Ellen Ratner doesn't just like John McCain. She doesn't even just love him. Nope. Ellen lov-v-v-v-v-e-s the person that FCC rules require us to describe as "the maverick senator from Arizona."
But the question arises: just how influential will Ellen's adoration be for Republicans choosing their 2008 presidential candidate? Can we imagine they will not be particularly swayed by the whims of a woman who openly rooted for the war in Iraq to go badly so as to damage President Bush politically?
Ratner boarded Navy man McCain's love boat in the course of this morning's 'Long and the Short of It' segment on Fox & Friends Weekend, in which the diminutive Ratner regularly squares off with lanky conservative columnist Jim Pinkerton. The topic was the GOP 'cattle call' currently occuring in Memphis, at which attendees are hearing from several of the 2008 Republican hopefuls and will participate in a straw vote.
Pinkerton went first, and depicted McCain as the front-runner. When host Page Hopkins mentioned that McCain had already tried and failed - in 2000 - to obtain the GOP nomination, Pinkerton pointed out that Ronald Reagan had also fallen short - in 1976 - before winning the nomination in 1980. Pinkerton argued that the experience of having been through the process once is very beneficial as it helps candidates avoid campaign pitfalls.
That's when Ratner piped up: "I love John McCain. I am not a Republican, but I lo-v-v-v-v-e John McCain. So I am hoping he is the one."
Of course, for a committed liberal like Ratner, even love has its limits: "I am not saying I would vote for him."
Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY. 'Right Angle', the TV show he hosts, was recently named 'Best of the Best' among public-access shows in his area. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org