Is McCain the New Hillary?

A few months back, the Republicans all made their cases by saying theywere the best candidates to beat Hillary. Now the Dems are talking thesame way about McCain.

“It’s becoming increasingly likely that John McCain is the Republican candidate,” John Edwards says. And he’s the best candidate to beat the Arizona senator: “I can go anywhere in America and compete against John McCain and win.”

UPDATE 9:58: This turns out to be the closing theme. (If you don’t count their filler about Martin Luther King, Jr.) Edwards says he can beat McCain because he doesn’t accept money from lobbyists. Given that McCain is such a strong proponent of campaign finance reform, “I think it’s dangerous to send someone against him who presents a contrast to what he represents.” In other words, Hillary has lobbyist donors and McCain will punish her for that.

Hillary says that in fact she is the best person to beat McCain because a general election match-up against him will be about national security. She says she’s “better equipped” to handle international challenges than these two little boys.

Obama agrees that McCain would make national security the focus, but says that rather than out-gunning him, the Democratic nominee “has to be someone who can serve as a strong contrast to overcome politics of fear.” What he doesn’t say is that McCain has huge appeal to independents and even some Democrats. Against someone with such broad support, Obama’s own appeal to indies and even some Republicans could carry weight.