It’s been anticipated since the election of 2004. But today John McCain, amidst campaign supporters, party regulars and local well wishers, announced that as of April 25, 2007 he is officially a candidate for the office of President of the United States. Not only was the announcement not a surprise, neither was its location. Eschewing his own home state of Arizona, a state one would assume McCain need not court, candidate McCain chose the seacoast community of Portsmouth, NH to make a formal statement of his willingness to run for the presidency in 2008. It may well be in the New Hampshire primary that McCain will early test his metal against other would be party nominees.
What he knows. In a tightly worded and well orchestrated speech , John McCain attempted to introduce himself once again to the voters of New Hampshire as well as voters across the nation. He spoke of himself as a man who could bring a good deal of experience and lots of valuable knowledge to the White House.
In words that were neither timid nor arrogant, McCain honestly described himself as a man who knows his way around government. Certainly no one could argue with his years of experience and the impression he has made on his colleagues, the press and the viewing public as a man of integrity, a man who belongs to no private interest, a man of his word. He has worked with legislators on both sides of the aisle for campaign reform. He has served on Senate committees dealing with our Armed Forces, he knows how laws are written and how they are passed.
Mc Cain declared that he also knows how the Armed Forces work. Again, who could doubt a man who served his country heroically during the Vietnam War and who suffered as a POW at the hands of the Vietnamese? When he left military life behind McCain did not lose interest in the military aspects of our nation’s future. He has continued on Capitol Hill to fight for the rights of service men and their families, veterans services and for the acceptable level of training, equipment, personnel and planning to fight foreign conflicts should that be necessary. In short , McCain made it clear if elected as President of the United States, he is a man prepared for the role of Commander in Chief as few have been since the time of Dwight Eisenhower.
McCain included in his announcement his belief that he also knows through experience how to work with international leaders and how to operate within the global society that awaits the next president. . If McCain’s announcement was meant to inspire confidence in his background and his ability to lead a nation it seemed to hit its target.
What other hats are in the ring. As John McCain looks ahead at the long campaign trial one must follow to arrive at the presidency, he sees ahead of him two other Republican candidates of note, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. On paper these candidates may appear to be lightweights beside McCain . John McCain in his announcement showed himself to be far more experienced than other candidates. Mitt Romney has run the Olympics and the State of Massachusetts for four years. Rudy Giuliani was the mayor of New York City and appeared as a rallying force during the 9/11. Neither of these candidates have resumes that can compare with John McCain. How could either of them survive against a man with admittedly as much background as John McCain.
The question becomes, is experience enough?
McCain’s shortcomings. Even as John McCain stood before a crowd of supporters in New Hampshire and announced his candidacy those present or watching on television could not miss observing that John McCain though unmateched in his experience is not a young man. Older by almost a decade than his contenders McCain seems have lost a few steps and a little vigor from the John McCain of old.
McCain may also find it difficult to take the lead in this race for the presidency among his Republican competitors because alone he stands out as one tightly bound to the President’s insistence on a military surge in Iraq. McCain’s insistence on finishing the job, winning the war and not leaving until the work is done may sound idealistic and consistent , but these words don’t appeal to a war weary nation.
As much as McCain may have the respect of fellow legislators, politicians on both sides of the aisle an the American people, respect does not always translate into votes. That is why even as he announced his candidacy today, he continues in polls around the nation to trail both Romney and Giuliani in many key areas.
Senator John McCain of Arizona announced his candidacy for the Presidency today, April 25, 2007. The question is how a great an effect will the ongoing war in Iraq have in altering the way a nation looks at this once seemingly unbeatable candidate for the Republican presidential nomination of 2008