How John McCain would govern

tshoop@govexec.com

If John McCain were elected President, he would be a hands-on manager who would try to focus federal agencies on areas where government can be most effective, according to panelists at a forum in Washington last week.

"He would be the chief of staff, he would be the commander, no question about it," said former Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., who served with McCain in the Senate.

The forum, sponsored by the Transition to Governing Project, a joint project of the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution and the Hoover Institution, was the second in a series looking at the governing styles and approaches of the leading presidential candidates.

Unlike Republicans who have attacked the federal bureaucracy, McCain believes that "government should have a limited but activist role in those areas where government is involved," said panelist Dan Schnur, the communications director of McCain's presidential campaign.

"Government is not going to go away, and if we have a government, it should be responsive, efficient and effective," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., a co-chair of McCain's presidential committee. "That's very much the cornerstone of why John McCain is running for President."

Packwood predicted McCain would privatize the federal air traffic control system and shut down the Federal Communications Commission if he were elected. "This man is very much a deregulator," he said.

Schnur said that McCain would seek out budget cuts on both the civilian and defense sides of government to fund increases in the defense budget of $20 billion a year for the next five to six years.

Panelists differed on how much impact McCain's famous temper would have on his ability to work with Congress and members of his own administration.

"He's willing to fight for [his beliefs]," Hagel said. "He's willing to take people on. ... That means breaking some eggs." But, Hagel added, "I've never known John McCain to get personal with any United States Senator."

"You would be amazed at how Republicans in Congress would come to appreciate McCain if he were elected President," said Packwood.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.