Roger Simon at the Politico provides his take on Senator McCain’s weekend in Iowa. Simon found that McCain was starting to find his groove. Thus, his assessment is closer to Dan Balz’s than to that of his Politico colleague Jonathan Martin. Yet McCain confided to Simon that he’s fighting the feeling of being jaded. Said the veteran campaigner, “I feel like Zsa Zsa Gabor’s fifth husband, who said on their wedding night, ‘I know what to do; I just don’t know how to make it interesting.'”
For what it’s worth, I like the John McCain I saw (via C-SPAN) campaigning in Iowa this weekend. He came across as thoughtful, introspective, and funny in a fairly sophisticated way. The strident, dead-certain McCain was not in evidence. That’s a good thing, both on the merits and politically. But from a political standpoint, I supsect that optimism and a high energy level may work better than “thoughtful” and “introspective.”
I also continue to have a problem with McCain on immigration. He’s still supporting the comprehensive reform package advanced by the president and by Senate Democrats. This includes “doing something about” the illegal immigrants who are already here. “Something” in this context means setting up a mechanism that will result in most of them become citizens. McCain recognizes that this issue is problematic for him so, as he told Simon, he’s emphasizing the “secure our borders” part of his message.
But that’s just cosmetic. If securing our borders really is so important to him, McCain should make accomplishing that task in a measurable way the pre-condition for doing “something” for illegal aliens who are here now. Giving extra duty lip-service to the goal of securing our borders isn’t good enough.
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