1. One effect of the Obama campaign has been to strengthen the Democratic party state-by-state. That’s what’s going on now in Texas. He’s attracting new voters and energizing the existing ones. Not only will he carry Texas against Hillary, there’s serious talk that he may carry Texas in November.
2. The column by David Brooks and the article in the NYT on McCain’s choice of running mate both make clear how thin the Republican talent pool is. I would say that Romney would be much better than the Governors of MN, FL, NC, and even Haley Barbour of Mississippi. I would encourage Mac to think "outside the box," but that might lead him to pick some Democrat or Huck.
3. Fred Barnes makes the interesting point that one of McCain’s strengths is that he’s relatively immune to the characteristic Democratic ideological attack on global warming, torture, Guantanamo, guns, tax cuts for the rich, and so forth. And that’s true, although we might wonder whether people who vote with such issues in mind would vote for any Republican. But the downside, I repeat, is that he’s not particularly well suited to bring on the ideological attack on those issues where the characteristic Republican position is actually popular--judges and tax cuts for families. Mac is strong on the patriotism issue, and Obama might well be even weaker than McGovern on the "nationalism" front. This might not be the most promising year for milking the American’s love of country for Republican purposes, though. Mac needs, I repeat once more, needs to become credible AS A REPUBLICAN on the domestic issues.