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John McCain, Serious Candidate

If Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is having fun in his second run for president, he sure has a strange way of showing it.

John McCain
John McCain on Monday addressed a Washington think tank about the issue of energy security. (Getty Images)

In a speech Monday on energy security -- the last of three major policy addresses in the lead-up to the formal announcement of his presidential bid on Wednesday -- McCain projected an air of somber seriousness that showed little of the fun-loving maverick that voters (and the media) fell in love with in 2000.

It's worth noting that McCain's subject matter -- how American dependency on foreign oil is undermining national security -- is something short of hilariously funny. And it didn't help that McCain read the speech from a huge teleprompter in the back of the room, which led many people in the audience to crane their necks to see the TV screen.

But, whatever the circumstances, McCain's speech sparked little energy among the crowd gathered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. The lone highlight was when he pulled out a huge and cumbersome cell phone from the 1980s and modern model to show the power of American ingenuity. In general, the speech was extremely heavy on policy proposals and light on uplifting rhetoric.

The press conference afterward was more of the same. McCain answered a series of questions with his voice soft and his hands clasped in front of him. Asked about the Supreme Court hearing set for Wednesday on a legal challenge to the 2002 campaign finance bill that bears his name, McCain said quietly, "I would hope that most people would recognize we have eliminated one of the most corrupting influences in Washington ... soft money."

Even a semi-antagonistic question on whether putting a lobbyist -- former Rep. Tom Loeffler (R-Texas) -- in charge of his national fundraising effort undermined his reform message didn't excite McCain. He recounted that he had known Loeffler since the early 1980s, adding: "He is one of a large number of people helping me with fundraising."

McCain has shown flashes of his trademark wit and biting sense of humor -- especially during a recent bus tour of Iowa and New Hampshire. But McCain version 2008 is considerably more restrained than the 2000 model.

It would seem that McCain's change in attitude is part of a broader effort to paint him as a serious man for serious times. McCain allies believe he is the only candidate in the Republican field with the experience to handle the tough challenges facing the nation domestically and internationally. Showing his serious side, the theory goes, is essential to proving to people that McCain and McCain alone is prepared to walk into the Oval Office in January 2009 and begin governing.

It also reflects the belief within his campaign that while the fun-loving McCain may have been an appealing figure to many voters in 2000, it didn't win him the primary. McCain has gone to great lengths to become the frontrunner/establishment favorite in this race, which means less bomb throwing and more statesmanship

Still, flashes of the "old" iconoclastic McCain still peep out from time to time. Witness the minor outcry over his warbling of "Bomb Iran" last week. Could McCain -- now no longer burdened with the "frontrunner" tag -- shift back to a more freewheeling approach to the campaign?

Maybe.

Asked Monday about last week's Iran controversy, McCain had this advice for his critics: "Lighten up and get a life."

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 24, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: McCain Campaign Replaces Finance Director

Comments

It was GOOD while it lasted?????

Posted by: Bill MacLeod | April 25, 2007 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Well, this comment section is done for. It was good while it lasted.

Posted by: roo | April 25, 2007 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Razorback --- *Lady Thatcher*? Actually it*s Baroness Thatcher or as she is known in Britain,-- Mad cow maggie the maggot!!!

Posted by: Bill MacLeod | April 24, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Razorback --- had you done what you didn*t did, you wouldn*t have didn*t what you done did!!

Posted by: Bill MacLeod | April 24, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Razorback -- *believe* is a verb not a noun!

Posted by: Bill MacLeod | April 24, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Razorback--- Did they ask you to give them a democratic pluralistic society????

Posted by: Bill MacLeod | April 24, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

You see we Libs believe in free speech, unless you disagree with us and then we will pay to stifle it, even for others who we don't know. we are that dedicated. Please shut down talk radio, it is interfering with our monopoly of information and killing our press advantage. we may have to run on issues if this continues and you know we always lose on those.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The total went from $17K to $20K in 10 minutes -- now think what it's going to be like in 2008.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey, celebrate. The students at Brigham Young University who object to Dick Cheney giving their commencement speech just received $21,000 for their legal battle against cheney/the administration from Daily Kos -- where it was raised in one day with small donations.

Posted by: funny, huh | April 24, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon's bolstering of its ground forces in Baghdad by borrowing money and people from its sister services is further straining a stretched Air Force, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley said Tuesday.

The result, Moseley said, is people being assigned to jobs they weren't trained for. He cited Air Force airmen being used to guard prisoners and serve as drivers and cited one instance in which a female Air Force surgeon was assigned typing chores.

"We got her back," Moseley said at a breakfast with a group of reporters.

Posted by: broken military | April 24, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

oh my goodness. Another Bush clone running for office. After his remarks on Iraq a couple of weeks ago,he showed his true colors. He'll with Americans and what they want and keep the RNP corrupt money flowing. No worries, Bush will train him well so nothing changes.. Don't vote for this guy. He is not the honest man we once knew. He is just another crooked politician
with a brain trnasplant from Bush

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Why are republicans liars and cowards?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

My cut and paste button is stuck. how will I think now?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

oh my goodness. Another Bush clone running for office. After his remarks on Iraq a couple of weeks ago,he showed his true colors. He'll with Americans and what they want and keep the RNP corrupt money flowing. No worries, Bush will train him well so nothing changes.. Don't vote for this guy. He is not the honest man we once knew. He is just another crooked politician
with a brain trnasplant from Bush

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

oh my goodness. Another Bush clone running for office. After his remarks on Iraq a couple of weeks ago,he showed his true colors. He'll with Americans and what they want and keep the RNP corrupt money flowing. No worries, Bush will train him well so nothing changes.. Don't vote for this guy. He is not the honest man we once knew. He is just another crooked politician
with a brain trnasplant from Bush

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

oh my goodness. Another Bush clone running for office. After his remarks on Iraq a couple of weeks ago,he showed his true colors. He'll with Americans and what they want and keep the RNP corrupt money flowing. No worries, Bush will train him well so nothing changes.. Don't vote for this guy. He is not the honest man we once knew. He is just another crooked politician
with a brain trnasplant from Bush

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

oh my goodness. Another Bush clone running for office. After his remarks on Iraq a couple of weeks ago,he showed his true colors. He'll with Americans and what they want and keep the RNP corrupt money flowing. No worries, Bush will train him well so nothing changes.. Don't vote for this guy. He is not the honest man we once knew. He is just another crooked politician
with a brain trnasplant from Bush

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

the ignorance is astounding. Is there any subject you know anything about? the evidence so far is that you are completly ignorant of just about everything. that must be some kind of record, even for a Lib.

I have been away so I keep forgetting to ignore you ignoRANT coward.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 24, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

McCain looks and sounds tired, old, and mainly irrelevant. His time has come and gone.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"I rembember the days when the liberals LOVED Rummy because they saw his call for a leaner lighter military as a means to cut the defense budget.'"

They never loved Rumsfeld. The leaner lighter military didn't mean cuts to the budget, it meant more dependence on technology.

I'll bet that you still think that there are such things as smart bombs, and that air power is effective.

Shock and Awe to you, Baby!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

All those great thoughts at huffington and Kos were the same ones I had last year. why can't the other Dems come up with some new reasons to hate bush? I am running out of material and I certainly can't come up with anything on my own. I know, I know, I'll just replace bush with McCain and post everything from last election all over again. I'll be back.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

It would seem if the Chinese government is starting a fund, which they are, to place 200 billion or so dollars into stock rather than govt bonds that the stock market might actually be an attractive place to invest for me.

On the issue of not talking with Iran or Syria, I respectfully disagree with one of the previous posters. One of the most shortsighted things we can do is allow for another group or country to get the moral authority. That said, it does not mean that we would necessarily accomplish anything by this other then not appearing to be what America has been accused of lately by other countries, something which I resent. I read the book "The Ugly American" many years ago and strangely feel that someone should give this as a gift to our current president. Any politician trying to run for office in 08 should be using words like dialogue, working with others, and restoring the respect of the US in the world's eyes as talking points of their campaign. The fact that McCain does not use any of this language scares me; it means he will be unelectable in 08.

Posted by: JustTired | April 24, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Never coming back? You made this mess. This was YOUR idea.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I thought Dems were going to lower gas prices if elected. what happened? My campaign contributions were supposed to pay off. I was told that geoerge Bush was controlling the prices so he could get reelected. I am certainly not voting for him next time.

Posted by: concerned Dem | April 24, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I just wandered over here, and realized why I'm never coming back.

Posted by: Jesus | April 24, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

NYah, Nyah.. that's my idea of a conversation. but I'll never get out of the sandbox -- I simply don't have the intellect. i wish I knew something, anything about econ but alas, I know nothing. so I will spew nonsense and hope no one notices. they never do at our local Democratic meetings.
I simply don't have any thoughts of my own. I am off to huffington to find some original thougths of my own to cut and paste here. I'll be back soon.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey you GREEDY CEO, what kind of a GREEDY CEO are you?

The GREEDY CEOs of oil companies are SCREWING the GREEDY CEOs of Airline, Trucking and Utility companies, because the GREEDY CEOs of Airlines, Trucking and Utility companies buy more high priced oil products from GREEDY OIL CEOs every 10 minutes than all the po' folks displaced by Katrina buy in a whole year.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I am a greedy CEO. Stop giving my secrets away for nothing. the Dems are clueless and we prefer them that way.

Posted by: Steve | April 24, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Chimp says Oh OhOh OhOhOh, doesn't that count as making it all the way to 3?

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I am a moron and resent you comparing me to that other imbecile. If he studies hard he may make fool someday.

Posted by: dufas1133 | April 24, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If GREEDY CEO's are the only ones in the stock market, and GREEDY CEO's run the economy to suit their own GREEDY purposes, are all of those GREEDY CEO's wrong about the economy?

If a recession is coming, a GREEDY CEO would be SELLING stock, not buying it.

Havnt you ever heard of ENRON? The CRIME was SELLING before the downfall, not buying.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin - your'e right, Gen. Petraeus said a military solution alone is not sufficient, but that the military action is neccessary to improve security.

McCain specifically ridiculed the Baker-Hamilton suggestion that American combat troops withdraw from Iraq while more advisors and trainers embed with Iraqi forces.

He argued that this would "put at risk a large number of American advisors," who would be subject to hostage-taking and the attacks of rogue militias or terrorists.

McCain also disagreed with the commission's idea of seeking peace talks with Iran and Syria, saying, "I don't believe that a peace conference with people who are dedicated to your extinction has much short-term gain."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/12/senator_backbone.html

His position regarding B-H has nothing to do with primary politics, imo, and everything to do with our best interests in Iraq and getting it right.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 24, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

NYah, Nyah.. that's your idea of a conversation. but you'll never get out of the sandbox -- you simply don't have the intellect.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk:

Dammit, we made it all the way to 3. I guess that was just random luck.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Cons are so ignorant about economics. They assume that because the CEOS are doing well in the stock market, that that has any effect whatsoever on the lives of most middle-class people. Just like with everything else, they live in a dream world of pollyanna delusions.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

This moron is giving us a bad name.

Posted by: MoronsOfthePlanetUnite | April 24, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Razor - can you teach math to a chimp? why try?

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 24, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

No wonder Rumsfeld knew that Saddam had WMD. He GAVE it to them. Now I have truely heard EVERYTHING. That was the last stupid thing that I hadn't yet heard.

You contradict your condradiction of your contradictions. Calling you a moron is an insult to real morons.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Nine U.S. paratroopers were killed Monday when a pair of suicide bombers attacked a small U.S. patrol base in Diyala province, the U.S. military said.

It was the deadliest attack on U.S. ground forces in Iraq since December 2005.

U.S. military officials said initial reports indicate insurgents used two 30-ton dump trucks full of explosives to attack what they call a combat outpost. The massive blast resulted in the northern and western walls of the compound collapsing. Remains of several troops were recovered from the rubble.

Another 20 U.S. soldiers were wounded in the frontal assault, which differs from the hit-and-run tactics insurgents have used in the past.

More U.S. troops are being deployed to smaller bases outside the capital as part of the security plan to take and hold control of neighborhoods and towns.

The Diyala region is emerging as a major battleground in the Iraq war, along with Baghdad and Anbar province, with insurgents shifting their operations into the area.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The brother of Pat Tillman told a House panel today that the military tried to spin his brother's 2004 death to deflect attention from emerging failings in the Afghanistan war. Also, as media outlets prepared to release reports on detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, the military saw the Army Ranger's death as an "opportunity," Kevin Tillman told the panel.

Posted by: 'oppoortunity' | April 24, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"|" says:

Everyone is forecasting a recession.. the artificial buildup of the housing market through junk mortgages to people who couldn't actually afford their homes made it inevitable.

Liberals are so ignorant about markets. The stock market is going UP, that is not forecasting a recession. That is just the opposite, and the marke'ts forecast is much more meaningful that a political forecast because the market represents the collective widsom of those actually putting MONEY behind their opinion. They might be wrong, and it wouldn't be the first time. Markets are a much more accurate predictor that politicians playing an angle.

"Junk mortages to people who couldn't actually afford their homes". What a stupid statement. Try "higher risk, higher interest loans intended to give lower income people a shot at the American dream".

The idiots were the ones who put their entire portfolio of home morgages in the high risk category, not those who made available mortages to lower income lower credit score type people.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

'I rembember the days when the liberals LOVED Rummy because they saw his call for a leaner lighter military as a means to cut the defense budget.'


funny how you remember things that never happened. but that's the way cons are.facts just aren't your strong suit. so-called 'liberals' hated rumsfeld since he delivered poison to saddam in 1983 to gas the kurds, and for his coziness with contractors, note to mention his conflicts of interest in investing with them.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I rembember the days when the liberals LOVED Rummy because they saw his call for a leaner lighter military as a means to cut the defense budget.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

ProudtobeGOP -

Is there some rationale for Sen. McCain to become virtually silent on the need for a diplomatic push to allow the "breathing room" Petraeus testified he could give the Iraqi government to bear fruit?

He has been speaking as if Petraeus could do this with enough troops, even in a vacuum, which is not what Petraeus said.

Does Baker-Hamilton or a variant simply not resonate with Republican primary voters?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 24, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

To the reasonable people who say Iraq would have been better off had we did a few things different, I salue your American sense of optimism. I share that optimism with respect to almost every problem on the planet. The lone exeption is that I am not optimistic about Arab civic culture.

To the mindless leftists who say Iraq would have been better off had we did a few things different I say, quit flacking for Hillary. She voted for the war because of POLLING, because she didnt want to be seen as "weak" on national security and the whole "mismanagement" bit is just an attempt to divert from the fact that she voted for it.

I separate the mindless liberals from the reasonable people by noting that the reasonable people actually have something intelligent to say about WHAT they would have done different.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

the people on this board are probably among the dozen or so warwh*res left in the country.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

... the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.
The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House....

"We will take the evidence where it leads us," Scott J. Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel and a presidential appointee, said in an interview Monday. "We will not leave any stone unturned."

Bloch (who is, by the way, a Bush appointee) seems to have combined a host of investigations -- 1) whether U.S. Attorney for New Mexico David Iglesias was wrongly terminated due to his Navy reserve service, and 2) the White House's use of RNC-issued email accounts to conduct government business, and 3) Rove's and his deputy's presentations to federal employees about Republican electoral prospects -- into one big stew pot of wrongdoing.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

are these clowns beating the drums for another World War? unbelievable. mccain is definitely not the maverick figure he portrayed himself as in previous elections.

Posted by: egalitiare | April 24, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is forecasting a recession.. the artificial buildup of the housing market through junk mortgages to people who couldn't actually afford their homes made it inevitable.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Lady Thatcher observed that the reason so many liberals were confused about whether western or soviet societies were superior is that only free societies talk about their problems, why the problems of dictatorships are hidden from public view.

This is why some liberals think that life in Iraq was so much better under Saddam.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

get ready for the meltdown seems to be forcasting a recession.

If he/she/it puts their money where there mouth is, they can make alot of money short selling stocks before the meltdown starts.

If Paul Krugman had tried to do this each time he predicted a meltdown, he would be broke by now.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Lady Thatcher? Boy, have you been brainwashed. More like Attilla, the Hen!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

JustTired - I and many conservatives agree with you that the Powell doctrine - a strategy that may well have worked -was shamelessly cast aside on the alter of Rumsfeld's transformation - a failed strategy that was inflexible and sought only to prove his point and assuage his ego.

McCain was right about Rummy imo, and that is one of the clear differences he has had with the Bush admin.

That Powell was made to fall on his sword is the blackest of marks on Bush's presidency.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 24, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Don, yes, genocide is happening in Iraq. It will get much much worse if we were to leave.

What will Don say then? Why isn't the US trying to prevent genocide in Iraq?

In Darfur, the liberals say we should use military power to prevent genocide. In Iraq, they say withdraw, don't worry about the genocide. Its just another political football for them to kick.

The genocide under Saddam was just as bad, but, as Lady Thatcher pointed out, liberals only complain about genocide that is on TV.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

'Gen. Petraeus has said we will know by the fall whether or not it's going to work to create stability'

that's what you people say every 6 months... what will the next excuse be? you know the US is not leaving because there are 14 huge permanent military bases under construction, so it's all BS anyway.

cheney wants a base of operations there, to replace the bases we had in saudi arabia before 9/11 -- and also as a base of operations when they attack Iran and Syria. this is not a secret:

'From the ashes of abandoned Iraqi army bases, U.S. military engineers are overseeing the building of an enhanced system of American bases designed to last for years.

In 2003, as troops poured over the Kuwait border to invade Iraq, the U.S. military set up at least 120 forward operating bases. Then came hundreds of expeditionary and temporary bases that were to last between six months and a year for tactical operations while providing soldiers with such comforts as e-mail and Internet access.

Now U.S. engineers are focusing on constructing 14 "enduring bases," long-term encampments for the thousands of American troops expected to serve in Iraq for at least two years. The bases also would be key outposts for Bush administration policy advisers.

As the U.S. has scaled back its military presence in Saudi Arabia, Iraq provides an option for an administration eager to maintain a robust military presence in the Middle East and intent on a muscular approach to seeding democracy in the region. The number of U.S. military personnel in Iraq, between is expected to remain unchanged through 2007, according to military planners.

"Is this a swap for the Saudi bases?" asked Army Brig. Gen. Robert Pollman, chief engineer for base construction in Iraq. It makes a lot of logical sense."

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy chief of operations for the coalition in Iraq, said the military engineers are trying to prepare for any eventuality.

"This is a blueprint for how we can operate in the Middle East," Kimmitt said.

To that end, the U.S. plans to operate from former Iraqi bases in Baghdad, Mosul, Taji, Balad, Kirkuk and in areas near Nasiriyah, near Tikrit, near Fallujah and between Irbil and Kirkuk.

There also are plans to renovate and enhance airfields in Baghdad and Mosul, and rebuild 70 miles of road on the main route for U.S. troops headed north.'

Posted by: get real people | April 24, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The walls work.. they have in Israel and many other areas in which things are volatile. The fact they are fighting the walls should tell us something....

The issue sadly is that the words McConnell said make sense, but Bush jr. is not trying to work with the various groups to come up with a viable solution in which the various political elements at least feel as if they are involved with the process. Bush jr. has lost the support of the country and quite simply I do not think many people honestly believe anything he has to say anymore.

Razorback, I do feel as if we could have won this... guess that is my belief in the military. But, if you look at what Powell and many of the other generals said, we should have gone in there with 250,000 troops.. we could have created a new South Korea instead of this mess. I know why we did not go in the first time... but if we had gotten the political backing, which we did not, we could have pulled this off with enough troops.... The problem was we had a politician trying to develop a new military strategy instead of listening to the generals... the same advice he is trying to now give to the Democrats.. sorta sad actually.

Posted by: JustTired | April 24, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON - Sales of existing homes plunged in March by the largest amount in nearly two decades, reflecting increasing problems in the subprime mortgage market, a real estate trade group reported Tuesday.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell by 8.4 percent in March, compared to February. It was the biggest one-month decline since a 12.6 percent plunge in January 1989, another period of recession conditions in housing.

Posted by: get ready for the meltdown | April 24, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

THE GENOCIDE IN IRAQ IS ALREADY HAPPENING. Try to open your eyes and face the facts.

Posted by: Don | April 24, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Too bad that the loony right is infested with so many morons who can't take responsibility for their own miserable failures and have try to blame everything on some strawmen called a 'Lib'. Truly pathetic and lame.

Posted by: JL | April 24, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

razorback - I agree, it is their last chance, and they do have to do alot more of the heavy lifting.

It's amazing to me though, that the plan isn't even fully implemented yet, but the surrendercrats are already yelling "we lost!", and they say they support the troops in the same breath.

Gen. Petraeus has said we will know by the fall whether or not it's going to work to create stability in Baghdad that is needed for a political solution to take hold.

These people were held down for decades by one of the world's worst dictators. Of course it will take time...the South Koreans took decades after the war to have some semblance of a successful prosperous country. There's alot more at stake for the US this time.

As McCain stated at VMI, "We, who are willing to support this new strategy, and give General Petraeus the time and support he needs, have chosen a hard road.

But it is the right road. It is necessary and just."

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/567prrum.asp

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 24, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with JustTired suggestion that the problem is Iraq was how the US handled things post invasion.

The biggest decision was to dismantle the Iraqi army. Although this had negative consequences, I don't think it would have turned out any different had we tried to use the SUNNI dominated army to bring security to SHIITES.

The problem is not with US actions, the problem is with the civic culture in Iraq.

There is no believe in reasoned debate, no classic enlightenment believe in rationality and pluralism. No believe in education, individualism or typical Western notions of progress. These are a bunch of violent backwards fanatics and are absolutely determined to stay that way.

This is why is supported the Bush 1 decision not go to Baghdad in 1991, even while the liberals were running around saying "Saddam still has his job, do you have yours".

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP:

Did you read today's NYT article about "the wall" in Iraq, intended to shield Sunnis from Shi ites? Guess what? The SUNNIS are against the wall. These people are so wrapped up in their own ethnic hatred that they do not seem to have any sence of what is in their own interest.

They seem intent to have a civil war, if just to spite us. All this is after al Sadr was permitted to have ministers in the government.

The Sunnis want to kill us because we put the Shiites in charge, and the Shi ites want to kill us??? Because they are nuts? They have complete contempt for the tremendous sacrifice our soldiers are making to give THEM a better life.

I agree it is a setback in the global war on terror, but I also believe that the fortunes of this nation is not dependent on the rationality of those in Iraq.

We should keep a presense in the region and maintain our policy of not allowing terrorist sanctuaries.

My view is not that different from the view of McConnell here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN0925872120070310


Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I think that the issue of Iraq was finished once we lost the respect of the people. As an ex-military, I can tell you that to keep respect you have to quickly restore law and order and force military law on an area till it is ready for slowly introducing reforms. Instead we tried to create a democracy from nothing from a people who had not known of a Democracy or a Republic for that matter. The issue unfortunately has now become one in which the Iraq study group was in fact correct on in its recommendations, Bush senior tried to help his son by setting this up. I served under Bush senior and have incredible respect for the man. I do now despise his son though for changing the Republican Party and what it stands for. Following a political agenda in Iraq would in fact lower tensions and help us then concentrate on Iran, the country which is fighting us through a proxy war right now.

Posted by: JustTired | April 24, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"As for McCain, being the "stay the course" candidate on Iraq is a sure fire political loser."

razorback- McCain has said he'd rather lose a campaign than lose a war. I really respect him for that.

I agree with you most of the time, but I have to question your logic here, with regard to our national interests and the war on terrorism.

As for the dems...they are completely invested in this country losing in Iraq. They advocate surrender and retreat...how is that not a political loser?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 24, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Rosie O'Donnell, in a lucid interval, has pointed out to Sheryl Crow the practical policy limitations to Sheryl's "one square of toilet paper" per dump rule.

Said Rosie: "Have you ever seen my a**".

For those who don't know it, Rosie is a leftist who appears to check in about 310 pounds, but as we all know, the camera adds 10 pounds.

The leftist celebrity culture just gets goofier every day.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Correction: Kerry, not Gore.. ;)

Posted by: JustTired | April 24, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Angrydoug, the difference is, hard money has always had limits (since Watergate, anyway), whereas soft money was completely unlimited (pre McCain Feingold). And if you wrote checks in increments of less than 10 grand, it was unreported too.

Posted by: JD | April 24, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I actually agree with the article in that McCain has changed drastically. It does appear though that his changes, at least to me, appear to have been negative in nature with the appeal to a much smaller base. A centralist candidate is needed, but although there seems to be some on the Democrats side but only Giuliani seems to deliver this approach for the Republicans. Remember, one reason that Bush won in 2000 was due to his appeal to the center. The only reason I believe, based on conversations I had with about 100 people on this subject that Bush won in 2004 was because people wanted him to straighten out the mess he had created in Iraq and did not think Gore could. In order for the Republicans to remain viable, they need to come out against the AG issue strongly and force closure in Iraq. Otherwise I think that it will be meaningless who they run for 2008. Everyone I talk to now about these issues feels very strongly that either they were lied to or deliberately misled, not a good place for a Republican candidate to be if a large number of Republicans feels this way strongly.

Posted by: JustTired | April 24, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"|" says its a "War for Oil". For the buyers of oil or the sellers of oil?

If its for the buyers of oil, Pelosi should support it, given that her current positions on lower gas prices and global warming are entirely inconsistent.

As for McCain, being the "stay the course" candidate on Iraq is a sure fire political loser.

I supported the invasion and think we have given the Iraqis enough time to sort things out, but they don't seem to want the democratic pluralistic society we are trying to give them.

I believe a several months deadline to begin pulling out is reasonable.

I would support IMMEDIATE withdrawal from Iraq if 100 leftist moonbats would sign the following:

I, __________ (state your name), a leftist moonbat, hereby promise that I will NEVER EVER say, in any forum or blog, that any act of genocide which occurs in Iraq AFTER American troops are withdrawn is the fault of the United States or any agent of the United States. While I understand that I have a 1st Amendment right to say what I want, I am voluntarily agreeing not to say that acts of genocide which occur after the withdrawal of American troops are the fault of the United States.

_______________
Leftist Moonbat

ANY TAKERS? Get to 100, and I will send a letter to the President.

Posted by: Razorback | April 24, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Hi M in A,

No I'm not a member of the Repub party, nor have I ever sent them money. I call myself libertarian but do not affiliate with the official party either, at least I won't until they have a chance to win something. Since you asked, I tend to vote about 2/3 GOP to 1/3 Dem, traditionally, FWIW.

As for the war, I thought at first that it was a good hail mary attempt - if we could have gotten democracy to flourish in the midEast, even the most rabidly antiwar liberal on this board would agree that our country would be 1000x safer in the long term. Too bad it didn't work out.

Now, since they're preventing us from doing things to make Baghdad safer (building that wall a la Israel v Palestine), I say leave, retreat to Kurdistan and Kuwait, and man the borders at Syria and Iran to make sure no foreign fighters get in, and leave them to immolate themselves, not our guys.

Too bad they ended up not mature enough for a big-boy government.

Posted by: JD | April 24, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain's continued support for the war escalation will, I believe, continue to erode his support even from conservative Republicans.

Serious policy positions may be helpful--especially for a candidate whose campaign has stumbled so badly with the Iraqi marketplace statements and his genuflecting before the evangelicals.

Finally, his inability to criticize the administration's incompetence and corruption paints him as merely a continuance of the administration's policies. It may help him a bit in the primaries, but not over the long haul.

Posted by: pacman | April 24, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

McCain being a serious candidate, he should be. Look what happens when a clown becomes president.

But now, with his support for this war, and his obvious yearning to be president, it looks like he's putting aside anything a liberal like me could respect about him.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey folks...this is not off topic.

Cheney's leg is acting up again...I read it in the Guardian before the Washington post :-).

Is this the first step to Cheney resigning 'for health reasons' so the Repubs can put someone in the Veep slot so they are not a train wreck next spring?

Bet it won't be McCain. Where's Condi been lately?

Posted by: poor richard | April 24, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody know what McCain's talking about when he says soft money is the most corrupting? I never understood that. If you want to use money to get a crooked politician to pass a law or do some other favor for you, wouldn't you rather give money to the crook directly (hard money) versus his party (soft)? Soft money seems less corrupting than hard money; what am I missing?

He has banked his candidacy on the surge succeeding. He'll spin the positive aspects of the inevitably mixed results and his opponents won't want to emphasize the negative aspects, so a modest success in Iraq will give his campaign a big boost.

Posted by: angrydoug | April 24, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Go Panderboy!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

As a left-leaning vote-splitting independent, I really bought into McCain's primary run in 2000. Since then, he's gone from an independent thinker able to break apart from his party's line in order to accomplish important tasks to a line-towing party stooge with no credibility. It's sad when someone wants something so badly they throw out their principles in order to get it.

And I'm left looking for a credible centrist candidate in '08, only there do not appear to be any, since I do not believe in rewarding candidates who pander to their political bases only to switch their point of view once the primaries are over.

Posted by: Jeff | April 24, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

'the broader War on Terror'

you mean the broader War for Oil?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

McCain is a good man. The problem is, you must a nomination before winning the Presidency. He's to conservative (war in Iraq, welfare issues and discretionary spending) for the left and to liberal (global warming, embroyonic stem cell research and campaign censorship) for the right. He would fit in nicely with the Unity party, perhaps. How do you folks think a McCain/Bloomberg ticket would do? To me, I'm not sure how well they would do in an election. But, I think they would be very good for the nation in terms of governing policy. However, most of us vote on our own principled views, and not upon what would be best for this nation in the long run. I realize this, but I do it as well.

Posted by: reason | April 24, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

McCain is running a different campaign because the times are different. In 2000, he could afford to run a reform campaign centered on government. Now in post-911, during the midst of two wars, the broader War on Terror, and the possibility of Iran and North Korea going nuclear, John McCain has to address more serious issues.

Clearly, he is the best man for the job.

www.michiganformccain.blogspot.com

Posted by: michiganformccain | April 24, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | April 24, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

JD -

I am assuming from many posts that you count yourself as a Republican; probably not a straight ticket Republican [ I count myself as an independent ].

Is there some rationale for Sen. McCain to become virtually silent on the need for a diplomatic push to allow the "breathing room" Petraeus testified he could give the Iraqi government to bear fruit?

He has been speaking as if Petraeus could do this with enough troops, even in a vacuum, which is not what Petraeus said.

Does Baker-Hamilton or a variant simply not resonate with Republican primary voters?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 24, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court's abortion ruling may prompt doctors to refuse surgery even for women whose lives are endangered by pregnancy, said Michael Greene, a physician writing in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In two ``perspective'' articles and an editorial released on line yesterday by the journal, physicians denounced the court's decision last week to uphold the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. The articles will also appear in the print edition dated May 24.

The law makes it a crime for doctors to perform ``partial birth'' abortions, allowing the first nationwide ban on the procedure. The justices voted 5-4 that the legislation is constitutional even though it doesn't make an exception for pregnancies that pose a risk to the mother's health.

``Lacking confidence in the judicial system, physicians may choose to avoid performing second-trimester surgical abortions, thus restricting access to them, perhaps even if the mother's life is in jeopardy,'' wrote Greene, a professor of reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Posted by: welcome to the third world | April 24, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Serious? You've got to be kidding me.The man has lost every shred of authenticity. And making fun of bombing another country? Wow, that's serious. Hilarious too. Right. That did it for me. He's over.

How did you know when he's telling the truth? When he's calling the american taliban 'agents of intolerance', or when he's kssing their butts? When he denouncing swiftboaters who smeared his wife and child, or when he's hiring them for his campaign? When he's against the war before he was for it, or when he's trying to escalate it?

Posted by: John | April 24, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

"As a republican, he doesn't have a chance unless he cries out for impeachment of Bush and sets himself apart from the fascists currently occupying the White House."

LOL. Yeah, that will win him the Republican Nomination.

(PS, most GOPers haven't been real happy with Bush's performance either, but fortunately, he's not running in 08)

Posted by: JD | April 24, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes, trademark wit. Bomb bomb bomb Iran!

Posted by: mikem | April 24, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Saudi lobbyist? Sagging in the polls? Now, McCain's courting yuppies: http://www.solidpolitics.com

Posted by: William | April 24, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I think we really do have a chance as a nation if McCain becomes the next president. He has overcome so much in his life, and has the right attitude to see us through the many future challenges we are certain to face. I wish more people would see past his support of Bush. McCain is being a good soldier as best he can to support the president as commander- simply because to do otherwise would erode too much of his support base- ie- those who will only vote party. He can't alienate the party line, despite how he might feel about how poorly things are being handled. Currently the only chance he has to make a difference is to toe the line and bide time till he can get into office and fix everything the current administration has done a bad job of. Try to see that at least. Sure, supporting the war effort might not be popular, but if we had someone like McCain, who KNOWS warfare, he would manage it properly and make heads roll for all the corruption. We need someone to clean house and do the job right, not throw in the towel in the face of terror. We need to fix things, and then cut ties to the middle east. We can cut our reliance on oil within a decade if it is done right and alternate technologies are truly encouraged- and I do not mean the corrupt corn bid. That is just shifting the corruption and environmental damage. I hope most people can see through that at least... we need true alternate sources of energy that don't just shift the smog producing to somewhere else.

Posted by: Chris | April 24, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

My own arching priorities for the federal government begin with utter respect for civil liberties, a strong military, and institutional and continuing reform of government to make it more transparent and efficient.

Sen. McCain is the same man who recently carried the anti-torture bill and initiated the investigation of Jack Abramoff.

He is the same man who has detailed what he meant by "corporate welfare" and who once railed against the second round of Bush tax cuts in his newsletters to people like me.

He is the same man whose knuckles turned white as he questioned Donald Rumsfield about Abu Ghiraib.

He should not be required to amuse.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 24, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

While I respect McCain as a man, his political opinions are reptilian. His support of the current administration war goals deserves the cold shoulder for non-innovative thinking. As a republican, he doesn't have a chance unless he cries out for impeachment of Bush and sets himself apart from the fascists currently occupying the White House. It is sad to see a good man follow a bad path blindly.

Posted by: Patriot view from Moscow | April 24, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

DTM, interesting thought, and it may be true. I agree it's not good to peak too soon (see: Howard Dean), however there's risk in this approach; mainly, fundraising, and defections of your best people to other campaigns.

Posted by: JD | April 24, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Does it not matter that the senator goes around making patently false statements that are helping prolong this misguided war ?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 24, 2007 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I think McCain's strategy is actually working. For about two months now, his support has stayed right around 20%, while Giuliani has gone through a boom and then a pullback. So, to me it looks like McCain is following the Bob Dole path to the nomination, which I would describe as positioning himself to be the only credible candidate left once the other folks drop. And that would explain the somewhat subdued tone to his campaign.

Posted by: DTM | April 24, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

I predicted in 00 that McCain would be beaten by Bush- mainly because I didn't trust his 'maverick' approach. Now 7 years later I don't trust his new serious appoach- The poor guy just can't win.

Posted by: Aussie Bill | April 24, 2007 6:20 AM | Report abuse

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