As more major media sources truly watch Sen. McCain operate in a general election campaign, those that are not lock-step partisan will come around. Sen. McCain has a small window of opportunity, while the Democrats continue to fight for the partisan left to show his bipartisan bona fides... the next two weeks are important, because if Sen. Obama wins Indiana he may move into general election mode.
I also think it's important that this editorial comes from a major media source in California. Sen. McCain should spend some time in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego in the next two weeks to prove he's serious about contesting California.
Far from pandering, John McCain tells financially hard-pressed voters things they don't want to hear.
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John McCain's "Time for Action" tour of small and hard-hit towns played a bit like an extended campaign commercial, but with an important difference. Yes, there were the photo ops of the candidate in locales usually bypassed by Republicans seeking the White House, including an African American quilting hotbed in rural Alabama, a shuttered factory in a struggling Ohio town and an impoverished Appalachian community in eastern Kentucky. But instead of promising truckloads of aid if he's elected, McCain talked up his vision of a government that helps more by doing less.It's not a new message from the Arizona senator, who follows an unpredictable political muse but typically favors smaller government and less regulation. Yet the context was important. Standing outside the Ohio factory Tuesday, in a state where Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton pandered to protectionists, McCain actually stood up for the North American Free Trade Agreement and free trade.
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The next day he visited Inez, Ky., where nearly a third of the population lives below the poverty line and almost half of the adults never made it through high school. President Lyndon Johnson announced his
War on Poverty in Inez, but McCain was there to withdraw the troops. "Government can't create good and lasting jobs outside of government," he said, adding that it should focus on encouraging businesses to create opportunities for the poor and reduce regulatory barriers to improving education.
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[B]y making a point of saying things his audiences might not want to hear, he gave voters a better feel for who he is and how he thinks. As Obama and Clinton focused on exposing each other's weaknesses, it was nice to see one candidate reveal more about himself.