Wednesday, June 4, 2008

JMO - The Race is on

Ok, Barack Obama and John McCain are now the Democratic and Republican, respectively, candidates for President. The real show now starts with each party's convention being the party to energize the staff, supporters and hopefully the voters. And the real campaign hype will officially start with the positive and mostly negative ads about and towards each candidates, along with all the positive spin about their own candidate's words and records and the negative spin about the other candidate.

The real question to me, though, is, will we really learn anything new about them. And will we really learn who they will be as President, what kind of people they will appoint as their cabinet secretaries and directors, how they will govern the White House and the federal government, and how they will represent the US and interact with other nations and their respective leaders. Will we know this by November 4th?

Me thinks not, or at least for now based on past Presidential campaigns. The best example is both campaigns for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Did anything that he said, in ads, or in the debates really tell you anything that has happened during his Presidency? What happened to the "compassionate conservative", the "uniter", and all the other stuff he sold himself? Did we really ever get any ideas if Al Gore or John Kerry would have been better Presidents than they were portrayed by their party and denigrated by the Republican party?

Do we really know John McCain? I watched his 2000 primary campaign and I was impressed with his record and his position on issues. He was a real maverick in the party. I really wanted him and Senator Bill Bradley to win their party's primary and be their party's Presidential campaign. I would have voted for Bradley in the end, but it would have made a damn fine political campaign and debates, and either way, the country would have been different and far better than what has happened under Bush.

Anyway, we have about two months to the conventions. The only thing I want to hear is the choice for Vice President and who they will consider for their cabinet. All the rest is more of the same campaign rhetoric we'll be hearing more for their candiate and more negative against the other candidate after the convention. All the party's PACs have a 3 month window to research and produce attack ads. Gee, what a warm and fuzzy feeling I get with that thought.

But it is our political system, bad as it is. And it is bad. Not the worst it's been in our history, but the worst for the money, influence and tone, tune and tenor. And I don't see Congress ever changing it. If Senators McCain and Feinstein can't get a better law, then we're all sinking into the abyss of political campaigns.

And hopefully, we'll actually get a good President. Hell, anyone can't be worse than George Bush.

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