Bauer will "make" McCain conservative!
Gary Bauer, founder of the Campaign for Working Families and formerly of the Family Research Council, endorsed John McCain Monday. In doing so, he promised to "make him the best conservative candidate possible."
"At the end of the day, they're going to be united. And I believe if I can work with Senator McCain to make him the best conservative candidate possible, that's a good thing," Bauer said.
Let me get this straight, Bauer is going to "make" John McCain a conservative? I'd love to sit in on those transformation sessions! The press is acting as though a Gary Bauer endorsement is some major coup, but Bauer endorsed John McCain in 2000-endorsing him now would hardly be a surprise.
Gary Bauer did serve as the Undersecretary of Education under President Reagan, and when it comes to pro-family fiscal and social policy, there is no more sound advocate in the country than Gary Bauer. Outside of his short-lived 2000 Presidential primary campaign, however, Bauer has not sought or held elective office. He has never dealt with executive or legislative responsibility on a first-hand level, and his level of experience is very low. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, since everyone has to start somewhere in public life (no matter where that might be). I was in the audience at a Right to Life breakfast before the March for Life in Washington in January 1999 when Bauer hinted that he might run for President. I remember thinking then that I Bauer's pro-family positions were right on-target, but that his grasp of other issues that might face him as President would likely be extremely limited.
I remember watching some of the early debates that year with my friend Aaron Harris (now of the Baltimore Examiner), and we both agreed that Bauer was way out of his league. On social issues, Bauer was a first-rate candidate, but when he tried to answer a question on Social Security reform and made himself out to look like an uninformed couch potato (something I know he is not), I understood that his issue-range simply is not diverse enough to be taken seriously as a candidate.
Granted, I don't think John McCain is a raging liberal, but Gary Bauer cannot make John McCain into something he is not. It is painfully obvious that Bauer has decided to play go-along rather than take the time to make a serious and thoughtful endorsement.