April 26, 2008

STRAIGHT TALKIN':

Contrarian McCain: Far from pandering, John McCain tells financially hard-pressed voters things they don't want to hear (LA Times, April 26, 2008)

John McCain's "Time for Action" tour of small and hard-hit towns played a bit like an extended campaign commercial, but with an important difference. Yes, there were the photo ops of the candidate in locales usually bypassed by Republicans seeking the White House, including an African American quilting hotbed in rural Alabama, a shuttered factory in a struggling Ohio town and an impoverished Appalachian community in eastern Kentucky. But instead of promising truckloads of aid if he's elected, McCain talked up his vision of a government that helps more by doing less.

It's not a new message from the Arizona senator, who follows an unpredictable political muse but typically favors smaller government and less regulation. Yet the context was important. Standing outside the Ohio factory Tuesday, in a state where Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton pandered to protectionists, McCain actually stood up for the North American Free Trade Agreement and free trade. The lost factory jobs aren't coming back, McCain said, and rather than waging a futile fight against globalization, Washington should do a better job training workers for careers in the new economy.

The next day he visited Inez, Ky., where nearly a third of the population lives below the poverty line and almost half of the adults never made it through high school. President Lyndon Johnson announced his War on Poverty in Inez, but McCain was there to withdraw the troops. "Government can't create good and lasting jobs outside of government," he said, adding that it should focus on encouraging businesses to create opportunities for the poor and reduce regulatory barriers to improving education.


Meanwhile, the Democrats go there and pretend to oppose free trade while their minions assure the Canadians not to worry, it's just pandering.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 26, 2008 12:22 PM
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