Friday, September 26, 2008

Some Thoughts on the Presidential Candidates

This election is certainly one of the most exciting and historical Presidential races, with the open primaries on both sides, resulting in interesting contests between Obama and Clinton, as well as between half-a-dozen Republicans. Obama's being the first African-American Presidential nominee, and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's VP nomination contribute to the historic side of this election.

Although I am not a big fan of President Bush, I am somewhat enthusiastically supporting the McCain-Palin ticket. I believe that in many areas where President Bush is weak or has made mistakes, McCain will be different, including:

1. Spending bills: Bush has signed Congress' bills (both Democrat and Republican) that have spent way too much money, and are full of pork-barrel earmark spending. I strongly believe McCain will actually pull the veto stamp out and use, having a long record of one of Congress' leaders fighting against wasteful earmark spending.

2. Iraq: The administration made many strategic errors (such as not sending enough troops) in Iraq, due too, in my opinion, the arrogance of folks such as fmr. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, who seemed to do what they wanted, rather than take the advice from military commanders (I must note Bush has improved in this area). McCain would do a much better job, he advocated the successful troop surge even when it was very unpopular politically.

3. Competence: Bush was elected after serving one and a half terms as Governor of Texas. While that did give him some Executive experience, the role that a Governor normally plays is divided up between several different offices (of which the Governor isn't even necessarily the most influential), limiting his experience. Also, Bush had very little knowledge on foreign affairs, which led Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. to make a lot of decisions. The President also had little economic knowledge. I don't think there are any questions about McCain's competence.

McCain has been a "change agent" and reformer in Washington. Palin has been a strong reformer in Alaska. I think they will bring the change we need to Washington. I also believe McCain represents the moderate-conservative views consistent with the mainstream (including myself), being in between the centrist purple, and the conservative red (which equals burgundy!).

While I like Obama's message of change, and I agree with his assessment that judgement matters more than experience, I don;t like his far-left liberal views and voting record in the Senate, the fact that he has not had any major legislative accomplishments, and his lack of specifics in terms of change.

Sadly, I don't think either candidate has been specific enough about what they will do. For example, neither really touches the politically risky issues of healthcare and social security, I also think that McCain needs to offer a plan to get the troops out of Iraq as soon as possible, and Obama needs to offer a plan that ensures they can get out safely without leaving Iraq in a mess.


Anonymous said...

Awesome Anthony! That was really wonderful to read. I loved what you had to say about both candidates. I think that you speak for many of us in that both have good points and bad points. One must decide which they feel the most comfortable with I guess. That sounds wrong, but I hope you understand what I mean. I look forward to what you have to say about tonight's debate. It was interesting to say the least.

Brenna said...

Don't forget the abortion issue, Anthony. McCain has consistently voted for life, while Obama has never tried to hide the fact that he supports abortion, partial-birth abortion, and late-term abortion, as well as voting against funding to help babies who survived abortion. This is a key issue to many of us in choosing a President.

Glad you're back!