McCain '08: Difficult But Doable

Conservative pundit outlines path to White House for Arizona senator
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2008 11:19 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to supporters at his Virginia Primary watch headquarters in Alexandria,Va., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A few months ago a Democratic victory in the presidential election seemed assured—but then again, Rudy Giuliani seemed unstoppable too. As John McCain solidifies his claim to the GOP nomination, Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes details how the Arizona senator can win the White House. He needs to seduce independents, make a shrewd choice for VP, and cross his fingers: for no recession, for good news from Iraq, and for Hillary Clinton as his opponent.

If McCain wants to become the oldest president in history, Barnes writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, his choice of a running mate is crucial: he has to solidify his support with social conservatives while tapping an heir apparent that will please independents. And if the Democrats opt for Clinton, "an easier opponent" than Barack Obama, then the Republicans have a good chance of winning.