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McCain was not the author of the surge strategy. McCain was one who openly backed Bush for wanting to increase numbers of troops while Petraeus... was put in charge to establish real and workable strategy.

Giuliani is fed up with Romney's continuous accusations. His response was a bit much. Hopefully he'll get back to Rudy and be above this.

McCain has been little more than relevant. Not at all impressive. One YouTube debate, he can sit back and watch the big two claw at one another. Its time to be infatuated?

Letters From A Tory

I love these YouTube debates - they are strikingly different from the dull monotonous debatest that we have in the UK. What if anyone in the country could send in a question to the Prime Minister or leader of the Opposition?


In my short life, I have not encountered a presidential candidate as phony as Mitt Romney.

I also do not think it was appropriate for the candidates of a major political party in a country that pioneered the seperation of Church and State to be asked whether they believe all the words written in the Bible.

Mark McClelland

Steevo. While technically correct on McCain's authorship of the Surge strategy, he was very closely associated with Fred Kagan and Jack Keane, who provided the intellectual firepower behind the strategy. McCain did a long presentation on the surge at AEI with both of them. So I think the spirit of the article is correct. Indeed, I've heard some call it the McCain Doctrine. He's by far the most credible of the Republican challengers, but Hillary will sweep all before her I'm afraid.

Ben Stevenson

Some polls suggest Mike Huckabee did the best in the debate

Mark McClelland,
Zogby polls suggest all the leading Republican candidates could beat Hilary Clinton. I don't know how reliable they are

Ben Stevenson

The US Constitution says that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States".

However, I don't think this means that voters cannot choose to take into account a candidates religious views as part of what makes up the whole person, and let that factor influence who they choose to vote for. I don't think questions about religious views are inappropriate.

Tim Montgomerie

I'm not infatuated Steevo, just recognising a good performance by McCain.

Mark McClelland

Thanks Ben for the Zogby link. I hadn't seen those numbers. They do look good, even losing to Huckabee, which does though seem to cast doubt on the accuracy of the figures. But Hillary hasn't been doing as well as she could have been lately. I think though if you took a grand average of the last six months, she is definitely the clear favourite. I'm definitely in the anyone but Giuliani or Romney camp and like McCain a lot. McCain has the best chance of both getting the base to turn out and attracting independents. I can't see any of the other candidates doing the same. But what do I know, I thought a few months ago that Fred Thompson was the next big thing - what a flop!


Mark, this isn't a matter of being technically correct. Claiming John McCain as the "author" or the surge has immediate misleading implications. There were a number of people closely associated with Kagan and Keane. Furthermore they officially laid out an outline strategy but general Petraeus already understood this. The need for more troops and to secure ground won was understood by many. But it is he who is regarded by everyone I've read in Iraq, on the ground, as the only man with the knowledge and abilities, in practice, according to the changing dynamic, to establish it. The "spirit" of the article is misleading. If you want to know in essence the strategy, let me know.

And McCain is the most credible challenger to you Mark with all due respect. Most of us who will vote Republican don't agree.

Tim, your comments about him from this debate imply you are convinced he's the right man and the others are not. If not infatuated then glowing approval: he's your man.

I will definitely vote for him compared to any Democrat but there is a lot more to this man who has felt entitled to the office. You'll find many American conservatives in near irreconcilable disagreement with him.



I object to that question on the Bible, because it was a cheap shot at Romney. Secondly, it has no place in a major debate.

(Please can someone tell Rush and other conservative pundits to:

1. Stop the childish insinuation that Obama is a muslim.
2. Stop the silly interplay between "Obama" and "Osama".
3. Stop suggesting that it is a crime to be named "Hussein").

Frogg, USA

I would have preferred a Republican debate where the You Tube questioners were Republican instead of CNN plants who supported Hillary, Edwards, and Obama. You would have had a different menu of questions for sure. However, I thought the front runners all did well. I'm still not sure who I will support; but, am leaning toward Romney. I hope the gut instincts of Republicans on election day put the best candidate on top. I'm not even sure who that is yet.


PS. About McCain.....

I am not a big fan of McCain and don't think he has much chance of winning the primary. It is possible someone could pick him up as a VP. However, I would rather see mcCain as Sec of Defense if anything at all.


Maduka, in making fun of the "Osama-Obama" thing, Rush is making fun of Ted Kennedy, who showed up at a party event so plastered he couldn't pronounce "Obama".

And Obama's middle name IS Hussein. It isn't a crime to have that middle name, and Rush isn't insinuating that.

Rush makes fun of everyone on the left. Only fair, since the left calls people on the right everything from fascists to trailer park trash.

Tell THEM to put their mouths in park. The little bit of jabbing Rush does is NOTHING compared to what the Democrats are dishing out.



We are all adults and we understand nuance. It started with a Fox News report that Obama spent four years at a "madrassa" in Indonesia. Then the interplay with 'Osama' and 'Obama'. Finally, all the great noise about his middle name - Hussein.

I know the audience this is targeted at - Southern White Republicans. This is a clever interplay of words designed to paint Barack Obama in the subconscious as the untrustworthy spawn of a terrorist.

Minorities are one-third of the population of the United States, and rising. If the Republican party wants to play along with this petty, racist politics - it is welcome. If it does, be rest assured that its days are numbered.


McCain-Huckabee '08



"Minorities are one-third of the population of the United States"

One-third doesn't sound like much of a minority to me... America is and always has been a melting pot - E Pluribus Unum.

Sure, some 75% are white but this includes people of many extractions: Danish, Irish, Polish, Welsh, Scandinavian, etc...

LC Mamapajamas

Maduka: re: "I know the audience this is targeted at - Southern White Republicans."

Do you have any idea that this entire concept is bigoted in and of itself?

You're making a HUGE gaffe there, in making the assumption that Southern whites are somehow distinctive for being "racists". I AM a Southern White, and as such can assure you that the worst racists I've ever met in the US were all in either Detroit or New York.


He's done it before too Mama. He's young with a lot problems finding himself.

LC Mamapajamas

Steevo... I keep hoping I can save him from the bigotry he's learning from others. Maybe it's a fool's errand, but I'm trying. :)

Being a white Southerner has given me a perspective that most other Americans don't have... that is that the tendency to presume that Southerners are automatically racists has led my Northern brothers and sisters into saying things to me that they'd never tell a non-Southerner. They never know they've made a mistake until after they've opened their big mouths.

This is a statement I heard from an acquaintance in New York during the kerfluffle about... was it Arizona?... not wanting to institute the Martin Luther King holiday.

New Yorker speaking to me in private, "The people in Arizona are nuts. I don't care if we have a MLK holiday! Hell... let's shoot 4 more n-words and take a week off!"

Those are the words of a REAL racist, and my reaction to that statement was an explosive expletive. This New Yorker had NO CLUE that I was non-racist... he just made the assumption based on what he'd been "told" by the news media about the South.

Maduka would be horrified to hear some of the things told to me by people who automatically assume I'm a racist because of my accent, and virtually all of them Northerners; the above statement was just a sample!

And, personally, I'm getting tired of hearing about it because it makes me the object of bigotry against the South. I'm getting REALLY TIRED of hearing about how racist I am! It's time to stop re-fighting the Civil War, fer cryin' out loud!

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