be able to tolerate him
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2008 1:55 PM CST
Republican Presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, right, accompanied by his with wife Janet, shows a guitar that the volunteers signed and gave him, prior to boarding a plane in Manchester,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – GOP conservatives have long been suspicious of John McCain—angered that the maverick won’t hold the party line—but now they're forced to decide if they can stomach the man who seems the best bet for holding the White House. The same party activists who crippled his candidacy last summer “are now on the spot,” Peter A. Brown writes in Politico, as McCain's star rises—and other hopefuls sink.

Polls show McCain faring better than all but Rudy Giuliani in match-ups against Democrats, and he’s shown the ability to attract the all-important independent vote. So now that Mitt Romney looks like a paper tiger, and Giuliani and Mike Huckabee might be even more objectionable, righties like John O’Sullivan in National Review—who worries that McCain “owes us nothing”—may have to grin and bear Mac.