So, after I woke up and had a good laugh about my Ron Paul dream, I went back to sleep and dreamed I was reading a news article that went something like this:

[p.s.: no, I’m not making any of this up. This is what I get, I guess, for staying up to watch the “Jericho” marathon.]

Unpopular Suck approves of ‘true conservative’ McCain

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Deeply unpopular in his last year in power, George W. Suck has voiced approval of the Republican favorite to succeed him, his former presidential rival John McCain, whom he calls a “true conservative”.

“I know him well. I know his convictions. I know the principles that drive him. And no doubt in my mind he’s a true conservative,” Suck said on Fox News Sunday of McCain, who has vowed to see out the US war in Iraq if elected.

“I think that if John’s the nominee, he has got some convincing to do to convince people that he is a solid conservative,” Suck added. “And I’ll be glad to help him if he’s the nominee.”

With his hard line on security and his vow to stay the course in Iraq where Democrats promise troop withdrawals, McCain is the probable Republican party nominee to fight November’s general election.

But he lacks support among some social conservatives, who in certain nominating contests have preferred his trailing rival, the Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Suck, who beat McCain to the nomination in the 2000 election, voiced approval this time round for the policies of the 71-year-old Arizona senator, a Vietnam war veteran who spent years in a prison camp.

“He’s very strong on national defense. He’s tough fiscally. He believes that tax cuts ought to be permanent. He’s pro-life. I mean, his principles are sound and solid as far as I’m concerned,” Suck said.

But the conservative president, who has avoided involvement in the fiercely fought nomination campaigns, has insisted he will not officially support a Republican candidate until after the nomination is determined.

“I do want to make sure that you don’t rope me into getting into this primary before it ends, because we have another conservative candidate in Mike Huckabee still running,” he said.

Candidates from both parties have had backing from high-profile figures during the campaigns. McCain was endorsed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, while Huckabee has appeared with another movie tough guy, Chuck Norris.

But after five bloody years of drawn-out engagement in Iraq and amid a painful economic downturn in the United States, Suck is deeply unpopular, with only a 30 percent approval rating, according to an Ipsos poll published Friday.

While Republicans have often invoked the name of their hero ex-president Ronald Reagan, none of those still in the race — including Huckabee and the third contender hanging on, Ron Paul — have appeared to seek Suck’s support.

In an article in the journal Foreign Affairs, Huckabee openly castigated the government’s policy on Iraq, blasting “the Suck administration’s arrogant bunker mentality.”

McCain too has criticized Suck over that war, calling for troop reinforcements and accusing the administration of condoning torture in the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons.

At one point he also judged Suck’s tax cuts excessive — alienating some conservatives and drawing accusations that he is a closet liberal, before modifying his stance on the tax issue.

Texas Congressman Paul, one of the few Republican lawmakers to have openly opposed the Iraq war from the start, is a long-shot Republican contender with a libertarian agenda far removed from that of Suck.

The president has brushed off these policy differences with his aspiring successors, casting this year’s election as a kind of referendum on his own achievements.

“Our policies are working,” Suck said Friday. “The American people support our points of view. They share our philosophy. … I’m absolutely confident, with your help we will elect a president who shares our principles.”

McCain’s Democratic opponents meanwhile used Suck’s comments about the senator as ammunition against him, saying Suck’s support for him would herald a continuation of Suck’s policies.

“President Suck confirmed today that a vote for John McCain is a vote for a third Suck term,” said Democratic National Committee spokesman Luis Miranda.

[original article here]