Only two months separate us from the presidential elections. The two campaigns are heading to the final stages, and the fight is tough.
Barack Obama or John McCain – that is the question! I guess you don’t expect Ralph Nader to be the next president. Each of the two candidates has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article I would like to discuss their running mates:
Joseph Biden – the senator from Delaware is former presidential candidate and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Barack Obama’s experience in foreign relations is usually questioned by a lot of people so he had to choose an experienced candidate. However, Mr. Biden’s experience in foreign relations could be questioned by the McCain campaign. Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush, pointed out in the Thursday’s Wall Street Journal Mr. Biden’s faults during the Cold War. According to him, Joe Biden:
- opposed giving aid to the South Vietnamese government in its war against the North
- advocated defense cuts so massive that both Edmund Muskie and Walter Mondale, both leading liberal Democrats at the time, opposed them
- opposed funding the Contras, a group of Nicaraguan freedom fighters attempting to overthrow the Communist regime of Daniel Ortega
- opposed President Reagan’s efforts to send military assistance to the pro-American government in El Salvador, which at the time was battling the FMLN, a Soviet-supported Marxist group
- opposed President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), calling it “the most reckless and irresponsible acts in the history of modern statecraft”
and so on. The trustworthiness of Peter Wehner’s disclosure of Senator Biden’s political record are questionable to me. After all, he used to work as deputy assistance to George Bush. Besides, think a little – how would the U.S have been stronger on the international scene if any of this actions would have happened?!? For example, the SDI was never fully developed or deployed, according to Wikipedia but what if it were?!? In my opinion, it is somewhat naive to think that the SDI would do the trick against nuclear weapons because for the time while it is being developed other countries will be working on counter-SDIs. To put it in a nutshell, I believe that President Reagan’s ambition is too hard and too expensive to follow, and the cost of it would be putting your people to economic hardships for the sake of the SDI.
Nevertheless, all of all of Mr. Wehner’s disclosures, if they are facts, could be used against Senator Biden in debates in a way that Mr. Biden has to defend himself or he risks being embarrassed by an internationally inexperienced vice-presidential candidate as Sarah Palin really is. It shouldn’t be hard considering the fact that history could be interpreted either way depending on a person’s point of view. Nevertheless, that Joe Biden’s senatorial record is something that he is supposed to know how to defend in such a close race.
Sarah Palin – she may not have experience, but I would say that the McCain campaign did an outstanding job choosing her as a vice-presidential nominee. The reasons are:
- She’s a woman. Ohio is a key swing state that, to my knowledge, has never elected a woman for a federal office (President, Senator or Representative) or, to say the least, it hasn’t done it for ages.
- Again: she’s a woman. Hillary Clinton is a woman, and Barack Obama still faces the challenge of uniting the Democratic Party’s electorate. Most of the Democratic Party’s aficionados that are either not going to vote for him or are hesitating are notably Hillary Clinton supporters. And let’s not forget that she had the greatest success in having white women voting for her.
- She is conservative to the extreme: pro-life, against gay rights. Republicans like such proud conservative women. Democrats argue that she is a woman that deprives herself of making choices because of her pro-life stands. That’s a reasonable reaction but it’s not enough.
- She is beautiful. With her outstanding beauty and charming childlike smile she turns the media’s attention to the Republican ticket.
- She’s governor. That gives the people the impression that the GOP ticket is more experienced in how to deal with executive power’s issues.
- She’s extremely popular in Alaska. Her approval rating is about 80%. Yes, Alaska’s population is small, and it is a red state but, as far as I know, she crushed the incumbent in the GOP primaries.
Nevertheless, like most Alaskan politicians, she’s involved in some scandals concerning oil. I don’t remember what scandals they were in particular but they surely are going to be used against her in debates and speeches by members of the Democratic Party. Here’s an interesting clip from Youtube:
The clip was added on July 31, 2008 by pundital and it clearly shows us her facing probe. Also, take a look at what she said after about 2:30 minutes: didn’t she say she didn’t know what the vice-president does?!? If I were from the Obama campaign, I would definitely take this clip into consideration.