McCain: "Today, we are all Georgians"; Update: Majority prefers McCain to handle similar crisis, 51/36; Update: Georgians "roar" over McCain speech?

Not true, as a tour around the blogosphere will quickly reveal, but the fact that he’s wrong doesn’t detract from the nobility of the sentiment (as was also true of Le Monde’s famous statement of solidarity on 9/11). Having outflanked Obama on the conflict, he’s reaching for a Reaganesque moment here; considering how few downsides there are in this case to taking a hawkish stance, I’m surprised Barry O didn’t seize the moment from the beginning to talk tough and earn a few C-in-C points with centrists. Too late now.

For your companion reading, try Leon Wieseltier out-Hitchensing Hitchens in a short but withering response at TNR to American liberals who’d rather wring their hands about McCain starting a Cold War than about the would-be tsar waging hot war outside Tbilisi. Takeaway: “Putin champions a particular vision of Russia and a particular vision of Russia in the world. That vision is indigenous to himself and to the political culture over which he presides. It is a primary fact of the contemporary world. Not even the presidency of Barack Obama will rid him of it. You see, he does not wish to be rid of it.” Click the image to watch.

Update: Like I said, I’m surprised Obama got caught napping here. The data is unforgiving:

Just over half (51%) also believe that John McCain is the best equipped of the two major presidential candidates to handle a similar crisis in the future, while 36% believe Barack Obama is the better of the two to deal with this kind of situation…

Women are more concerned than men over the Russia-Georgia situation. Sixty-three percent (63%) of women regard it as at least a somewhat serious threat to U.S. national security versus 54% of men who feel that way. Women also have more confidence in Obama to deal with a similar crisis than men do. Men prefer McCain to Obama in such a situation 56% to 30%, but 40% of women think Obama could handle it best. More women (46%), however, still think McCain is the man for the job…

Although 85% of Republicans believe McCain is the better of the two presidential candidates to handle a similar crisis in the future, only 61% of Democrats feel that way about Obama. More than one-out-of-five Democrats (22%) think the Republican presidential candidate would handle it better than the prospective candidate of their own party. Only 8% of GOP voters favor Obama over McCain in such a situation. Among unaffiliated voters, 56% prefer McCain while 28% like Obama better.

Update: Just passing it along: “Also an interesting detail on CNN a moment ago: At a rally in Tbilisi today, Georgians ‘roared’ when their president, Mikhil Saakashvili, repeated John McCain’s statement, ‘We are all Georgians today.'”