Monday, December 13, 2004

Pumped Up McCain

From the AP:

Sen. John McCain, the straight-talking Republican who often challenges the GOP establishment, has taken on a headline-grabbing issue — steroids in baseball — and generated talk of a presidential bid in 2008.

Amid revelations about baseball’s biggest names, McCain has threatened to push legislation early next year if Major League Baseball and the players do not clean up their act. McCain long has advocated harsher penalties for athletes caught using performance-enhancing drugs.

The three-term senator from Arizona has earned a reputation as a go-to lawmaker, tackling campaign finance, the war on Iraq, federal spending and climate change.

It’s little wonder that his foray into the baseball scandal has revived Republican speculation about McCain and the 2008 presidential race.

[edit]

If McCain were to run, he would turn 72 on Aug. 29, 2008, at the height of the campaign. Only President Reagan was older — 73 at the start of his second term. McCain’s health is another issue. The senator has had several cancerous lesions removed from his skin.

Still, Jack Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College in California, asked: “Who else is there?

“Other than the president, McCain can upstage most other Republicans in his party,” Pitney said. “Frist may be the majority leader, but McCain is the Republican everyone knows.”

To use a baseball analogy, the Republicans must have a pretty shallow bench if the only candidate they can come up with is a maverick who pisses off the right wing at every chance he gets.