Tuesday, September 2, 2008
US ELECTIONS - OBAMA v McCAIN/PALIN
Elizabeth Cordell, a New York resident originally from Bedford asked for my opinion on the surprise choice of Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, as John McCain's Vice Presidential running mate for the forthcoming November US Presidential Elections.
Sarah Palin is an amazing woman and mother of 5 who has had a meteoric rise from Mayor of a small Alaskan town to Governor of Alaska in December 2006 - a true 21st Century Superwoman! However her heavyweight political experience is thin and her right wing conservative views make the prospect of gun-toting Sarah "being the second most powerful person on the planet" slightly worrying, as John McCain is now 72 and vulnerable to ill health. Sarah may have the ability to be the Vice President but I cannot support her candidacy simply because of her gender.
John McCain is a war hero and an experienced politician but as a Republican he is closely associated with President George Bush who became unpopular over the Iraq War and many Americans are hungry for change. John McCain will now find it harder to attack Obama for his limited experience - 4 years as a Senator.
Barack Obama is a highly intelligent senator, lawyer, professor and a charismatic family man with powerful oratory and writing skills - at present I am reading his inspiring bestselling 2006 book 'The Audacity of Hope' discussing the importance of empathy and inclusiveness in politics and his hopes for change and a renewal of America's democracy.
During the Democratic battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama I was not swayed by gender and race issues, but I considered the candidates as individuals and found Barack Obama more appealing. Hillary Clinton seems cold and calculating, is strongly influenced by Bill Clinton who wants to return to the White House and did not give us a modern vision. She also expected to win just because she is a woman.
Barack Obama is very popular in Europe and would find it easier to build a stronger US relationship with Africa, Asia and the Middle East partly because of his mixed race and Kenyan father and his more international and conciliatory outlook on life.
Normally Conservatives support Republicans but today the boundaries are blurred between Republicans and Democrats, and the 3 main British political parties are increasingly fighting over the middle ground in the UK. I believe in a caring but pragmatic and modern Conservative philosophy and think that Barack Obama's ideas have much in common with David Cameron's modern Conservative Party ideals.
We are still a few weeks away from the November US Elections and 'a week is a long time in politics' - what are your views?