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2.28.2008

John McCain to visit Dell's Round Rock Campus

As sharp readers of this blog can probably assume from many of my posts, I work for Dell in Austin. I love my job and am proud of the company I work for, but I have never brought up my employment before and I don't intend to much in the future.

Here is why it is relevant today: tomorrow morning, not more than 100 yards from my desk, John McCain will have a town hall meeting for Dell employees. Due to the complicated and confusing registration procedure I am not sure if I will be able to attend in person, but at a minimum I will be watching the internal webcast of it.

So what am I looking for from him? Well, I am an undecided Republican primary voter and while the race for the nominee has all but been decided by now I always take voting seriously and I have to vote my conscience. That being said, he has an opportunity to win my vote tomorrow if he can demonstrate most, if not all, of the things below. I have to say, I do not think he will do this even though my expectations are somewhat lowered at this point.

  1. Show that he can be the conservative standard-bearer in the fall campaign. Let's face it, he is saying the right things now except on a few points - but its the primary season of course he is running to the right. When the fall comes, what is going to keep him from running right to the center, or even the left? I don't expect closure on this tomorrow - I simply would like to see an indication based on the strength of his statements
  2. Taxes. Bush tax cuts permanent? Will he resist calls to raise the capital gains tax? How strong will he emphasize supply-side economics in his policies? This is key for me
  3. Health care reform - sure I think our system sucks. But does that mean I want our government providing it for me through a socialist system? HELL NO! So, our task as Republicans will be to fight this issue on tow fronts. Number one we need to effectively articulate our own solution to the current mess - we certainly do not need to ignore the situation. The vast middle of American political opinion will not consider listening to us without a substantial plan of our own. Second, point out the many, many flaws of a government administered, mandated system that the Dems are hawking. Americans will lose their rights and freedoms in such a system, and we need to point that out!
  4. Show no fear. He will have to take on a historical first regardless of who wins the Dems beauty pageant, and he cannot be scared of that. Sure, run a clean campaign and stick to the issues - but do not back down or concede anything to them out of fear for the game of identity politics.
If Johnny boy can show me those things tomorrow he will have my support on Tuesday. If not, I'll be voting for Huckabee before jumping on the McCain bandwagon for the fall.

I believe the strongest chance the GOP has this year (or any year for that matter) is to stand up and state why we are right and they are wrong. In a strong war of ideas we will win - I just hope the Senator from Arizona gets this too...

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