When the Republicans choose their candidate on September 4th, there is a very real chance that they could throw the election into an unexpected chaos as they pull a genuine September Surprise.
I think there is every reason to believe John McCain won't be the nominee. Ok, let me say that again. McCain will not be the Republican candidate in November.
Here's how it could happen:
At some point in mid August, John McCain will announce that he has decided that he can not accept his party's nomination for president. The reason will be health-related, and that may turn out to be the truth. Anyone who's seen him on stage these days knows he looks like he's about to keel over. And anyone who's been on a presidential campaign knows the physical demands are grueling and can be a challenge for a young man.
But excuses or facts hardly matters. He won't be accepting his party's nomination.
The reasons are simple. He can't win. Now that Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee -- the polls all show that McCain's pro-war stance and Bush endorsement make him a lost cause in November. That combined with soft stand on litmus test conservative issues make him an unpopular candidate among the base.
There are a whole list of Republicans who in many ways are more likely to energize the Republican base. One thing is certain -- there are candidates that will play to the core issues in ways that McCain simply can't.
Here's a list of names. Some you know, some you don't. But each of them knows their name is in play. Among them --
Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State)
Colin Powell (fmr Sec. of State)
Marilyn Musgrave (Colorado Congresswoman)
Mitt Romney (fmr Massachusetts Governor)
Mike Huckabee (fmr Governor of Arkansas)
Charlie Crist (Florida Governor)
Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota Governor)
Bobby Jindal (Louisiana Governor)
Mark Sanford: (Governor of South Carolina)
John Thune (Senator from South Dakota)
Dick Lugar (Senator from Indiana)
Chuck Hagel (Senator from Nebraska)
MIchael Bloomberg (NYC Mayor)