Wednesday, February 27, 2008

McCain continues to alienate his base (Or, what's in a given full name?)

They don't get much more conservative than Bill Cunningham.

"Willie," from his outpost at sister radio stations WLW and WKRC in Cincinnati, is a well-known voice across much of Kentucky and nationally as well. He's opinionated, outspoken and blunt. He tells it like it is.

But as he is wont to do, presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has alienated yet another powerful member of the national conservative movement.

In case you haven't heard, Cunningham was warming up the crowd in the Queen City earlier this week in preparation for an appearance by McCain. During that time, he referred to Democrat candidate Barack Hussein Obama by his full name.

Shades of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, James Earl Jones, Martha Layne Collins, David Lee Roth and John Will Stacy! What an unspeakable abomination to use the same name that someone's mother gave them!

Speaking at a press conference after the public appearance, McCain condemned the supposed "disparaging remarks" that were supposedly made about Obama.

John Ed Pearce, the late liberal dinosaur Kentucky columnist, rolled over in his grave at the thoughts of a liberal Republican saying that using someone's full name was a disparaging remark. And Larry Dale Keeling missed the obvious opportunity for a pertinent column.

In the blink of an eye, McCain ticked off another conservative. Cunningham, who had shown his support for McCain just hours earlier, stated publicly (or publically, as Steve Beshear's press office prefers to misspell it) that he had withdrawn his support for McCain and would be backing Hillary Rodham Clinton for the presidency.

Let's see. That's two loyal, outspoken conservative media voices who have been so put off or offended by McCain that they've actually moved to support Hillary. Ann Coulter is doing so for policy reasons, but for Willie, it's personal.

McCain had no business coming down on Cunningham, a popular figure throughout the midwest. And if Obama's middle name is that much of an issue, maybe he should change it from "Hussein" to something like "James" or "Robert."

At least Cunningham didn't call him "Osama Obama," like Ted Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick) did once upon a time.

Thank you, Sen. McCain, for giving conservatives another reason to oppose you. Keep alienating your base and you may be headed for a McGovern or Mondale-style beatdown.

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