Friday, November 23, 2007

McCain tops list of thankworthy

By Wayne Woodlief Thursday, November 22, 2007

Character, conviction personified

Today’s the day again to thank all the pols and pundits who’ve made me think anew or laugh or sometimes shout. Some have been outrageous, some have been straight arrows, but none that I’m grateful for has been dull.

I’m most thankful for Sen. John McCain, the one candidate for president who stands up for what he believes and says it plain, regardless of the political cost.
He’s ardently backed the troop surge in Iraq (losing some independent support along the way) even as he rebuked President Bush for not sending in more troops when the war first began, as McCain had advocated.

He stuck by the doomed immigration bill he co-authored with Sen. Edward Kennedy, though it cost him deeply among the conservative and important Republican Iowa caucus electorate. Yet that compromise bill was the closest we’ve come - or may come - to a solution that would both secure our national borders and open a path toward citizenship for illegal immigrants. For all the screaming and degradation of McCain by the hard-righters, why haven’t they found an answer?
The Arizonan has bucked the president on torture and on those so-called “signing statements” by which Bush asserts he can disobey whatever parts of bills passed by Congress that he chooses, without vetoing them.

He has heart and fortitude. McCain was given up for dead a few months ago when his presidential campaign had overspent and was in disarray. Yet he is rising again as he focuses on the New Hampshire primary, where an upset of Mitt Romney would catapult McCain forward. Already, he has passed Fred Thompson, is edging by Rudy Giuliani for second place and has Romney in his sights in the Granite State.

In the latest Fox News poll, voters nationally also rate McCain as the Republicans’ best hope against Hillary Clinton. In trial heats, Clinton beats Giuliani by 4 percentage points, Thompson by 9 and Romney by 13. But she and McCain are in a virtual tie, with the former first lady at 46 percent and McCain at 45 percent.

So keep telling it straight, brother McCain. You could win this thing yet. And even if you lose, you’ll feel better about yourself.

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