George W. Bush had money and a silver tongue. John McCain had shoe leather and gold medals of valor.
Bush had an aura of inevitability. McCain had a halo of heroism. Bush had tax cuts. McCain had debt cuts. Bush touted compassion. McCain teemed with combativeness.
Bush was pro GOP establishment, McCain was the anti. Bush was the anointed. McCain the fly.
McCain won the primary by 18 points. Bush called New Hampshire a road bump. McCain took the independents. Bush took half the party faithful. McCain set a record for an upset victory. Bush set a record for downsizing expectations.
New Hampshire voters embraced McCain. Other primary states appear to lean toward Bush.
Bush may now take the gloves off. McCain will rattle his tin cup for donations. Bush will scramble to keep endorsements of GOP bosses. McCain showed Bush is defeatable.
Bush will move to the right. McCain will try to show he is the right choice. Bush will push issues. McCain will pull on his virtues and stature.
New Hampshire may be all wet. The rest of this presidential race could be pretty dry. Bush may live up to his polls. McCain might only be the underdog who rolled over once.
But inattentive voters might wake up to a compelling race. New Hampshire could get credit for poking the establishment, the pundits, the polls.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society