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Mr. McCain Comes to CPAC

I was in the lobby when he entered the building, to a sea of McCain posters and young people cheering. He came through the crowd and greeted a few folks, trailed by plenty of media.

Next to me, an infant bawled. Ahhh, metaphors.

George Allen is intro-ing Coburn to intro McCain at the moment. There was word McCain would use a Reagan video to introduce him, but that looks to have been a rumor.

Coburn on McCain: "He doesn't always tell us what we want to hear, but what he does tell us, we can trust him to believe and do."

Red State has the text of the speech.

On immigration: A few murmurs and boos, Mac quiets the crowd and then waits while his supporters pipe up with cheers and then notes, "My position, which obviously still provokes opposition."

"I have pledged that it would be among my highest priorities to secure the borders first."

Big cheers.

"I am not in the habit of making promises to my country that I do not intend to keep."

Update: He's moved onto the war, taking a big whack at Democrats over FISA law, to big applause.

"I will not sign a bill with earmarks in it. Any earmarks in it. And, I can assure you, Sen. Coburn will hold me to it."

I gotta admit, that kind of promise makes my heart sing.

"I will start by making the Bush tax cuts permanent."

Big applause on that one. He's hitting the right notes, I must say, confronting his problems head-on and ginning up some excitement over protecting the country against the likes of Hillary and Obama. It's not a hugely memorable speech, but a solid one, I think.

Update: Stubborn John: "I am convinced that if my judgment is in error, I will reconsider."

The passage about being deprived of liberty and fighting for liberty as a result was very good. Not overdone with the POW references, but poignant and respectful.

The end was very strong, about being his nation's "imperfect servant," and having made many mistakes that "you can attest to, but need not." Ha. Such is the magic of McCain that his transgressions are often too obvious to dance around, so he goes ahead and addresses them outright, as he did with his conspicuous absences from CPAC and various disagreements with the base.

The only part that didn't ring true was that he's always respected the positions of the base. Respected our ignorant, nativist positions, that is. Ha. Other than that, I enjoyed much of it.

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