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Why McCain would be a mediocre president

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

By Rex Nutting

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- In his frivolous Paris and Britney ad, Sen. John McCain has asked the right question: Is Barack Obama ready to lead this country?

Since last January, Sen. Obama's fitness for the presidency has been the only question that matters in American politics. The pollsters and pundits agree that if Obama can show the voters that he's up to the job, he'll win. If not, he won't.
But that begs another question: Is McCain fit to lead America?

That question hasn't been asked, nor has it been answered.

The assumption seems to be that McCain's years of experience in the military and in Congress of course give him the background and tools he'd need in the White House. As Britney might say, "Duh! For sure he's qualified!!! He's Mac!!!"
But is that true? Does McCain have the right stuff?

A careful look at McCain's biography shows that he isn't prepared for the job. His resume is much thinner than most people think.

Here are some reasons why McCain would be a mediocre president.

Lack of accomplishments

Like the current occupant of the White House, McCain got his first career breaks from the connections and money of his family, not from hard work.

The son and grandson of Navy admirals, he attended Annapolis where he did poorly. Nevertheless, he was commissioned as a pilot, where he performed poorly, crashing three planes before he failed to evade a North Vietnamese missile that destroyed his plane. McCain spent more than five years in a prison camp.

After his release, McCain knew his weak military record meant he'd never make admiral, so he turned his sights to a career in politics. With the help of his new wife's wealth, his new father-in-law's business connections and some powerful friends had made as a lobbyist for the Navy, he was elected in 1982 to a Congress in a district that he didn't reside in until the day the seat opened up. A few years later, he succeeded Barry Goldwater as a senator....(Click here for remainder of article).

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"Embrace" TV Ad

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Exxon John

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'Republicans for Obama' take fight to McCain

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Barack Obama's campaign announced Tuesday the launch of "Republicans for Obama," venturing deep onto rival White House contender John McCain's turf to woo disenchanted conservatives.

The Democrat's campaign said the group was being spearheaded by former lawmaker Jim Leach of Iowa, former Rhode Island senator Lincoln Chaffee, and Rita Hauser, who was a prominent fundraiser for President George W. Bush.

The renegade Republicans are all "crossing the divide of old politics to support Barack Obama for president," the Democrat's campaign said in a statement.

But McCain has in turn been courting conservative Democrats, and told voters in Pennsylvania Tuesday that Obama's defeated primary rival Hillary Clinton deserved praise for her dogged campaign.

Both Leach and Chaffee were liberal Republicans in Congress and the Rhode Island senator bolted his party to become an independent after he lost his seat in the 2006 elections.

"I have no doubt that his is the leadership we need and that the world is crying out for," Leach told reporters in reference to Obama.

Hauser is a New York philanthropist who was a financial backer for Bush in 2000 and served as a White House intelligence adviser, but then endorsed Democrat John Kerry in 2004 owing to her opposition to the Iraq war....(Click here for remainder of post).

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Former Republican congressman endorses Obama's bid

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A leading Republican moderate with a foreign policy background endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama on Tuesday as the Democrat sought to show his appeal to members of both political parties.

Former Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa was among a group of Republicans who said they were crossing party lines to support Obama. The Illinois senator's campaign said he was also being backed by the Republican mayor of Fairbanks, Alaska, Jim Whitaker.

"I'm convinced that the national interest demands a new approach to our interaction with the world," Leach, a foreign service officer before being elected to Congress, said in a conference call with reporters.

Leach predicted that many Republicans and independents would be attracted by Obama's campaign but said his decision to endorse a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time wasn't easy.

"Part of it is political parties are a distant analog to families and you really hate to step outside a family environment," Leach told The Associated Press in an interview.

Leach, 65, was elected to Congress in 1976 and served 30 years before losing a re-election bid in 2006. As a moderate, he was often at odds with the conservative GOP leadership.

"For me, the national interest comes before party concerns, particularly internationally," said Leach, who has long been an opponent of the war in Iraq....(Click here for remainder of article).

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