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McCain would do well to remember how he got into the driver’s seat

February 19, 2008
Mitt Romney’s decision to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination for president seems to leave Sen. John McCain in the driver’s seat. We hope he does not forget how he got there.

We — and, we suspect, many others in both the Republican and Democratic parties — continue to have concerns about McCain’s record. On some issues, in particular taxes, energy and illegal immigration, his stances in the past have left much to be desired.

It was only after McCain said publicly that he had been wrong about such issues in the past that his campaign began to gather momentum. Romney, meanwhile, had been a staunch supporter of tax reform and enforcement of immigration laws, all along.

But McCain, in part because of a good campaign strategy, in part because of his stance on national security, and in part because of the effect that a competitor, Mike Huckabee, has had on the race, now is the leader for the GOP.

Those factors, however, were just part of the mix. McCain’s change of heart on issues important to Americans paved the way for his success. Now that he has achieved it, he needs to remember that many of his supporters may like the “new” McCain — but still disagree with the stances he took just months ago.


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