When fighting broke out last week, John McCain got on the phone to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to find out what was happening in the tiny democratic nation. Sen. McCain then said that the Russians were the aggressors and that their actions needed to stop. Three statements and a day later, presumptive Democratic nominee caught up with where McCain was from the start.

Proving yet again that he’s the adult in the room, McCain has just said that he’d back Georgia’s bid to join NATO if he’s elected:

“I would move forward at the right time with the application for membership in NATO by Georgia,” McCain told Fox News television. “As you know, through the NATO membership, that if a member nation is attacked, it is viewed as an attack on all,” said the Arizona senator, alluding to Russia’s military aggression on Georgia. “We don’t have, I think, right now, the ability to intervene in any way except in a humanitarian, economic way, and do what we can to help the Georgians,” he added.

The thought of that happening frightens Russia because, like Sen. McCain says, an attack against one is an attack against all. In fact, admitting all of the former Soviet satellite nations into NATO, starting with Ukraine, would undoubtedly give Putin pause.

Meanwhile, here’s how Sen. Obama responded today:

Obama, on vacation in Hawaii, on Tuesday read a statement blaming Russia for increasing tensions in the Caucasus.

“No matter how this conflict started, Russia has escalated it well beyond the dispute over South Ossetia and invaded another country,” said Obama, 47. “There is no possible justification for these attacks,” he added.

“No matter how this conflict started”? Sen. Obama still can’t quite get past that moral equivalency thing. Sen. McCain gave a lengthy, detailed speech on what’s happening in Georgia today. Sen. Obama issued a brief statement, then got back to the sand & surf with his family.

Steve Huntley of the Chicago Sun-Times has a great article about other instances where Sen. McCain’s wisdom and experience have shown through. Here’s one example that Mr. Bentley cites:

While we don’t get fossil fuels from Russia, Western Europe does, and the Kremlin’s energy might is fueled by the worldwide demand for oil. Developing U.S. domestic energy sources and alternatives to oil will only enhance our national security and, by reducing the world’s petroleum demand, undermine the economic, political and military advantage vast oil and gas reserves give to unfriendly powers like Russia, Iran and Venezuela.

Obama calls for transforming America’s economy in a decade. He’s got the right idea, long term. But short term, this nation must push for energy security on all fronts…now. That includes new offshore drilling for oil, which Obama loathes, and new nuclear plants, which he views with aversion. We can’t just wait for breakthrough technologies for wind, solar and biomass energy.

McCain has got it right in advocating new offshore drilling and a federal push to add 45 nuclear generators over the next two decades. Given the evidence of Russia’s energy-fueled aggression, he should abandon his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and to extending subsidies he favors for nuclear energy to include renewables.

Putting us on the fast track to energy independence has never been more important, both economically or in terms of national security. Building nuclear power plants while we’re building oil rigs on the OCS will drop oil prices.

There’s a hidden benefit to lower oil prices: It cuts Russia’s, Iran’s and Venezuela’s revenues, which tightens up their economies. That, in turn, shrinks Russia’s military budget while shrinking the money Iran and Chavez can funnel to terrorists.

McCain’s steady hand has given US voters, as well as the world, a glimpse of what type of leadership we can expect from Sen. McCain. Undoubtedly, it’s a welcome sight to our allies. Just as surely, it’s the last thing Putin, Chavez and Ahmadinejad wanted to see.

Finally, it’s worth noting the contrast between the pictures of Sen. Obama meeting with Sarkozy, Brown and Merkel, looking so presidential, and Sen. McCain, behind the microphone, being presidential, calm and in control of the facts.

Personally, I’ll vote for the man that is presidential over the guy who looks presidential every time.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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