Debra J. Saunders

And McCain's failure to return to Washington after the first presidential debate lacked follow through. In the end, the whole episode smacked of opportunism -- not befitting a senator who had put country first on immigration and Iraq.

And I, for one, want a president who looks to Iraq and recognizes his obligation to settle matters so that U.S. troops need not return there in our lifetime.

The next president will inherit federal spending on overdrive. The next president will have to work to balance, not only the federal budget, but also Social Security and Medicare accounts. Will he keep proposing more unfunded spending to spread the goodies around, or will he take on the difficult tasks needed to bring fiscal discipline to a hung-over Washington?

I have never seen Obama tell people they will have to pay more to fund his many new programs. First he trashes Bush for deficit spending and an "era of easy money," then he promises Americans more government programs and more tax cuts.

Now I think McCain is over-promising on tax cuts, too. But I have seen McCain brave the polls on Iraq, the Republican base on immigration and the GOP establishment on spending. He has shown himself to be willing to do the unpopular in order to accomplish the necessary. I don't always agree with him, but I always have to respect him.

Debra J. Saunders

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