In another place I have written about 'the conservative stool' and its three essential legs - social, economic and patriotic conservatives. For each of those conservatives McCain has a great deal to offer. Here are three stand-outs:
- For patriotic conservatives he is solid on the war on terror. He has supported the surge of troops into Iraq and Hillary Clinton opposed it. He also understands that the UN is no reliable defender of American interests. He needs to be told that the EU - another multilateral institution favoured by 'Tranzis' - is at least as undesirable.
- For social conservatives McCain is pledged to appoint judges in the mould of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. Hillary Clinton will appoint liberal judges that actively make laws rather than interpret them.
- For economic conservatives McCain is a budget hawk. He has been the Senate's biggest critic of pork-stuffed spending bills and, unlike George W Bush, will almost certainly veto such bills.
Does this make me a McCainiac? No. He has Gore-lite views on climate change, the campaign finance reforms he sponsored handed massive power to mega-rich candidates and he doesn't believe in the supply-side benefits of lower taxation. But is he better than Clinton? Yes.
PS Another reason to like McCain... Ann Coulter, the unacceptable face of conservatism, doesn't like him!