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McCain's POW experience preserved the freedoms that enabled Barack and Michelle to gain a life of privilege.

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“Change” Can’t Outlast Character

McCain’s POW experience preserved the freedoms that enabled Barack and Michelle to gain a life of privilege.

Messiah wannabe Barack Obama has run into a serious hurdle on the way to his coronation.

Why are Obama’s poll numbers falling?  Why is his lead dissipating?  Why has he turned to negative campaigning?

Simply put, the Illinois senator’s saccharine style has worn thin with real Americans — about as thin as his resume.  “Hope and change” apparently will get you only so far.  And lacking real experience governing, Obama hasn’t sold the American people on his ability to run the country.

Contrasted with Sen. John McCain’s lifetime of service to his country, Obama’s hollow rhetoric could no longer carry him.  The Republican convention reminded the electorate of McCain’s background.

It’s hard to argue that somebody who served in the U.S. Navy, in combat, and suffered torture and deprivation for five years as a prisoner of war doing his duty isn’t better prepared to be commander-in-chief than a guy who was never even in junior ROTC.

McCain’s character was hewn through his POW experience — trials most of us never will know and which preserved the freedoms enabling the Obamas to gain a life of privilege.  

McCain has reared seven children, including three adopted — one from Mother Theresa’s orphanage.  This practical display of compassion also attests to his character.

Likewise, it’s a hard sell to make that someone who’s done next to nothing in the U.S. Senate for about four years stacks up against someone who’s actually had legislation enacted bearing his name.

Obama’s experience?  “Community organizer.”  Real Americans know that’s not a real job.  
What Obama apparently did was use his Harvard legal training to help liberal groups like ACORN use and abuse the legal system to advance left-wing policies.  Stanley Kurtz exposed this chapter in a May 29 National Review Online missive.

Now that he’s lost traction, Obama is dropping the masquerade.  The candidate supposedly beyond mundane politics is running biting negative ads, even one calling McCain’s campaign “dishonorable.”  He’s bitterly critical of his GOP opponents.  Obama’s showing how thin-skinned he really is.

Many of us conservatives have had major disagreements with McCain on certain issues.  Immigration and amnesty probably rank at the top.  But facing a choice between McCain and Obama, based on their experience and policy records, there’s no contest.

To Obama’s chagrin, his veep pick, Sen. Joe Biden, has done little for him.  A presidential primary also-ran.  A leftish record in the Senate.  Pseudoexpertise in foreign policy (he has voted wrong on many foreign policy issues, from coddling the Soviet Union to giving away the Panama Canal to defunding the anticommunist Nicaraguan Contras).  An old, liberal has-been.

McCain’s choice, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has given the Democratic ticket a dose of reality.  The darling of the elites, the establishment, the hoity-toity on the Left and East Coasts has run smack into the darling of flyover country.

What’s not to like about Sarah Palin?  She’s refreshing — a plainspoken, confident chief executive who rose from the PTA to running a state.

Her family life, middle-class background and college degree from a state university reassure voters that she identifies with their daily struggles, hopes and fears.  The Palins face real challenges in the same way most American families do.  They don’t take for granted the accomplishments they have achieved.  

How did Sarah Palin get where she is?  She earned it.  Not programs designed to bestow advantages on the basis of something other than merit.

There’s a real, unspoken contrast between the woman who kept her Down syndrome baby and supports life for her out-of-wedlock grandchild, and the candidate who voted as a state legislator for killing babies born alive, despite the best efforts of abortionists to murder them in the womb.

There’s also a contrast between one whose Christian faith seems so genuine and another whose Christianity seems to include false tenets.  For instance, Obama has said “there are many paths to the same place” — a belief out of conformity with the Bible.  Then there’s that race-centric, Rev. Jeremiah Wright twist on the Gospel.

As for executive experience, being a governor for two months outweighs two years of Senate service.  Governors and mayors actually have to run things.  Legislators may be work horses (Obama has mostly been a show horse), but it’s still not the same set of duties.

However the election comes out, the differences between the candidates of both parties are real and stark.  Obama may still win, but he’s finally been shown to have feet of clay.

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James Edwards is coauthor of "The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform."

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