The U.S. 2008 Presidential Election: An Evaluation

Linked with Rodrigue Tremblay – Canada.

Published on Global, by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay, Sept. 06, 2008.

… 9. Obama the Good One vs. McCain the Nasty One?

Finally, on the character issue, I have the feeling that there is some appearance of a lack of moral fortitude on the part of Candidate Obama. Some may have the impression that Sen. Obama is not his own man. That he says and does what others tell him to say and do and that this may explain his occasional flip-flops. This image, even if unfair and untrue, can be dangerous in politics because voters sometime value character above everything else in a candidate to public office.

On the other hand, even though John McCain has often been referred to ever since his high school days by those who know him well as John McNasty, the Democrats seem incapable of conveying this information about McCain’s character flaws to the public. If they do not do it themselves, they surely cannot rely on the neocon corporate media to do it in their place! So far, Obama’s advisers have been pulling their punches. They keep repeating that “You have to be careful about attacking McCain.” Well, the McCain camp has no such restraint in attacking Sen. Obama. They did exactly the same thing to Sen. John Kerry in 2004. In American politics, nice guys have the habit of finishing last.

10. Conclusion:

The 2008 American presidential election is a most unusual and interesting election, and it will be studied intensively in the coming years. My preliminary assessment is that this is still a presidential election for the Democrats to lose, but they may lose it, at least at the strategic presidential level.

Of course, the Democrats have not yet lost the 2008 presidential election, far from it, but they must quickly regain the momentum and take control of the political agenda by reorienting their strategy and tactics. As President John Kennedy once said, “an error is not a mistake unless you refuse to correct it”.

For strategy, for instance, they would be wise to place less emphasis on the persona of Sen. Obama and his wife and more on issues. They must demonstrate to the American electorate that they are better prepared to tackle them, while their adversaries are likely to make matters worse.

Are Americans better off today than eight years ago? By most measures, they are not. It should be no surprise that Americans are eager for a change in leadership, especially as it is related to their number one preoccupation, the economy. If they were to vote for four more years of the same, it would only be by default. How could it be otherwise with the incumbent Republican George W. Bush having the highest disapproval rating (69%) ever of any American president?

Amazingly, however, the Democrats seem to have some problem zeroing in on a slogan. Perhaps they could adopt a slogan such as: “For a Better and More Prosperous America”. – I may be wrong, but I think that’s what a majority of Americans want. (full long text).

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