February 18, 2008

41 Endorses McCain

George H. W. Bush endorsed John McCain for president today, which gives an added push for Mike Huckabee to withdraw. Saying that McCain has the "right values and experience," the 41st President attempted to strike a chord with conservatives and generate unity behind McCain:

Former President George H.W. Bush endorsed John McCain today as the man best prepared to succeed his son, saying the Arizona senator has the ``right values and experience to guide our nation forward.''

``No one is better prepared to lead our nation at these trying times than Senator John McCain,'' the 41st president said at a news conference in Houston as McCain stood at his side.

The former president and McCain said Republicans need to draw on a broad base of voters to keep the White House.

``We as a party must unite and move forward and attract not only members of our own party but independents and so-called Reagan Democrats,'' McCain said.

The timing comes as a little surprise. Usually, former presidents stay out of primary contests, but obviously Bush 41 wants to see an end to the divisiveness in the GOP. Having the establishment line up with McCain provides a gentle prod to Huckabee.

Bush 41 joins his more popular son Jeb in endorsing McCain. Jeb probably carries more weight with conservatives than either his father or his brother. In fact, 41 has had his differences with the same faction to which McCain's critics belong, but his profile and his standing with conservatives improved with a little bit of historical perspective. McCain may be hoping for a similar reconsideration with 41's backing.

Michelle Malkin notes that while McCain celebrates the endorsements from Jeb and 41, 43 might be a different story.


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