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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 4, 2008 / 4 Elul 5768

It's unlikely that a President McCain would be driven by political ideology

By Kevin Ferris


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was a week of tributes to Arizona Sen. John McCain - you know, the guy who brought Sarah Palin to St. Paul, as one TV talking head put it.

There was a review of his military heroism and political accomplishments. The talking points of the day - service, prosperity, security. And the main event, McCain's acceptance speech Thursday night.

With all that, we should know exactly what to expect from a McCain-Palin administration, right?

Well, maybe. And that's what had worried some Republicans all along. The sum of that heroism and those accomplishments is, for good or ill, that maverick you've heard so much about. Witness the surprise-the-world vice-presidential pick.

There are clearly issues that mark McCain as a traditional Republican and conservative, and he went down the list Thursday night - low taxes, spending discipline, open markets, strong defense, "a culture of life" and judges who "don't legislate from the bench."

However, it's unlikely that a President McCain would be driven by political ideology.

More important would be his core beliefs and values, his willingness to work with all comers, and his desire to fulfill the mandate of service that comes with wearing the country's uniform or holding an elected office.

Some of this comes from his life itself - a military career inspired by the example of his father and grandfather, both Naval Academy graduates and admirals; the five-plus years of torture, solitary confinement and other horrors suffered as a POW in North Vietnam, and 26 years as a representative and senator that have produced major legislation, but also headaches, for him and his party.

Last week, the oft-repeated McCain bio was meant to remind delegations and TV viewers of the rock-solid character of the man, the "duty, honor, country" ethos at his core. "Character we can believe in," Fred Thompson called it Tuesday night.

And from the ethos comes the drive to get things done. Sometimes that means a Republican will have to work with a Democrat, and then maybe vote with an independent. It's the results that matter, not personalities or politics.

As McCain said Thursday: "Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn't think of them first, let's use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let's try sharing it."

He's shown he's serious. There was campaign-finance reform with liberal Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. A comprehensive immigration bill with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. The compromise that saved the Senate judicial process from the "nuclear option."

"I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again," McCain said Thursday, adding with a grin: "I have that record and the scars to prove it."

The goal isn't just to be a maverick, although he seems to delight in the role. It goes back to character. McCain said as much when accepting the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 1999 for the campaign-finance bill.

"I believe public service is an honorable profession," McCain said. "I believed that when I entered the Naval Academy at 17 and I believe it still. ... But the people whom I serve believe that the means by which I came to office corrupt me. That shames me. Their contempt is a stain upon my honor, and I cannot live with it."

But character and drive don't always lead to compromise. Sometimes it means standing alone. McCain is willing to do that, too, even if it means challenging a Republican president.

He was against Ronald Reagan's plan to send Marines to Lebanon in 1983. Although often supportive of the Bush administration, he pounded it over the conduct of the Iraq war. Unlike most war critics, though, he raised alternatives that offered a chance to win. He understood that his view was not widely shared, but he also knew that a loss in Iraq would be disastrous for Iraqis, the region, the United States and its military.

So, with all that, it's not surprising that he went with the untraditional Maverick-Barracuda ticket. It won't be the last surprise.

Yes, he was clear Thursday about some goals of a McCain administration - cutting taxes, doubling the child-tax exemption to $7,000, vetoing pork-barrel spending, promoting school choice, aggressively pursuing energy independence. You can find other positions on www. johnmccain.com.

However, should any of this come to pass, don't expect it to have been shaped solely by ideology. There will be room for compromise, ideas from the other side, the occasional surprise.

And while that will frustrate, even anger, some of McCain's fellow Republicans, they should keep something in mind:

Only a maverick could have gotten them anywhere near the White House in 2009.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Kevin Ferris is commentary page editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer.



Previously:

09/04/08: Bold McCain will sharpen the contrasts

© 2008, Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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