Wednesday, October 17, 2007

While Some Reach for Gravitas, McCain Defines It.

It is one thing to claim mantles that do not belong to you, such as Gov. Romney’s recent claim of being the “Republican Wing of the Republican Party”. Insert “Democratic Wing” and rewind to early 2004 and you have another nutty New Englander, Howard Dean. Sure, you can claim gravitas, but as the old Chinese saying goes, “the more you brag, the more you diminish your accomplishments.”

It is another to be presidential. McCain is not wasting time telling people who and what he is. He is doing what a president does, that is, by “doing”. Another cliché for you, “actions speak louder than words”. And for McCain, by introducing his plans for healthcare and the war, and immigration, he has been presidential. He doesn’t need to tell you who he is; you can figure that out by what he stands for. Sometimes that might not be the answer you want to hear, as a Granite Stater found out a few days ago.

"US Senator John McCain (R), campaigning this week in New Hampshire, fended off hostile questions from a town hall audience member upset with McCain's immigration stance. "Do the people in Washington — the politicians and the lobbyists and the rich people writing the checks — do they understand the amount of anger the average European Christian, native-born American feels when they see their country turning into a multicultural chaos Tower of Babel," asked an angry man, according to CNN. When McCain tried to answer, the man interrupted McCain. Finally -- after expressing support for "first securing our borders" -- McCain fired back: "I believe the greatest strength of America is the lady who holds her lamp behind the golden door that says send me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses. And I am grateful to live in a nation that has been enriched by people coming to our nation from around the world. I will do everything in my power to secure the borders, but I love this nation and I love the people who have come from around the world." The NH audience gave McCain a loud round of applause for his answer."

McCain is back to being McCain. He is not a front runner, he is a maverick, an independent thinker, and despite his near half century of public service, an outsider. He runs best from behind, and New Hampshire has always appreciated that, as will a nation ready for leadership that is both innovative, experienced and proven by time. That candidate is John McCain.

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