McCain seems to be trying to play nice with conservatives now. For instance, see his new robo-call. So, I'm trying to think of what McCain could do to get me to vote for him in November. (Note that this is in contrast to voting against Obama/Clinton.)
Some conservatives are making their argument on SCOTUS appointments. In the above mentioned robo-call, he talks about appointing people like Alito and Roberts. That's a nice sentiment, but the trust factor leaves me still a bit lacking ... Per his Gang-of-14-ing, I really fear he'd bow down to Democrats and wind up appointing a Kennedy or Souter.
On the judges issue, I want to hear him say "I will appoint a justice in the mold of [pick from (Alito, Roberts, Thomas, or Scalia)] and will risk the 'nuclear-option' to do so!". Until I hear something that definitive, I just can't trust his bow-to-Democrats-past on this subject.
I also want to hear him apologize ("flip-flop"!) on at least one of the following:
- "I was wrong to have voted against the Bush tax cuts"
- "I was wrong to accuse Romney of wanting cut-and-run time tables in Iraq"
- "I was wrong to call corporate America 'greedy'; it's the jobs American companies have created that have made America prosperous!"
- "I was wrong to differentiate service 'for patriotism' as superior to service 'for profit' [it's service 'for profit' that's created jobs that have made America prosperous!]"
- "I will not give amnesty to illegal immigrants, and I now recognize that my McCain-Kennedy bill would have done just that"
- "I will veto legislation that funds embryonic stem cell research. Such research falls into the same moral category as abortion"
- "I was mistaken to sue Wisconsin Right to Life. I will work to repeal McCain-Feingold. I re-read the Constitution and realized there's this first amendment protecting speech. Oops!"
- "I won't do anything that would bring hardship to globally-competing US companies, such as items proposed in McCain-Lieberman"
Actually, that list has gotten so long, I think I want him to apologize for at least two.
Finally, if he were to do either of the following, maybe I could pull his lever even without any of the above apologies:
- Name Sarah Palin as his VP. I could maybe even pull the lever for Huckabee if Palin was also on the ticket.
- Promise to make Newt some sort of high level advisor in his administration. Newt will be able to give McCain advice on "75% issues" to go after -- issues that enjoy broad national support of the electorate. McCain will doubtless try to do lots of things that "reach across the aisle", but with Newt's help, I think McCain might actually be able to pick issues which won't utterly alienate conservatives (like McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Liberman, McCain-etc-etc-etc.)