early and often

General-Election Complications Already Emerging for McCain


McCain displays his angelic singing voice for the press.Photo: Getty Images

Just because McCain is the Republican nominee (shh, don’t tell Mike Huckabee!) doesn’t mean he can kick up his feet and wait until the Democratic primary blows over. Every day brings new complications for McCain, whether within his own base or with the Democratic candidates. So many are already looking ahead to the general election, where McCain faces questions about his history with lobbyists, how to attack his opponents, and how to appeal to both moderates and conservatives. If his small trip-ups yesterday — not to mention what the pundits have been saying — are any indication, this campaign season could be a long one for McCain.

• Ezra Klein notices that as the general election nears, John McCain isn’t getting the love from Democrats and Independents that he used to. [American Prospect]

• Jeff Zeleny points out that Obama is directing his focus toward McCain even while conceding that primary is not yet finished. [Caucus/NYT]

• Lanny Davis doesn’t think the polls show Obama has a convincing advantage over McCain in the general election. [Hill]

• Mark Halperin writes that there are fewer lines that general-election opponents can’t cross as compared to primary opponents and updates his list of ways McCain can strike at Obama in the general election, including pointing out the large experience gap. [Page/Time]

• Dick Morris thinks Obama’s experience is in running a successful campaign, which may set him up to be a good president. [Hill]

• Chris Cillizza looks at the reaction to the McCain-Iseman story a week later and concludes it shouldn’t have much of an effect on him this fall. [Fix/WP]

• Jonathan Martin writes that the endorsement of John Hagee could hurt McCain’s support among Catholics, whom Hagee has insulted in the past. [Politico]

• Conservative talk-radio host Mike Gallagher writes an open letter to John McCain, offering his continued support while showing that McCain isn’t yet in the clear with his conservative base. [Town Hall] —Dan Amira

For a complete guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

General-Election Complications Already Emerging for McCain