A B- performance from McCain

May 16, 2008

TPT looks at McCain’s latest speech

John McCain gave a speech on what he hopes to achieve in his first term. Although it contains some good points, such as a pledges to set up a temporary worker programme and to work with Democrats he also makes several mistakes. Firstly, the speech is very short on specifics, adding little flesh to his idea. He also panders too much to the right in calling for a flat tax, which would be disastrous if people felt he actually meant it. Finally, although his optimistic vision for Iraq is good, his belief that most combat troops will be able to leave by 2013 is a huge mistake. This is because it blurs the difference between him and Obama on an issue that needs to be emphasised, it gives a hostage to fortune and reframes the debate about withdrawals rather than victory. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but McCain is repeating Tony Blair’s mistake of being overly concerned about the base, when he needs to be reaching out to independant voters and moderate Democrats.

Frankly, the Republican ‘base’ is going to vote for him simply because he is not Obama. Therefore he needs to ignore them and start trying to aim for the political centre, even if it means putting forward policies that annoy Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich. Keeping quiet about his support for better regulation, a fairer society and a more humane immigration policy might have been necessary during the Republican primariesbut its a reciepe that increases the risk of an Obama Presidency in November.


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