Can the Right Grin and Bear Him?

Some conservatives forgive McCain's flaws, but haters hold out
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 3:00 PM CST
In this photo provided by NBC, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, left, speaks with Jay Leno during the taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in Burbank, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As John McCain assumes the GOP frontrunner position, can right-wingers look past the maverick's previously unacceptable positions on immigration, gay marriage, campaign finance, tax cuts, and global warming?Some of them are warming up in a hurry, reports the New York Times. “He has moved in the right direction strongly and forcefully on taxes,” said antitax lobbyist Grover Norquist.

But ex-Reagan staffer Mark Levin writes in the National Review that McCain is “a Republican Hillary Clinton,” “an intemperate, stubborn individual” who spews “liberal pablum” and is “an exceedingly poor choice.” One activist said McCain “really should be mending fences”—and he has already agreed to address a conservative conference he conspicuously skipped last year.