Honestly, I have no idea how much influence I have or don’t have in these races, but I appreciate the kind words anyway.
As for McCain and the surge, you raise good points. My criticism is that he seems to be saying now that he is responsible for the surge, and I have to question that without knowing more. I believe the president, listening to General Petreaus and perhaps others in the chain of command, are responsible for the surge. Where is the evidence that the president was influenced by, or responding to, McCain? That’s not to say he didn’t argue for a change in course. But he refers to the surge as his plan. He had a plan, but so did Petreaus.
Moreover, early on he called for hundreds of thousands of additional troops. He was wrong. Moreover, because the military had to be rebuilt while fighting this war, I have asked repeatedly why he was not at the forefront of fighting the severe cuts in the military during the Clinton administration. If he is going to claim the national security mantle and speak of his experience, that involves more than the surge. And his fairly radical positions on terrorist rights detracts from his claim as well.
So, yes, credit given on the surge. But there are caveats.