Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why McCain?

McCain won the Florida Primary with the help of defecting Cuban American Giuliani supporters. The question is why these voters broke for McCain and not Romney. Or perhaps a better question would be why they supported Rudy in the first place.

On Tues, the Weekly Standard suggested that the initial support for Rudy came from his tenure as “America’s Mayor” and his harsh stance against castro when the latter was in NYC. Can you hear it now: “el tipo no tiene pelo en la lengua,” uttered in admiring accents? Faced with his probable loss, huge numbers of primary voters then switched their allegiance to McCain. So why McCain and not Romney or Huckabee or even Paul?

The standard credits McCain’s military experience. I have my own theory, which is it was “the hair,” not McCain’s bald pate or Romney’s luxuriant, seemingly numerically arranged mane, but rather the metaphorical hair on McCain’s chest. McCain, whether you support him or not, most definitely does not have hair on his tongue and comes across as an hombre de pelo en pecho.
When he says he will follow Osama to the gates of Hell, he thrills Cuban hearts. When he imagines a meeting with the Cuban torturers who instructed his own North Vietnamese captors and hints, ever so dryly, that he would take matters into his own hands, it is a sentiment, that thirst for justice, or even revenge, they share.

So, it’s not surprising to me that the majority of Cuban American voters went for McCain, conservative or not. Faced with two viable candidates, neither of who had impeccable conservative credentials, I am sure that many made a reasoned choice; but I suspect that for a substantial number, the choice came down to one sentence-“el tipo tiene cojones.” All of which begs the question, how much have we really learned…

Disclaimer: The preceding does not constitute an endorsement or condemnation of any kind.

Cross posted at Babalublog.

3 comments:

Charlie Bravo said...

Also, the dark history of Giuliani during the Mariel days, his golden gal Doris Meissner conspiring to send Elian to Cuba, his placing of Cubans in camps, his refusal of accepting 23000 Cubans among them 1500 political prisoners and their families, and the deportation of a Cuban stowaway in violation of the Cuban Adjustment Act surely did not make him a palatable candidate for any Cuban. We withdrew our support form him once this facts were brought to the public forum. Many Cubans exchanged e-mails and phone calls, and his harsh words against Castro in New York were rendered mute by his actions against Cuban refugees.
McCain, well.... better than the others, but not yet ideal. My ideal candidate would be tough on castro, applying the embargo against the regime for real, but compassionate with the Cuban people thus eliminating the dry foot wet foot and applying the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 (which is law, while the DF WF is just a clintonian ordinance, upheld by W) and should also eliminate the restriction in money sent to Cuba and allowing Cuban Americans to go back and see their families and help them survive. That also would put help in the hands of the dissidents (no token gestures thanks!) and would allow people to take care of their families need. Of course, nobody has to agree with me. In a free country disagreement is the rule of civility, we don't have that luxury in Cuba. Great article, congrats.

rsnlk said...

I was wondering how much of Rudy's hitherto unknown past had made it to the voters.

Thanks for the compliment. I think you know Killcastro is one of my daily visits.

Charlie Bravo said...

Thanks, it was not a compliment, it was just the plain true, I enjoy your blog a lot.....