Yes, Republicans like McCain, and so will the general public

I hear many Democrats talk about how they are excited about their candidates this year because they can finally vote for someone instead of against someone. This declaration is usually followed by some misguided perception that Republicans are not all that thrilled with John McCain.

There is no question that McCain was not among the so-called frontrunners that the media created in January 2007. In fact, most people on both ends of the political spectrum assumed his campaign was dead as late as last summer. However, he got popular at just the right time.

Looking at the Democrats just six months ago, Hillary Clinton was the unquestioned nominee. Now she is barely hanging in the race.

Nobody knew or cared about Barack Obama in January 2007. He was just another face in the crowd at the Democratic debates. Now, though, everyone is jumping on board the Empty Speech Express. Why? Because he got popular at the right time.

While some may say be glad you’re not a Republican this year, Democrats are the ones with a rude awakening awaiting them. When one of the candidates emerges as the nominee, there are going to be plenty of questions that have to be answered. Clinton does not enjoy the support of many moderates or independents. Combine that with the fact that her husband has been running around alienating many Democrats in this primary process, and the Democrats have a recipe for defeat.

On the other hand, Barack Obama could emerge as the nominee. While he doesn’t have much of a record — thanks in part to his refusal to take a stand on controversial issues by voting “present” during his tenure in the Illinois legislature — he has proven more than adequate at showing his inexperience.

From his association with his friend and fundraiser Tony Rezko, who is now on trial for extortion to his inability to face a tough set of questions from reporters as was reported yesterday, Obama doesn’t have what it takes to lead this nation.

However, his biggest liability is his outlook on foreign relations. He talks of having personal discussions with no preconditions between himself and radical leaders like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I know having a president who only wants to give hostile leaders a stern talking-to makes me feel safe.

While Obama appeals to many independents thanks in large part to his uplifting speeches, which are void of any details, McCain has proven his ability to win independents as well. As he has said in many of his victory speeches, he will always put his nation before his party. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

More importantly than his speeches or ability to win independents, McCain has a proven record. He has a record of fighting for lower government spending, specifically targeting congressional earmarks. He has a record of supporting lower taxes, a strong national defense and the rights of the unborn. All of these are tenets of conservative Republican beliefs.

The idea that Republicans are not going to support John McCain is ludicrous. He has a great range of support, including former President George H. W. Bush, evangelical Christian conservative Sen. Sam Brownback, moderate conservative Gov. Charlie Crist and a host of other Republican leaders.

When you make the comparison between McCain and either of the Democrats left standing, the choice is clear. When you look at McCain’s record, he has consistently fought for Republican principles. Make no doubt about it: Republicans will choose McCain over Obama or Clinton any day.