What Would President McCain Do?

Despite being the presumed GOP front-runner for the 2008 nomination since time immemorial, nobody's really bothered to find out what John McCain would do as President. On Tuesday, a voter in Iowa did. Via the Globe Gazette:

Though McCain has not formally announced his candidacy for the presidential nomination, he was asked to define his priorities if elected.

He ticked off four without hesitation.

  • "“I start by vetoing spending bills. There is just too much pork-barrel spending and we must become fiscally responsible."
  • "I would work more closely with our military allies. We need their support in the struggle that is ahead."
  • "“I would speak every two weeks to the American people. You need to know what is happening -— about the war and the many serious issues we face."
  • "“I would make sure we donĂ‚’t torture prisoners. I would close Guantanamo Bay."”
Well, those four positions are about as non-controversial as you can get.

(Except that in a way, they aren't. For the population at large, these are pretty safe. For the Republican privary voter they're out of the mainstream. Especially that last one. But that's another story...)

Not surprisingly, McCain's positions make him the 'anti-Bush' in approach, but not in policy. Work with allies, talk to the people and hide the torture are all nods to procedure, not sweeping change to Republican policy.
Asked if he agrees with farm subsidies, McCain said, "I don't like subsidies. I am a free-trader, and I believe subsidies do damage, especially to undeveloped countries. And while I support ethanol for its greenhouse effects, I do not support ethanol subsidies."”
That could really hurt you in Iowa, Senator. And that talk about 'greenhouse effects' won't get you very far with the global warming deniers.

All that said, John McCain still enjoys the status as a 'moderate' in the eyes of most Americans. That, of course, isn't accurate, but it doesn't change what people think. Many Democrats still look back at 2000 and say things like "I would have voted for McCain if he'd been the Republican nomination." That's bad.

Luckily, the guy's been in the Senate for years. There should be plenty of fun quotes, flip-flops, faux paus, and votes McCain would like to take back. We must begin to educate the public. McCain is NOT the moderate that his image-makers want you to think he is.

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