Whether they and their ardent supporters realize it yet or not, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have been winnowed from the Republican race. This is a two-man race between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Arizona Sen. John McCain, with McCain the heavy favorite. We hope that Republican voters at the College support McCain in this primary.
We like McCain not only for his chances this fall (which appeared to be nil last August), but also for his positions and the alacrity with which he defends them.
p. Although McCain has long been a proponent of the war in Iraq, he has not hesitated to criticize its management. More importantly, his unpopular backing of the Bush “surge” nearly sunk his campaign. In light of its military success, he appears to have been vindicated, mitigating to some extent voter discontent with his support of the war. We respect his staunch (but not stubborn) conviction, all the more so because his closest opponent, Romney, seems to have none.
p. McCain has also shown his willingness to transcend party lines to achieve the greater good. His co-authored bipartisan bills on campaign finance reform, responsible environmental policy and immigration bespeak an ability to approach tough issues with pragmatism. Because of this, McCain has been one of the Republican establishment’s favorite targets, but come November, we think the legions of independent voters will understand effectiveness is not measured solely against adherence to ideology.
p. McCain’s deviation from the party line on immigration is especially illustrative. Instead of pandering to a hysterical xenophobia like the other Republican candidates, he has taken a realistic approach to the matter. Deporting 12 million illegal immigrants is preposterous. McCain’s guest worker and path to citizenship plans are not.
p. After eight years of an administration too afraid to compromise, McCain is the Republican who offers the best hope for progress.