Thursday, May 24, 2007

McCain Pandering?

I was having a discussion with the Bull Moose yesterday about just how much Senator McCain has sold himself out to run for president in 2008. I contend that McCain has made definite symbolic changes to appeal more to the party's base, which seems to have a somewhat irrational fear of him, but that substantively, he's changed little. I don't like that candidates move to the extremes to get their nomination, and that especially now it cries out for more centrist candidates, but it's usually the necessary reality.

The New Hampshire Union Leader gets it right in their editorial today:

"We disagree with the senator about the immigration bill. But we admire his determination to do what he believes is right even at great personal risk. McCain is gambling his political career on his belief that Americans want a leader, not a follower. So far, no other presidential candidate has had the guts to do the same."

I don't know if Americans do want a leader. We always say we do, ask why politicians don't just "tell it like it is," but usually we just mean we want them to tell it like we already think it is. When they try to lead, we almost invariably shoot them down. But we sure need one.

I am in disagreement with many people in that I think both parties have several excellent candidates running for president. It's one of the greatest fields in a long time. And yet every candidate has significant flaws. McCain has his share, but I'm going to give a guy who is reasonable and sticks to his guns on the big stuff more latitude than someone who doesn't.

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