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No doubt, the picture of McCain tackling unspecified “entrenched interests” may sound to many conservative ears somewhat akin to how Bill Clinton’s promise to put 100,000 new cops on the street sounded to Hunter S. Thompson when he and P.J. O’Rourke met the future president at a Little Rock restaurant in 1992. “I was up all night persuading Hunter this was not a personal threat,” O’Rourke has recalled.
Nevertheless, when asked what she believed McCain’s major economic initiatives would be, Fiorina laid out a solid palette of free-market shades from moving forward with free-trade agreements along the lines of the inexplicably maligned, perhaps derailed Colombian agreement to chiding Democrats for employing “very disturbing” protectionist rhetoric and “playing on people’s fears” to keeping taxes low on individuals, nonexistent on the Internet and reduced for companies spearheading next generation innovations.
There was also feel-good talk of encouraging green technologies and nuclear energy, restructuring unemployment programs to include more training for workers in increasingly marginal industries as well as reforming public education by bringing “the discipline of competition and the power of parental choice to the education system in a big way,” which just so happens was the topic of Fiorina’s 1989 MIT Master’s thesis, “The Education Crisis: Business and Government’s Role in Reform.”
UNFORTUNATELY, OUR DISCUSSION took place a few hours before McCain’s change of heart on mortgage bailouts, so I was unable to query Fiorina on this point. Time ran out before we could get to foreign affairs as well. One gathers from her book she probably has a fairly savvy take on the challenges we face: In 1969 she lived in Ghana where her father was teaching constitutional law in the wake of revolution. “I saw how difficult building a nation was,” she writes, “when smaller but more powerful tribal loyalties conflicted with the larger but more abstract idea of a nation.”
It’s a timely observation, whether we’re talking about Iraq or a fractious Republican coalition. How it will all turn out remains to be seen, but sitting in the Hilton lobby last week it seemed fairly obvious that McCain was lucky to have Carly Fiorina aboard.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?