Some of you asked for it, so what the heck. Herewith are the “good things about McCain” list from a conservative perspective, gathered by your intrepid parrot of the right wing machine. Also with new and improved suggestions!
1) Judges — is an explanation needed? Sure, there could be a Souter lurking there, but we know what kind of judge Obama will put up.
2) Pro-life — Obama isn’t and radically so.
3) Taxes–much better (though not perfect) than Obama. Needs to focus on helping the middle-class more dramatically. Reducing payroll (instead of income) taxes, via a child tax credit is one thought out there.
4) Supports domestic oil drilling and nuclear power–Obama only just came out for the former in a qualified way. No chance he’ll support the latter.
5) Fight on Terror and “right” about the surge in Iraq. Tough but willing to work with Iran. Obama World Tours notwithstanding, McCain holds the edge and experience in the minds of the public. That won’t change. Only question is if foreign matters are as important as domestic.
6) His health plan is all about portability and more options, making it more affordable. Tapping Mitt Romney–who can point to Massachusett’s state health plan–could help McCain.
Finally, regardless of the above, McCain needs to tap into the domestic mood and strike the right tone. People are ticked and, like it or not, want “change.” The thing is, Obama (he’s new!) and McCain (he’s a Maverick!) both meet that mark. The difference will be if we go with the untried-but-cool or the old-and-boring-but-solid.
Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru explain in a recent National Review that McCain should call upon his pedigree as a “fighter” to help bolster his campaign:
The fighter theme would work on multiple levels. It would tap into the public mood of disenchantment with Washington and politics. It would suit McCain, who is at his best when expressing an outraged irascibility (getting angry is not something he usually has trouble doing) and whose sense of honor is genuinely offended by many Washington practices. It would be in keeping with an aggressive anti-Obama campaign. It would communicate a certain vigor, perhaps mitigating concerns about his age. It would excite conservatives because — much of the time — McCain would be fighting against a confirmed liberal with an adoring media, while the populism and the anti-Washington cast of the message would appeal to independents as well.
The McCain campaign shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the narrowness of Obama’s lead. It may be that the best analogy is not 1976 — when the upstart challenger Jimmy Carter opened a huge lead over President Ford that steadily diminished over the fall — but 1980. That race was close until the end, when voters decided they were comfortable with Ronald Reagan, allowing him to blow out President Carter. If that’s the case, McCain helps Obama every day he fails to define and challenge him, as the public slowly gets used to the idea of the Democrat as a national leader.
The environment is so tough for Republicans that McCain won’t be able to win just on points. If it’s even a close call whether Obama is acceptable, Obama probably wins. McCain needs to fight, and time’s a-wastin’.