Hugh Hewitt sometimes says of John McCain that he is a great American, a lousy Senator and a terrible Republican. McCain certainly has his faults, but I think that formula overstates them. While he differs with most conservatives on important issues like immigration and freedom of speech, he is rock-solid on defense, is a genuine spending hawk, and has been conservative on social issues. That’s not perfect, but it’s far from lousy, as his 80% 2005 rating from the American Conservative Union attests.
But there’s no denying that one reason lots of conservatives–like me–wouldn’t mind seeing McCain as the Republican nominee in ’08 is that no Democrat currently on the scene has the chance of a snowball in a warm place of beating him. Evidence: Rasmussen Reports currently shows McCain leading Hillary Clinton 44% to 43% in Massachusetts.