John McCain; New Hampshire; Barack Obama; Independent votes; Hillary Clinton; Bill Bradley/Al Gore 2000 primaries;
Once again, John McCain appears to be riding to the rescue of the Clintons.
I have already documented how John McCain rescued the Clintons following the 1996 fundraising scandal by changing the subject from Clintons' illegal foreign fundraising to "campaign finance reform."
During the 2000 primary season, Al Gore was on the ropes in the face of Bill Bradley's strong primary challenge. Bradley had picked up numerous high profile endorsements and was attracting support from Independents/newcomers, etc. [In the New Hampshire primary, Independents are permitted to cross party lines and vote for candidates from one of the major parties.] In the 2000 New Hampshire primary McCain's "straight talk express" "maverick" campaign drained Independents from Bradley and allowed Gore to eek out a victory. The momentum from Gore's New Hampshire victory helped him obtain the nomination. At the very least, Gore's New Hampshire victory avoided a costly, drawn out battle with Bradley that could have hampered Gore's efforts in the general election. Gore was able to mount a serious challenge to George W. Bush, mainly because McCain protected Gore from Gore's serious challenger in New Hampshire.
In 2008, McCain is doing it again. By mounting a serious challenge in New Hampshire, McCain will drain Independent votes from Obama. Without the Independent votes in the Democratic primary, Hillary may well sneak over the finish line in New Hampshire and avoid the calamity that a double loss would have brought her. McCain may win New Hampshire in his vain attempt to get the nomination, but a McCain victory will actually translate into a Hillary victory.
Democrats and Independents have an opportunity to finish off Hillary NOW. We shouldn't let John McCain rescue the Clintons once more.