CNN has official called John McCain the winner in the Florida primary, beating out Mitt Romney and giving himself a clear shot at the nomination. At this point, I think McCain will be the Republican nominee.
This marks the likely end of the Giuliani campaign, and already there are rumors that Giuliani will drop out and endorse McCain. That seems likely. Giuliani’s whole strategy was to wait out the early contests and pick up all his momentum in Florida. It was a risky strategy, and it appears to have backfired against him. Giuliani is a great leader, and I don’t think this is the end of his political career, but he didn’t show the kind of oratorical brilliance that I’ve seen from him on several occasions.
Mitt Romney’s strong executive experience doesn’t seem to have helped him in Florida. Romney has been a stalwart conservative in this race, but ultimately I don’t think he has enough momentum out of Super Tuesday to make it all the way. He’s certainly not out of the race, but he has a great deal of ground to gain in very little time.
Sen. John McCain is an American hero, a man of great personal integrity and someone who has always stood strongly on the side of his country. He often rubs conservatives the wrong way, and his “maverick” image causes much consternation—however, when it comes right down to it a man who agrees with us 80% of the time is better than a woman who represents the worst of American politics and a man whose great rhetoric is but a cover for a fundamental lack of real-world experience. We may have our issues with John McCain, but when it comes down to the basic principles of the party: fiscal conservatism, a strong national defense and strengthening the family, McCain has his heart in the right place.
Conservatives should make their voices heard, and they should continue to push Sen. McCain towards the mainstream of the party as they have on issues like immigration. However, if McCain gets the nomination—and it seems altogether likely that he will—conservatives cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. John McCain will cut wasteful spending in Washington, defend our troops in Iraq and our war against radical Islamist terrorism and will continue to be a strong voice for respecting human life, born and unborn. He may not be perfect, but he can lead, and we need true leadership in Washington more than anything else.