October 14, 2008
Will the Real John McCain Please Stand Up?By Jan LaRue
Media pundits warned that John McCain mustn't come across as "peevish" in the presidential debate Tuesday night. Afterward, the same pundits lambasted him for looking old, tired, boring, and lacking passion. Sen. McCain, it's time for a new strategy -- a surge, if you will.
You're a war hero whose fighting spirit and sacrificial service endears you to grateful Americans. You drew poignantly upon your service in your nomination acceptance speech. You used "fought" and "fight" 35 times as you promised to fight for America. You implored Americans to "Stand up, stand up, stand up, and fight." We're ready to roll.
For starters, Senator, please replace your media-intimidated handlers who don't know the difference between "peevish" and powerful. Maybe you need to think of Obama as one of those Republicans you're famous for roughing up.
Reminding us that Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold helped you with legislation that most of us opposed isn't motivating. None of the hands that built the Fannie and Freddie fiasco will lend a bi-partisan hand to hold the buck that stops in the Oval Office.
You've said that Barack Obama's leadership and policies will be disastrous for this country. His past is prologue. It's time for you to expose his alliances and financial dealings with some very bad characters.
The Obama camp will play the race-card no matter what you or Sarah Palin say. You used the phrase "that one" and the response was "racism." Palin referred to Obama's relationship with William Ayers, a white guy, and it was "racism." Most people are fed-up with it. Follow the Gipper's advice, "ignore it."
Character matters whether good or bad. You credit the goodness, courage and encouragement of your fellow POWs in the infamous Hanoi Hilton with restoring your hope and faith. You said your captors worked you over "harder than they ever had before, for a long time, and they broke me." A fellow POW through taps on a wall told you "to get back up and fight again for my country and for the men I had the honor to serve with, because every day they fought for me." And you did.
You've turned Palin somewhat loose to call attention to Obama's character and poor judgment. It's wise to let a woman do a woman's job. We've got a God-given early warning system about guys who can't be trusted. Palin has a track record for taking on big boys playing badly in Alaska, and bringing them down. Sarah the "the barracuda" is drawing crowds bigger than the venues can hold-bigger crowds than you're drawing.
But here's a hitch. Greta Van Susteren asked Palin about Bill Ayers On the Record last week: "And you've been going after Senator Obama pretty aggressively recently. Is that your job?" Palin said it was. Van Susteren then asked: "How about Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright and Father [Michael] Pfleger?" Palin took a pass saying, "That's John McCain's call on that one."
What's your call, Senator? Are you going to tell the American people that Barack Obama's alliances with bad guys prove that he lacks the character, judgment, integrity, honesty, leadership and experience to be trusted as President of the United States. You need to name names and connect the dots. The mainstream media won't do it for you.
Obama has implied that you're not man enough. He told ABC's Charlie Gibson the day after the debate that "we've been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days, that he wasn't willing to say it to my face."
Obama wants Americans to believe that focusing on the character and judgment of a presidential nominee is an "attempt to "change the subject." He's big on audacity.
You need to drive your "straight talk express" right through it while the American people are watching. You've started to do it in campaign ads. Hard-hitting ads are effective, but you need to lose the voice-overs who sound like whispering rumor mongers. The truth will march on, but "if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?"
Your campaign announced that the gloves were coming off Tuesday night. The problem is you had another pair underneath.
The Good Book doesn't pull punches. It warns in Psalm 1 that consorting with bad company is courting disaster: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers."
Note the progression. Standing with the wicked-walking with the wicked-sitting with the wicked. It sounds like Obama's resume:
It's no surprise that Obama is willing to sit down as president without preconditions, and talk with world-class scoundrels such as Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, Hugo Chavez, and the Castro brothers who are committed to destroying us and Israel. He's proven to be a poor judge of character. He has the audacity to think that he can tame terrorists with rhetoric and charm.
Senator, a man is known by the company he keeps. The last thing Obama wants you to do is confront him before the American people about the company he has kept.
Americans won't knowingly elect a president who sat in the counsel of evil. We need a president who sat with heroes and received strength to stand against it.
May these American school kids inspire you to stand once more.
Jan LaRue is an attorney, author and public speaker, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.