John McCain Committed To Winning The War

McCain’s Speech At VMI Praised

Fox News’ Fred Barnes: McCain Delivered One Of The Best Speeches “Explaining Why We Are There And Why We Have To Stay There And Why We Have To Win.” “I thought this was a very good speech. It wasn’t over the top, it was harsh, and I think the two best speeches that I’ve heard over the last four or five years about Iraq, explaining why we are there and why we have to stay there and why we have to win have actually both given by McCain. The first one was opening night at the Republican convention in New York in 2004 and then this one today.” (Fox News’ “Special Report,” 4/11/07)

National Review Editorial: McCain’s Speech At VMI “Was Truly Magnificent.” “In response to his critics, the senator gave a speech on the war yesterday at the Virginia Military Institute that was truly magnificent. He correctly noted that the war is part of a broader ‘struggle between violent extremists and the forces of modernity and moderation.’ He stated – inarguably, in our view– that ‘America has a vital interest in preventing the emergence of Iraq as a Wild West for terrorists, similar to Afghanistan before9/11.’” (Editorial, “The McCain Divorce,” National Review, 4/12/07)

National Review Editorial:“[We] Can Only Brim With Admiration For The Clarion Voice He Has Sounded At This Critical Juncture In The War.” (Editorial, “The McCain Divorce,” National Review, 4/12/07)

The Washington Times Editorial: At VMI, McCain “Demonstrated … Genuine Statesmanship – A Willingness To Tell Unpleasant Truths Regardless Of The Political Consequences.” “In Washington, nothing comes easier to some political pundits than mindless cynicism. But some politicians advocate certain policies because they believe them to be the right thing for the country, even if they don't play tremendously well with the focus groups. In his address yesterday to cadets at the Virginia Military Institute, Sen. John McCain demonstrated that kind of genuine statesmanship – a willingness to tell unpleasant truths regardless of the political consequences.” ( Editorial, “McCain's Churchillian Address, ”The Washington Times, 4/12/07)

Fox News’ Mort Kondracke: McCain “Has A Lot Of Credibility When He Says That This War Can Be Won … People Ought To Listen To Him.” “He has a lot of credibility when he says that this war can be won. He has credibility gained from having been such a harsh critic of the way the war was fought in the first place, all the way along, ever since the beginning saying that there were not enough troops there, we were not guarding facilities … Now he says that Petraeus has a plan to win and that there are glimmers of hope that we can win. People ought to listen to him.” (Fox News’ “Special Report,” 4/11/07)

Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer: McCain Made Case For Victory “Very Strongly” As “A Matter Of Principle.” “He always maintained the war has to be won and it can be won … He made that case today very strongly, and he said, I think, very sincerely that it is an unpopular course … and that is a matter of principle.” (Fox News’ “Special Report,” 4/11/07)

Bro oks: “He’s Been Consistent And Steady These Past Few Years, While Others Have Flickered.” “He’s been consistent and steady these past few years, while others have flickered. He’s been offended by Democrats who laughed and celebrated during the passage of withdrawal legislation. Yesterday he criticized them in a way that was harsh but thoroughly considered.” (David Brooks, Op-Ed, “The Fatalist,” The New York Times, 4/12/07)

Fox News’ Brit Hume: “John McCain in a speech that reflected careful preparation and his own conviction, made the case for victory in Iraq …” (Fox News’ “Special Report,” 4/11/07)

National Journal’s Hotline Blog: McCain Made “Perhaps The Most Powerful Plea A War Supporter Has Ever Sent To The American People Since The Troop Surge Began.” “The speech was simple, direct, subtle and rooted in McCain's experience, not in the tilled soil of a speechwriters mind. It may be standard-setting – perhaps the most powerful plea a war supporter has ever sent to the American people since the troop surge began.” (National Journal’s Hotline “On Call” Blog, “On McCain’s Speech,” ,4/11/07)

National Review’s Kate O’Beirne: McCain “Effective [In] Making The Case For This War.” “John McCain understands presidents don`t lose wars. Countries lose wars. The kind of case he is able to make – and he has always been, I think, far more effective making the case for this war, and the need to give it one last chance, because the consequences of failure are so enormous, more effective than the White House has been – he thinks the public could again be rallied, when they understand the consequences of failure.” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 4/11/07)

Powerline Blog’s John Hinderaker: McCain’s Speech “Excellent, Hard-Hitting … Deeply Impressive ... Strikingly Blunt And Candid.” “[J]ohn McCain delivered a speech on the Iraq war at Virginia Military Institute. It was an excellent, hard-hitting speech. … McCain, talking about the war, is deeply impressive. I didn't think much of the ‘Straight Talk Express’ back in 2000, but in today's conference call, McCain was strikingly blunt and candid.” (John Hinderaker, “Powerline” Blog, “McCain Unbound,” ,4/11/07)

The Wall Street Journal Editorial: “It’s Hard Not To Respect” Putting Success In The War Above Personal Ambition. “[McCain] replied that he'd ‘rather lose a campaign than lose a war.’ It's hard not to respect that. Hard, too, not to notice that statements like those exist at a vast and principled remove from the recent Solonic utterances of other Senators who supported the war when it was popular.” ( Editorial, “McCain’s Finest Hour,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/11/07)

The Wall Street Journal Editorial: “He has also shown that he understands the moral obligation his vote authorizing the war entailed, which was to see it through to victory, or at least until the conclusion becomes inescapable that victory is impossible.” ( Editorial, “McCain’s Finest Hour,” The Wall Street Journal,4/11/07)

( Editorial, “McCain’s Finest Hour,” TheWall Street Journal, 4/11/07)

National Review’s Kate O’Beirne: “McCain Strongly Believes In The Position He Is Holding.” “John McCain strongly believes in the position he is holding. It is clearly not a political calculation. He recognizes how unpopular it seems to be in public opinion polls. But, as he frequently says, ‘I would rather lose a campaign than a war.’” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 4/11/07)

Republican Strategist Joe Watkins: “I Really Admire Him … He Has Real Character.” “I think that what John McCain has done is demonstrated that he is not about political ambition as much as he is about the best interests of the United States. And he is willing to stake political ambition and personal political gain on doing what is right. I really admire him for that. He has real character.” (MSNBC’s “News Live,” 4/11/07)

The Associated Press Headline: “McCain Steadfast On Iraq War.” (Liz Sidoti, “McCain Steadfast On Iraq War,” The Associated Press,4/12/07)

Powerline Blog’s John Hinderaker: “[O]n The War Against Islamic Extremism … No One Can Match McCain's Passion Or Credibility.” “[O]n the war against Islamic extremism …no one can match McCain's passion or credibility. You really do get the sense that he is willing to make this battle, on behalf of the young men and women who are fighting and have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, the last act of his career, if that is what it comes to.” (John Hinderaker, “Powerline” Blog, “McCain Unbound,” , 4/11/07)

(John Dickerson,“McCain Doubles Down,” , 4/11/07)

Outside The Beltway Blog’s James Joyner: McCain “Quite Candid And Resigned To The Realities Of The Situation” In Iraq.” “What strikes me is that McCain is … quite candid and resigned to the realities of the situation. He’s under no illusion that turning around the public skepticism about the war is going to be easy… McCain was the guy that the campaign press loved so much in 2000:direct, candid, and plain talking.” (James Joyner, “Outside The Beltway” Blog, “John McCain VMI Speech On Iraq War,” ,4/11/07)

VMI Senior Cadet Dustin Schultz: “[McCain is]one of the few who has stayed true to the mission in Iraq.” (Jonathan Martin, “McCain Promotes Surge Policy,” , 4/11/07)

Congressional Candidate Duncan Duane Hunter (R-CA): “Senator McCain is absolutely right.” (Fox News’ “The Big Story,” 4/11/07)

Fausta’s Blog: “McCain Has A Sense Of Urgency… At Least One Senator [Is] Earnest On Winning. “Among the members of the Senate, Sen. McCain has a sense of urgency. He also understands the connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq, while the Democrats in the House want to banish the term terror. During the bloggers' conference call he discussed progress in Iraq, the real possibility of ensuing chaos if the US leaves Iraq… at least one Senator [is] earnest on winning.” (“Fausta’s” Blog, “Second Bloggers' Conference Call With Sen. John McCain,” ,4/11/07)