We may not be exactly sure who will win the Indiana and North Carolina primaries tonight (and thus, likely win the nomination), but John McCain seems to have picked a favorite: Barack Obama.
The Arizona Republican mentions Barack Obama more often than anybody else when talking up conservatives he needs to woo in order to even come in a close second next fall. He mentions Obama more often than Ronald Reagan (gasp!), Barry Goldwater (shutter!) or George W. Bush (snicker).
So, given that he fares much better in the general election against Hillary Clinton (most recent polling not withstanding, the long term look has always put him in worse shape against Obama), why focus on elevating the Senator from Illinois? Because he can draw the sharpest distinction against Obama. But that cuts both ways and the old goat better be careful what he wishes for. I know exactly what kind of judicial temperment I prefer and how I'd like to see US foreign policy differ: neither are of the Bush/McCain variety. And with 70% of the country thinking we're on the wrong path, I'm guessing I'm not alone.