John McCain is not oblivious to his predicament: he’s the first presumptive Republican nominee in the modern era to ascend despite opposition from the party’s far-right base. Indeed, after a month of contests, McCain has done quite well without the support of conservatives and traditional GOP voters, much to the party’s consternation.
Going forward, the Arizona senator would clearly love to spend the next nine months with a united Republican machine behind him, but that’s obviously a tall order — hard-line conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santorum, Tom DeLay, Ann Coulter, and James Dobson appear to loathe everything about him.
Wednesday, McCain had a message for them: “Calm down.”
Boosted by his big night, John McCain asked his loudest conservative critics Wednesday to “calm down” and support his Republican presidential candidacy….
“I think they’ve made their case against me pretty eloquently,” he said, adding wryly, “if that’s the right word.” He asserted that the pundits’ conservative hero Ronald Reagan — and his — reached across the aisle to Democrats just like he wants to do as president.
“I do hope that at some point we would just calm down a little bit and see if there are areas that we can agree on for the good of the party and for the good of the country,” he said.
For what it’s worth, I doubt the anti-McCain contingent wants to be told to “calm down.” Indeed, as far as I can tell, when hysterical people are having a fit, the last thing they want to hear is the person they’re mad at telling them to “calm down.”