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A closing argument for John McCain

His mettle has been tested; he's ready to lead.

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Speaking in Seattle to campaign contributors behind closed doors earlier this month, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden all but endorsed John McCain for president.

"Mark my words," Senator Biden warned the assembled supporters. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden continued, citing the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you – not financially to help him – we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Recalling that Senator Obama selected Biden as his running mate because of his purported foreign-policy expertise, one might think that more attention would be paid to the obvious import of Biden's words.

Not surprisingly, Biden made no mention of the world testing the mettle of Senator McCain if he were to take office (although he did later, lamely seeking to dismiss the meaning of his words). And for good reason. McCain's mettle has already been tested – proved under conditions beyond the imagining of most Americans. If it is possible to give something beyond the last full measure of devotion to our country, McCain has.

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