The Washington Times - July 3, 2008, 11:08AM

An aging war hero with a temper and a dry sense of humor? Check.

A flip-flop to embrace tax cuts? Check.

A campaign that badly trails its Democratic opponent in fundraising? Check.

Obligatory shake-up to answer Republican criticism of a floundering campaign? Check.

A very smart Republican came up with the compare-Dole-and-McCain model to predict what might happen between now and the election. The projections rest on the question, “What would Dole do?”

Looking back, the comparison explains the campaign shake-up yesterday, in which McCain shuffled his senior staff to respond to criticism from his own party. Among the names floated as possible hires, were Scott Reed, the man who ran Dole’s 1996 failed presidential bid, and Mike Murphy, who was on Dole’s team until he was ousted in a shake-up.

So how can we test the theory? Apply it going forward, say, to McCain’s choice of vice president. Dole, facing questions from conservatives about his commitment to tax cuts, chose Jack Kemp, who Dole hoped would energize the base. So what will McCain do? According to the WWBDD model, he’ll choose Mitt Romney.

Stephen Dinan, national political correspondent, The Washington Times