Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Decision 08: All Bark No Bite

On Friday I had to drive to OKC and back, then proceeded to get out of my car to immediately mow my yard… which means I had a ton of time to think. Right before my time to think, John McCain announced his decision to have Sarah Palin join his ticket for President of the United States. Unbeknownst to me, this would trigger about 5 solid hours of thinking about “Decision 08.”

Barak Obama has been talking about change. Change for this, change that, change, change, change, and why wouldn’t he? Of all of his change speeches, the one that sticks out the most to me was “Unite for Change,” his ploy to get Hillary Clinton’s supporters to unite with him in his bid for President… then he picked Senator Joe Biden, a rich white guy who has spent 35 years inside Washington, a man who represent the very thing Obama keeps saying he wants to change. What was he thinking with Biden? I know he is a safe pick, but if he wanted to really bring unity to his party, why not pick Hillary? Was it too obvious of a choice? Was it too much change all at once for him? I honestly do not understand his decision.

John McCain has been talking about change too, but instead of one speech after another on change, he has been throwing out his ideas on how to bring about change. While he has been identified as a “twin” of George W. Bush, he is actual disliked among the core of the Republican base because of his disagreements with The President. To add to his reputation, rumors had been flying that he was going to pick Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman as his Vice President, a thought that made his party’s base nauseous with discontent… then he picked Sarah Palin and shocked the world. Palin has the reputation of being a reformer/regulator. She is truly an outsider to Washington that will bring a fresh perspective and way of doing things to the Hill. She was not obvious, she is in fact the first woman ever to be nominated to a presidential ticket in the Republican Party, and she is clear challenge to the status quo.

For a man who talks about nothing but change, Obama’s most important decision thus far in his campaign looks like doing things the way things have always been done. McCain does not have the eloquence or rhetoric of his opponent, but he apparently does have the audacity to go against the way things have always been done. Where Obama was met with the opportunity to truly unite his party, he chose not to reach out to his former rival and spurned Hillary for the rich white guy. In contrast to Obama’s decision, McCain to reached out to women across America selecting a woman and to his own party by selecting a person who would truly unite his base.

I guess my point is that Obama seems to be all bark and no bite. My generation might have clung to his charisma and charm in the primaries, but we will not continue to follow along blindly as he continues to contradict his words by his actions. Honestly, McCain initially did nothing for me except make me wonder if the Republicans were this poor off with candidates, then on Friday he changed my mind. He made me believe that a 72 year old rich white guy could see more clearly than a young charismatic politician from Chicago. He made me view his experience as an opportunity to gain wisdom and see what the best decision for his country would be. In short, McCain won my respect and brought to light the difference between talk and action.

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