Friday, October 24, 2008

"The State" Endorses John McCain

"First and foremost, [John McCain] is far better prepared not only to be commander in chief, but to lead the nation as it deals with a complex array of global challenges, from Iran to North Korea, from Russia to Venezuela." -- The State

"John McCain For President"
The [Columbia, SC] State
October 24, 2008

The editorial board of The State finds itself faced with a happy dilemma -- a choice between two presidential candidates whom we unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed in their primary contests. Now the nation must choose between them, and while we believe either man would make a fine president, we endorse Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Barack Obama is an inspiring and even transformational figure. He has the intellect and the temperament to lead the nation well in troubled times. On some issues, such as health care, we prefer his proposals to Sen. McCain's. If anyone else had won the Republican nomination, we would be endorsing Sen. Obama today.

But we prefer Sen. McCain. First and foremost, he is far better prepared not only to be commander in chief, but to lead the nation as it deals with a complex array of global challenges, from Iran to North Korea, from Russia to Venezuela. Consider two widely different areas of foreign policy, Iraq and Colombia.

Sen. McCain has often led the charge against the Bush administration when it was wrong on national security, from the 9/11 Commission (working with Joe Biden to make that happen) to the use of torture. But the most dramatic case regards Iraq. For years, he insisted we needed to send more troops. When Mr. Bush finally agreed to the "surge," Sen. McCain was Gen. David Petraeus' most conspicuous supporter.

The surge worked. Sen. McCain was for it, and Sen. Obama was against. That's no accident. Sen. McCain's support arose from his superior understanding of the situation and how to approach it.
Few will cast their ballots on the basis of the Colombian Free Trade Agreement, but the issue -- which arose in the third debate -- illustrates a difference with wider implications. Sen. McCain supports the treaty, which would open Colombia to U.S. goods (Colombian goods already flow freely this way), because it would cement ties with a nation that has courageously allied itself with ours on multiple fronts. Sen. Obama opposes it, in lockstep with organized labor: He cites violence against labor leaders. But Colombia has cracked down on that violence so effectively that it is now safer to be a union member in Colombia than not.

Consider judicial appointments. Both men say they would not apply litmus tests, but only Sen. McCain can back up the claim. He led the bipartisan Gang of 14 that put a stop to the partisan impasse over the judiciary; Sen. Obama declined to join. Sen. McCain voted to confirm two Clinton appointees. Sen. Obama has declined the only opportunities he's had to do likewise, opposing Samuel Alito and John Roberts.

Time and again -- consider immigration reform, or campaign finance law -- John McCain has opposed his own party when it was wrong, often at great political risk. In his brief time in the Senate, Sen. Obama has demonstrated no such pattern. With Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid expected to increase their majorities in Congress, that's an important consideration.

For more than 40 years, in war and peace, John McCain has exhibited fierce integrity, principled independence and awe-inspiring courage as he has put his country first. Between two extraordinary candidates, he is the better qualified.

So it is that The State proudly endorses John McCain for president of the United States.

Read The Editorial
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

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