This election season has been different from those in recent memory. For the first time, there is no incumbent or vice president to fill the shoes left behind. An African American is running for president, a Mormon and a Latino each ran in their respective party’s primaries and a woman is running for vice president for only the second time.

Therefore, this year we have seen a variety of qualified candidates hoping to step up. The current state of the nation also brings a sense of urgency and importance to the candidates’ abilities to lead. Two issues that voters find the most important are the United States’ commitment to Iraq and the recent volatility of the worldwide economy. It is clear that during this election season, voters will look to the candidate who knows best how to implement the most responsible foreign and economic policies.

In this turbulent economy, it is ever more important to have a watchdog on wasteful spending. McCain does not earmark pork barrel projects; instead, he focuses on controlling federal spending.

Though the list of candidates has been long, the one whom I believe in and who the Republican Party has placed their confidence in is Senator John McCain.

McCain’s primary season was not without obstacles. During the summer of 2007, after reorganizing his staff, he set his campaign in a new direction.

Simply from this primary season, McCain showed that he could still weather the rough storm that is ever-present in politics. Washington is no easy place to work in, and McCain has proven year after year that he knows how to work with both sides of the aisle in the Capitol.

He is the adult in this race. He served for 23 years in the U.S. Navy and then was elected to the House of Representatives, where he served two terms. After he was elected to a Senatorial seat from Arizona, McCain became one of the most accomplished senators to have served. He has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee and has made campaign finance reform one of his signature issues.

McCain, along with Democratic Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, sponsored one of the most important pieces of legislation so far this decade. The law, which became effective in November of 2002, helped define the line between money and politics and curb unequal influence by private donors.

McCain is known for his willingness to reach across the partisan aisle and work with the Democratic Party for a uniform consensus, as shown in the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. McCain has gone so far in this respect that there was much speculation earlier this election season that he might pick Senator Joseph Lieberman, a former democrat and current independent, to be his running mate.

A staple of McCain’s stump speech and platform this year has been his desire for energy independence and a cleaner environment issues that will undoubtedly be at the top of the next president’s agenda. McCain has shown more than anyone else that besides making them important issues in the public’s eye, he will be able to pass helpful resolutions during his term in the White House.

McCain went out on a limb by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. However, she has shown her leadership skills and her ability to re-energize the base of the Republican Party.

Our nation is a nation of moderates who do not strictly follow the political lines set by our parties. The office of the presidency needs a man who is straightforward and direct, yet willing to find a balance. His status as a maverick has made some members of the Republican Party view him as a traitor. Yet his willingness to stand on principle, putting the country’s interests above those of partisan concerns, is exactly what America needs right now.

John McCain has a definitive political philosophy. He is a solid conservative who is not given to random ideology or knee-jerk reactions. He has shown that he is willing to face and solve problems. These reasons and many others are why McCain is the best candidate this election season.

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