John McCain, by contrast, is a boots candidate in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt. He spent over five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, refusing a ticket home if it meant leaving his men behind. He has a long tradition of voting the way he believes, even if it means ticking off his own base. He hails from Arizona, owns a ranch and doesn't look uncomfortable donning a Stetson.
The biggest contrast between the suity Obama and the booty McCain isn't image, though -- it's substance. When the chips are down, Obama plays rhetorical games. McCain shoots from the hip, and he shoots straight.
Last week, in the mold of Hitler's Czechoslovakian annexation, Vladimir Putin claimed that a breakaway province of Georgia required Russian protection. He then sent Russian troops into Georgia in an attempt to take control of Georgian oil pipelines.
Barack Obama responded by recommending a UN Security Council resolution condemning Russian aggression, as well insertion of a UN peacekeeping force -- a ridiculous suggestion, considering that Russia has a permanent seat on the Security Council and can veto any such resolution. His campaign stated, in Neville Chamberlain-esque fashion, that the situation in Georgia is "both sides' fault -- both have been somewhat provocative with each other." Obama called for restraint from both sides.
McCain, by contrast, demonstrated the moral clarity of the maverick. Russia, he said, needed to immediately withdraw from Georgia. Georgia, he said, should be admitted to NATO forthwith, which would force NATO to intervene in order to maintain Georgia's borders. "Today," McCain said, "we are all Georgians."
There is a reason Americans prefer boots to suits. We don't want George Clooney advising on foreign policy. We don't want a president who sees every international conflict as an exercise in moral equivalence. We don't believe in politicians who see talk as the be-all, end-all.
We do want a president who will stand up to the Hitlers, the Stalins and yes, the Putins. We want a president who understands that talk is cheap and action is valuable. We want a boots president. John McCain will be that president.