David Lack
Martha Sadler

St. Paul, Minnesota, is a flurry of activity as the nation’s right-leaning politicos prepare for the 2008 Republican National Convention. While the Democrats wrapped up their Denver convention on August 28, the public waits anxiously to see whom John McCain will choose as his running mate. David Lack, owner of Santa Barbara-based Lack Construction and a Republican Party supporter, will be in St. Paul September 1-4 to watch the GOP hammer out its platform and ready its candidate for the November election.

What will be the biggest issues raised at the Republican National Convention? The biggest key point is probably solidifying the unity of our party. The 40-50 percent core middle is who the Republicans are grabbing for-the women’s movement, Clinton supporters, and hard-line conservatives-those people who get a little fency or want their agenda pushed at the convention. In the last three or four days before the election, the big middle section who was excited by Obama will not vote for him because they know McCain and they want someone who has experience. Americans still want a father figure as president.

In light of John Edwards’s recent indiscretion and John McCain’s past marital problems, what role does morality play in this election? John McCain had his marital problems 30 years ago, but he didn’t stand there and say he was running a campaign on morality. He refused to comment on Edwards’s indiscretion. The race issue has been more of a problem. As soon as they stop talking about racism and affirmative action-Obama plays that race card all the time-they’ll see that we’re all Americans. Then we’ll all start to heal. I give Obama a lot of credit for keeping out of [that debate], but he’s gotten pulled back.

What is the biggest liability faced by the Republican Party today? The trouble is [President Bush] is unpopular because everybody expected a quick fix [in Iraq] like there was in ’91, and of course there’s a sinking economy after a [15-year] boom. : I’m terminally optimistic that we’ll turn things around. We’ll probably lose a few congressional seats the way things are going, but they went through this in ’94-’95. These things don’t change in one [congressional] election. The problem is that the party in power gets drunk on power, then they start slipping and the other party creeps up.

Senator McCain has been tagged by some as the next George W. Bush. How will he recover from that? I think that the Democratic National Committee has labeled this tag and given their talking point to Obama. I don’t think it’s that big a deal. If that’s all they’re going to hang their hat on, they’re in trouble. People forget that the president’s job is to protect the citizens : not to sit out there and talk about welfare reform. His first job-like it or not-is as commander in chief. If the Democrats want to say there’s any comparison between McCain and Bush, that’s it. McCain’s always been a maverick [and] has adapted and changed progressively on the problems of America today. Obama does a good job of that, too, but he’s about government and that injection of control into peoples’ lives that borders on socialism.

What role do you think oil will play in the upcoming election? I don’t believe that global warming is happening at all, but I think we need to be more energy efficient. The smart oil companies will become energy companies. Everyone’s talking about offshore drilling. Even Obama and [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi are talking about it, and that alone has brought the price down. If gas hits $6 per gallon, Obama will be out there with the ceremonial drill bit saying, “Drill offshore.” : I’m, like, answer “D” on a Scantron test-“all of the above.” We have to use all different kinds of energy.


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