The Spectacle Blog

In Defense of McCain

By on 2.7.07 | 1:26PM

John McCain faces one serious problem in his run for the Republican nomination. He's perceived as a maverick. He's not a team player and he doesn't mind running against his team's play if he feels the need. In a parliamentary body, this is a major liability. You need your players disciplined and working together. It's a mark against John McCain, the senator.

This maverick quality, however, is not a mark against John McCain the would-be president. Executive qualities are very different from parliamentarian qualities, which may be why proficient senators are sometimes not very good presidential candidates. McCain may simply be a president trapped in a senator's body.

Other than that, what are the knocks against McCain?

He got bad advice in 2000 to run against evangelicals and try to divide them from Catholics. That's easily corrected. He hired Pat Hynes. Hynes is very savvy about the religious voter and in fact is one himself.

Another knock is that he wasn't always in step on Iraq policy. That doesn't look too bad right now. He said we needed more troops and he was right.

The only serious nick I can see on the guy is that he may not be a convinced tax cutter.

McCain is already substantially pro-life with an established pro-life voting record. The fact that he isn't pristine in that area is hardly worth mentioning since Giuliani is more liberal there than he is.

And the war hero stuff? That wouldn't hurt a bit right now.

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