ST. PAUL (CNN) - When McCain talks about change, he talks about changing Washington – when the Democrats talk about change, they’re talking about changing the way things are going in the country.
It’s amazing how much animus there is against public education in this audience. That’s a controversial position – popular with this crowd, but not necessarily the country at large.
He follows that with a universally popular theme: stop giving money to countries that don’t like us. This is something that goes way beyond partisanship.
Finally, an oblique reference to his stand on an issue that’s popular outside the convention hall: global warming, where he parts ways with his party.
One thing interesting about this speech – he’s not talking much at all about social issues – a brief reference to his support for life, no talk of gay issues, a brief reference to judges that don’t legislate from the bench, but no extended focus on social issues. It’s not the core of his agenda.
McCain’s very aggressive response to the war in Georgia worried a lot of people; now he’s going out of his way to say he doesn’t want another Cold War. The worry: McCain is a neocon, with neocon advisers. He’s trying to address that now.
There’s a debate in the foreign policy community about whether he’s a realist, a neocon – or a bit of both.