Para esta tarde está previsto que el Senador John McCain hable ante la reunión anual de la Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Todos coinciden en que eso marcará el primer paso de una estrategia de acercamiento del candidato hacia los sectores conservadores que más puedan estar desconfiando de sus intenciones políticas. El Wall Street Journal publica esta mañana una pequeña guía que podría orientar el esfuerzo de McCain en esa dirección. Señala que no le será suficiente con algunas vagas promesas, y cita algunos puntos prioritarios con los que deberá comprometerse en los próximos meses: hacer una firme promesa de no subir impuestos, ser más específico en materia de gasto público, ser más combativo con los medios de comunicación liberales, y prometer luchar por la nominación de jueces construccionistas estrictos -que interpretan la Ley y la Constitución basándose sólo en la palabra allí escrita, lo contrario a los revisionistas. Proponen además, al Gobernador Mark Sanford como posible running-mate.
How McCain Can Convince the Right
(...) - Take a firm no-new-taxes pledge. Mr. McCain has said he would not sign any tax increase coming from a Democratic Congress. What about from a Republican Congress, if there is one? He needs to promise that he won't increase Social Security taxes -- especially by lifting the earnings cap -- or increase hidden taxes in regulatory schemes, and that he will try to eliminate the death tax.
- Get specific on spending. Mr. McCain talks a lot about pork barrel projects, earmarks and the need to get spending under control, but so does everybody. He needs to release a bold, Reaganesque proposal with specific reductions he would pursue as president, what programs he will try to eliminate, and how he will attempt to control a spendthrift Congress. Runaway spending represents one of the greatest gripes conservatives have with the Bush administration. By getting specific, Mr. McCain would endear himself to a lot of fiscal conservatives.
- Pick a fight with the press. One of the most persistent sources of conservative suspicion about Mr. McCain is the belief that he has an overly cozy relationship with liberal journalists, and will betray conservatives to remain in their good graces. Once he becomes the nominee, of course, he will be attacked by the media, which will reintroduce us to the "radical right-wing McCain." One opportunity for the senator and the press may be when Gen. Petraeus gives his next report to Congress in March.
- Pick a conservative running mate early. Mr. McCain needs a young vice president with stellar conservative credentials so that conservatives can know that an acceptable successor is being trained and waiting in the wings. Nothing would endear conservatives more, and nothing would make it clearer that Mr. McCain is serious about reaching out to them. Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman and especially his friend, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, will not do, and would send many conservatives over the edge. One option would be 47-year-old Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina.
- Get specific on judicial nominations. Although Mr. McCain has said he would appoint judges in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, he also said he was worried that Samuel Alito wore his conservatism on his sleeve. Mr. McCain needs to pledge that he will appoint judges who will interpret the Constitution based on the original intent of the Founders. That goes not only for the Supreme Court, but all federal judges as well. (...)