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“Russia has used violence against Georgia to send a signal to any country that chooses to associate with the West and aspires to our shared economic and political values.”
McCain described a morning phone call to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili (“whom I have known for many years”) and conveyed Saakashvili’s “heartfelt thanks for the support of the American people for this tiny little democracy far away…. And I told him that I know I speak for every American when I say to him: today we are all Georgians.”
AS OLD-FASHIONED and corny as that might sound to postmodern sophisticates, the line drew applause in York, a town of 40,000 about 25 miles east of Gettysburg.
McCain got even more applause when he said the invasion of Georgia — site of a key pipeline delivering Caspian Sea oil to Europe — is “another reminder it’s time we got serious about our energy crisis and stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don’t like us very much.”
The Republican transitioned seamlessly from foreign to domestic concerns, touting his “all of the above” approach to energy policy, reminding his listeners that “the United States of America sits on the world’s largest resource of coal” — a sure applause line in central Pennsylvania.
Perhaps a more surprising applause line with the Republican audience was McCain’s praise for Sen. Hillary Clinton. Responding to a question from a young former Clinton supporter, McCain was cheered when he said the former first lady “ran a very good campaign. She inspired young women and people all over America and I think she deserves great credit for running a very fine campaign.”
Pennsylvania was the scene of a solid Hillary victory in April and became part of the Clinton campaign’s argument that Obama lacked the kind of support Democrats must have from working-class voters to win in November. Yet polls so far don’t indicate any defection of Clinton’s primary voters to the Republicans, and the last poll to show McCain leading Obama in Pennsylvania was in April.
Since former Bush operative (and Karl Rove protege) Steve Schmidt took over as campaign manager last month, however, the McCain operation has clearly become more aggressive and disciplined. The candidate’s repeated visits to Pennsylvania suggest an intention to fight hard to switch the blue state to Republican red for the first time in two decades.
The Obama campaign is evidently unconcerned by these efforts. While McCain shook hands in Pennsylvania, Obama enjoyed his fifth day of a Hawaiian vacation.
Given all the disadvantages Republicans face this fall, there may be little hope that McCain can match his miraculous comeback in the primaries, when he went from being broke and counted out of the race last summer to clinching the nomination in March.
Yet the maverick keeps plugging away, in keeping with the theme that rocked the arena speakers as he climbed back aboard the Straight Talk Express yesterday in York: “Taking Care of Business.”
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.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?