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Friday, April 27, 2007
 
Blogger Conference Call With Senator McCain

This time I wasn't late for the conference call, and I actually managed to get a chance to ask a question!

There were a fair number of bloggers on the conference call, and questions were asked by John Hinderaker, Lorie Byrd, Ann Althouse and others.

The first question was on the news I reported just below this post, about Romney's statement that indicated catching Bin Laden was not a priority. Senator McCain said that he did not want to get into criticizing the other candidates, but that he absolutely felt that capturing Osama bin Laden was one of the top goals for any administration in battling the terrorists.

Lorie Byrd asked how Senator McCain would improve the communications problem that President Bush has had at times. He noted that the President had given an excellent and detailed briefing on the war just last week. He also said that he wasn't going to get into the media bashing game, that he's quite accustomed to dealing with the media.

Another blogger asked about hybrid vehicles and what we could do to encourage their use. McCain said that as a country we need to do more but that he was reluctant for government to take a lead role in that with mandates and restrictions.

John Hinderaker asked about Social Security and Medicare and how we can get those on solid footings. McCain suggested it would take a bipartisan approach.

Ann Althouse asked about the Supreme Court and whether McCain would be open to maintaining a moderate balance on the court. McCain said that while he was not in favor of litmus tests on issues like abortion, he did feel that he wanted strict constructionalists. He also indicated that he would like to see some people with real world experience in there, not people whose sole qualifications were being lawyers and judges (although obviously they need to have some experience there as well).

I got on near the end and noted that everybody had covered specific issues quite well, so I wondered if I could ask an "inside baseball" question. Looking at the electoral college map, were there any blue states in 2004 that he felt he could flip to the Republican column?

He complimented me on the question and noted that we were all political junkies so he liked a little inside baseball. He felt that California was a state that the Republicans need to at least make competitive, and that as a Westerner, he would have a chance in the Golden State. I note that President Bush won 44% of the vote there in 2004. He also liked his chances in Pennsylvania, which of course is certainly in play. He also thought that New York was possible, which seems unlikely especially if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, and that he'd like to make a good showing in New England, while recognizing that time and money pressures would make that less likely.

One big thrill came when Senator McCain noted that his fellow POW, Colonel Bud Day had introduced him to the crowd in Sioux City, Iowa. Those who've been reading this blog know that Colonel Day is a big hero to me, as he should be to all Americans.

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