John McCain: The Best Hope for the Democrats?

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Could George W. Bush's Republican nemesis from the 2000 presidential primaries be the Democrats' best hope to unseat the President in 2004? Two influential liberal magazines, The New Republic and Washington Monthly, had Washington abuzz last week when they called for John McCain to lead the Democratic Party in the next presidential election

McCain has aligned himself with Democrats on several key issues, including campaign finance reform, the Bush tax cut, and anti-tobacco legislation. His popularity among the all-important independent voters is through the roof, and his ability to attract voters from both parties would make him an intriguing candidate.

McCain himself is balking at the idea. Ironically, it is among the hardcore Democrats and Republicans where McCain is weakest — so his chances of winning in the general election might be stronger than his chances of winning either primary. That fact could point to a shortcoming in American politics: that neither party represents what the majority of the country wants. This hour, the appeal of John McCain and what it says about American politics.


Jonathan Chait, senior editor, The New Republic

John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International, Independent pollster

Colin Van Ostern, Communications Director, New Hampshire Democratic Party

This program aired on April 22, 2002.


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