Powerline’s John Hinderaker rightly notes the bluntness with which John McCain is responding to Russia’s brutality in Georgia. Putin will not be rooting for McCain this fall. Russia’s supreme leader would rather have an empty suit in the White House as he works to reassemble as much of the old USSR as he can. (Gateway Pundit summarizes the Obama fecklessness of the past day: “FROM MILK TOAST INTERNATIONALIST TO BRAVE McCAIN-LIKE WARRIOR…In under 24 hours.” Jennifer Rubin spots Obama’s weakness as well and speculates that the Winnie-the-Pooh guy is weighing in with The One. Obama is making Jimmy Carter seem like strong drink)
With the focus on Georgia and the Olympics, not much attention was paid to McCain’s radio address yesterday, but you should read it. It is a direct hit on Obama and the campaign he is running. The New York Times runs a story today that is all inside baseball and full of dire warnings about McCain’s leadership style.
The real story from the campaign is that McCain has spent the past two weeks blasting away at Obama on Obama’s greatest vulnerability: “fame without portfolio,” as Lindsey Graham put it, the stark facts of Obama’s empty rhetoric and achievement-free record. If McCain keeps this relentless focus up, the race will stay close and even rabid Obamians will begin to recognize that Obama is the riskiest and most radical major party presidential candidate in modern American political history.
Here’s the McCain radio address:
Good morning, I’m John McCain. As you may know, the Democratic National Convention is just a couple of weeks away. It was four years ago, at the same gathering, that America heard a fine speech from an Illinois state senator named Barack Obama. He’s done pretty well for himself since then. And the smart money in Denver is on another celebrated performance.
But even the most stirring speeches are easily forgotten when they’re short on content. Taking in my opponent’s performances is a little like watching a big summer blockbuster, and an hour in realizing that all the best scenes were in the trailer you saw last fall. In the way of running mates, Senator Obama should consider someone with a knack for brevity and directness, to balance the ticket.[# More #]
In the meantime, let me take a stab at a plot summary of the Obama campaign: America is finally winning in Iraq, and he wants to forfeit. Government is too big, and he wants to grow it. Taxes are too high, and he wants to raise them. Congress spends too much, and he proposes more. We need more energy, and he’s against producing it.
Energy in particular seems to confound Senator Obama, because if there is any problem that can’t be solved by words alone it’s America’s need for secure and affordable energy supplies. So far, he’s managed to come up with an energy plan that’s so timid only OPEC and a few interest groups in his own party are happy with it. And this week, Senator Obama set about correcting that impression.
First there was his call for Americans to check their tires — which is commonsense advice, but hardly has the makings of a national energy strategy. If we can’t drill our way out of the problem, it seems even more unlikely that we can inflate our way out of it.
Next came Senator Obama’s mention of offshore drilling — formerly known in the Obama campaign as a “gimmick” and a “scheme.” As more people notice that his answer to most every form of energy production is “no,” my opponent tried to simulate a “yes.” He pledges a vague willingness to possibly consider limited drilling as part of some hypothetical compromise at an undetermined date. Careful listeners are still waiting for an actual commitment to offshore drilling.
Apparently, Senator Obama was trying to get credit for changing his mind on drilling, without actually changing his position against drilling. This was the rare case of a politician actually hoping to be accused of a flip-flop. But even that would be giving Senator Obama’s energy plan too much credit. As of today, he still has no plan to produce more oil by drilling offshore. And my opponent’s most memorable flip-flop remains his frequent criticism of the Bush-Cheney energy policy, despite voting for the Bush-Cheney energy bill in 2005 — a bill I opposed and voted against.
Finally, Senator Obama proposed to release oil from our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. For those keeping track, this comes exactly a month after he said he was firmly against using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
A serious energy plan involves a lot more yes’s than no’s. And that is why I say yes to drilling, here and now. Yes to 45 more nuclear power plants to provide our country with electricity. Yes to clean coal technology, so that we can create jobs and use America’s most abundant resource. Yes to renewable energy sources, so that we can shift away from petroleum over the long term. Yes to a break from the federal gasoline tax, so that our government helps you in a time of need instead of just adding to your costs. In short, yes to all of the above — to a bold plan for achieving energy independence that starts today.
Regaining control over the cost and supply of energy in America will not be easy, and it won’t happen quickly. But no challenge to our economy and security is more urgent. And you have my pledge that if I am president, we’re going to get it done. Thanks for listening.