With an opening jab that seems to suggest “you should have listened to us the first time,” The Post and Courier endorsed Sen. John McCain again.

Not only has the senator continued to live up to the “straight talk” theme of both campaigns, he has provided the country with positive leadership in critical areas. Well known for an independent streak that has led to deviations from the party line, John McCain mainly reflects mainstream conservative values, as evidenced by his calls for less government regulation and a reduction of federal spending, his opposition to tax hikes, his advocacy of Social Security and Medicare reform, his push for an overhaul of the tax code, and his support for a strong defense.

The paper endorses McCain, not only for his sound leadership, but also his wacky sense of humor.

The 71-year-old senator’s also willing to poke a little fun at himself, momentarily pretending to doze off, for example, when the media ask age-related questions, including whether he would be too old to withstand the rigors of being president. In a serious vein he points to the energy level he has displayed during the debates and campaign, noting that age questions should be balanced with those of judgment and experience.

Interesting that the last argument was used in Sen. John Kerry’s endorsement of Barack Obama last week in Charleston.

On Saturday, South Carolina voters will once more have the chance to give him the boost he needs to be the Republican nominee in November. Of all the contenders in that primary, he has the best chance of forming bipartisan coalitions to solve this nation’s domestic problems and the most credibility and experience in international affairs.