When Sen. John McCain stops by the Aiken Municipal Center at 9 a.m. Thursday, he will be making his fourth campaign trip to Aiken County since July. To the best of my knowledge, no other major presidential candidate has visited more than once during this same period.
During his last visit, on Dec. 10, the senator spent most of the day in Aiken County. At lunchtime he held a campaign rally at Al's Family Restaurant in North Augusta.
In the afternoon he delivered a policy speech at the Center for Hydrogen Research to a group composed primarily of scientists and engineers. There he unveiled an ambitious plan for achieving national energy independence and outlined the catastrophic geopolitical consequences if we fail to act soon.
He chose to give this important talk in Aiken County because he recognizes the contributions and sacrifices this community made toward ending the Cold War and the promise it holds for securing our future energy needs.
Mr. McCain declared that our reliance on foreign fossil fuels constitutes "a serious and urgent economic, environmental and national security challenge" and that by developing alternative energy sources, most notably nuclear, the United States would strengthen its long-term security.
He expressed support for the MOX program at Savannah River Site, which, in part, will turn weapons-grade plutonium into usable fuel for use in commercial nuclear reactors.
He also gave high marks to the work being done at the Savannah River National Laboratory and the Center for Hydrogen Research.
Toward the conclusion of his visit, I had the privilege to meet with the senator privately. Much of our discussion revolved around family and the rewards of being a dad. We talked about the challenges and opportunities confronting our nation and the importance of leaving our children a safe, clean and prosperous world.
I left the senator, absolutely convinced that I had made the right decision backing him. In my opinion, our country, our community and our children would be best served by a McCain presidency.
Scott Singer, a member of Aiken County Council, heads Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in Aiken County.