Watching the Democrats debate tonight, I was somewhat surprised that both candidates mentioned McCain and his candidacy in their first 15 minutes. Considering that this was their night to differentiate themselves from each other, it seemed ironic to hear talk of party unity while refusing to unite on a shared ticket and giving unsolicited airtime to their shared opponent.
Whether or not you believe in a liberal media bias (more on this later), you can't deny that John McCain has had less "buzz" lately than either hard-campaigning opponent. But fortunately in the long run quality matters too. In a week full of incendiary comments, John McCain's campaign team asked bloggers to avoid the (nearly uncontrollable!) urge to deingrate either competitor, but to focus on facts and take the high road.
So for everyone's edification, here is how I, a relative newcomer to the political fray, see the 'high road':
The high road means your strengths are more compelling than your opponents' weaknesses.
The high road means telling people what you think, not what you think they want to hear.
The high road means you are accountable for the money you spend, the people you befriend and the decisions you make.
The high road means admitting when you're wrong, and even when your opponents are right.
The high road means keeping your promises - and apologizing proactively and completely if circumstances make that truly impossible.
The high road means not selling out your family or friends to make a political point.
The high road means doing your homework before you open your mouth.
The high road means your constituents deserve to see and hear facts so they can judge for themselves.
The high road means you tell Americans the same thing face-to-face in a town hall meeting that you tell reporters on your plane and small cadres of admirers.
The high road means you have the ability to laugh at yourself and not your opponents (unless, of course, they're laughing too).
The high road means you are campaigning the way you would lead the country.
If you value the high road, I urge you to put your full support - time, talent, and treasure behind John McCain.