This November, we will elect our first Senator as president in 48 years. After securing enough delegates this week, Illinois Senator Barack Obama will be the Democratic Nominee. John McCain, the senior Senator from Arizona, wrapped up the Republican nomination months ago. America now has its two candidates. Who will win? I probably will unenthusiastically vote for McCain. I concede Obama could win, which would be worse in my view. Realisticly, the November general election looks like a toss up.
I believe these are two of the weakest candidates I can remember. Neither appeal to me at all. Both are disciples of big brother, and think the average American can not make a decision without the government.
Barack Obama is the weakest of the two. This is especially evident in his speeches. A great orator - maybe his only strength, the Illinois Senator gives a wonderful speech. Besides the endless mentions of the word "change," he is all style and no substance. The little meat he throws at his faithful is straight out of the liberal playbook. Make no mistake about it, Obama is a liberal. He walks in the same line former Democratic Nominees George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis did. All of those were labeled as liberal and lost in electoral landslides.
Republican John McCain is far from your average GOP Candidate which has won the white house 23 out of the last 37 elections since Lincoln first won the White House in 1860. The moderate does not appeal to the conservative base of the party which is needed for election as president. Conservatives have a bad taste in their mouths from McCain's positions on illegal immigration, global warming and campaign finance reform. They have accused the Arizona Senator of sleeping with the enemy by is 'maverick' actions of compromising on those issues with Liberal Democratic Senators. It is unknown how many will stray away from the McCain camp. I certainly don't expect them to vote for Obama. Conservatives would choose to stay home instead.
There are certain political winds that are blowing in each candidate's direction, and it will be up to Obama or McCain to take advantage of them. Most important on the voter's mind is how they feel at the time they cast their vote. The current state of economy leans in the Democrat Nominee's way. With the media telling us all about how hard the economy is, real or not, the perception of rough economic times goes against the current party in charge, the Republicans. Also going against the GOP is the Iraq War. This one issue could even out, given John McCain's record of military service and experience. Voters may want to trust the Arizona Senator more in managing Iraq.
Even though Obama can ride high on the waves of the prospects of a bad economy and anti war sentiment, he has some real chinks in his armor which can prevent him from winning in November. Voters really do not know him well, so there is a matter of trust with this young and politically inexperienced (compared to McCain's) nominee. The issue with Reverend Wright, his pastor of twenty years, weighs heavy on many minds. Two decades of association with this racist is troubling. This does not fair well for the average blue-collar, country loving voter. These are the citizens who usually elect the president.
Those hard working voters could be in John McCain's column come November. I don't think they are his yet, he will have to win them over. The Arizona Senator has said he wants to run a good, clean campaign. If this means that he will not attack his Democratic opponent and point out his flaws all the differences between them, he will surely lose. McCain only gains an advantage if he exposes Obama for what he is: A classic liberal. If he does, not only will the blue-collars cast their ballots for him, but he will probably capture most the conservative base, even though some may hold their nose and vote for the maverick knowing the Illinois Senator as chief executive would be worse.
This should be the Democrats year. With the woes of the Iraq War and the American media bashing George Bush every chance they get, Barack Obama should have a huge lead in the polls. He does not, again, that shows his weakness. Obama got a little bump this week, after wrapping up his nomination, and has a slight lead. John McCain has been able to separate himself from the President, Obama and the Democrats have been unable to put the scarlet letter of 'Bush clone' on the Arizona Senator.
Politically, the November election is light years away. Much can happen. As it stands now, Barack Obama and John McCain have an equal chance to be elected the 44th president of the United States. I believe this is McCain's election to win. If he campaigns hard and shows America how liberal Obama is, he wins. Possibly in a landslide. On the other hand, if the economy sours, the war continues to go bad, and McCain runs 'a never attack your opponent' campaign, Barack Obama will be the next president.