John McCain just turned in a tremendous performance here at the Value Voters Summit. This was McCain at his best, the heroic soldier who survived years of captivity through his love of country and faith in God, who fights pork barrel spending, and who is determined to defeat terrorism and protect America without losing touch with our values. The speech had a lyrical quality to it, and avoided easy red meat lines.
His case for the pro-life position was especially strong, and he did something he needed to do–remind the audience of his long pro-life record, but not in a tacky way:
I have been pro-life my entire public career. I believe I am the only major candidate in either party who can make that claim. I am pro-life because I know what it is like to live without human rights, where human life is accorded no inherent value, and I know that I have a personal obligation to advocate human rights wherever they are denied: in Bosnia or Burma, in Cuba or the Middle East; and in our own country when we fail to respect the inherent dignity of all human life, born or unborn. That is a personal testament, which you need not take on faith. You need only examine my public record to know that I won’t ever change my position.