Was socializing this weekend with some political friends and the subject turned to ‘08. I brought down a storm of no friggin ways by mentioning my favorite American governor, Jeb Bush, about whom, truth be told, I feel much stronger than I did about Bush pre-2000. When I tired of insisting that I’m no monarchist, I shifted the debate to John McCain’s health. In this incredibly self-selected neocon-to-moderate-left room, the Arizona senator was the consensus candidate, though the first thing we talked about was his age and health. And as Bob Dole knows, it’s not a good thing when voters are fixated by your relative frailty. (McCain will be 72 in 2008; Ronald Reagan was 73 when he ran for reelection.) The liberals in the room were concerned that McCain's not vicious enough to win (though this may have had something to do with their idiosyncratic view that he basically surrendered to Bush dirty tactics in the South Carolina primary.) After McCain, Rudy was the talk, though with warning signs given his recent weird behavior in the Bernard Kerik-nomination fiasco. A bum nomination is one thing; gloating in your failure afterwards is just bizarre. Hamminess in general, though a good character trait in New York City politics (see Ed Koch), is decidedly unpresidential—though it’s certainly preferable to the all-around lame-O-ness of Governor Pataki, who brings all the liberal politics of, but none of the successes of, none of the character of, and none of the matrimonial difficulty of Giuliani. Actually, Jeb’s looking better all the time.
2 hours ago