The Corner

Character & National Security

They are at the heart of McCain’s appeal. Sen. Graham introduced McCain at his event today, saying that people should remember above all that they are electing a commander-in-chief. McCain opened his remarks on Iraq, hitting Hillary hard on the war. Then, after a brief interlude of talking about the economy, he went back to the broader struggle against radical Islamic extremism. “That’s why I’m running for president of the United States,” he said, with feeling. It’s clear that he doesn’t remotely care about the economic issues the way he does about the war. And for his supporters, it often seems that character trumps all. One man got up to ask a question about what McCain would do about the debt, and concluded his question, “I know if you say you’ll try, you will.” Then another man got up and said, “You are my hero.” A woman I talked to who is considering McCain told me, “I like heroes.” The war, patriotism, and character–that’s McCain in a nut-shell. It’s a powerful package, although perhaps a limited one for voters who care about conservative domestic issues.

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