Pay Attention ’08–Why I Support John McCain

February 7, 2008

This week has been the most important one yet on the road to the White House in 2008.

First, there was Super Tuesday. On the Republican side, John McCain did the best, winning New York, California, and several other states while accumulating a large lead in the delegate count. On the Democratic side, the vote was very close (almost 50-50) between Clinton and Obama. Clinton holds a slight edge in the delegate count according to CNN.com.

Second, there was Surprise Thursday. Mitt Romney dropped out of the race. Romney had the support of much of the conservative establishment and was viewed as having the best chance to beat McCain. I was pleasantly surprised by this announcement. Romney strongly stated that Republicans need to rally around the nominee because of the important implications of this election for the future. This narrows the race on the Republican side to essentially McCain and Huckabee, and with his vast lead in the delegate count, McCain will likely be the nominee.

I endorse McCain for President. While I voted for him on Tuesday, I did go back and forth between him and Romney for a while. But now that the race is essentially down to two, I strongly support McCain over Huckabee for the Republican nomination. Here are a few of my reasons.

Foreign Policy. Of all the Republican candidates, McCain is certainly the stongest in this area. Not only did McCain serve in the military, he has proven to be a reliable voice on foreign policy in his time in the Senate. Throughout the Iraq War, McCain’s criticisms and suggestions have been incredibly accurate. At the beginning, McCain said we needed more troops. It turned out he was right. Last year, McCain supported “the surge” from the beginning, even though it was not popular. Guess what–the surge worked. If there is one Republican I want as Commander-in-Chief, it is John McCain. As for Huckabee, my first impressions of his foreign policy came from the time he jokingly said that he was not an expert in foreign policy…but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. When it comes to commanding the most powerful military in the world, I want John McCain.

Economic Policy. Over the last couple years, I have become discontent with the Republican Party over one important issue–they have begun to spend like Democrats. What happened to fiscal responsibility? John McCain knows that the government needs to cut spending, and I believe he has the spine to back up that campaign pledge. I believe this because McCain has a track record of doing what he believes to be right even if it is unpopular (e.g. the surge). When Congress sends earmarks and pork-barrel spending to his desk in the Oval Office, he will not be afraid to wield the veto stamp. As for Huckabee, his idea of good fiscal policy is the Fair Tax. This proposal has a couple big problems. Very few economists think it is a good idea, and it will never get anywhere in Congress. Again, in the area of economic policy, I support John McCain.

Electability. A realistic political participant must consider this factor, especially in choosing a nominee. John McCain can fight and win against Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. In fact, he may be the only chance Republicans have of regaining the White House despite the party’s current unpopularity. He has always been popular among moderates or independents, who may very well vote for him instead of a liberal Democrat. Also, the Republican base will come out to vote against Obama or Clinton. On the other hand, I do not like the idea of a nomination for Mike Huckabee and a national campaign featuring a Fair Tax economic policy and a Holiday Inn Express foreign policy. John McCain can win in November.

Let me make it clear that I do not think that McCain is the perfect candidate or that he will be the perfect president. Also, I am not saying that there is nothing to like about Huckabee. What I am saying is that I think the McCain is the clear choice for the nomination of the Republican party, and I look forward to voting for him in November.

Until next time, pay attention.

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One Response to “Pay Attention ’08–Why I Support John McCain”

  1. Austen said

    Thank you for your good, helpful analysis, Ben-O.

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