Thursday, October 30, 2008

Broder's McCain

Today David Broder wrote a thoughtful op-ed entitled "What We've Learned About McCain." (WaPo)

He reviewed what we already know about John McCain.... his military service and Senate history.... and then he zeroed in on his current performance as wanna-be president.

Broder opines, "We suspected, and soon had confirmed, that he had limited interest in, and capacity for, the organization and management of large enterprises. His first effort at building a structure for the 2008 presidential race collapsed in near-bankruptcy, costing him the service of many longtime aides. From beginning to end, the campaign that followed has been plagued by internal feuds and McCain's inability to resolve them.

"The shortcoming was intellectual as well as bureaucratic. Like Jimmy Carter, the only Naval Academy graduate to reach the Oval Office, McCain had an engineer's approach to policymaking. He had no large principles that he could apply to specific problems; each fresh question set off a search for a 'practical' solution. He instinctively looked back to Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive era, with its high-mindedness and disdain for the politics of doling out favors to interest groups. But those instincts coexisted uneasily with his adherence to traditional, Reagan-era conservatism -- a muscular foreign policy, a penchant for tax-cutting and a fondness for business."

Considering Broder's long friendship and support of both George W. Bush and his political guru Karl Rove, this is quite a startling analysis. In fact, it reads like The Decider's approach to governing.... McCain has "limited interest in, and capacity for, the organization and management of large enterprises".... McCain's "shortcoming was intellectual as well as bureaucratic." Wow!

And, he truthfully notes, that while McCain's instincts are high-minded, his actions support Reagan-era conservatism including "a fondness for business."

While giving McCain credit for being engaging and a survivor, Broder still worries that with a McCain presidency, "the country will have to hope this campaign has honed his leadership skills."

The country doesn't have to "hope"..... with Barack Obama in the White House we'll have a president with demonstrated intellectual acuity, and the management and leadership skills necessary for this critical time in the country's history.

Vote. It really matters!

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