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Monday, Nov 12, 2018
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Opinion

McCain Is Our Man

When the 2008 presidential campaign began so long ago, everyone believed the Iraq War would be the defining issue. But as violence lessened, talk turned to health care, immigration and the sputtering economy. Now, everyone's talking about change, change, change. America's desire for change taps a yearning to feel optimistic about the future again, to feel confident that the country is headed in the right direction. But change for change's sake is a risky proposition. More important is a clear sense of purpose, a strong set of values and the ability to get things done. In our considered opinion, Arizona Sen. John McCain is the Republican presidential candidate best prepared to lead America forward in a muscular yet compassionate way. Today we recommend him for your consideration. No matter the distractions of this election season, national security is the paramount issue facing our country and McCain has the best foreign-policy resume, bar none.
McCain is a decorated war veteran and sits on the Senate committees that oversee foreign affairs and the armed services. He has a deep knowledge about the threats we face. He knows the players. He could hit the ground running. McCain is a known quantity, unlike some of the celebrity candidates. While we haven't always agreed with him - the campaign-finance reform he passed with Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold was flawed on many levels - we respect his backbone, his honesty and his unwavering patriotism. McCain showed uncommon political courage last summer by backing President Bush's decision to increase troop strength in Baghdad. Actually, the senator recommended this strategy after famously comparing former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's bare-bones strategy to the game of whack-a-mole. "I would much rather lose a campaign than lose a war," he said. How do you not respect that? Yes, there was that day he walked through a Baghdad market - protected by about 100 soldiers - and suggested that security was hunky-dory. But McCain has a good rapport with the military, a sign of mutual respect. And like some of the military officers we talk to, he's the only top candidate who confidently calls "water-boarding" what it is - torture. A former prisoner of war, McCain should know. McCain has been a maverick, but he's proven to be a fiercely loyal Republican, even when hit with untoward political dirt.
He's a fiscal conservative who shuns pork-barrel spending. He'd veto the bloated spending bills that sailed past President Bush. And though he voted against the 2002 tax cuts, it's because the president refused to follow Ronald Reagan's model and cut spending commensurately. Some Republicans are angry at McCain for his leadership on immigration reform. They would have preferred the nation round up and send home its 12 million illegal immigrants. But the senator understood the expense and enormity of such a folly. Unfortunately, his compromise failed. The nagging question is whether at 71, McCain can withstand the rigors of the presidency. He's proven himself vigorous during the campaign, but there's a chance he'd be a one-term president. He's right to brush back such a suggestion, though, knowing he'd be a lame duck at his inauguration. McCain is a good and principled man who stands behind his beliefs. He would keep the country safe and secure. He is the right man for America.
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