Kudlow’s Money Politics

Smiling and Optimistic McCain

Sen. John McCain capped off his big win in the South Carolina primary with the single best victory speech of anyone in the campaign season so far. Following his New Hampshire win, Mac gave a boring, stilted, vision-less, down-market talk that pursued him throughout his Michigan defeat.

Saturday night, the senator gave an uplifting and patriotic speech that highlighted America-first security and freedom against the jihadist enemy abroad and heavyhanded government at home. Focusing on conservative values and pro-growth economics, McCain defended the free market, low taxes, and small government.

In an interview McCain said he would make the Bush tax cuts permanent, cut the corporate tax, and restrain spending. On the so-called stimulus package, he said he would not support a larded up pork-barrel package. This is a well-balanced tax-and-spending-cut message.

It’s a welcome relief from what McCain consultant Charlie Black has been putting out. Black keeps telling interviewers about spending cuts to reduce interest rates. Pure root-canal austerity. Rubinomics. Not true analytically, with rates sinking in the slowdown economy, and not a trace of pro-growth tax-cutting. Every time Black appears, he loses McCain five percent of the primary vote in whatever state he is speaking.

Let Jack Kemp, who just crafted a big corporate tax-cut package for the senator, or Phil Gramm, become McCain’s economic spokesman.

Finally, I really liked Mac’s references to God, country, and service. He told the crowd ‘I will not let you down, so help me God.’ And then he closed with: ‘God bless you, as you have blessed me.’

With a strong and positive speech, and a big smile on his face, Sen. McCain is going to roll into Florida. If he stays on message, he’ll keep rolling right on to the nomination.

Larry Kudlow is the author of JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity, written with Brian Domitrovic.

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