2008 Presidential Corner: Edwards, McCain work to stand out among the pack (Part 2)

By Nadine Tester

John McCain, a Republican candidate for the 2008 election, has worked on breaking into the student vote by making several appearances on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. This politically onesided comedy show is based mostly on current events and is watched widely by students on campuses across the country. McCain is a senator from Arizona, and his frequent appearances on The Daily Show and his lectures on many campuses in the country give him a lot of student support. But where does McCain stand on the issues?

For many students, the most pressing issue is rising education costs. McCain never mentions the lowering of college costs, but he co-sponsored a bill that would allow parents to save money, tax-free, for their children’s education costs. Although this won’t do any good for those of us already in school, he’s also promoting merit-based pay for teachers. “I don’t see why a good teacher should be paid less money than a bad senator,” McCain said at a debate at Dartmouth College.

As a veteran, McCain has ideas about what to do with the war in Iraq. He feels that to achieve long-term success, more troops need to be sent over to finish what was started. He wants to execute new strategies and accelerate the political and economic reconstruction. Although there have already been more than 3,800 casualties since the Iraq war began, McCain feels that the battle is not even close to being over. The Bush administration may have claimed that the Iraq war is in its “final throes,” but McCain feels that it is necessary to stick it out in Iraq and finish strongly. On his “No Surrender” tour, McCain told crowds that “a date for withdrawal … is a date for surrender.”

Another issue that McCain wants to tackle is the national debt through tax cuts. He wants to stabilize social security and address health care, as well as cut wasteful spending from the federal budget and reallocate it to things that need it more, like health care.

Reforming health care is one of McCain’s focuses. He wants to put more control in the hands of citizens, so that they are not constrained by their expensive policies. He also encourages competition in the health field and wants to provide health care access for all citizens.

McCain is a candidate who values reform and free competition, but he is also viewed by many as a man of the people. He is true to his word, and even though he makes frequent appearances on a comedy show, his place in the race for presidency is no joke. McCain is a good choice to further consider for the 2008 election with his seemingly straight talk on the war in Iraq and other issues. Although he may have faced some early stumbles, he vows to uphold his slogan and “not surrender.”

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