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Argument: McCain is a Maverick that places principle before party

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"McCain for president: A certain leader for uncertain times". Boston Herald. 1 Oct. 2008 - "John McCain’s heroic resume isn’t just about his sacrifice and his experience; it’s about what he learned from those experiences. And on that issue his own words from “Faith of My Fathers” are telling:

“In Vietnam I had come to understand how brief a moment a life is. That discovery did not, however, make me overly fearful of time’s brisk passing. For I had also learned that you can fill the moment with purpose and experiences that will make your life greater than the sum of its days. I have learned to acknowledge my failings and to recognize opportunities for redemption.”

John McCain sought that purpose - and, yes, at times redemption - in public life and in public service. And that helps account for that independent streak that has often driven members of his own party slightly wild, but has endeared him to millions of American voters who, truth be told, usually put doing the right thing ahead of party too."

•This Senate maverick has spent years forging coalitions - on campaign finance reform, immigration reform, on judicial nominations - all with the intent of getting things done in the toxically partisan world of Washington.

His efforts at budget reform, at controlling congressional earmarks - not just because taxpayers can no longer afford them, but because of the corrupting effect they have on the political process - have surely not endeared him to fellow Republicans. But McCain has never shied away from a good fight - on issues worth fighting for.

"Editorial: We recommend John McCain for president". Dallas Morning News. 18 Oct. 2008 - Mr. McCain has shown the bipartisan leadership Americans want. For example, the Republican maverick has worked with Democrats on campaign finance laws, immigration reform and climate change. When party infighting brought the Senate to a standstill on judicial nominations, Mr. McCain led the way to an audacious compromise that broke the logjam.

Moreover, Mr. McCain has often opposed his own party when he believed it was the right thing to do. For example, though he supported the Iraq war, Mr. McCain emerged early as a critic of the Bush strategy at a time when the safe Republican move was go along to get along. His leadership was arguably a key factor in forcing the Bush administration to change its ways, adapting a strategy that finally worked.

The Arizona senator's change agenda didn't always bear fruit – but he fought nobly even in defeat. For example, Mr. McCain believed so strongly in comprehensive immigration reform that he nearly destroyed his presidential campaign to fight for it.

That takes guts – the kind America will need from its leader in the difficult days ahead.

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