Thursday, September 27, 2007

McCain claims he is the better GOP candidate for president since he doesn't need on-the-job training

I usually don't link to Yahoo News stories, since Yahoo always pulls their stories off the web after a period of time. But this one Yahoo story on Senator John McCain is too good:

NEW YORK - John McCain argued Thursday that the United States would be safer with him as president than if his leading Republican rivals were commander in chief as he seized on newfound opportunities to revive his weakened candidacy.

Once left for dead politically, McCain is sharply drawing distinctions between himself and his top GOP opponents as he seeks to capitalize on polls showing an extremely fluid race and a campaign flush enough to run ads in early voting New Hampshire.

"We don't have time or opportunity for on-the-job training, and the other candidates for president I don't believe have the qualifications that I do to hit the ground running and immediately address these serious challenges," the four-term Arizona senator and Vietnam veteran told reporters following a speech on the military.

"The country would be safer with me as its leader," McCain added. He said that while he respects his opponents, "this is all about who is best equipped to take on the challenge of radical Islamic extremism."

So John McCain will be a better war president than the other Republican challengers because of...what? That McCain is more pro-war than either Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, or Fred Thompson? Because McCain will not need the on-the-job training, and the other GOP candidates will need it even more?

Let's continue further into this Yahoo story:

Linked to Iraq and the troop increase strategy, McCain spent September aggressively trying to sell support for the unpopular war — and his candidacy — in a push that spoke to the central argument of his White House bid. McCain's contention: His depth of experience on foreign policy and the military makes him the most qualified of any hopeful, Republican or Democrat, to lead a country at war.

In that vein, he laid out his foreign policy vision in a speech to the conservative Hudson Institute on Thursday as his campaign rolled out ads that highlight his war-hero biography and decades-long military experience.

One ad sums up his pitch, saying: "Americans lost trust in their government. They're looking for leadership. A leader with the judgment and experience to keep us safe. The courage to change Washington. Fix our toughest problems and restore our trust. The character to put America's interests before his own."

The ads show various images of McCain — as a wounded Navy pilot answering questions from his prison bed in Vietnam, walking through the White House portico with President Reagan, returning to the U.S. after his years as a Vietnam POW.

In the speech, McCain renewed his call for boosting the ranks of the military without reinstituting the draft. He painted an optimistic picture of progress in Iraq but also warned of a long slog ahead. He criticized the Democratic candidates' national security policies. And, he distanced himself from President Bush, saying: "We are in a long war, a war I am afraid the U.S. government is not adequately prepared to fight."

While he did not name his GOP rivals outright, some of his remarks were clearly aimed at them

Okay, so John McCain will be the better GOP candidate for president since he won't need any on-the-job training for fighting against Islamic terrorism that Guiliani, Romney, and Thompson would need, because John McCain knows all about fighting Islamic terrorism since McCain was fighting against them in the Vietnam War. Wait a minute, were there Islamic terrorists fighting against McCain in the Vietnam War? There were godless North Vietnamese communists fighting against McCain in the Vietnam War--does that count?

All joking aside Senator McCain, fighting in Hanoi Hilton of Vietnam doesn't qualify you for being president, nor does it excuse you from on-the-job training. What this story does show is just how far to the pro-war right you have gone, Senator, in order to court the 30 percent right-wingnut base for the GOP nomination. In reality, Senator, your Vietnam War experience doesn't mean diddly-squat in terms of how to effectively fight against both Islamic terrorism, or even how to resolve this war in Iraq--just as Giuiliani's constant invocation of being "The 9/11 Mayor" gives him the experience of fighting Islamic terrorism, or Mitt Romney's dog story gives him the crisis management experience for fighting Islamic terrorists, or even Fred Thompson's Law and Order acting experience gives Thompson the presidential experience for imposing law and order in Iraq. Once you get into the Oval Office, all the experience and training in the world is meaningless because you are in one of the most stressful, publicly visible, highly powerful, 24-hour-a-day job for the next four years. You become the face for the entire United States--you are the United States of America for both good and bad. There is no previous work experience that can prepare you for that job--when you get into the White House, you are doing your own on-the-job training.

The second problem I have, Senator, is your insistence that your previous combat experience in Vietnam makes you the most qualified candidate for fighting against Islamic extremism. Senator, your vision is to increase the U.S. war in Iraq, even though a clear majority of Americans want the U.S. to start pulling troops out of Iraq. You are presenting a vision that a majority of the American public opposes. And so, Senator, go right ahead and sell your insane vision of a pro-war president to 30-percent hard-core conservative base. I doubt that you will get the GOP nomination. And even if you do, you are going to have a hard time explaining your pro-war image to moderates and independents who are opposed to the war.

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