From CBS News' John Bentley:
While alternately harshly critical of the process of running for president and hopeful for the next five years, John McCain offered a detailed look at what the U.S. – and the world – will look like at the end of a first McCain term in a speech today in front of a friendly crowd in Columbus, Ohio.
McCain blamed both the media and politicians for the "hypocritical" coverage of modern politics, which doesn't do voters any favors when trying to make an informed decision. "The hectic but repetitive routine of presidential campaigns often seems to consist entirely of back and forth charges between candidates, punctuated by photo ops, debates and the occasional policy speech, followed by another barrage of accusations and counter accusations, formulated into the soundbites preferred by cable news producers," McCain said.
If he should become the next president, however, the outlook is far rosier. Most of the troops will be out of Iraq by January 2013, and the country has a peaceful, democratic government. Osama bin Laden has been captured or killed, and there have been no terrorist attacks.
The United Nations will have failed to end the conflict in Darfur, but a new "League of Democracies" will be successful in stopping the genocide in Sudan. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea will have been brought in line. "The single greatest threat facing the West -- the prospect of nuclear materials in the hands of terrorists -- has been vastly diminished," McCain said.
At home, there have been "several years of robust economic growth," schools are thriving, and health care is more affordable. Dozens of new nuclear reactors are being built, and "the United States is well on the way to independence from foreign sources of oil." Earmarks are no more.
None of these things are guarantees, McCain pointed out. "If I am elected president, I will work with anyone who sincerely wants to get this country moving again," he will say, trying to bolster his image of someone who can work across the aisle. "I will seek the counsel of members of Congress from both parties in forming government policy before I ask them to support it. I will ask Democrats to serve in my administration."
And he maintains he doesn't care who gets the credit.