Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Warming Up to Mac

Missouri Republican lawmakers are slowly warming up to the reality that John McCain will the G.O.P. nominee for president.

Rep. Roy Blunt officially endorsed today, and comments from Senator Kit Bond and Rep. Jo Ann Emerson show they are moving in that direction.

Bond said Wednesday that he is "ready to back McCain." But as the Associated Press notes, when Bond's candidate - Rudy Giuliani - dropped out of the race last month and threw his support to McCain, Bond declined to follow.

In a meeting with reporters last month, Bond pointed to the rocky history between him and McCain on issues like immigration, global warming and McCain's opposition to all earmarks - the pet projects lawmakers insert into legislation. Yet on Wednesday, Bond called McCain "a key ally in some of the most important fights in the Senate - from not surrendering the central battle ground in Iraq, to ensuring our intelligence operators have the tools they need to keep America safe. As I have said all along, I look forward to supporting the Republican nominee."

Rep. Emerson also said she is ready to support McCain -- even though she disagrees with him on agricultural and some spending issues. "I have a comfort level with him in spite of the fact that I disagree with him on major issues," she said. "I think that he certainly would do a fine job as president."

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