Monday, March 31, 2008


U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released a new web ad. The ad, entitled "Character Forged by Family," focuses on John McCain's family history of service to our nation and the central role the family plays in the formation of our individual character and the character of American society.

"Character Forged by Family" is scheduled to appear on national news and information websites.

Script For "Character Forged by Family" (1:24-Web)

ANNCR: The son and grandson of admirals.

His grandfather an aviator, his father a submariner.

They were his first heroes, and earning their respect has been one of the lasting ambitions of his life.

They gave their lives to their country and taught young John McCain lessons about honor, courage, duty, perseverance and leadership.

Lessons he didn't fully grasp until later in his life when confronted with challenges he never imagined.

The family he was born into, and the family he is blessed with now, made John McCain the man he is, and instilled in him a deep and abiding respect for the social institution that wields the greatest influence in the formation of our individual character and the character of our society.
Among the most important things children can inherit from their parents is a sense of purpose, and an aspiration to be part of something greater than their self interest.

And that is the honor we earn and the love we give when we work and sacrifice with others for a cause greater than our self-interest.

For John Sidney McCain, that cause has been our country.

Mississippi Papers On John McCain's Return to Meridian

Excerpts from "Meridianite remembers John McCain"
By Jennifer Jacob
Meridian Star (MS)
March 30, 2008

"They worked hard, they flew hard, and they partied hard."

That's how Meridianite Morele Rosenfeld remembers the officers from the Meridian Naval Air Station back in the 1960's -- including now U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain, who was a flight instructor there for three years. ...

Monday the Senator kicks off his "Service to America Tour" in Meridian to focus on his vision for America's future.

McCain has deep roots in Mississippi with several generations born in Carroll County on land that had been in his family since 1848. The last McCain to live on the property was John McCain's grandfather's brother, Joe McCain.

"As a young boy I spent a couple summers in Mississippi visiting my Uncle Joe," McCain said. "My father's naval career required us to move frequently, but here I could imagine what it must have been like for the McCains who came before me to be so connected to one place." ...

Monday's speech, according to officials with McCain's campaign, will describe his family's lifetime of service. He will recount the traditions of duty, honor and sacrifice that shaped him from an early age. He will also detail his thoughts on the ways government should support -- not complicate -- parents' ability to raise their children and pass along their values and principles. ...

It was a surprise to many, Rosenfeld said, that McCain became a politician, "everybody thought that he was going to continue in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather, who were both admirals," she said.

But after McCain sustained permanent injuries as a POW in Vietnam, Rosenfeld said, "I think he realized there was no way he was going to make admiral ... But it looks like he's going to do them one better," she cheerfully added, "He's going to be commander in chief." ...

Read Jennifer Jacob's Full Article On John McCain's Visit

Excerpts from "McCain Traces Family Roots As He Visits State"
By John Mott Coffey
Commercial Dispatch (MS)
March 30, 2008

Republican presidential candidate John McCain is returning to his family roots in Mississippi as he makes campaign visits this week in four states to places of his family, life and career.
McCain on Monday starts his "Service to America" tour in Meridian, where he spent two years through 1966 as a flight instructor at the Meridian Naval Air Station.

His ties to Mississippi actually go back to 1848, when ancestor William McCain moved from North Carolina to Carroll County, according to information provided by the candidate's campaign and his book, "Faith of My Fathers."

McCain's great-grandfather was a Carroll County sheriff and plantation owner. His grandfather -- John Sidney McCain Sr. -- grew up in Carroll County, attended the University of Mississippi and then left the state in 1902 to enter the U.S. Naval Academy. ...

Former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi is McCain's close friend whose family also hails from Carroll County.

"I've known the McCain family all my life," said Lott, noting his kinfolk lived near the McCains in an area between Grenada and Greenwood. ... He said he first got to know John McCain himself about 30 years ago when Lott was in the U.S. House of Representatives and McCain was a congressional liaison for the Navy. ...

The last McCain to live at the family's Carroll County home -- called Teoc -- was John McCain's grandfather's brother. He died in 1952.

In Faith of My Fathers, the McCain memoir published in 1999, he said the country house was now dilapidated and empty.

"The house, which had once belonged to a former slave, became the family's home after their first manor burned down and was a more modest structure than the white-columned antebellum mansions of popular imagination," he wrote.

"But I spent many happy summer days in outdoor recreation on the property in the congenial company of my grandfather's younger brother, Joe, who ran the plantation." ...

Read John Matt Coffey's Full Article On John McCain's Visit

Sunday, March 30, 2008

News Roundup

McCain, Romney Campaign Together in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- In a show of Republican unity, one-time bitter foes John McCain and Mitt Romney raised money and campaigned together Thursday for a single goal -- getting McCain elected president.
''We are united. Now our job is to energize our party,'' the Arizona senator said in an airport hangar, flanked by Romney and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., an early McCain supporter. Both have been mentioned as potential vice presidential picks, and McCain praised each.

McCain 2008 Veepstakes: Who is…Mitt Romney?!?
Blogger News Network - USA
He was the first of the former candidates to campaign with John McCain this past week, and they looked like they were having a good time on the plane. ...

Minnesota GOP Backs Physician for Competitive Seat
Mayo Clinic oncologist Brian Davis won the Republican endorsement at Saturday’s convention for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, where Republicans are trying to regain the seat from first-term Democratic Rep. Tim Walz .
Davis beat out state Rep. Randy Demmer to win his party’s endorsement on the first ballot, but still faces state Sen. Dick Day in the September primary.

Another Love Gov? Giuliani Eyes Governor Bid
Gothamist - NY,USA... while in public office--former Mayor Rudy Giuliani may offer himself as a candidate for governor in the case Governor David Paterson has to step down. ...

McCain's Corporate Welfare
Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA
Would someone explain to me the difference between Herbert Hoover ('the business of America is business") and John McCain. Hoover of course focused his ...

Analysis: John McCain, Party Of One
CBS News - New York,NY,USA
But the presumptive GOP nominee is no generic Republican candidate, and as his general election campaign launches, he’s making clear that he’s not running ...

Kondracke Craves Christie Todd as McCain Veep
Mort Kondracke got one thing right: Rush Limbaugh would go Krakatoa . . . The resident moderate of The Beltway Boys has counseled John McCain to offer the VP slot to Christie Todd Whitman. Mort made his move during last evening's show-ending "Buzz" segment.

Aiding Airbus a bad idea for McCain
Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA
John McCain for help to change some of the requirements. McCain has been a vehemently outspoken critic of Boeing since it won the previous contract by ...

Cindy, John McCain's trouble and strife
Times Online - UK
John McCain, a naval pilot, was shot down on a bombing mission over North Vietnam in 1967 and tortured so badly during the next 51/2 years in which he was ...

Scary McCain
With McCain you get the real thing while with Obama you may get an audacity of rhetoric based on nothing but political expediency and imagined racial grievances. Recent polls reveal that the American people are beginning to get it and that scares not only McCain's Democrat opponents but also European leftists, especially following his successful stops in Britain and France.

McCain vows hands-on role in Mideast
National Post - Toronto,Ontario,Canada
LOS ANGELES - Republican candidate John McCain said yesterday he would devote "personal deep engagement" to the Middle East peace process if he were elected ...

McCain's Gauntlet Speech
McCain's recent speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council delivered many important messages. Some were aimed at the upcoming general election campaign. Others were international messages directed toward friends, foes and those in the middle.

Morality matters: Huckabee speaks at North Hills
The Grand Rapids Press - - Grand Rapids,MI,USA
By Matt Vande Bunte Mike Huckabee affirmed Thursday during a local school fundraiser he believes a values-based education lies at the root of US democracy. ...

No changes made as official votes counted
Mount Vernon News - Mount Vernon,OH,USA
Presidential candidate John McCain gained 109 votes in the official count, to Mike Huckabee’s 97 gained. This nudged up McCain’s final winning percentage in ...

McCain Better Suited To Handle Iraq
CBS News - New York,NY,USA
John McCain over his already-famous “100 years in Iraq” comment. What McCain said at a townhall meeting in New Hampshire in January was inarguably true. ...

McCain Projects Image of Patriot on Road to General Election
John McCain speaks to reporters at a news conference in Denver, Colo., Thursday, as former rival Mitt Romney looks on. ...

Romney Campaigns with McCain - Malverne,NY,USA
One-time rivals, John McCain and Mitt Romney, were campaigning together in Utah today as they aimed to get one goal achieved: McCain winning the ...

Huckabee remains 'very active and outspoken - MI,USA
GRAND RAPIDS -- A pro-life emphasis and support for traditional marriage will remain at the forefront of the Republican Party platform if Mike Huckabee ...

McCain's world
Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville,KY,USA
John McCain's speech on foreign policy this week turned on terrorism and the war in Iraq. That part of his address, delivered to the Los Angeles World ...

McCain's Manifesto
Washington Post - United States
By David S. Broder What Barack Obama tried to do with the sensitive issue of race, John McCain attempted last week on the no less important topic of foreign ...

McCain Launches General Election Ad
The Associated Press - DENVER (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain launched his first television ad of the general election Friday, portraying himself as a ...

McCain's TV Ad Prompts Chatter
Washington Post - United States
John McCain launched his first television ad of the general election yesterday -- a 60-second commercial that links the candidate's heroism during the ...

McCain’s resume steps into the campaign spotlight
Kansas City Star - MO,USA
LAS VEGAS The race is on to define John McCain. The likely Republican nominee launched his first television ad of the general election campaign Friday, ...

McCain Kicks of Biographical Tour with New Ad
ABC News - USA
ABC News' Bret Hovell Reports: The campaign of Senator John McCain has launched what it’s calling its first television advertisement of the general election ...

McCain Hopes to Use Past as a Springboard
Wall Street Journal - USA
John McCain sets out to reintroduce himself to the American public in the coming week, stopping in a string of places that shaped his family, his values and ...

Jeremiah Wright continues to hurt Obama in a Missouri matchup with ...
Kansas City Star - MO,USA
Rasmussen finds Republican presumptive nominee John McCain has opened up a significant lead over both Obama and Clinton in Missouri and now places the ...

Race Is on to Define McCain
The Associated Press - LAS VEGAS (AP) — The race is on to define John McCain. The likely Republican nominee launched his first television ad of the general election campaign ...

McCain Launches General Election Ad
The Associated Press - DENVER (AP) — Republican John McCain launched his first television ad of the general election Friday, a spot that shows him imprisoned in Vietnam and calls ...

Bipartisan Team Says McCain Natural Born
The Associated Press - DENVER (AP) — A pair of lawyers — one Republican, one Democrat — have concluded that John McCain's 1936 birth outside the continental United States does not ...

Ad casts McCain as strong, patriotic leader
CNN International - USA
John McCain launched his first general election ad Friday, portraying the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as an experienced, ...

McCain, the mortgage crisis, and voters with economic concerns
Christian Science Monitor - Boston,MA,USA
John McCain drew a sharp distinction between himself and the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates. He warned of the federal government doing too ...

Jim Gilmore running to secceed U.S. Senator Warner, Virginia

Dear Friend:

We believe former Governor Jim Gilmore is uniquely qualified to succeed retiring U.S. Senator John Warner in the United States Senate.

Jim Gilmore is a native of Richmond; the son of working class parents who served as a member of U.S. Army counter-intelligence; a crime busting prosecutor in Virginia; and a no-nonsense Virginia Attorney General.

He is a former Governor who became a champion of the taxpayers by reducing taxes on working men and women by $1.5 billion. And, the former chairman of the Gilmore Commission which warned about a possible terrorist attack two years before 9/11. Jim Gilmore is now a nationally recognized authority on national security.

We hope you will take a moment to view this brief video outlining the qualities and the capabilities of a man who is waging a straightforward, principled campaign to win election to the U.S. Senate. And after you view the video, if you agree with us that Jim Gilmore is a leader who keeps his promises and who will help grow the economy and create jobs, we hope you will forward the video to your entire email list of family, friends and associates.

The race for the U.S. Senate in Virginia this year is a battle between David and Goliath. We all know how that came out! With your help, history can repeat itself.

Thank you.

The Jim Gilmore for Senate Campaign

Saturday, March 29, 2008


U.S. Senator John McCain's will deliver the following remarks as prepared for delivery today (3/26/08) at the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles, California:

When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house in New London, Connecticut, and a Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. My father immediately left for the submarine base where he was stationed. I rarely saw him again for four years. My grandfather, who commanded the fast carrier task force under Admiral Halsey, came home from the war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home to the country they loved so well. I detest war. It might not be the worst thing to befall human beings, but it is wretched beyond all description. When nations seek to resolve their differences by force of arms, a million tragedies ensue. The lives of a nation's finest patriots are sacrificed. Innocent people suffer and die. Commerce is disrupted; economies are damaged; strategic interests shielded by years of patient statecraft are endangered as the exigencies of war and diplomacy conflict. Not the valor with which it is fought nor the nobility of the cause it serves, can glorify war. Whatever gains are secured, it is loss the veteran remembers most keenly. Only a fool or a fraud sentimentalizes the merciless reality of war. However heady the appeal of a call to arms, however just the cause, we should still shed a tear for all that is lost when war claims its wages from us.

I am an idealist, and I believe it is possible in our time to make the world we live in another, better, more peaceful place, where our interests and those of our allies are more secure, and American ideals that are transforming the world, the principles of free people and free markets, advance even farther than they have. But I am, from hard experience and the judgment it informs, a realistic idealist. I know we must work very hard and very creatively to build new foundations for a stable and enduring peace. We cannot wish the world to be a better place than it is. We have enemies for whom no attack is too cruel, and no innocent life safe, and who would, if they could, strike us with the world's most terrible weapons. There are states that support them, and which might help them acquire those weapons because they share with terrorists the same animating hatred for the West, and will not be placated by fresh appeals to the better angels of their nature. This is the central threat of our time, and we must understand the implications of our decisions on all manner of regional and global challenges could have for our success in defeating it.

President Harry Truman once said of America, "God has created us and brought us to our present position of power and strength for some great purpose." In his time, that purpose was to contain Communism and build the structures of peace and prosperity that could provide safe passage through the Cold War. Now it is our turn. We face a new set of opportunities, and also new dangers. The developments of science and technology have brought us untold prosperity, eradicated disease, and reduced the suffering of millions. We have a chance in our lifetime to raise the world to a new standard of human existence. Yet these same technologies have produced grave new risks, arming a few zealots with the ability to murder millions of innocents, and producing a global industrialization that can in time threaten our planet.

To meet this challenge requires understanding the world we live in, and the central role the United States must play in shaping it for the future. The United States must lead in the 21st century, just as in Truman's day. But leadership today means something different than it did in the years after World War II, when Europe and the other democracies were still recovering from the devastation of war and the United States was the only democratic superpower. Today we are not alone. There is the powerful collective voice of the European Union, and there are the great nations of India and Japan, Australia and Brazil, South Korea and South Africa, Turkey and Israel, to name just a few of the leading democracies. There are also the increasingly powerful nations of China and Russia that wield great influence in the international system.

In such a world, where power of all kinds is more widely and evenly distributed, the United States cannot lead by virtue of its power alone. We must be strong politically, economically, and militarily. But we must also lead by attracting others to our cause, by demonstrating once again the virtues of freedom and democracy, by defending the rules of international civilized society and by creating the new international institutions necessary to advance the peace and freedoms we cherish. Perhaps above all, leadership in today's world means accepting and fulfilling our responsibilities as a great nation.

One of those responsibilities is to be a good and reliable ally to our fellow democracies. We cannot build an enduring peace based on freedom by ourselves, and we do not want to. We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact -- a League of Democracies -- that can harness the vast influence of the more than one hundred democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests.

At the heart of this new compact must be mutual respect and trust. Recall the words of our founders in the Declaration of Independence, that we pay "decent respect to the opinions of mankind." Our great power does not mean we can do whatever we want whenever we want, nor should we assume we have all the wisdom and knowledge necessary to succeed. We need to listen to the views and respect the collective will of our democratic allies. When we believe international action is necessary, whether military, economic, or diplomatic, we will try to persuade our friends that we are right. But we, in return, must be willing to be persuaded by them.

America must be a model citizen if we want others to look to us as a model. How we behave at home affects how we are perceived abroad. We must fight the terrorists and at the same time defend the rights that are the foundation of our society. We can't torture or treat inhumanely suspected terrorists we have captured. I believe we should close Guantanamo and work with our allies to forge a new international understanding on the disposition of dangerous detainees under our control.

There is such a thing as international good citizenship. We need to be good stewards of our planet and join with other nations to help preserve our common home. The risks of global warming have no borders. We and the other nations of the world must get serious about substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years or we will hand off a much-diminished world to our grandchildren. We need a successor to the Kyoto Treaty, a cap-and-trade system that delivers the necessary environmental impact in an economically responsible manner. We Americans must lead by example and encourage the participation of the rest of the world, including most importantly, the developing economic powerhouses of China and India.
Four and a half decades ago, John Kennedy described the people of Latin America as our "firm and ancient friends, united by history and experience and by our determination to advance the values of American civilization." With globalization, our hemisphere has grown closer, more integrated, and more interdependent. Latin America today is increasingly vital to the fortunes of the United States. Americans north and south share a common geography and a common destiny. The countries of Latin America are the natural partners of the United States, and our northern neighbor Canada.

Relations with our southern neighbors must be governed by mutual respect, not by an imperial impulse or by anti-American demagoguery. The promise of North, Central, and South American life is too great for that. I believe the Americas can and must be the model for a new 21st century relationship between North and South. Ours can be the first completely democratic hemisphere, where trade is free across all borders, where the rule of law and the power of free markets advance the security and prosperity of all.

Power in the world today is moving east; the Asia-Pacific region is on the rise. Together with our democratic partner of many decades, Japan, we can grasp the opportunities present in the unfolding world and this century can become safe -- both American and Asian, both prosperous and free. Asia has made enormous strides in recent decades. Its economic achievements are well known; less known is that more people live under democratic rule in Asia than in any other region of the world.

Dealing with a rising China will be a central challenge for the next American president. Recent prosperity in China has brought more people out of poverty faster than during any other time in human history. China's newfound power implies responsibilities. China could bolster its claim that it is "peacefully rising" by being more transparent about its significant military buildup, by working with the world to isolate pariah states such as Burma, Sudan and Zimbabwe, and by ceasing its efforts to establish regional forums and economic arrangements designed to exclude America from Asia.

China and the United States are not destined to be adversaries. We have numerous overlapping interests and hope to see our relationship evolve in a manner that benefits both countries and, in turn, the Asia-Pacific region and the world. But until China moves toward political liberalization, our relationship will be based on periodically shared interests rather than the bedrock of shared values.

The United States did not single-handedly win the Cold War; the transatlantic alliance did, in concert with partners around the world. The bonds we share with Europe in terms of history, values, and interests are unique. Americans should welcome the rise of a strong, confident European Union as we continue to support a strong NATO. The future of the transatlantic relationship lies in confronting the challenges of the twenty-first century worldwide: developing a common energy policy, creating a transatlantic common market tying our economies more closely together, addressing the dangers posed by a revanchist Russia, and institutionalizing our cooperation on issues such as climate change, foreign assistance, and democracy promotion.
We should start by ensuring that the G-8, the group of eight highly industrialized states, becomes again a club of leading market democracies: it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia. Rather than tolerate Russia's nuclear blackmail or cyber attacks, Western nations should make clear that the solidarity of NATO, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, is indivisible and that the organization's doors remain open to all democracies committed to the defense of freedom.

While Africa's problems -- poverty, corruption, disease, and instability -- are well known, we must refocus on the bright promise offered by many countries on that continent. We must strongly engage on a political, economic, and security level with friendly governments across Africa, but insist on improvements in transparency and the rule of law. Many African nations will not reach their true potential without external assistance to combat entrenched problems, such as HIV/AIDS, that afflict Africans disproportionately. I will establish the goal of eradicating malaria on the continent -- the number one killer of African children under the age of five. In addition to saving millions of lives in the world's poorest regions, such a campaign would do much to add luster to America's image in the world.

We also share an obligation with the world's other great powers to halt and reverse the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The United States and the international community must work together and do all in our power to contain and reverse North Korea's nuclear weapons program and to prevent Iran -- a nation whose President has repeatedly expressed a desire to wipe Israel from the face of the earth -- from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We should work to reduce nuclear arsenals all around the world, starting with our own. Forty years ago, the five declared nuclear powers came together in support of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and pledged to end the arms race and move toward nuclear disarmament. The time has come to renew that commitment. We do not need all the weapons currently in our arsenal. The United States should lead a global effort at nuclear disarmament consistent with our vital interests and the cause of peace.

If we are successful in pulling together a global coalition for peace and freedom -- if we lead by shouldering our international responsibilities and pointing the way to a better and safer future for humanity, I believe we will gain tangible benefits as a nation.

It will strengthen us to confront the transcendent challenge of our time: the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. This challenge is transcendent not because it is the only one we face. There are many dangers in today's world, and our foreign policy must be agile and effective at dealing with all of them. But the threat posed by the terrorists is unique. They alone devote all their energies and indeed their very lives to murdering innocent men, women, and children. They alone seek nuclear weapons and other tools of mass destruction not to defend themselves or to enhance their prestige or to give them a stronger hand in world affairs but to use against us wherever and whenever they can. Any president who does not regard this threat as transcending all others does not deserve to sit in the White House, for he or she does not take seriously enough the first and most basic duty a president has -- to protect the lives of the American people.

We learned through the tragic experience of September 11 that passive defense alone cannot protect us. We must protect our borders. But we must also have an aggressive strategy of confronting and rooting out the terrorists wherever they seek to operate, and deny them bases in failed or failing states. Today al Qaeda and other terrorist networks operate across the globe, seeking out opportunities in Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Africa, and in the Middle East.
Prevailing in this struggle will require far more than military force. It will require the use of all elements of our national power: public diplomacy; development assistance; law enforcement training; expansion of economic opportunity; and robust intelligence capabilities. I have called for major changes in how our government faces the challenge of radical Islamic extremism by much greater resources for and integration of civilian efforts to prevent conflict and to address post-conflict challenges. Our goal must be to win the "hearts and minds" of the vast majority of moderate Muslims who do not want their future controlled by a minority of violent extremists. In this struggle, scholarships will be far more important than smart bombs.

We also need to build the international structures for a durable peace in which the radical extremists are gradually eclipsed by the more powerful forces of freedom and tolerance. Our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are critical in this respect and cannot be viewed in isolation from our broader strategy. In the troubled and often dangerous region they occupy, these two nations can either be sources of extremism and instability or they can in time become pillars of stability, tolerance, and democracy.

For decades in the greater Middle East, we had a strategy of relying on autocrats to provide order and stability. We relied on the Shah of Iran, the autocratic rulers of Egypt, the generals of Pakistan, the Saudi royal family, and even, for a time, on Saddam Hussein. In the late 1970s that strategy began to unravel. The Shah was overthrown by the radical Islamic revolution that now rules in Tehran. The ensuing ferment in the Muslim world produced increasing instability. The autocrats clamped down with ever greater repression, while also surreptitiously aiding Islamic radicalism abroad in the hopes that they would not become its victims. It was a toxic and explosive mixture. The oppression of the autocrats blended with the radical Islamists' dogmatic theology to produce a perfect storm of intolerance and hatred.

We can no longer delude ourselves that relying on these out-dated autocracies is the safest bet. They no longer provide lasting stability, only the illusion of it. We must not act rashly or demand change overnight. But neither can we pretend the status quo is sustainable, stable, or in our interests. Change is occurring whether we want it or not. The only question for us is whether we shape this change in ways that benefit humanity or let our enemies seize it for their hateful purposes. We must help expand the power and reach of freedom, using all our many strengths as a free people. This is not just idealism. It is the truest kind of realism. It is the democracies of the world that will provide the pillars upon which we can and must build an enduring peace.If you look at the great arc that extends from the Middle East through Central Asia and the Asian subcontinent all the way to Southeast Asia, you can see those pillars of democracy stretching across the entire expanse, from Turkey and Israel to India and Indonesia. Iraq and Afghanistan lie at the heart of that region. And whether they eventually become stable democracies themselves, or are allowed to sink back into chaos and extremism, will determine not only the fate of that critical part of the world, but our fate, as well.

That is the broad strategic perspective through which to view our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many people ask, how should we define success? Success in Iraq and Afghanistan is the establishment of peaceful, stable, prosperous, democratic states that pose no threat to neighbors and contribute to the defeat of terrorists. It is the triumph of religious tolerance over violent radicalism.

Those who argue that our goals in Iraq are unachievable are wrong, just as they were wrong a year ago when they declared the war in Iraq already lost. Since June 2007 sectarian and ethnic violence in Iraq has been reduced by 90 percent. Overall civilian deaths have been reduced by more than 70 percent. Deaths of coalition forces have fallen by 70 percent. The dramatic reduction in violence has opened the way for a return to something approaching normal political and economic life for the average Iraqi. People are going back to work. Markets are open. Oil revenues are climbing. Inflation is down. Iraq's economy is expected to grown by roughly 7 percent in 2008. Political reconciliation is occurring across Iraq at the local and provincial grassroots level. Sunni and Shi'a chased from their homes by terrorist and sectarian violence are returning. Political progress at the national level has been far too slow, but there is progress.
Critics say that the "surge" of troops isn't a solution in itself, that we must make progress toward Iraqi self-sufficiency. I agree. Iraqis themselves must increasingly take responsibility for their own security, and they must become responsible political actors. It does not follow from this, however, that we should now recklessly retreat from Iraq regardless of the consequences. We must take the course of prudence and responsibility, and help Iraqis move closer to the day when they no longer need our help.

That is the route of responsible statesmanship. We have incurred a moral responsibility in Iraq. It would be an unconscionable act of betrayal, a stain on our character as a great nation, if we were to walk away from the Iraqi people and consign them to the horrendous violence, ethnic cleansing, and possibly genocide that would follow a reckless, irresponsible, and premature withdrawal. Our critics say America needs to repair its image in the world. How can they argue at the same time for the morally reprehensible abandonment of our responsibilities in Iraq?

Those who claim we should withdraw from Iraq in order to fight Al Qaeda more effectively elsewhere are making a dangerous mistake. Whether they were there before is immaterial, al Qaeda is in Iraq now, as it is in the borderlands between Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Somalia, and in Indonesia. If we withdraw prematurely from Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq will survive, proclaim victory and continue to provoke sectarian tensions that, while they have been subdued by the success of the surge, still exist, as various factions of Sunni and Shi'a have yet to move beyond their ancient hatreds, and are ripe for provocation by al Qaeda. Civil war in Iraq could easily descend into genocide, and destabilize the entire region as neighboring powers come to the aid of their favored factions. I believe a reckless and premature withdrawal would be a terrible defeat for our security interests and our values. Iran will also view our premature withdrawal as a victory, and the biggest state supporter of terrorists, a country with nuclear ambitions and a stated desire to destroy the State of Israel, will see its influence in the Middle East grow significantly. These consequences of our defeat would threaten us for years, and those who argue for it, as both Democratic candidates do, are arguing for a course that would eventually draw us into a wider and more difficult war that would entail far greater dangers and sacrifices than we have suffered to date. I do not argue against withdrawal, any more than I argued several years ago for the change in tactics and additional forces that are now succeeding in Iraq, because I am somehow indifferent to war and the suffering it inflicts on too many American families. I hold my position because I hate war, and I know very well and very personally how grievous its wages are. But I know, too, that we must sometimes pay those wages to avoid paying even higher ones later.

I run for President because I want to keep the country I love and have served all my life safe, and to rise to the challenges of our times, as generations before us rose to theirs. I run for President because I know it is incumbent on America, more than any other nation on earth, to lead in building the foundations for a stable and enduring peace, a peace built on the strength of our commitment to it, on the transformative ideals on which we were founded, on our ability to see around the corner of history, and on our courage and wisdom to make hard choices. I run because I believe, as strongly as I ever have, that it is within our power to make in our time another, better world than we inherited.

Thank you.


U.S. Senator John McCain today (3/27/08) issued the following statement on the housing crisis:

"On Tuesday, I addressed the housing crisis and its devastating impact on our financial markets and the household budgets of millions of hardworking Americans. The fact is that there are about 4 million homeowners in danger of losing their homes. We have a responsibility to take action to help those among them who are deserving homeowners, and as I said this week, I am committed to considering any and all proposals to do so. Any action must further look to the future to make certain this never happens again.

"As I said on Tuesday, I believe the role of government is to help the truly needy, prevent systemic economic risk, and enact reforms that prevent the kind of crisis we are currently experiencing from ever happening again. Those reforms should focus on improving transparency and accountability in our capital markets -- both of which were lacking in the lead-up to the current situation.

"However, what is not necessary is a multi-billion dollar bailout for big banks and speculators, as Senators Clinton and Obama have proposed. There is a tendency for liberals to seek big government programs that sock it to American taxpayers while failing to solve the very real problems we face.

"This is a complex problem that deserves a careful, balanced approach that helps the homeowners in trouble, not big banks and speculators that acted irresponsibly. I again call on our lending institutions, where possible, to step up and help Americans who are hurting in this crisis."

David Brooks On John McCain

"McCain's core purpose in [Wednesday's] speech was to revive the foreign policy tradition that has jumped parties but that has been associated with people like Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Stimson, Dean Acheson, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan ... In so doing, he signaled that the foreign policy debate of the coming months will be very different from the one of the past six years. Anybody who thinks McCain is merely continuing the Bush agenda is not paying attention." -- David Brooks

Tested Over Time
By David Brooks
New York Times
March 28, 2008

Barack Obama says: "John McCain is determined to carry out four more years of George Bush's failed policies." Obama is a politician, so it's normal that he'd choose to repeat the lines that some of his followers want to hear. But before people buy that argument, I'd ask them to read three speeches.

The first was delivered by McCain on Sept. 28, 1983. The Reagan administration was seeking Congressional authorization to support the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon. McCain, a freshman legislator, decided to oppose his president and party.

McCain argued that Lebanese society, as it existed then, could not be stabilized and unified by American troops. He made a series of concrete observations about the facts on the ground. Lebanon was in a state of de facto partition. The Lebanese Army would not soon be strong enough to drive out the Syrians. The American presence would not intimidate the Syrians into negotiating.

"I do not foresee obtainable objectives in Lebanon." He concluded. "I believe the longer we stay, the more difficult it will be to leave, and I am prepared to accept the consequences of our withdrawal."

This was not the speech of a man who thinks military force is the answer to every problem. It was the speech of one who conforms policies to facts. And it came a month before a terrorist attack that killed 241 Americans.

The second speech was delivered on Nov. 5, 2003. This was not a grand strategy speech. It was a critique of the execution of existing U.S. policy.

First, McCain wondered about the Pentagon's publicity campaign in Iraq: "When, in the course of days, we increase by thousands our estimate of the numbers of Iraqis trained, it sounds like somebody is cooking the books."

He then pointed out that the U.S. had not committed sufficient troops. He called for a counterinsurgency strategy in which U.S. forces would actually hold secure territory. "Simply put," he said, "there does not appear to be a strategy behind our current force levels in Iraq, other than to preserve the illusion that we have sufficient forces in place to meet our objectives."
He excoriated the arrogance of Paul Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority: "The C.P.A. seems to think that all wisdom is made in America, and that the Iraqi people were defeated, not liberated."

This was the speech of a man, adjusting to changing circumstances, who was calling on the administration to adjust quickly as well.

The third McCain speech was delivered on Wednesday. It is as personal, nuanced and ambitious a speech as any made by a presidential candidate this year.

McCain noted that we are not only fighting a war on terror. The world is seeing a growing split between liberal democracies and growing autocracies. We are seeing a world in which great power rivalries -- with China, Russia and Iran -- have to be managed and soothed.

Moreover, the U.S. is not the sole hegemon. Power is widely distributed among many rising nations. McCain's core purpose in the speech was to revive the foreign policy tradition that has jumped parties but that has been associated with people like Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Stimson, Dean Acheson, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

In this tradition, a strong America is the key to world peace, but America's role is as a leading player in an international system. America didn't defeat communism, McCain said Wednesday, the American-led global community did. This is the tradition that Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment has been describing for a decade.

McCain offered to build new pillars for that system -- a League of Democracies, a new nuclear nonproliferation regime and a successor to the Kyoto treaty. In stabilizing Asia and the Middle East, he would rely more on democracies like Turkey, India, Israel and Iraq, and less on Mubarak and Musharraf.

Unlike the realists, McCain believes other nations have to be judged according to how they treat their own citizens. Unlike the Bush administration in its first few years, he believes global treaties cannot solely be evaluated according to a narrow definition of the American interest. The U.S. also has to protect the fabric of the international system.

McCain opened his speech with a description of his father leaving home on the day of Pearl Harbor, and then being gone for much of the next four years. He harkened back repeatedly to the accomplishments of the Truman administration.

In so doing, he signaled that the foreign policy debate of the coming months will be very different from the one of the past six years. Anybody who thinks McCain is merely continuing the Bush agenda is not paying attention.

Read David Brooks' Column On John McCain: "Tested Over Time"


U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released the first television ad of the general election. The ad, entitled "624787," poses important questions to the American people about what values they want in their next president, and highlights John McCain's experience, character and optimistic vision for our future. "624787" will run statewide in the important battleground state of New Mexico.


The campaign further announced that on Monday, John McCain will embark on a "Service to America" tour where he will introduce himself to the nation through a series of speeches and visits that trace the life of a man indebted to his nation, humbled by the opportunity to serve his country, honored by his family's love and deeply moved by his fellow Americans' courage and sacrifice. The tour will highlight the events and figures that shaped his views of right and wrong, forgiveness and grace and the tradition of service and sacrifice ingrained in him from generations of McCains. This "Service to America" tour will fundamentally be about the future of America and the change John McCain will bring as president, informed by the values that have guided his life.

Further details on the "Service to America" tour will be released today.

Script For "624787" (:60-TV)
JOHN MCCAIN: Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong. Do not yield. Stand up. We're Americans. And we'll never surrender.
ANNCR: What must a president believe about us? About America?
That she is worth protecting?
That liberty is priceless?
Our people, honorable?
Our future, prosperous, remarkable and free?
And, what must we believe about that president?
What does he think?
Where has he been?
Has he walked the walk?
INTERVIEWER: What is your rank?
JOHN MCCAIN: Lt. Commander in the Navy.
INTERVIEWER: And your official number?
ANNCR: John McCain
The American president Americans have been waiting for.
JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


John McCain 2008 spokesman Tucker Bounds today issued the following statement on Barack Obama's speech on the economy planned for this morning in New York City:

"No amount of rhetoric can hide Senator Obama's clear record of embracing the liberal tax and spend, big government policies that hit hardworking American families at a time when they're most vulnerable, and are certain to move America backward.

"This election provides a clear choice. John McCain offers a common sense agenda to cut taxes, eliminate wasteful government spending, and get our economy back on track, while Senator Obama embraces the failed liberal policies of the past that lock down the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that has always grown our economy, created jobs and expanded opportunity for the American people."




Obama Has Proposed A Laundry List Of Tax Hikes On The Campaign Trail, Which Would Hurt The Economy

Obama Has Called For Higher Income Taxes, Social Security Taxes, Investment Taxes, And Corporate Taxes, As Well As "Massive New Domestic Spending." "Obama's transformation, if you go by his campaign so far, would mean higher income taxes, higher Social Security taxes, higher investment taxes, higher corporate taxes, massive new domestic spending, and a healthcare plan that perhaps could be the next step to a full-scale, single-payer system. Is that what most Americans want, someone who will fulfill a Democratic policy wish list?" (James Pethokoukis, "Barack Hussein Reagan? Ronald Wilson Obama?" U.S. News & World Report's "Capital Commerce" Blog,, 2/12/08)

· Obama Has Also Called For Tax Hikes On Coal And Natural Gas. Obama: "What we ought to tax is dirty energy, like coal and, to a lesser extent, natural gas." ("Q&A With Sen. Barack Obama," San Antonio Express-News, 2/19/08)

The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore: "If He Becomes President ... Tax Rates Will Go Up Almost Across The Board." "[Obama] doesn't believe that raising tax rates is going to hurt the economy and if he becomes President ... tax rates will go up almost across the board." (The Wall Street Journal Website,, Accessed 2/13/08)

CNBC's Larry Kudlow: "[Obama] Has A Very Punitive High-Tax Campaign Plan For The Economy." (Larry Kudlow, "Obama, The Very-High-Tax Candidate," National Review's "The Corner" Blog,, 2/11/08)

Ben Stein: "His Understanding Of Economics Is 100 Percent Wrong." "Mr. Obama could become president and derail everything because his understanding of economics is 100 percent wrong. ... I must say I'm so scared about Mr. Obama becoming president. I can hardly tell you." (CNBC's "Kudlow & Company," 2/14/08)

Obama Said He Will Provide Tax Relief For Working Families, But Voted For A Budget That Raises Taxes On Americans Earning As Little As $31,850

Obama: "We could be fighting to put the American dream within reach for every American -- by giving tax breaks to working families ..." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks On Iraq And The Economy, Charleston, WV, 3/20/08)

Obama Voted In Favor Of The Democrats' FY 2009 Budget. "Adoption of the concurrent resolution that would set broad spending and revenue targets over the next five years. The resolution would allow up to $1 trillion in discretionary spending for 2009." (S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #85: Adopted 51-44: R 2-43; D 47-1; I 2-0, 3/14/08, Obama Voted Yea)

· Obama-Backed Budget Would Raise Taxes On Individuals Earning As Little As $31,850. "Under both Democratic plans, tax rates would increase by 3 percentage points for each of the 25 percent, 28 percent and 33 percent brackets. At present, the 25 percent bracket begins at $31,850 for individuals and $63,700 for married couples. The 35 percent bracket on incomes over $349,700 would jump to 39.6 percent." (Andrew Taylor, "Presidential Hopefuls To Vote On Budget," The Associated Press, 3/13/08)

· The Club For Growth's Andrew Roth Notes That Obama-Backed Budget Would Result In "The Largest Tax Hike In U.S. History." "The Democrats' FY09 budget does not extend the Bush tax cuts. As a result, Americans are set to be hammered with the largest tax hike in U.S. history." (Andrew Roth, "Tax Hike Impact By Congressional District," The Club For Growth's "Club For Growth" Blog,, 3/12/08)


Obama's Liberal Spending Agenda "Suggests A Lack Of Seriousness In Confronting The Nation's Fiscal Condition"

McClatchy: Obama "Promising Massive New Spending Without Providing Details On How [He'd] Pay For It." "Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama champion fiscal responsibility on the campaign trail, but both democratic presidential hopefuls are promising massive new spending without providing details on how they'd pay for it." (Kevin G. Hall and Margaret Talev, "Clinton, Obama Ignore Budget Crisis, Promise Billions," McClatchy Newspapers, 2/22/08)

USA Today: Obama Offers "A Long List Of New Spending Proposals That Suggests A Lack Of Seriousness In Confronting The Nation's Fiscal Condition." "[C]linton and Obama both offer a long list of new spending proposals that suggests a lack of seriousness in confronting the nation's fiscal condition. Obama has received more criticism, perhaps deservedly so, because his list is somewhat longer." (Editorial, "Democrats Promise A Lot, But Who Will Pay The Bill?" USA Today, 2/25/08)

Concord Coalition's Robert Bixby: "I Couldn't Help But Think, 'Where Is He [Obama] Going To Get The Money To Pay For These Things?'" (Kevin G. Hall and Margaret Talev, "Clinton, Obama Ignore Budget Crisis, Promise Billions," McClatchy Newspapers, 2/22/08)

NOTE: Obama Claims He's Fiscally Conservative. Obama: "I am a progressive, but I always tell people that if you're a progressive you should be fiscally even more conservative than the so-called conservatives. ... The reason is, there are a lot of needs where we need to spend money, so we can't afford to waste money on stuff that we don't need." (April Castro, "Obama Touts Conservative Spending Approach," The Associated Press, 2/28/08)


Obama Wants Larger Government Role In Free Market Economy

Obama: "We've Depended On Government Action To ... Make The Market Work Better." Obama: "[W]e have a tendency to take our free-market system as a given, to assume that it flows naturally from the laws of supply and demand and Adam Smith's invisible hand. ... And although the benefits of our free-market system have mostly derived from the individual efforts of generations of men and women pursuing their own vision of happiness, in each and every period of great economic upheaval and transition we've depended on government action to open up opportunity, encourage competition, and make the market work better." (Barack Obama, The Audacity Of Hope, 2006, p. 150)

· Obama: "But our history should give us confidence that we don't have to choose between an oppressive, government-run economy and a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism. ... What might such a new economic consensus look like? ... [W]e can begin to modernize and rebuild the social contract that FDR first stitched together in the middle of the last century." (Barack Obama, The Audacity Of Hope, 2006, pp. 158-159)


Obama's Plan To Alleviate The Mortgage Crisis Has Been Criticized By Economists And Industry Experts

"Among The Proposals To Rescue Distressed Borrowers, The Obama Plan Was Singled Out For Criticism By Financial Industry Experts." (Jessica Holzer, "Major Bailout Is Unlikely On Sub-Prime Mortgages," The Hill, 9/4/07)

Obama Supports Creating A Mortgage "Bailout Fund." "[S]en. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who is vying with Clinton for their party's presidential nomination, advocated fining unscrupulous lenders to partially pay for a bailout fund for distressed borrowers." (Jessica Holzer, "Major Bailout Is Unlikely On Sub-Prime Mortgages," The Hill, 9/4/07)

· "Opponents Argue That Bailouts Send The Wrong Message To Recipients And Do Nothing To Discourage Future Irresponsible Behavior." (Robert Schroeder, "Should Washington Come To Aid Of Troubled Borrowers?" Dow Jones' MarketWatch, 8/31/07)

· "Economists Question Whether Obama's $10-Billion 'Foreclosure Prevention Fund' Would Cover The Thousands Of Americans Who Already Have Lost Homes And The Thousands More Who Are In Danger." (Stephen Braun, Nicholas Riccardi and Maria La Ganga, "Rivals Differ On Foreclosure Cure," Los Angeles Times, 2/21/08)

Obama Said Fining Lenders Would Only "Partially" Cover The Cost Of His $10 Billion Bailout Fund -- So Do Taxpayers Have To Pay The Rest?

Obama: "We can partially pay for this fund by imposing penalties on lenders that acted irresponsibly or committed fraud." (Sen. Barack Obama, Op-Ed, "Fine Unscrupulous Mortgage Lenders," Financial Times [London, UK], 8/29/07)

Both Clinton's And Obama's Mortgage Proposals Would Place "Some Added Burden On Taxpayers." "On the housing front, both candidates have put forward proposals that would put at least some added burden on taxpayers." (Nick Timiraos, "Candidates Differ On Housing," The Wall Street Journal, 2/20/08)


Obama Rated "Most Liberal Senator" By National Journal, Received "Perfect Liberal Score" On Economic Issues

"Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Was The Most Liberal Senator In 2007, According To National Journal's 27th Annual Vote Ratings." (Brian Friel, Richard E. Cohen and Kirk Victor, "Obama: Most Liberal Senator In 2007," National Journal, 1/31/08)

"In 2006, [Obama] Was One Of 13 Senate Democrats With A Perfect Liberal Score On Economic Issues." (Richard E. Cohen, "Left To Right," National Journal, 3/3/07)

· "The Insurgent Presidential Candidate Shifted Further To The Left Last Year In The Run-Up To The Primaries, After Ranking As The 16th- And 10th-Most-Liberal During His First Two Years In The Senate." (Brian Friel, Richard E. Cohen and Kirk Victor, "Obama: Most Liberal Senator In 2007," National Journal, 1/31/08)

Obama Receives Poor Marks From Tax, Spending And Business Groups

National Taxpayers Union Gave Obama A Grade Of "F" For His Fiscal Voting Record. (National Taxpayers Union Website,, Accessed 9/25/07)

Citizens Against Government Waste Gave Obama A Lifetime Rating Of 22 Out Of 100. (Citizens Against Government Waste, "CCAGW Challenges Presidential Candidates On Earmarks," Press Release, 12/27/07)

Americans For Tax Reform Gave Obama A Lifetime Rating Of 7.5 Out Of 100. (Americans For Tax Reform Website,, Accessed 1/29/08)

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Gave Obama A 55 Percent Rating In 2006. (U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Website,, Accessed 9/17/07)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


John McCain 2008 spokesman Tucker Bounds today issued the following statement on Barack Obama's old-style political attacks today:

"Senator Obama's blatant mischaracterizations aren't the new politics he's promised America, they're the old attack and smear tactics that Americans are tired of.

"Barack Obama's diagnosis for our housing market is clearly that Barack Obama knows best -- raise taxes on hardworking Americans and give government a prescription to spend.

"John McCain has called for an immediate and balanced approach to provide transparency and accountability in an effort to help homeowners who are hurting, while Barack Obama has made a $10 billion election-year promise that is sure to raise taxes and handcuff an already struggling economy."

National Review On Democrats' "100 Years War" Distortion

"[McCain's] statement speaks for itself. If we prevail in Iraq and the violence ends, American troops can be stationed there just as they are in other peaceful, strategically important countries such as South Korea and Japan. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have suggested that this means McCain 'wants to fight a 100-year war,' in Obama's words. This is so obvious a distortion that it must backfire against Democrats over time, especially if they nominate Barack Obama, who has so loudly advertised his commitment to civil discourse ... [W]e suspect the public still prefers winning a war to losing one. If it does, John McCain is better suited for the task than either of his two opponents, no matter how often they throw out the 100-year comment." -- National Review

The 100 Years War
By the Editors
National Review
March 26, 2008

Democrats are congratulating themselves on the political cleverness of the cheap shots they are taking at Sen. John McCain over his already-famous "100 years in Iraq" comment.

What McCain said at a townhall meeting in New Hampshire in January was inarguably true. He was asked about President Bush's comment that we could stay in Iraq for 50 years. McCain replied, "Make it 100. We've been in South Korea ... we've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me. As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, that's fine with me. I hope that would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al-Qaeda is training, recruiting and equipping and motivating people every single day."

The statement speaks for itself. If we prevail in Iraq and the violence ends, American troops can be stationed there just as they are in other peaceful, strategically important countries such as South Korea and Japan. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have suggested that this means McCain "wants to fight a 100-year war," in Obama's words. This is so obvious a distortion that it must backfire against Democrats over time, especially if they nominate Barack Obama, who has so loudly advertised his commitment to civil discourse (at least outside of church).

Democrats have long been counting on the Iraq war being a big political bonus this fall, but that is by no means guaranteed. McCain is a staunch supporter of the war who is not associated with its initial failures because he was warning against them from the beginning. As early as November 2003 he gave a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations that identified the need for a surge in Iraq, even if no one was calling it that yet.

He correctly diagnosed the strategic imperative on the ground: "Security is a precondition for everything else we want to accomplish in Iraq. We will not get good intelligence until we provide a level of public safety and a commitment to stay that encourages Iraqis to cast their lot with us, rather than wait to see whether we or the Ba'athists prevail. Local Iraqis need to have enough confidence in our strength and staying power to collaborate with us. Absent improved security, acts of sabotage will hold back economic progress. Without better security, political progress will be difficult because the Iraqi people will not trust an Iraqi political authority that can't protect them."

McCain called for more troops and put his finger on what would be a key failing in the administration's strategy for years: "Prematurely placing the burden of security on Iraqis is not the answer. Hastily trained Iraqi security forces cannot be expected to accomplish what U.S. forces have not yet succeeded in doing: defeating the Ba'athists and international terrorists inside Iraq."

Of course, many conservatives and the Bush administration didn't catch up to McCain until it was almost too late, in 2006 when Iraq was descending into hell. McCain lobbied the administration internally for the surge and for sending Gen. David Petraeus to Iraq. He was the surge's most vocal supporter when the media were deeming it an act of suicide and other Republican senators were wobbly at best. McCain said he would rather lose an election than lose a war, and meant it. In contrast to Obama, who talks beautifully about political courage but has never demonstrated any, McCain put his ambitions on the line. He did more than any political figure besides President Bush to turn around the war in Iraq.

The success the surge has had in diminishing violence has changed public perceptions of the war. Most people still believe the war was a mistake, but they are more optimistic about our efforts and less inclined to favor the kind of immediate withdrawal favored by Obama and Clinton. A Pew Research survey found that people are evenly split on whether the war is going well or poorly, and split over whether we should bring the troops home or keep them in Iraq until the situation has stabilized. A majority, 53 percent, believe we will succeed in our goals. A CBS News poll had 42 percent of the public saying the surge had made things better, up from a mere 17 percent in June. Gallup found that only 18 percent favor withdrawing troops "as soon as possible," and among those favoring withdrawal, a two-to-one majority wants it to be gradual and orderly.

Of course, these figures all will fluctuate with the state of the war. The media has played up the latest violence in Iraq, but it's not news that Iraq continues to be dangerous, and the context is always important. (Increased activity by Shia militias, for example, reflect a positive development if they are being hit by Iraqi government forces.) Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker have presented President Bush a plan to keep troops levels at their pre-surge level of 15 combat brigades for a period of "consolidation and evaluation" after the drawdown from the surge in July. This plan likely means that the internal administration battle over what to do after the surge has been won by those favoring more troops rather than those -- especially the institutional army -- favoring less. Their victory will give us a much better chance of holding and building on gains we've made over the last year. An Iraqi battalion commander in hotly contested Mosul put it tartly to the New York Times the other day: "There are those who say the Iraqi Army can control Iraq without the Americans. But they are liars. Without the Americans it would be impossible for us to control Iraq."

We have paid a dear price in Iraq. Four thousand brave Americans have fallen. The Democrats think that they will therefore be able to capitalize on public exhaustion with the war. But we suspect the public still prefers winning a war to losing one. If it does, John McCain is better suited for the task than either of his two opponents, no matter how often they throw out the 100-year comment.

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Missouri GOP Playing Machine Politics with Ron Paul Delegates

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Ron Paul campaign has been receiving reports that Missouri GOP rules have been violated in the set-up and execution of several county Republican caucuses. Ron Paul supporters in Missouri have been attending their county caucuses and electing Ron Paul delegates to be seated at the Missouri Republican State Convention. However, there are concerns that many Ron Paul delegates to the Missouri Republican State Convention were disenfranchised and not properly seated.

On Thursday, March 20, campaign field director Debbie Hopper visited the Missouri state GOP headquarters to request a copy of the records needed to obtain the information to file challenges. She was told in front of witnesses that she could not view the report. To obtain the needed information, Ms. Hopper then used the contact information of county chairs listed on the state GOP website. On Saturday, March 22, the webpage containing their contact information had been removed.

The Paul campaign believes that a handful of GOP officials are playing machine politics and breaking their own rules to disenfranchise Paul supporters.

“The Republican party is in trouble and needs more participants in 2008, not less,” said campaign manager Lew Moore. “It makes no sense for Missouri party leaders to exclude and marginalize the new activists they badly need to work at every level this fall.”

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s supporters have been highly successful in several Missouri counties. In St. Charles County (suburb of St. Louis), Paul supporters filled 241 of the 274 country Republican delegate slots. In Jackson County (Kansas City), Paul supporters filled 162 of 187 delegate slots. And in Greene County (Springfield), Paul supporters filled 72 of 112 delegate slots.


U.S. Senator John McCain today delivered the following remarks to open a Hispanic small business roundtable in Santa Ana, California:

Thank you for joining me here today. I just returned from a trip overseas that included assessing the state of affairs in Iraq, the Middle East, and Europe. I will have more to say on those important issues in the days and weeks to come.

While I was traveling overseas, our financial markets experienced another round of upheaval. This market turmoil leaves many Americans feeling both concerned and angry. People see the value of their homes fall at the same time that the price of gasoline and food is rising. Already tight household budgets are getting tighter. A lot of Americans read the headlines about credit crunches and liquidity crises and ask: "How did we get here?" In the end, the motivation and behaviors that caused the current crisis are not terribly complicated, even though the alphabet soup of financial instruments is complex. The past decade witnessed the largest increase in home ownership in the past 50 years. Home ownership is part of the American dream, and we want as many Americans as possible to be able to afford their own home. But in the process of a huge, and largely positive, upturn in home construction and ownership, a housing bubble was created.

A bubble occurs when prices are driven up too quickly, speculators move into markets, and these players begin to suspend the normal rules of risk and assume that prices can only move up -- but never down. We've seen this kind of bubble before - in the late 1990s, we had the technology bubble, when money poured into technology stocks and people assumed that those stock values would rise indefinitely. Between 2001 and 2006, housing prices rose by nearly 15 percent every year. The normal market forces of people buying and selling their homes were overwhelmed by rampant speculation. Our system of market checks and balances did not correct this until the bubble burst.

A sustained period of rising home prices made many home lenders complacent, giving them a false sense of security and causing them to lower their lending standards. They stopped asking basic questions of their borrowers like "can you afford this home? Can you put a reasonable amount of money down?" Lenders ended up violating the basic rule of banking: don't lend people money who can't pay it back. Some Americans bought homes they couldn't afford, betting that rising prices would make it easier to refinance later at more affordable rates. There are 80 million family homes in America and those homeowners are now facing the reality that the bubble has burst and prices go down as well as up.

Of those 80 million homeowners, only 55 million have a mortgage at all, and 51 million are doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time. That leaves us with a puzzling situation: how could 4 million mortgages cause this much trouble for us all?

The other part of what happened was an explosion of complex financial instruments that weren't particularly well understood by even the most sophisticated banks, lenders and hedge funds. To make matters worse, these instruments -- which basically bundled together mortgages and sold them to others to spread risk throughout our capital markets -- were mostly off-balance sheets, and hidden from scrutiny. In other words, the housing bubble was made worse by a series of complex, inter-connected financial bets that were not transparent or fully understood. That means they weren't always managed wisely because people couldn't properly quantify the risk or the value of these bets. And because these instruments were bundled and sold and resold, it became harder and harder to find and connect up a real lender with a real borrower. Capital markets work best when there is both accountability and transparency. In the case of our current crisis, both were lacking.

Because managers did not fully understand the complex financial instruments and because there was insufficient transparency when they did try to learn, the initial losses spawned a crisis of confidence in the markets. Market players are increasingly unnerved by the uncertainty surrounding the level of risk, liability and loss currently in the financial system. Banks no longer trust each other and are increasingly unwilling to put their money to work. Credit is drying up and liquidity is now severely limited -- and small business and hard-working families find themselves unable to get their usual loans.

The net result is the crisis we face. What started as a problem in subprime loans has now convulsed the entire financial system.

Let's start with some straight talk:

I will not play election year politics with the housing crisis. I will evaluate everything in terms of whether it might be harmful or helpful to our effort to deal with the crisis we face now.

I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers. Government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and the economy.

In our effort to help deserving homeowners, no assistance should be given to speculators. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners, not people who bought houses for speculative purposes, to rent or as second homes. Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren't. I will consider any and all proposals based on their cost and benefits. In this crisis, as in all I may face in the future, I will not allow dogma to override common sense.

When we commit taxpayer dollars as assistance, it should be accompanied by reforms that ensure that we never face this problem again. Central to those reforms should be transparency and accountability.

Homeowners should be able to understand easily the terms and obligations of a mortgage. In return, they have an obligation to provide truthful financial information and should be subject to penalty if they do not. Lenders who initiate loans should be held accountable for the quality and performance of those loans and strict standards should be required in the lending process. We must have greater transparency in the lending process so that every borrower knows exactly what he is agreeing to and where every lender is required to meet the highest standards of ethical behavior.

Policies should move toward ensuring that homeowners provide a responsible down payment of equity at the initial purchase of a home. I therefore oppose reducing the down payment requirement for FHA mortgages and believe that, as conditions allow, the down payment requirement should be raised. So many homeowners have found themselves owing more than their home is worth, because many never had much equity in the house to begin with. When conditions return to normal, GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises) should never insure loans when the homeowner clearly does not have skin in the game.

In financial institutions, there is no substitute for adequate capital to serve as a buffer against losses. Our financial market approach should include encouraging increased capital in financial institutions by removing regulatory, accounting and tax impediments to raising capital.
I am prepared to examine new proposals and evaluate them based on these principals. But I think we need to do two things right away. First, it is time to convene a meeting of the nation's accounting professionals to discuss the current mark to market accounting systems. We are witnessing an unprecedented situation as banks and investors try to determine the appropriate value of the assets they are holding and there is widespread concern that this approach is exacerbating the credit crunch.
We should also convene a meeting of the nation's top mortgage lenders. Working together, they should pledge to provide maximum support and help to their cash-strapped, but credit worthy customers. They should pledge to do everything possible to keep families in their homes and businesses growing. Recall that immediately after September 11, 2001 General Motors stepped in to provide 0 percent financing as part of keeping the economy growing. We need a similar response by the mortgage lenders. They've been asking the government to help them out. I'm now calling upon them to help their customers, and their nation out. It's time to help American families.
More important than the events of the past is the promise of the future. The American economy is resilient and diverse. Even as financial troubles weigh upon it other parts of the economy hold up or even continue to grow. I have spoken at length in other settings about the need to keep taxes low on our families, entrepreneurs, and small businesses; to make the tax code simpler and fair by eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax that the middle class was never intended to pay; to improve the ability of our companies to compete by reducing our corporate tax rate, which today are the second highest rates in the world; to provide investment incentives; to control rising health care costs that threaten the budgets of our businesses and families; to improve education and training programs; and to ensure our ability to sell to the 95 percent of the world's customers that lie outside U.S. borders.

These are important steps to strengthen the foundations of the millions of businesses small and large that provide jobs for American workers. There is no government program or policy that is a substitute for a good job. These steps would also strengthen the U.S. dollar and help to control the rising cost of living that hurts our families. These are important issues in this campaign and the debate with my Democrat rivals. But I will get my chance to talk further another day. Now I look forward to hearing from our small business owners -- the very lifeblood of our economy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Today in Los Angeles, Nancy Reagan endorsed John McCain for president.

Mrs. Reagan released the following statement on her endorsement:

"Although it has been my custom to wait until after the Republican National Convention to announce my support of a candidate, it is clear that the Party has chosen its nominee. So it is with great pleasure that I endorse Senator John McCain for President of the United States.
"John McCain has been a good friend for over thirty years. My husband and I first came to know him as a returning Vietnam War POW, and were impressed by the courage he had shown through his terrible ordeal. I believe John's record and experience have prepared him well to be our next president."

John McCain thanked Mrs. Reagan for her support, saying, "Mrs. Nancy Reagan has earned our love and admiration for her grace and lifetime commitment to our nation's future. Alongside President Reagan in the White House, Nancy was a champion of hope and compassion. I will never forget the kindness that she and her husband shared with me upon my return from Vietnam. I was grateful for her support then, and am humbled by it today."
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Monday, March 24, 2008

McCain Economic Advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin In The Washington Post

"No government program is a substitute for a good job, and fast job growth requires easing employers' burdens. The most obvious cost is taxes; McCain would oppose Democrats' plans to impose damaging tax increases. ... His commitment to low taxes, controlling government spending and honoring international agreements would reassure investors and strengthen the dollar, helping to ease inflation and oil prices that are hurting American families." -- Douglas Holtz-Eakin

The Next President's Plan ...
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
The Washington PostMarch 24, 2008

To solve the current crisis, John McCain would shore up the foundations of the companies, growth enterprises and family businesses that are the source of jobs for our nation's workers. Spending by households and businesses is slowing, leading to job losses. Looming over daily market volatility, the mortgage crisis and the widespread credit crunch is the specter of inflation, especially in gasoline and food prices. To address these challenges, McCain would combine immediate help with reforms that ensure that American families will be protected from such threats in the future.

No government program is a substitute for a good job, and fast job growth requires easing employers' burdens. The most obvious cost is taxes; McCain would oppose Democrats' plans to impose damaging tax increases. He would improve our international competitiveness with a tax credit for research and development, investment incentives and a lower corporate tax rate. He would propose comprehensive health-care reforms that would change the practice of medicine to reward quality, high-value care, as well as tax credits and insurance market reforms to stop the erosion of health insurance. Such a combination would attack spiraling costs, ease pressure on family budgets, permit firms to pay better wages and reduce the number of the uninsured. His commitment to low taxes, controlling government spending and honoring international agreements would reassure investors and strengthen the dollar, helping to ease inflation a nd oil prices that are hurting American families.

Unemployment insurance and training programs are "automatic stabilizers" that help to minimize economic downturns. But today's programs are straight out of the 1950s. We must modernize unemployment insurance and training programs to create an effective system for helping displaced workers make ends meet and quickly move on to the next opportunity.

John McCain will not play election-year politics with the mortgage crisis. In evaluating any proposal, he will apply four principles: (1) No taxpayer dollars should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to do due diligence in assessing credit risks. (2) Any financial assistance should be accompanied by reforms that ensure that we never face this problem again. (3) Too little equity -- small down payments by home buyers and too little capital at our financial institutions -- was a source of the housing and credit problem that must be reversed. (4) Where government assistance is merited, lenders and homeowners should make financial sacrifices to qualify.

The financial markets are suffering the after-effects of the bursting of a housing bubble. As with the technology bubble of the late 1990s, much of the difficulty has been created by speculators looking for quick profits and by investors and bankers who ignored basic rules of risk management in an attempt to cash in while times were good. John McCain will not dip into pockets on Main Street to reward these people with a bailout. He is committed to reforms that will restore economic freedom, opportunity and rising prosperity to hardworking families.

Read Douglas Holtz-Eakin's Op-Ed In The Washington Post


U.S. Senator John McCain today issued the following statement on the elections in Taiwan:

"I want to congratulate Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan on his victory in the presidential election held on March 22nd. Once again we are witnessing the peaceful transfer of political power from one government to another based on ballots in an election that was free and fair. The vigorous campaigning of Ma Ying-jeou of the KMT and the DPP's Frank Hsieh are testimony to the press freedoms, democratic process and the rule of law the Taiwanese people have worked so hard to build. Taiwan's election is a fine example for the region.

"Again, congratulations to President-elect Ma. I wish him every success in the years ahead."


U.S. Senator John McCain made the following remarks today in Chula Vista, California:

"As you know, I was in Iraq, Jordan, Israel, France and England on my last visit. And a couple of days ago, as you probably know, an audiotape -- actually it was last week -- an audiotape was released where bin Laden said, and I have to quote bin Laden, ... 'the nearest field to support our people in Palestine is the Iraqi field.' He urged Palestinians and people of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to quote 'help in support of their mujahedeen brothers in Iraq, which is the greatest opportunity and the biggest task.' Now my friends, for the first time I have seen Osama bin Laden and General Petraeus in agreement, and that is, the central battleground in the battle against al Qaeda is in Iraq today. And that's what bin Laden is saying and that's what General Petraeus is saying and that's what I'm saying, my friends, and my Democrat opponents who want to pull out of Iraq refuse to understand what's being said and what's happening, and that is, the central battleground is Iraq in this struggle against radical Islamic extremism."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

News & Blog Roundup

McCain's Trip Abroad Doubles As Audition On The World Stage
Tampa Tribune - Tampa,FL,USA
John McCain's trip abroad last week - which took him from the Middle East to No. 10 Downing St. to the Elysee Palace here - was more than just a ...

John McCain, His Border State and Gaza Strip
Arab News - Jeddah,Saudi Arabia
The US Republican presidential candidate, John McCain Thursday visited Sderot, an Israeli town hit frequently by Palestinian rockets from nearby Gaza Strip. ...

McCain Gains from Clinton-Obama Feud
ABC News - USA
... whether Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will ever stop slamming each other, which they see as only helping John McCain, the likely Republican nominee. ...

Virtual Tie Between McCain and Obama … in Their NCAA Brackets
It is amazing John McCain has been able to recover from such a stunning loss. McCain, the Arizona senator and presumptive Republican nominee ...

McCain veto support is a bad move
Rockford Register Star - Rockford,IL,USA
When Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani waffled last year on whether waterboarding is torture, it was all McCain could do to restrain himself, telling the press: ...

McCain says US must listen more to European allies on key issues
AFP - PARIS (AFP) — Republican nominee John McCain said in an interview published Saturday the United States must show it is listening to its European allies ...

McCain Offers Soothing Tones in Trip Abroad
New York Times - United States
By MICHAEL COOPER PARIS — Senator John McCain’s trip abroad

Obama, Clinton, McCain Passport Files Breached (Update4)
Bloomberg - USA
The private data of Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain were accessed in separate incidents, State Department ...

Our Man in Baghdad -- John McCain
By ladyjayne(ladyjayne) We've had our Hillary moment, in this campaign year, so why not a John McCain moment, too? Why not superimpose a picture of John McCain onto the photo of Michael Dukakis perched on top of a tank. After all, it was 20 years ago that ...
ladyjayne's blog - /

Why I can’t vote for John McCain
By feelingelephants John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench. Constitutional balance would ...
FeelingElephants's Weblog -

John McCain sought Pastor Hagee’s endorsement
By John Amato John Hagee declares, “It’s true that [John] McCain’s campaign sought my endorsement.” McCain has attempted to distance himself from some of Hagee’s views, much as Barack Obama is doing in relation to Rev. Jeremiah Wright. ...
Crooks and Liars -

Is John McCain Serious?
By peter John McCain is on a tour of the Middle East to promote his foreign policy credentials. I don’t have a problem with this, but it is ironic that the candidate who rails against “pork barrel spending” is using taxpayer money for a ...
The Arc of History -

A Quick Look At John McCain And The Polls
By Fred Malek Still, I’m thrilled that John McCain has secured the Republican nomination for President. Winning the presidency certainly is no easy task – either Clinton or Obama will be formidable foes. But I firmly believe that our party has chosen ...
Fred Malek Blog -

US ad bashes McCain as 'hero of France'
AFP - WASHINGTON (AFP) — A US liberal group Friday released an advertisement that rails on Republican White House nominee John McCain for backing a US Air Force ...

Is McCain too old to beat Obama or Clinton?
Times Online - UK
John McCain looks older than his 71 years and every bit as tired as he should be, having just dragged his campaign from the grave to achieve an improbable ...

Obama, Clinton, McCain snooped on - Australia
THE US State Department apologised today for snooping into the passport files of presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. ...

A message from John McCain
Times Online - UK
The close and compelling contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination has perhaps obscured John McCain's achievement in ...

McCain wraps up overseas trip in Paris
PARIS -- John McCain wrapped up his five-country swing to the Middle East and Europe by meeting with two familiar faces- one old and one new. ...

Passport files of McCain, Clinton, Obama all breached
Los Angeles Times - CA,USA
Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive GOP nominee, McCormack said. The contract employee who accessed Obama's files ...

McCain Blows by Public Spending Cap
Washington Post - United States
John McCain has officially broken the limits imposed by the presidential public financing system, reports filed last night show. ...

McCain Camp Denies DNC Charges That It Underpaid Feds for Overseas ...
John McCain’s campaign is firing back against accusations from the Democratic National Committee that he is underpaying the federal ...