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Opinion

For U.S. president: John McCain

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For U.S. president:

John McCain

Republican John McCain has an impressive record in Washington, and he would act as a check upon large Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate if elected president.

For this reason and more, we endorse him for president of the United States.

McCain has spent 26 years representing Arizona in Congress. In that time, he has been a champion of a more ethical, more efficient government that favors Americans over bureaucrats. He has distinguished himself as a bipartisan leader who forges compromises — oftentimes to the consternation of members of his own party. McCain is so disliked by many on the right, it’s surprising he received his party’s nomination for president in the first place.

But the Republicans were wise to nominate him. A more doctrinaire Republican would be helpless in the face of powerful national sentiment against Republican President George W. Bush. After retaking the House and the Senate in 2006, Democrats are poised to further solidify their control over the legislative branch. The Democrats might even approach a working 60-seat majority in the Senate, which would be enough to break Republican filibusters.

The prospect of an all-Democratic Congress and a Democratic president gives us pause.

McCain would protect the nation from the Congress’ worst instincts. More importantly, he wouldn’t be a roadblock to governance. Rather, he’d be a partner.

In his long and impressive career, McCain has reached across the aisle on important pieces of legislation. Just last year, he joined with U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., on a comprehensive immigration reform bill many detested. The bill didn’t pass, but a President McCain and a Democratic Congress could resurrect immigration reform that secures the border and realistically deals with the millions of undocumented immigrants already here. McCain and Congress, we hope, also will address global warming, which McCain thankfully doesn’t deny.

In 2005, McCain led the so-called “Gang of 14” compromise to save the filibuster for judicial nominees. His levelheaded intervention diffused a partisan showdown that, if concluded, would have hurt the Senate and the country.

McCain, brutally tortured in Vietnam for more than five years, understands ensuring the United States does not torture is vital to this nation’s reputation and standing in the world.

McCain’s Democratic opponent, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, is an impressive politician and leader with a steady temperament. But the first-term senator simply doesn’t have the record of achievement his opponent possesses. One of Obama’s signature achievements was a bipartisan bill addressing nuclear nonproliferation. An important issue for sure, but not one that is particularly controversial. Whether on immigration, judicial nominations or any other major, controversial issue before the Senate in the past four years, Obama’s been nowhere to be found.

When it comes to the meat-and-potatoes work of governance, we simply have more faith in McCain than Obama to address the pressing issues of the day.

Obama would be a fine president. But we prefer McCain, an American hero with a record of accomplishment in Washington. We recommend readers vote for him Nov. 4.



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