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Honoring John Mccain

Barack Obama and the rest of the Democrats never fail to say they honor John McCain's wartime service. It's good that they do so, but it's become such a predictable incantation that it's virtually lost its meaning.

Since Fred Thompson just finished recounting this episode of McCain's life, I think I'll take this opportunity to say I admire him, too. I know the story of his time as a prisoner of war is well-known by now, but it doesn't get less poignant with all the retellings. During that time, he really did show many of the qualities that Thompason just ascribed to him--strength, courage, duty, and honor.

I haven't seen much of those qualities in McCain's political life, particularly in recent years. That, along with the fact that I fundamentally disagree with his governing philosophy, is why I think he'd make a terrible president. But that doesn't change what McCain did back when--or take away from the very sincere admiration I, along with many of his critics, feel for him.

--Jonathan Cohn