I might venture out on a limb and say McCain's speech in front of the National Federation of Independent Business yesterday helped to erase the mean, green debacle of a week ago. He was the old McCain again. Hey. You know what I mean.
He opened with a chuckler: "I have never run a small, struggling enterprise — unless you count my presidential campaign last year," but was soon interrupted by an anti-war protester who heckled him from the audience.
The woman burst out with "War is bad for small business!" McCain responded, "one of the things Americans are tired of, one of the things they're tired of is people yelling at each other in America, have you noticed that? They want us to respect each other's opinions. . . . Americans want a dialogue," to wild applause. After another protester jumped in and was lead away, McCain said, "now that we know, now that I know who I will be facing in the general election . . ."
To see my highlights, the parts that grabbed me — with a funny cherry on top at the end,
- Americans do not resent paying their fair share of taxes. What they do resent, and especially if they're trying to run a business, is being subjected to thousands of pages of needless and often irrational rules and demands from the IRS.
- We need rules that assure fairness and punish wrongdoing in the market and hold every businessperson in America to the same fair standards.
- In so many ways, we need to make a clean break from the worst excesses of both political parties. And for Republicans, it starts with reclaiming our good name as the party of spending restraint. Somewhere along the way, too many Republicans in Congress became indistinguishable from the big-spending Democrats they used to oppose. The only power of government that could stop them was the power of veto, and it was rarely used. If that authority is entrusted to me, I will use the veto as needed. I will veto every bill with earmarks. I will seek a constitutionally valid line-item veto to end pork-barrel spending once and for all.
The even-handed pragmatism — and what seemed like a conservative renaissance — sung to me. OK, he did have a funny slip of the tongue when he delivered the last part. Why is McCain so anti-brew?
Hee hee. And what was Cindy up to yesterday? A little shop-a-rama at Oscar de la Renta — a spree that went on a little longer than her poor Secret Service detail could bear, saying she'd been in the store "Waaayy too long" as he sweltered outside. Bah. Don't take a man shopping; they have no endurance for the important stuff.
What did you think of McCain's speech? Is he upping his economy cred?