Monday, January 28, 2008

The Orlando Sentinel: McCain Displays “Leadership, Political Courage And Integrity.”

“Mr. McCain has proved himself a leader over decades, in the military and then in Congress. He has a strong grasp of public policy, especially national security and foreign affairs. But he has made a name for himself in his willingness to buck the powers that be in Washington, D.C. — including leaders in his own party and powerful special interests — for such causes as campaign-finance reform and responsible budgeting.

In this primary campaign, Mr. McCain has stuck by politically risky positions in favor of immigration reform and mandatory steps to fight global warming. His opposition to federal ethanol subsidies and support for phasing out all farm subsidies probably cost him any chance to win the Iowa caucuses.

Mr. McCain’s rejection of subsidies is rooted in his commitment to free trade, a key issue for Florida. Trade supports hundreds of thousands of jobs here and generates billions of dollars in sales for state companies and farmers.

As last week’s presidential debate in Boca Raton showed, Mr. McCain is not the most polished Republican candidate on the stump. That title goes to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But Mr. Romney’s evolution in recent years from a moderate to a conservative better aligned with GOP presidential primary voters raises doubts about his core beliefs and commitment to principle.

Like Mr. Romney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have executive governing experience that Mr. McCain lacks. But none measures up to Mr. McCain’s level of leadership, political courage and integrity.”,0,4161101,print.story

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