Archive for the ‘John McCain’ Category

A Quick Look At John McCain And The Polls

Friday, March 21st, 2008

As Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to fumble over each other headed to the April 22 Pennsylvania primary, a couple of recent polls have me excited about the general election.

Here’s one in particular that caught my attention, the new Gallup poll:

  • John McCain’s 67% favorable rating is the highest of any of the three major candidates running for president, and ties for his highest in Gallup polling history
  • Barack Obama’s favorable rating is now at 62%
  • Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating, 53%, is significantly lower than those of the other two candidates

And Larry Kudlow noted on his National Review Online blog:

“Has anyone noticed that John McCain is surging in the polls? According to the latest print from Rasmussen and Zogby, McCain now holds a 6 to 8 point lead against Hill-Bama.”

Of course, everyone knows that polls this early are, for the most part, worth the paper – or the Internet – they’re printed on. Still, I’m thrilled that John McCain has secured the Republican nomination for President. Winning the presidency certainly is no easy task – either Clinton or Obama will be formidable foes. But I firmly believe that our party has chosen the best candidate to keep the White House in November. I’m honored to be part of Team McCain – but more important, I think America can achieve greatness with John McCain as president.

By the way, a photo in The New York Times captured John and Cindy McCain in Dallas March 4 reacting to the TV announcement that he was the nominee. It’s a great picture — and I’m not just saying that because, well, that’s me in there, too!

John McCain Fred Malek from New York Times

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Go Teddy Go!

Friday, February 29th, 2008

As readers of this blog know, I’m a huge Washington Nationals fan – even though I didn’t get the winning bid to own the team. What non-Washingtonians may not be too familiar with is the great Nationals tradition of the Presidents Race.

In the middle of the fourth inning of every home game, the four presidents featured on Mount Rushmore — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt – race around the stadium. They’re puppets – huge puppets.

Alas, Teddy Roosevelt – one of my favorite presidents (I get that from John McCain, I guess) – never wins.

So unfair.

A grassroots movement has sprung up, with thousands of fans chanting “Let Teddy Win!” I’m with them. I say to the Powers That Be: Even out the playing field! Give Teddy a chance! Don’t rig the race – just be fair.

If you’re a Teddy Roosevelt supporter, I encourage you to check out this great new blog I discovered: . You can follow all the latest Presidents Race (and Nationals) news and even show your support for Teddy. And hopefully I’ll see you at the new ballpark.

Let’s go ‘Nats1 Let’s go Teddy!

McCain Momentum Sweeps Virginia

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

John McCain’s victory in Virginia yesterday – along with victories in Maryland and D.C. – sets him up nicely to be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. I’ve been blogging and writing op-eds forecasting the McCain momentum for some time, and not only am I glad to see it happen, I’m thrilled to be part of the winning team.

I also enjoyed reading this item in yesterday’s “Yeas & Nays” gossip column in the DC Examiner newspaper:

Fred Malek is McCain’s new moneyman

John McCain is back in town for today’s Potomac primary (he’s still a senator, too, we’re pretty sure), so he’s taking the opportunity to raise some coin while he’s chasing votes.

Fred Malek, the former Nixon aide, founder of Thayer Capital Partners and ex-suitor of the Washington Nationals, is hosting a fundraiser for McCain at his McLean home tonight.

Among his co-hosts are former VP candidate Jack Kemp, Bill and Bobbie Kilberg, Kathy Kemper, Jim Valentine and Carter Pate.

The price of admission is the maximum individual donation of $2,300.

According to FEC records, Malek has already kicked in his $2,300 to McCain, though it’s a small drop in the bucket of the hundreds of thousands he’s given to Republicans over the years. He also gave $2,150 to the senator’s erstwhile opponent, Mitt Romney.

Nice item, it was a great event, and I appreciate the attention they gave to my work on behalf of Sen. McCain. Just for the record, though, I haven’t contributed to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi

A Primary Preview Podcast

Monday, February 11th, 2008

On Sunday I ventured into the world of podcasting. I was interviewed by one of Virginia’s top bloggers, J.R. Hoeft of Bearing Drift. Previewing Tuesday’s primary for Virginia Politics On Demand, we discussed John McCain’s conservative background plus how the general election battle against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will shape up.

Click here to listen to the interview:

Bearing Drift

McCain And Baseball

Monday, February 4th, 2008

With all my various involvements in life, I must say that my achievement in helping to bring baseball to Washington is among my proudest.  So I was quite pleased to see the Washington Post describe me this way in its story on DC-area fundraisers for presidential candidates:

 “[W]ould-be D.C. Nationals owner Fred Malek is backing McCain.”

Yes, I wish I were among the Nationals owners.  But the team they do have on top is doing a superb job.  Almost as good a job as John McCain is doing.

John McCain Wins New Hampshire

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

I just got back from campaigning for John McCain in New Hampshire. Here’s a fun account of McCain’s victory in today’s Washington Post:

John McCain’s bus just pulled into a polling place on Broad Street, and McCain dived into the media scrum and disappeared from sight. It is possible that he was devoured by camera people; later I’ll look for the bones.

Off to the side stood a white-haired gentleman holding a “McCain” placard. But this was no ordinary volunteer — it was Fred Malek, the big-cheese Republican (and would-be Washington Nationals owner). He said he’s co-chairman of McCain’s campaign. “Chairman” is often a somewhat honorary title in a presidential operation.

“I finally found my proper role in the campaign — sign carrier,” Malek said. His wife, Marlene, was on sign duty, as well. “I’d do anything for John McCain,” she said.

Mr. Malek predicted a McCain win today and huge momentum.

“He doesn’t have to win Michigan” — Mitt Romney has a native-state advantage there — “but I think he will. You can’t underestimate the momentum that’s going to be generated by a victory here.”

Does McCain have enough money to compete in the large states?

“It’s picking up. Nothing like a little success to open the money faucets.”

John McCain Will Win New Hampshire — And The Presidency

Monday, January 7th, 2008

As Director of the 1988 Republican Convention, my main challenge was to develop a four night program that would bring Vice President George H.W. Bush back from a 17-point deficit to Michael Dukakis in the Presidential polls. President Reagan agreed to highlight the first night with a speech focused on the foreign policy successes of the Reagan-Bush Presidency. After all, we had just won the Cold War. However, I also had to select someone to precede President Reagan with a prime time address – someone who shared his unspeakable principles and who had credibility on foreign policy. I selected the junior senator from Arizona, John McCain. He delivered an outstanding address and started the Bush-path to ultimate victory. I believed then as I do now that McCain, more than any other political leader of either party, not only shared the Reagan principles but also mirrored his strong character and conviction as well as the political courage to consistently choose the right course of action for America, no matter the political price.

John McCain is the heir to the Reagan legacy, and just as Reagan came back from an Iowa loss to become the nominee and President, so will John McCain. He will win the New Hampshire primary tomorrow because the voters of the Granite State know that this man of principle, courage, consistency, character, and national security excellence stands above all other candidates and will be a superb President. They also know he is the most likely to beat any of the possible Democrat nominees. These same characteristics will motivate voters in Michigan, South Carolina, and the February 5 states. John McCain will be the nominee, he will be President.

McCain Momentum

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

John McCain should be and will be the 2008 Republican candidate for President of the United States. If nominated, as expected, he will be our next president.

Let’s first visit why this man of honor and conviction should be the nominee.  As I wrote in an opinion piece on November 30 (The Washington Times, November 30), the four core reasons are principle, consistency, character, and national security.  Apparently, a lot of better minds than mine agree with this assessment.

As for principles, I argued that Senator McCain will always be guided by his core beliefs and not by polls. Listen to what the Manchester Union Leader said in his December 2nd endorsement: “McCain can be trusted to make informed decisions based on the best interests of his country, come hell or high water.” Or as the Portsmouth Herald stated in its endorsement: “McCain will tell you the truth, even if it costs him the election.”

Principles of course lend to Senator McCain’s consistency. As the Des Moines Register states in its December 16 endorsement: “time after time, McCain has stuck to his beliefs in the force of opposition from other elected leaders and the public.” Or listen to Senator Lieberman in his December 17th endorsement statement: “You may not agree with John McCain on every issue, but you can always count on him to be honest with you about where he stands, you can always count on him to stand for what he believes is right for our country – regardless of pressure from politicians or vested interests.”

And principles and consistency of course are a result of character that gives Senator McCain the courage to make the right choice no matter the political price. The Boston Globe in its December 15th endorsement stated it well: “McCain’s views differ from those of this editorial page in a variety of ways. Yet McCain’s honesty has served him well.” Even more powerful was Senator Lieberman’s statement: “John McCain has proven that we can trust him to do what is right for our country, not only when it is easy, but when it is hard; to do what is necessary, not only when it is popular, but when it is not; and to tell us the truth, not only when it is easy to hear, but when it is not.”

Beyond these personal characteristics that have resulted in these four key editorial endorsements, and the endorsement of a great bi-partisan Senate leader, there is Senator McCain’s life long leadership and skill in defending our nation, in preserving national security. But don’t listen to me – look at the ringing endorsements of four Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Alexandra Haig and Lawrence Eagleburger.

I would now add a fifth core reason John McCain should be the Republican nominee – electability. The most recent polling (CNN/Opinion Research of December 11th) shows McCain beating Hillary Clinton in a head to head while Mrs. Clinton bests the other leading GOP contenders by 5 to 11 points. Respected columnist David Broder saw this even before the poll when he observed in his December 2nd column: “If the Republican Party wanted to hold on to the White House in 2009, it will grit its teeth and nominate a ticket of John McCain for President and Mike Huckabee for Vice President.”

Well if he’s the man of proven principles, consistency, character, and national security excellence, and if he’s the Republican candidate who can win in November, – why will he get the GOP nomination? It can be summed up in these events that will play out in January:

Governor Romney will be embarrassed on January 3rd in Iowa by Mike Huckabee winning or coming in a close second. Senator McCain, as everyone expect, will do poorly in Iowa despite the welcome endorsement of the Des Moines Register. After all, he opposes ethanol subsidies, and only about 4 percent of Iowans will turn out for the caucuses. The story out of Iowa will be Governor Huckabee who in the face of a Romney juggernaut and badly outspent, with a barrage of negative ads, came back to score. David will slay or at least embarrass Goliath.

New Hampshire on January 8th, which is a true primary with large turnout, will be the real test. Its outcome will be largely determinant in nominating our candidate, and John McCain will defy the expectations of all those who have written him off and will win or finish a close second. The senator has been consistently rising in the polls and is now in second place, not too far behind Romney. Senator McCain will close this gap with the help of Romney’s uninspiring showing in Iowa, by the 44 percent of New Hampshire voters who are independents, by the large number of registered Republicans who have indicated an absence of deep commitment to their favored candidate, and by the large group of voters who are currently undecided. He would be aided further by a Clinton victory in Iowa, encouraging independents to vote in the Republican primary vs. a competitive Democrat Primary. The endorsements from the Union Leader, Herald, and Globe will help, but the main boost to McCain will be the Granite States’ voters realizing they want a candidate whose principles, consistency, character, and fortitude match their own. As they search deep within themselves, they will realize, as did Joe Lieberman, that John McCain is the only candidate with these characteristics – and the only candidate who can unite and lead this country.

The South Carolina primary is eleven days later. In these eleven days, Senator McCain will be celebrated as the “comeback kid.” The reasons he came up from the back of the pack will be headlined, analyzed, and discussed endlessly. And the reasons will be clear to all that they are what leading columnists and editorial boards have finally perceived; principles, consistency, character, national security, and electability. These reasons will be embraced by a state where military tradition and character are prized, and Senator McCain will win the South Carolina Primary on January 19th.

The force of momentum from these early primaries could turn this into a two man contest – McCain vs. Giuliani. If so, where do you suppose conservative voters will go? Even if it isn’t a two man race at this point, John McCain will be poised to roll to victory in Michigan, and Florida, and the February 5th Super Tuesday races.

John McCain will be the Republic nominee for President. And he will be the next President of the United States. If so, the American people will be well served.

John McCain And Virginia

Friday, November 30th, 2007

I have a piece in today’s Washington Times about John McCain and keeping Virginia Republican.  Please take a look.  Here’s the link — and here’s the full article:

McCain and Virginia

November 30, 2007

By Frederic V. Malek

I am doing double duty in politics this year, serving as both co-chairman of the McCain campaign for president and as finance chairman for the Republican Party of Virginia. Officially, a state finance chair is supposed to remain neutral in primaries. But in this case, I committed to John McCain before accepting Ed Gillespie’s request to be state finance chair. I am glad I did and now see a nexus between the two.

That 2008 will be a tough battle for Republicans will not come as news to anyone. In Virginia, we Republicans have suffered three consecutive statewide losses (governor, governor and senator), and earlier this month lost our majority in the state Senate.

Furthermore, we face a popular former governor, Mark Warner, in the 2008 Senate race. Most of the margin for Democrats has come from Northern Virginia, and The Washington Post in fact has already endorsed Mr. Warner, declaring in Sunday’s editorial that the leading announced Republican candidate, former Gov. Jim Gilmore, was confrontational and irresponsible. In fact, Mr. Gilmore was a tax cutter who controlled spending and was an outstanding governor. He also helped carry the state for President Bush. Nevertheless, The Post editorial underscores the challenge we face in both the senatorial and presidential race.

We will easily keep the Commonwealth of Virginia in the red column in 2008 with a strong presidential candidate with unchanged and unshakable conservative principles and the proven national security experience to lead our nation in time of war and peril. Mr. McCain is the only candidate who meets these criteria, and this is why I enthusiastically support him. He can win in Virginia, and his lead will help our Senate candidate win as well. Both races will be helped by the two outstanding leaders who occupy the other two top statewide offices, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Bob McDonnell.

Why Mr. McCain, and why can he win, especially in Virginia? There are four core reasons: Principles, consistency, character and national security. Let’s briefly review each of these:

Principles: You may or may not agree with Mr. McCain on all of his positions, but one thing you can be sure of is that he will always be guided by his core beliefs and not by polls. Isn’t this the definition of leadership, and isn’t this what America needs in a leader?

Consistency: There is only one candidate in either party who has demonstrated consistency in his beliefs over time — who knows clearly who he is and what he stands for. The consistency in core beliefs extends from his defense of an unpopular “surge” strategy in Iraq (which now seems to be working) to social issues such as the right to life. He hasn’t changed his views to comply with voter preference — he has led voters toward his views.

Character: At my alma mater, West Point, we had a clause in the cadet motto that extolled “the courage to choose the harder right vs. the easier wrong.” Make the right choice no matter what the personal or political price might be. It encompasses principle and consistency, but is the embodiment of character. No one in recent history has demonstrated this more vividly than Mr. McCain. Most of us are aware of his refusal to be released after 3 years of torture and deprivation in a Viet Cong hell hole, unless his men and colleagues accompanied him. Who among us could show such courage? Such honor? He has continued these choices throughout his career and taking on the administration’s conduct of the Iraq war early on (supporting more troops and different tactics), forcing the administration to tighten its standards on torture prevention (who could know more about this or speak with more moral authority), and recently supporting the vastly politically unpopular but successful surge in troops.

National security: Mr. McCain has been immersed in national security his entire life and has shown leadership and skill at every turn. This extends from his time leading a Navy fighter squadron and his leadership of a group of prisoners of war, to his twenty years in the United States Senate where he has been a rigorous, consistent and effective voice on defending our country. He knows his stuff — he doesn’t need on the job training. And he has the right staff to make those truly hard decisions under duress that strike the right balance between national defense, moral authority, and respect for others.

These are the reasons I support Mr. McCain. They are also the reasons why Mr. McCain can carry the Commonwealth of Virginia and lead our Senate and congressional candidates to victory. A principled, consistent, experienced man of proven high character in a state that since the birth of the Republic has itself exemplified these characteristics.

Frederic V. Malek is a graduate of West Point and the Harvard Business School, and served in Vietnam. He also serves on a number of charitable and educational Boards.


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Optimism For Our Prospects In The Senate

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

(Originally posted at the Republican Party of Virginia’s blog)

What a tumultuous month it has been for Republican U.S. Senators. Almost overnight the climate has changed dramatically with the planned retirement of Senators Warner and Hagel, and the resignation of Larry Craig. As Republicans, we can view this as “Woe is us,” or “Hooray for us.” I view it as the latter because we can and should hold all three seats, and we have some excellent candidates. I wanted to share with the readers of the Republican Party of Virginia’s blog my thoughts on the style of the departures and the prospects for the future, especially here in Virginia.

Let me start with Larry Craig. Of course there is no comparison whatsoever between Craig and the Warner/Hagel departures. While all of us have erred at times, in my view Larry Craig acted disgracefully in his behavior and in his expeditious guilty plea. Of course he was subjected to a sting operation, and it is unlikely he would have been convicted if he had fought the charge. At my alma mater, West Point, we were taught in the cadet motto to “have the courage to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong,” a phrase so ingrained in me that it adorns the plaque in my honor at the Malek Tennis Center at West Point. Larry Craig chose the easier wrong, and he has put his party and the Senate through a humiliating spectacle. He should resign as he originally announced.

The polar opposite of Craig is John Warner who not only has served with the greatest honor and distinction in his 29 years in the Senate, but came to the most difficult of decisions for any leader: Depart at the top of his game and create the opportunity for a new generation. He is a Senator’s Senator, and a consensus builder, and a great champion of U.S. military forces and national security. He announced his ‘08 retirement as he should, with the greatest of honor and class. He placed country ahead of politics or personal in the best spirit of the Party of Lincoln.

Chuck Hagel has also served two terms with strength and independence. As Ambassador to the Economic Summit of Major Industrialized Nations in 1990, I had the good fortune of selecting fellow Vietnam veteran Chuck as my deputy. He proved to be an effective manager with a unique blend of toughness, charisma, and judgment. He was even able to make me look good – a tall order. In recent years Chuck’s reservations about a U.S. policy in Iraq grew to the point of disaffection. I believed he was also fed up with the inability to get much done in the Senate. While I disagree with him on the conduct of the war against terror, and in particular Iraq, I deeply respect his independence and conviction. He is making the right decision for his family and himself, and his future will continue to be bright. I hope he will join John Warner in supporting John McCain’s candidacy.

I believe we will readily hold the Senate seats in Idaho and Nebraska and also believe we can and will hold Virginia. As the State Finance Chairman for the Republican Party of Virginia, it is of course my job to believe and say this. However, the efforts are there. We have two likely contenders for the Republican nomination, and both are dynamic, hugely qualified candidates. Tom Davis has been one of the most effective leaders in the U.S. Congress for a decade, and his leadership helped keep a Republican majority when he chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee. Jim Gilmore was an effective Governor who reduced taxes, including the car tax. They will likely engage in a spirited primary which will raise their profiles and put the victor in a strong position to defeat Mark Warner in 2008.

Call me a pollyanna if you will. But I believe that led by a strong Presidential candidate in 2008, our Senate prospects are strong, and Republicans will hold all the seats with the election of vigorous newcomers.