John McCain is beginning his campaign rallies with: “Do we want a President who will be tested? My friends, I have been tested many times and I have the scars to prove it.” Not so fast big shooter. Your scars are not very flattering.
Much like a sporting event, where people are tested on the court or on the field, the campaign process tests candidates. We are afforded the opportunity to measure the candidates perform in real time. The world is not put on hold during the election – but rather the world throws challenges to the candidates. McCain and Obama have been tested in this process. What have we found?
After capturing their respective party nominations the candidates faced their first real test – who would they choose for the Vice Presidential nominee? Each of these candidates believed they would be elected – both are confident men.
Given that reality Barack Obama chose long term Senator Joe Biden, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. There are no perfect people – but Obama chose a man with stature equal to any other in contemporary American politics. Should something awful happen to Obama the steady hand of Joe Biden could step in to stabilize the world.
The reality also came home to John McCain. He chose first term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin – a pretty face. McCain claims she is the most qualified person in America to be the President of the United States. We can only take him at his word. This speaks to McCain’s judgment – and his concern for America. As all of the polls now show, the people do not believe she is qualified to be Vice President – let alone President. We belabor this point only because McCain likes to talk about his ability to take a test. More people in America are afraid of Palin than they are of George W. Bush.
Obama acted out of concern for the country. McCain acted out of who knows what – it surely was not in the interest of the country – and if he thought it was then that speaks to his understanding of the world.
After the Party Conventions McCain/Palin had the upper hand in the polls. How did Obama respond? Obama hammered home his policy positions on foreign and domestic policy. McCain grinned and shouted to the crowds, “How about that Sarah Palin? Isn’t she great?”
The economy collapsed and Obama took the lead in the polls. How did McCain respond? He first denied there was a problem “The fundamentals of the economy is sound” and the polls dropped. Then he suspended his campaign to “… go to Washington and fix things … ” – an erratic blunder. The polls dropped for McCain. McCain called Karl Rove and they implemented the slash and burn campaign we have witnessed the past four weeks.
Obama has remained calm and steady, acting with thoughtful deliberation. McCain is all over the map, chasing his loses like a compulsive gambler. Obama countered with punches to McCain’s gut. McCain was swinging hay makers. Wild. Disoriented. Frustrated. Desperate.
McCain stoked the flames of the cultural divide with insinuations Obama is the next closest thing to a terrorist, a Muslim, a racist, anti-Caucasian, anti-American, anti-military. All of this was designed to instill fear in the electorate. While Obama remained calm and deliberate, the loony flying monkeys of the far right rose up with hate and vengeance in their heart.
McCain, by his example, granted permission to anyone to use any tactic to destroy Obama. This is what McCain refers to as ‘leadership.’
This is the most important election in modern times. The outcome will determine the future of the world for the next fifty years. We have a duty to carefully weigh the test results of the respective campaigns. Which candidate speaks to unity? Which candidate speaks to division?
Obama belongs in the Color Guard.
McCain should peel potatoes in the kitchen. (but don’t give him any sharp instruments).