By Gerry Mason, co-chairman, McCain for President Michigan Grassroots - 07/28/08 05:54 PM EDT
(Regarding Dick Morris’s column “Romney: A mistake for McCain,” July 23.) Dick Morris is 100 percent wrong on almost every count.
1. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney did extremely well in the Republican primaries, but lost to Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) by narrow margins due to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee peeling away votes. Voter turnout calculations and models were also a factor and will be again come November.
2. Gov. Romney enjoyed strong support among evangelicals and conservatives. He was, and still is, the preferred candidate of true conservatives.
3. A win in Michigan would be huge for Sen. McCain and make it virtually impossible for Sen. Obama to reach the White House. Thus, a Michigan favorite son on the ticket in Gov. Romney could seal the deal for McCain
4. With Western states with large Mormon populations being the new swing states in this year’s election cycle, Gov. Romney’s strong faith and values will help deliver states like Colorado and Nevada.
5. Sen. McCain would benefit from Gov. Romney’s fundraising abilities, providing equal footing with his Democratic rival.
6. Gov. Romney’s thoughtful changes in position place him in the good company with the likes of President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush.
For now, it appears the economy will be the No. 1 issue come November. Lee Iacocca, another Detroit car guy, put it best: “People vote their pocketbooks.” Democrat or Republican, there is no vice presidential contender out there with Gov. Romney’s business and economic acumen.
A McCain-Romney ticket would be a well-organized, well-funded winner not just for Republicans — but also for America.
Port Huron, Mich.
Judging the surge
From Bob Graham
(Regarding A.B. Stoddard’s column “Obama’s war judgment,” July 24.) It was surprising and disappointing to see another journalist (whom I greatly respect) joining the ranks of those who want Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to say that the surge worked.
Let’s assume that by “surge” is meant the increase in number of U.S. forces introduced into Iraq in 2007. (In contrast, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has recently suggested the term should include the whole counterinsurgency program.) But what does “worked” mean?
The surge was always meant to be the means to a political end, that by having more U.S. troops on the ground, violence could be reduced, thereby creating space for the Iraq government to meet certain nation-building goals. Although violence has greatly diminished, a number of the more important of these goals (for example, oil-sharing policies) have not yet been met.
Sen. McCain claims that the surge is responsible for the reduced violence. However, in the views of many observers on the ground in Iraq, this is a far too simplistic view and may even be quite wrong. They point to a number of factors that were probably more important than the surge, including the ethnic cleansing in Baghdad, the Sunni “awakening” in the west and the Shiite militias standing down.
Sen. Obama believes the U.S. should have sent the additional troops to Afghanistan, the real front in the conflict with the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He believes that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq would have forced the Iraqis to adopt the political accommodations we are beginning to see now.
So who has shown the better judgment? Sen. McCain, who advocated a surge that quite possibly has had little effect on events now unfolding in Iraq? Or Sen. Obama, who has long stated that we took our eye off the ball by concentrating our main effort in Iraq? If the U.S. had followed Sen. Obama’s advice, Osama bin Laden might now be captured or dead and Iraq on the path to political stability we are beginning to see today.