I know this is the most shocking news of the year, but a certain Arizona Senator announced today that he’s running for president. You can read the whole speech here. One thing that I found interesting is that it provides a preview of how McCain intends to distance himself from President Bush without going so far that it would alienate the Republican base. Given the president’s low approval ratings, this is a tight rope that all the candidates will have to walk.
“We all know the war in Iraq has not gone well. We have made mistakes and we have paid grievously for them. We have changed the strategy that failed us, and we have begun to make a little progress. But in the many mistakes we have made in this war, a few lessons have become clear. America should never undertake a war unless we are prepared to do everything necessary to succeed, unless we have a realistic and comprehensive plan for success, and unless all relevant agencies of government are committed to that success. We did not meet this responsibility initially. And we must never repeat that mistake again.
“We must also prepare, far better than we have, to respond quickly and effectively to another terrorist attack or natural calamity. When Americans confront a catastrophe, natural or man-made, they have a right to expect basic competence from their government. They won’t accept that firemen and policemen are unable to communicate with each other in an emergency because they don’t have the same radio frequency. They won’t accept government’s failure to deliver bottled water to dehydrated babies or rescue the infirm from a hospital with no electricity. They won’t accept substandard care and indifference for wounded veterans.
“That’s not good enough for America. And when I’m President, it won’t be good enough for me.
He used the last line as a refrain throughout the speech, as he went on to discuss spending, entitlements, taxes and dependence on foreign energy sources.
In honor of his campaign announcement, his friends over at the Club for Growth are showing him some love.