A few years ago I would not have been caught dead voting for John McCain in any election. I had always viewed him as a mushy Republican who was soft on the issues that really counted.
But, in today's Michigan Presidential Primary I voted for him. I need to add the caveat that in this election cycle I don't feel any real passion for any of the candidates.
During the past several months I made a real effort to get to know all the candidates, both Republican and Democrat.
Here's why I settled on McCain:
- I learned that he's pro-life. For some reason, I had always thought he was pro-choice. How did I miss that? Apparently, that has been his consistent position. I had never cared either way about the life issue until I heard my daughter's heartbeat before she was born almost 26 years ago.
- His belief in God and in Jesus Christ. That's important to me. It shows the foundation for his values. I wasn't sure about where he stood on these issues until I saw video clips on beliefnet.com where he talked very clearly about his spiritual underpinnings. His testimony is just as strong as Mike Huckabee's.
- His relish in listening to an engaging average people about their concerns and about solutions. I read a New York Times column from last week by David Brooks where he described how McCain used townhalls to listen and to compare notes with voters. Now, let me point out, when he came to East Lansing, there were no questions and his remarks seemed very canned and filled with cliches.
- His experience and his status as a Washington, D.C. insider is a plus in my book. Romney and Huckabee talk about how they will lead Michigan back to the economic promised land. But . . . they can't do it by themselves. They will need the U.S. Congress. That means they will have to get the votes. That means they need relationships and trust with others in the Congress. Do they have it? Not hardly. I've not seen any evidence that they know how to or even want to get it.
- His lack of fear in rocking the boat. He has shown great independence from the establishment on a variety of issues. That's a good thing. Can he use that for good? I hope so.
How about Barack Obama? I could go for the right Democrat. But, it's not him. He's right about everybody working together. But, he comes across shallow. He can play only one note. It will take somebody who can play all the keys.
I think that's McCain.
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