Though I wouldn’t go as far as Quin, I have to say that if you would otherwise be inclined to support McCain, it seems pretty silly to rule him out entirely on the basis of campaign finance reform. While McCain was obviously the most responsible for the legislation, nobody’s hands are perfectly clean on this issue. Bush signed it into law. Giuliani was a strong supporter of it in his shortened 2000 Senate run. Mitt Romney was once a supporter of even far more drastic campaign financing legislation. And Fred Thompson, the conservative messiah, was, as George Will detailed, a staunch defender of it.
Personally, I prefer Giuliani because, unlike McCain, he has executive experience and I personally witnessed him work miracles as mayor of New York. The executive experience issue is one that Jonah Goldberg doesn’t address in his column arguing the merits of McCain over Giuliani. Also, Goldberg suggests that McCain was tougher after 9/11 because, “After 9/11, Giuliani earned his reputation for showing his sensitive side. After 9/11, McCain said to our enemies, ‘May God have mercy on you, because we won’t.'” Rudy was praised for his compassion, but what made him shine was that he mixed it with toughness–showing defiance after being trapped amid rubble himself, urging New Yorkers to be strong to send a message to “barbaric terrorists,” and, at least according to his book, three days after 9/11, he asked Bush if he could serve as bin Laden’s executioner were he ever caught.
But, with that said, if you would otherwise vote for McCain, it doesn’t make sense to me that you wouldn’t look past campaign finance reform. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s abominable law. But there are more important issues. Speaking of which, he’s about to give his big speech on the Iraq War.
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