Sen. McCain Injects Some Useful Truths Into The Presidential Campaign

Editorial
The Washington Post
Sunday, April 29, 2007

[M]r. McCain's remarks upon his formal entry into the 2008 presidential campaign offered a reminder of the appealing qualities that attracted so many voters eight years ago -- and that make him a formidable contender still.

The central issue of this election is the war in Iraq, and the senator is the candidate most identified with making the case for war in the first place and for not leaving precipitously now. He did not shrink from the issue in his announcement, admitting the war "has not gone well" and referring to it in appropriately cautionary terms.

Mr. McCain did not say so, but he has been making these points since well before the invasion. Whatever your position on the war, then or now, Mr. McCain deserves credit for foresight and consistency about how the war should have been waged.

The senator spent the bulk of his speech outlining other priorities, including reforming a wasteful and needlessly complex tax code, reducing dependence on foreign oil, maintaining free trade while finding more effective ways to help workers hurt by globalization, and helping the uninsured "without bankrupting the country."

His discussion of the looming problem of runaway entitlement spending was forthright As with the other areas he discussed, the senator didn't spell out what tough choices he would endorse, but at least he addressed the issue, neither discounting the magnitude of the problem nor promising a painless solution. This is why the 2008 race is better for having Mr. McCain in it.

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