Here is his justification.
When I first read this, I was surprised but then if he was not going to back Obama, he would have ruled it out sooner. Never had the pleasure of speaking with him so this is only a guess as opposed to an informed opinion.
I do not understand how a Conservative could support Obama but many from the UK clearly have.
Three or so weeks ago, I was extremely confident about John McCain. From the moment he got the nomination (like Iain Dale, I wanted Rudy), I took the view that I strongly and bitterly oppose the idea that amnesties on illegal immigration work but I find McCain to be an extremely principled politician who does not hold views in alignment with the latest fashion. He has a very strong record on fighting Pork Barrel. The response he received from many farmers in Iowa during the primaries would indicate he will stick to his guns.
In response to some of the things that Iain Dale has said in his blog:
“He has performed poorly in the debates, he is an uninspiring speaker and his vision is as non existent as Gordon Brown’s.”
I do not think even the commentators from the left in the US have claimed that he has performed poorly.
“His policy platform simply doesn’t add up and his foreign policy ideas are as unappealing as many of George Bush’s.”
Iain has a point but McCain will tell it as he sees it. Something not as common as people in politics may claim.
“McCain has not been a well man. He is 72 years old and has had cancer four times. His whole demeanour indicates that he might well not live through a whole four year term.”
Were I a member of the GOP, this would not enter my mind and I would trust the man! Clearly the man is a fighter in his personal life as well as in politics where hardly anyone thought that he could win the nomination.
“I have doubts about Obama’s Iraq policy, I have doubts about his big government agenda but I have come to believe that he is what America needs if it is to restore its reputation in the world. He radiates optimism.”
I remember Tony Blair radiating optimism too!
And, in his Telegraph article:
“Like most others, I left profoundly disappointed by his speech, which was pedestrian and devoid of inspiration.”
I think that delivery, principle and honour are far more important that the quality of speeches.
*Some* said similar things about Bob Dole. I maybe a minority but I think that both the US and those of us on the right missed out on someone who would have been a fantastic President.
“Bob Dole Keeps his word”
I do think that McCain needs to up his game on what is special about this candidacy, just as Bob Dole should have runner harder on the above theme in 1996. More of the following:
* Record on Pork Barrel
* Strength on Foreign Policy
* It is not excitement and fluent speeches that are required, but in depth knowledge of Congress and Foreign Policy
I am also surprised that there has not been more of the “flip-flop” that was so effective when George Bush stood against John Kerry.
Finally, I accept that the GOP have a lot of rebuilding work to do but surprised so few have commented on the fact that blue collar americans have been deserting the Democrats for quite some time. Rather similar to the story of New Labour in the UK.