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John McCain always feels at home at Phoenix International Raceway....Maybe he can give NASCAR a shot in the arm

   John McCain is quite popular in NASCAR circles...and not just because he's a Republican (though that certainly helps) (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

    By Mike Mulhern

   President Obama has yet to show up at a NASCAR race. But Sunday John McCain, an Arizona political landmark figure, and long-time NASCAR fan, was at Phoenix International Raceway for the Phoenix 500…and quipping away…and ripping away too.
   McCain may have lost last fall's presidential election, but the Arizona senator still has that remarkable sense of humor and self-deprecating humor.
   He also showed he's not fading into the political sunset, that he's still on top of the major issues in American politics – and economics.
   And he didn't throw Sarah Palin under the bus for her new tell-it-all book about last year's campaign.
   McCain was quick to point out the dismal economic situation in Arizona: "I travel my state a lot, and we are the second-most-hurt state in America…and people are so angry and frustrated, that we have poured billions of dollars into major financial institutions on Wall Street because they're too big to fail…and when you can go down Central Avenue here in Phoenix and see all these small-business people going out of business because they're 'too small to save,' there is something really wrong.
   "There is a wave of anger out there I have not seen in years.
   "A lot of families here in Phoenix were not hurting last year like they are today. I'm glad that they can come here today and enjoy one of the great sporting events in America."
   During a crisp 20-minute session with the media here McCain was all over the map, discussing serious issues as well as lighter issues, like Navy beating Notre Dame again, and the Indianapolis-Arizona NFL rivalry.
   So, are you finally ready to buy into a NASCAR team? "With some of the money left over from my presidential campaign?" McCain cracked.  

  Senator McCain's wife Cindy also knows NASCAR politics (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

  McCain has seen enough NASCAR races over the years to know the sport, and not just dish out pabulum. And he may have hit a sore spot with NASCAR's Dodge executives and the Roger Penske team, Dodge's lead dog.
    McCain appeared to predict the eventual collapse of Chrysler. And McCain criticized the federal bailout of Chrysler and GM.
   "No, I don't think we should have bailed out Chrysler and General Motors," McCain said. "We should have let them go into bankruptcy and emerge and become viable companies again.
   "It was all about the unions (which McCain said didn't want to renegotiate their contracts).
    "If anybody believes Chrysler is going to survive, I'd like to meet them."
    Officials of those two companies had no immediate reply.
    The book? Sarah Palin's 'Going Rogue,' which the New York Times has described as her 'payback' to the McCain campaign.
   McCain called the book "a good account.
   "Whenever there is a political campaign, there is a lot of tension. Outside of actual combat it is the most intense pressure experience one can probably have.
   "The fact is this: The day the stock market went down, we were three points ahead. At the end of that day, we were seven points down…after $1.2 trillion of American savings had been wiped out. That was the seminal point in the campaign.
   "I've read it, and it's a great book…and she proved again she has a unique place in American politics. Of course she continues to be attacked by the liberal media in a way I have never seen quite like in my years.
   "But Cindy and I have the greatest affection for her and Todd and her family.
   "She will be a force in the Republican Party in the future. And I am proud to have had her as a running mate."

     -- McCain also raised the issue of Obama's delay in deciding how to reshape U.S. policy toward Afghanistan: "I'm very disappointed the President hasn't made a decision by now. The situation is deteriorating. I hope he will make that decision soon.
    "The worst thing we can do in Afghanistan is a half-measure…as we did the first few years in Iraq under (Donald) Rumsfeld and (Gen. George) Casey."
     -- Will the Senate pass a health care bill? "I don't know," McCain says. "They have 60 votes…..
    "But American public opinion continues to swing against big government takeover. The elections in Virginia and New Jersey might give pause to some.
   "The blue-dog Democrats showed again they bark but they don't bite. That they're conservatives is the biggest hoax in America since the sales of beachfront property here in Arizona."
    McCain called the Republican gains in recent elections in New Jersey and Virginia part of an "enormous backlash to the incredible movement of the federal government into the private sector."
   Alternative fuels have been a major issue for car makers. But McCain questions ethanol as an alternative fuel.
   "I have great faith in American technology and our ability to develop alternative fuels. But I have always opposed ethanol because it costs more to make a gallon of energy than to expend it. It is one of the great rip-offs in American history…."
    McCain said part of the ethanol issue might have been politics: "…It might have something to do with the fact the Iowa Caucuses are the first presidential campaign event….
   "There was frankly distortion of the market because so many farmers that diverted to corn.
   "I don't mind spending government dollars to encourage the technology and research and development….But if we continue to subsidize ethanol it is just a terrible rip-off to American taxpayers.
   "And now you know one of the reasons why I lost the Iowa Caucuses."

  McCain calls Palin's new book "a good account" (Photo: Sarah Palin)


Should have been President

Should have been President McCain. Between voter indifference and ACORN ballot-stuffing, it's no wonder someone like a lawyer for corrupt Chicago slumlords gets elected President.

Some takes on Mr. McCain's comments -

- given how the market works, it's tough to disagree with his assessment against the government takeover - aka bailout - of GM and Chrysler, since that takeover/bailout was indeed mostly about bailing out the UAW.

- it should have been obvious from the start that Obama has zero clue about winning the war on Islamo-Arab imperialism - his much-cited speech against winning in Iraq signalled cluelessness about the real world and his indifference to the Fort Hood terrorist shootings (compared to his outrage over a Harvard professor being questioned by Cambridge police) further demonstrates something fundamentally wrong with him.

- ethanol has been a well-sponsored rip-off forever - I still remember those ads from ADM in the early 1980s pushing it and it's never worked. The concept of alternative fuels doesn't work and NASCAR needs to get off that bandwagon.

Interesting story... I

Interesting story...

I thought it was going to be about McCain, sharing some of his views about the Chase, points race, etc.

But we're right back to what is not needed in NASCAR. POLITICS. Is there any politican in Washington that knows ANYTHING about auto racing, NASCAR in general without using it as a platform to throw Obama under the bus in a mess that HE didn't create? At least Pres. Obama is honest in his NOT knowing the sport that well, but at least working with the manufacturers, NASCAR and the fans to show some type of support to keep things going.

Ask McCain about the Chase and/or the COT and let's see where he stands there. Let's see if he knows anything about racin'.

McCain was so into the race

McCain was so into the race he left somewhere around lap 100 and didn't do an interview with MRN (which they commented on during the local broadcast). They were all broken up at the lost opportunity.

I really don't want this to

I really don't want this to sound insensitive, especially to a war hero and first-class patriot like John McCain, but ...
"John McCain ... shot in the arm"?
Another pun, Mike?



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