Tuesday, April 15, 2008

John McCain Does the Hardball College Tour

This is not going to be an easy election. That's an obvious point. But after watching John McCain on the Hardball College Tour tonight, it's very obvious that John McCain, especially against Hillary Clinton, could really run the table. He's fiercely independent, heroic, and even if you disagree with him on Iraq or Iran, unlike the current President, you at least know he's knowledgeable about the issues and even if he disagrees with you, he'll honestly listen to your point of view. He sounds like Al Gore when talking about the environment, he's against pork-barrel Congressional spending, and he's anti torture. Somehow, someway the Republicans, in a year they should get absolutely annihilated at the polls, and in spite of themselves due to their own misgivings about McCain, may have nominated the one Republican in the entire country that could win this year.

I watched the Barack Obama Hardball College Tour last week and I have to be honest, I think McCain came off better. He definitely seemed more presidential. When the debates come this fall, there's no telling how they are going to turn out, completely ignoring the actual content. Either John McCain is going to look really old next to Obama, or Obama is going to seem completely green next to the vastly more experienced McCain. No other Republican could appeal to middle-of-the-road voters like McCain, especially those who are bound to be disillusioned after this long Democratic primary race.

McCain, of course, has his problems. While cutting the summer gas tax is one of those campaign promises which sounds great, the money has to be made up somewhere. And he still has severe problems when it comes to foreign policy. The "100 year" comment may have been stretched beyond its intended meaning, but there's no questioning McCain would keep us involved in the Middle East for years to come. And no matter how much he tries to compare our role in Iraq to our role in Japan, Germany, or South Korea, he has no plan to eliminate the casualties in Iraq which would allow him to keep a peaceful force in the region. And add in a potential war with Iran, which would really be the start of Would War III because there's likely no question Iran would use an American attack as an excuse to attack Israel, which would respond and likely get the other countries in the region involved to some extent, McCain's policy positions are problematic.

But tonight, despite those problems, McCain showed why he's such a formidable and tough candidate for Democrats.

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