John McCain received a warm introduction from George Allen and Tom Coburn, but not so much from the audience. At first, McCain looked a bit uncomfortable, but quickly adopted the attitude of a man accepting his party's nomination ("I'd be deeply humbled and honored to receive your nomination..."). In that tradition, McCain sought to demonstrate his conservative bona fides to a skeptical crowd. Among the highlights:
On missing CPAC last year: "I was merely preoccupied with the distinction of being the Republican frontrunner..."
Just now, during his address to the CPAC convention, Mitt Romney described the "difficult decision" he had to make, remarking that "because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside." Romney then linked his own presidential campaign with a larger effort to fight the war on terror: "We cannot allow the next president of the United States to stand aside in the face of extremism," Romney said, echoing Goldwater's "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."
With the departure of John Edwards from the race for the Democratic nomination yesterday, the focus now turns to how the vacuum left by his campaign will affect the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. First there is the question of delegates, which turns out to be the easiest puzzle to solve. According to the Democratic Convention Watch blog, all of Edwards' uncommitted superdelegates (27) will go back to a "no endorsement" pool.