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Andrew Ian Dodge

Alas he made some major cock-ups like McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, voting against the Bush tax cut and his attitude towards illegal immigration. However saying that McCain is far more preferable than Guiliani or Huckabee.

Steevo

You're a Conservative Councilor Dan but a regular Brit member here, Andrew Ian Dodge is more honest. Are you speaking for Brit conservatives, or those who are 'conservative' like you? 77% of your countrymen who disapprove of and look down on us have to include a load of libs and lefties, that doesn't leave your reasons for disapproval with much substance, having popular agreement. Anyway I'll say why American conservatives shouldn't vote for him as it has a bit more meaning for me in a Britain and America forum.

As Thomas Sowell said: "it is hard to believe that Republicans are so desperate as to support a man who joined with far left Democrat Russ Feingold to restrict free speech in the name of “campaign finance reform” and with Ted Kennedy to sponsor a bill giving amnesty to illegal immigrants.

…This nation has come back from unpromising times before. Let’s hope that we have not already used up all our luck."

Of course all Republicans aren't conservative on our social issues.

Europeans don't seem to know about his mental instability and temper. Well maybe some do but things having to do with character and values don't really matter to most. He can play it smart in these primaries to sit back while others claw at each other but when this man is under the spotlight and heavy criticism starts, watch out.

The fact is he wouldn't get enough of the conservative vote to win a national election and these are the people whom you disdain. Too many would have to hold their noses, I just can't see it.

"John McCain is acutely aware, rightly or wrongly, that America’s reputation on the international stage lies in the gutter."

Yeah, rightly or wrongly. That is a problem, don't you understand?

Torture at Guantanamo... prove it beyond popular headlines. The facts Dan.

Duncan

I think McCain is infinitely preferable to the majority of Republican candidates as he has a wealth of experience, has been consistent on policy and doesn't make his religious zeal his selling point. However his negative features are undoubtedly his age in an era in which policians are getting ever more youthful and his speaking skills which seem to be limited as anyone who witnessed him address the Party conference in 2006 recognises. I still think the GOP would be better off selecting the candidate closest to McCain on policy, who in addition has the charisma and energy McCain lacks, namely Rudi Giuliani.

Sally Roberts

Sounds a man after my own heart! This is an interesting idea Dan and as someone who had felt disillusioned with the Republicans despite being a British Conservative I am heartened that I would agree with so much that Senator McCain stands for.

Malcolm Dunn

He was my favourite too. Didn't know about his pro EU feelings. Why an American should be interested in the Conservative's relationship with the EPP is beyond me.
Don't much like some of his his foreign policy positions either. I suspect he'll find his ideas on China and Russia unworkable.
Notwithstanding that, he is my favourite of the credible Republican candidates.

Sophie Fernandes

McCain is the best choice for 2008, I completely agree with the article. I don't agree with andrew that the campaign finance bill was unsuccessful though - it didn't achieve aims that it was necessarily supposed to, but it was much needed if only to bring the issue properly into the open.
He also has the foreign policy experience that Clinton and Obama both lack.

Bruce

If I suggested to a British Tory (or any Brit) that Britain should adopt leaders who'll score well in US opinion polls and adopt US foreign policies, that British Tory would get justifiably angry about the assumption that British leaders should base their policies on US public opinion.

Yet Dan Hamilton decides to lecture everybody, including US voters, on how Americans should conform their foreign policy to Brit public opinion!

As a Republican voter, I hope Mr. Hamilton's article is read by more US voters. Meant to be an endorsement of Sen. McCain, Mr. Hamilton's article is in fact one of the best arguments yet for Republicans to vote against Senator McCain.

Steevo

Its easy to agree with you Bruce. I even think its possible such self-serving British advocacy would help any candidate the Brits did not want if a significant percentage of Americans knew. From my experience its possible the majority of Brits who post here have no ability nor desire to place themselves in the shoes of one from another country, especially the US. Its all about them. And you bet, if the roles were reversed they couldn't handle it. There is an arrogance, presumption and hypocrisy hard to beat. A deep difference in our personal values.

Adam in London

Oh Bruce, at least try and read the article.

The poll that Dan quoted wasn't an opinion poll on whether Brits liked John McCain (most have never heard of him). It was a poll on America. 77% of Brits disagreed that the US "was a beacon hope", throw in some undecideds, and those who agree with the statement could be as low as 10%. If the US needs allies to achieve her foreign policy and national security objectives that's going to create difficulties if it carries on much longer.

The only thing I disagree with in the article is the implication that Americans think they have a special relationship with Britain. They may like Britain, but won't sacrifice a thing for her, and would drop her in an instant if Germany or France became even slightly more attractive allies.

Steevo

Adam a big part of the problem is the condescending mindset which you're a part of. Try reading Bruce's post again as his intent and that of the author's is clear enough. With Dan, 77%, which is not BTW much different from a previous poll stated here, is negative with full implication. You're the only one who feels the need to clarify.

The bottom line for Bruce, myself and a lot of Americans is easily understood and agreed upon, here.

And you know I kinda wish America was like you imply, totally self-serving and not caring a thing for Brits if a 'better' ally came along. But as far as self-serving you've got the shoe on the wrong foot here relevant to those in this discussion.

The more articles like this I read, the more I don't care if we forget about Europe all together. Go your own multicultural EU UN way, submit and homogenize your identity to the dictates of a handful of elitists, and protect yourselves with your officially established modes of behavior and definition of terrorism.

James

I agree with Steevo, though I think he goes of the deep-end a bit in his accusations that "its possible the majority of Brits who post here have no ability nor desire to place themselves in the shoes of one from another country, especially the US. Its all about them." Pot, kettle, black comes to mind. But anyhow, I sympathise with where he's coming from. I found it loathsome when Bill Clinton waltzed over to the 2003 Labour Party Conference and played up to the Labour delegates by dissing the Tories in his speech. The Tories may be useless, but not because a liberal American president said they were.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to the fallacy of this web blog; the idea that somehow the U.S. and British body politic is so intertwined that anyone in America really gives a damn about about the opinions of Tory councillors. Steevo is right - the Tories would be far better of going "back to basics" (to coin a memorable term) and sorting out root and branch what is wrong domestically in this country, before going on to anything so complex and secondary as who we'd all like to see running America.

Oh, and this might seem a tad hypocritical, but I think Fred Thompson is the best candidate out there.

Bruce

Mr. Hamilton, if you want to help John McCain with Republican voters, diss him for being too pro-American.

If you want to hurt McCain, saddle him with the reputation of being the favorite Republican of The Guardian.

Republican voters know that the only way the U.S. will score well in these U.K. polls is if we go Socialist. We choose not to do so.

Steevo

James more specifically I am talking about most regular Brits who post here in the B and A, there is a huge ego problem obsessed with the need to look on the other side of the ocean: know-it-alls... looking down. Not all tho for sure, and I will emphasize some of the finest albiet few Brits here who I could vote into office, here in America. It is also fact that a huge percentage in your country have a much more negative attitude toward America (not just Bush) than any form of comparison here. I'm glad we don't take such an attitude. And I find everything about Bill, and Hillary Clinton loathsome.

I agree with you about the fallacy of this site, to an extent. But at the very least we learn a little more about what a conservavative and liberal means in each other's land and the difference in personal values.

I also agree with you about Thompson.

"Republican voters know that the only way the U.S. will score well in these U.K. polls is if we go Socialist. We choose not to do so." With so many that does seem to be the case. Its like many don't really want the EU's power over their sovereignty but our rights to internal and external policy have to meet their approval and even submit to the UN, which is to the left.

Its worth repeating Bruce, if as many Americans began presuming to know how the UK should make her decisions as they do us, they couldn't handle it.

James

Bruce is right, though I think he does ordinary Britons a disservice by assuming we all approve of the lumpen mass of non-entities that currently squat near the top of our political tree. The only way to impress Cameron's Tories is to whine incessantly about global warming, energy saving lightbulbs, and how wonderful the NHS is. Throw in a few trips to the Arctic to gawk at 'endangered' polar bears, and you have a slightly condensed version of modern Tory philosophy. You realise it's imperative not to talk about nasty, complex, non-PCish things like tax, immigration, energy policy, alternatives to Labour's Soviet-style education and health policies, and above all else, the EU.

I wouldn't wish that on the Republicans - nor, for that matter, on the Democrats.

James

I should add, for anyone interested, that there are some genuine intelligent independent-minded thinkers in the House of Commons who would enliven any political organisation on either side of the Atlantic. John Redwood, Frank Field, William Hague, Kate Hoey and Edward Leigh are some of the names that spring to mind. Unfortunately, these individuals (the example of Frank Field being the most illuminating) are too sane to allow anywhere near the levers of power.

Steevo

James at least face it, you're in the Brit minority here. And frankly reading you folks makes it all worth while for me.

You know, it is difficult, even for 'average joe' Americans not to believe people from the UK and Europe proper don't look down our country. Anti-Americanism has been rampant, that's just fact. You can only go so far with "its all because of Bush".

"I wouldn't wish that on the Republicans - nor, for that matter, on the Democrats." It is on our Republicans tho maybe not quite as bad as the Tories. No sense to bother with the Dems, they can't and won't live outside of it.

rightsideforum

Either way I hope it's a Republican. McCain without question is the most electable of the GOP field.

Obama can play the youth/change card - while McCain is an extraordinary American patriot. If it wasn't for that, for reasons already outlined by others - he'd be nowhere.

Either way - conservative in the UK should back conservatives in the US and the Democrats are not conservative.

James

Steevo, I never blamed anti-Americanism all on Bush. I threw in "nor for that matter, on the Democrats" more as a snide aside at the current state of the Tories, not as a thought that the Dems would ever actually be anything other than an American version of New Labour.

I have no idea about the other British contributors to this site, I'm not a regular reader. If the national character is any judge, I'd guess a fair few are wind-up merchants from lefty blogs, seeing if they can piss off a few ernest Americans. Try not to read too much into it.

Justin Hinchcliffe

I hadn't realised that McCain is pro-European and that he supports our membership of the EPP. He goes up in my estimation, although I still hope that Rudy gets it.

What the majority of Europhobes here refuse to accept is that America DOESN'T want us. Our future is in Europe.

Steevo

I know you didn't James. "You" was spoken in general.

James

"What the majority of Europhobes here refuse to accept is that America DOESN'T want us. Our future is in Europe."

Care to provide any details about that future Justin, or is this just another bland EUrophile platitude of the type people in this country have been bludgeoned with for the past 35 years? Unlike some contributors to this site, I'm perfectly willing to accept America isn't the faithful spouse that "special relationship" rhetoric makes her out to be.

How that justifies mortgaging the the nation to the corrupt, inefficient EU I don't know. Ask British farmers and beef exporters whether our EC "colleagues" acted like our future was in good hands during the BSE scare, or read up on the sordid (from a British perspective) approach of the French government to potential British accession to the community in the late 60s/early 70s. You might find it interesting.

Malcolm Dunn

I suspect, James, it's just another another EU rophile platitude. Meaningless at that. The thought that we could be an independant country doesn't seem to have occured.

William Humbold III

Make your voice heard. Vote Yes or No to Free Europe at www.FreeEurope.info!

Jon Wilson

Dan, I agree with you to a substantial extent here.

Undoubtedly McCain stands for a more ‘Enlightened’ (to use the somewhat arrogant European parlance) tendency in the GOP. His moral disentangling of Stem Cell research, and placing it in the context whereby Evangelicals and social-conservatives could remain open minded to his appeal as a candidate, no matter how tentatively, due to his Pro-Life stance on abortion remains in my mind speaks volumes of his ability to sooth the open cultural sores in American society.

The nuanced way in which he approaches issues of deep controversy, especially in a cultural environment that is remarkably tough for most Brits to understand or appreciate, is an unparalleled benefit in an increasingly polarised society.

Yet the reason I feel compelled to support Giuliani, even though I retain a great deal of respect for Ron Paul, is his espousal of what I would consider to be the values that the vast majority of British Conservatives would have sympathy with. Undoubtedly one third of the Reagan coalition, defined within the construct of that awful, simplistic phrase ‘the religious right’, would find Giuliani difficult to stomach (despite the endorsement from Pat Robinson) – this, supposing his nomination, is the main challenge he faces.

Nevertheless he carries with him the gravitas and the name recognition to push forward a foreign policy similar in nature to the current administration but without the corrosive label of George Bush’s name attached. Simplistically speaking it seems possible that Giuliani could ‘detoxify’ the image of neo-conservatist foreign policy in the minds of a crucial minority in America in the same way that David Cameron continues to ‘detoxify’ the Conservative brand here. Obviously there is a lot more to it that that, and the analogy is only prescient to a point but I think there may be a degree of truth in what I’m saying…

Bipin Adhikari

Dont you think there is too much of generalization in this piece.

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