Posted by Warren Peterson on January 16, 2008
In the past, I have discounted Senator John McCain as a presidential candidate, too old and too contrary by nature. New Hampshire and his rise in the national polls coupled with the shaky numbers for the most qualified candidate, on paper at least, Mitt Romney, give me pause to consider a second choice, John McCain. On the issues he is a mixed bag but for the two critical ones, The War on Terror and spending and taxes, he’s got it right. Yes, I know, he voted against the Bush tax cuts but he did so on a principled stand. Tax cuts must go hand in hand with spending reduction to avoid ballooning the national debt. That said he supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
He’s pro-life, ethical to a fault, refreshingly candid (straight talk is just that) and tough.
In the mixed category, he appears to buy into Al Gore’s global warming scare and opposes drilling for oil in ANWR and off our coasts. It is difficult to see how we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, to which every candidate pays homage, and not exploit domestic reserves. Alternative energy sources are years away from supplanting enough foreign oil to significantly reduce the cost to our economy.
Of course the big one is immigration. Here he strongly supported the Bush/Kennedy oxymoron twins’ comprehensive immigration reform also known by many as the amnesty bill. To his credit, when the bill failed to pass, McCain said he got the message, secure the borders first. That still leaves the question of what to do about the estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the United States. McCain would deport the approximately 2 million with criminal records. Expect the ACLU to tie that effort up in the courts and the media to track down every “undocumented worker” and family sob story possible. So regardless of who is elected, the way ahead will not be easy. Id cards, employer penalties, guest worker programs, and deportations will all be needed but applied compassionately, fairly, wisely and legally.
There is a final plus for McCain, electability. Hillary is still the most likely to emerge from the racial mud of the Democratic contest. It is McCain that polls best against her. He would receive support from Republicans and do better than any other Republican candidate with independents and Hillary adverse Democrats.
If Romney’s two silvers and a gold, Giuliani’s “all in” bet on Florida, Thompson’s last stand in South Carolina or Huckabee’s “Evangelicals only” all come up short of the goal, put John in and cheer loudly!
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