Bob Novak discusses
what could become the inevitability of a McCain nomination based on the same factors that spurred Reagan in 80, both Bushes, and Bob Dole in 96. Here's a snippet:
" It is beginning to look like "McCain, Inc." -- that is, party regulars, corporate officials and Washington lawyers and lobbyists moving toward John McCain, the man it feared and loathed eight years ago. The GOP, abhorring competition and detesting surprises, likes to establish its presidential nominee well in advance. I first appreciated this in 1996 when Robert J. Dole's candidacy was dying after he barely won in Iowa and lost New Hampshire, Arizona and Delaware. He then won eight out of eight primaries on a single Tuesday. When I asked a Dole adviser how this happened, he said it was "Dole, Inc."
What Novak does not add is that with a super-compressed Caucus/Primary schedule this year, where somewhere between 8-12 states could come a week on the heels of New Hampshire (and definately a week after South Carolina), the ability to have this national organization will give McCain a huge advantage.
At this point only Governor Romney appears capable of staying in the ballpark with McCain when it comes to recruiting these establishment forces. What should comfort those who resist the McCain inevitability is that without a sitting President or VP in this race, it should be more wide-open than any of those were.
But if Rudy and Romney can't secure enough of the key people in those 2nd tier states, they could face a rude awakening in the 2nd wave of primaries.
Also of note in the article is Novak's report that Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (MS) and Kansas Senator Pat Roberts with both support a McCain candidacy. Roberts notes that he has respect for fellow Kansan, Brownback but that McCain is the "right man in the right place at the right time."