Thursday, August 30, 2007

Let's Talk Age

When asked about his age, McCain usually offers a cool retort...that most people seem to expect to see the septuagenarian drooling into a paper cup. Far from it, Senator McCain is a survivor. He has been more up front with his medical history than any recent candidate for the office, often noting how his nonagenarian mother toured Europe last year...and when the rental agency would not give her a car due to her age, she bought one.

Despite the anecdotal evidence, we know Americans are living longer. And the longevity breeds experience, the kind of long-view experience that only McCain offers in this election cycle. He has seen it all, as a combat veteran (the ONLY top tier combat veteran in the election, on both sides) and as a career public servant. For some reason however, the idea of someone serving over 50 is scaring pollsters. So much so, that by age alone, most Americans think that anyone over 70 is too old for the White House.

Too old? Reagan was 68 and served into his midseventies and did not miss a beat. We have had in recent memory "older" presidents. Only since the baby boomers began running for office as the idea of a 48 year-old president become a model. And the truth is, when you think of the blunders of Bush and Clinton, maybe an extra decade on the clock is what we need, a seasoned leader, who has seen it all several times, who knows exactly what does not work in government and has been around long enough to know when to reach across the aisle, and when to throw fire.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Not much of an Implosion as McCain is still a presence.

John McCain had a rough July, With what the media is calling an "exodus", McCain's key staff diminished in matter of weeks. As everyone seems to be awaiting the paper tiger campaign on Fred Thompson, McCain, oddly, is still a presence in the polls.

Senator McCain leads the pack when it comes to who Americans trust more to be commander-in-chief during a war. It seems that the rest of the field, Republican and Democrat, have avoided war talk in the hope of being pleasant enough to be elected. McCain ran into the fire with Iraq, and while overall, it has cost him, he still is the most trusted to lead our armed forces in the War on Terror.

And while Money Man Mitt is leading in fundraising, he cannot seem to get ahead of McCain in Florida polling. As the far right gets squeamish on Giuliani's social conservative flipflopping, McCain still enjoys a comfortable third place in polling. If each of these top tier candidates take a primary state or two, we might just have an interesting Republican National Convention in 2008.

After the Sunday Morning ABC News debate, it is clear that McCain is still a contender, despite the bad press. He is still the most articulate on the seriousness of Islamic terrorism, the only candidate who is serious about pork spending that will burden generations of Americans with the cash and spend mentality of Congress, and the only candidate who has been consistently conservative throughout his career. All of that, without a fraction of Money Mitt's machine in Iowa.

And of course, all of Mitt's spending in Iowa is pretty meaningless when most Iowa Caucus goers have shown a relative indifference to this field of candidates. We have a rather boring slate of flip-floppers, has been's, never-will-be's, and one constant in John McCain.

Americans ought to look to McCain's candidacy in the same manner the College of Cardinals did when choosing a successor to John Paul the Great. McCain is the most experienced, most readied, and most consistent candidate of the lot. He is senior, and may only serve a term, but that term, the "interregnum" between the neoconservative failure of George Bush and the next generation of actual conservatives, too green to lead our nation, is critical. No candidate on either side of the aisle sports McCain's resume, and right now, we need a consistent warrior for freedom. That choice is still John McCain.