December 21, 2007



Recently, we have been impressed by McCain's attitude toward illegal immigration, expressed at considerable political cost in a bill that was defeated earlier in the year. He now notes that any improvement in the situation will have to begin by better policing of the borders, but he continues to speak with humane concern of the people, and the families of people, who have put down roots here.

We are also intrigued, although not fully persuaded by, McCain's recent venture into health-care reform. Like many other Republicans, he puts a lot of faith in private insurance companies, and he rejects the idea of health-insurance mandates. But he is proposing an end to restrictions on insurance availability from out of state providers, as well as significant tax relief for people who negotiate their own insurance arrangements. He has a quiver of proposals for reducing the cost of health care. And he wants to create a federal insurance fund to insure people who are turned down - or priced out of the market - by private insurers. "And it'll be expensive," he volunteers, with typical candor.

Where McCain most distinguishes himself from the rest of this year's Republican pack is in the areas of life experience and force of character. He is not a single-issue candidate off on a frantic ideological jag. Although his political ideology has evolved through experience over the years, he has not changed his previous political positions en masse to appeal to the presumed prejudices and preferences of voters. Nor has he tried to craft a candidacy around an artificial persona who promises to save us all from terrorists, or from the devil. And, perhaps most important, he campaigns with decency.

What we see in McCain is a grown-up; a known quantity with a 30-year record of public service; a conservative who is confident in his abilities and yet smart enough to seek counsel.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 21, 2007 9:24 PM
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