THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

Does Georgia Conflict Help McCain?

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on August 8, 2008

While many believe the “Republican” brand is damaged, the one portion of their image that may not be is that they are stronger on defense and national security than Democrats. 

If that preceived strength remains the current conflict between Russia and the country of Georgia could be a blessing for the GOP amongst increasing rubble and smoke of the Caucasus region of South Ossetia. 

 CNN reports “…fierce clashes between Georgian and Russian forces — engagements that caused deaths, property damage, and population displacement in South Ossetia, a pro-Russian autonomous region of Georgia.

Much of the fighting was in and around the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, where black smoke from fire wafts overhead, Interfax news agency reported.

One U.S. State Department official involved in the diplomacy called the conflict a “very dangerous situation” and said diplomatic moves are afoot around the globe to stop the flare-up.”

As these reports increase and fighting intensifies today both presumptive nominees, Senators McCain and Obama, spoke about the conflict but it will be interesting to see how this conflict in a part of the world many Americans couldn’t find on a map impacts the American presidential race.  If the conflicts becomes an all out war, with impacts on the Middle East, oil and its cost and world stability the Republicans could to be licking their political chops.  If the GOP and McCain can attach the is conflict to the war on terror and global stability they may see some advantage at the polls. McCain is already on record saying that Russia should not be part of the G-8. 

It doesn’t help the Dems that on the day when the conflict exploded McCain offered his comment from the campaign trail and Obama issued a statement from the office as he headed on vacation.  Maybe the conflict doesn’t impact the race, especially as it breaks on the day when John Edwards’ affair is admitted and the Summer Olympics opens.  The media loves a scandal and sports. 

But if the Russian-Georgian conflict continues to confligrate and pictures of Russian tanks rolling through Tblisi as shown it hard to imagine the GOP passing up the opportunity to flex their security muscle.

It could also be a unique chance for Obama to show how tough he can be and how an Obama adminstration would respond to global unrest and take what polls say is the remaining strength of the Republican party.

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