You'd think both John McCain and Barack Obama would support competition for government contracts, alongside every other reasonable person. A healthy competition means the end product is the best possible, right? Consider the the Northrop Grumman vs. Boeing competition to build a fleet of refueling tankers for the Air Force. Originally the Air Force awarded the contract to Northrop Grumman. Boeing appealed to the Government Accountability Office, which found that the Air Force had not been thorough enough in its decision making; the Grumman planes were not superior in cost or design. The GAO recommended the Air Force reopen the bidding process.

Obama agreed, but surprisingly, McCain didn't, siding with Northrop Grumman. McCain had actually been trying to sway the Air Force in favor of Grumman for a while -- among McCain's staff are lobbyists for the manufacturing contractor. It's ironic that McCain, who flaunts his military and defense positions like nobody's business, would not want the Air Force to have the best possible equipment available. It seems he's more interested in making his friends happy.

--Daniel Strauss