On April 1st, Senator McCain, in an attempt to demonstrate the improving security conditions in Baghdad, led a congressional delegation through the capitalâ€™s Shorja marketplace. Later described as a â€œsafe stroll,â€ the delegation was accompanied by over 100 soldiers in armored vehicles with attack helicopters circling overhead.
McCain and the rest of the delegation wore bulletproof vests during their hour-long visit, as soldiers redirected traffic and restricted access in the market to Americans only. Sharpshooters were also posted on rooftops.
No American casualties were reported during McCainâ€™s visit. The delegation indeed proved Baghdad security is sound for those intrepid enough to move about for sixty-minutes with a heavy military escort.
While on a campaign stop in South Carolina this week, McCain sung the words â€œBomb Iranâ€ to the Beach Boysâ€™ tune â€œBarbara Annâ€ in response to a question about potential military action to thwart Tehranâ€™s suspected build-up of nuclear weapons.
Campaign spokesman Matt David said the question was put light-heartedly and McCain was trying to bring levity to the discussion.
On Thursday, McCain told reporters in Las Vegas that critics of his â€œBomb Iranâ€ joke need to â€œlighten up and get a life.â€
Although the United States refuses to take a military option off the table, administration officials say they will pursue a diplomatic solution with Iran. While McCain has yet to be tapped as a resource in the negotiations, surely his folksy charm would help to defuse these tense proceedings.
Soon Fred Thompson may be in need of a running mate. Itâ€™s never too early to start jockeying, Senator McCain.