The candidates: Pros and cons

Obama paper

It’s not everyday a little ol’ paper like ours that has only 12 readers (recent inside joke) gets to cover a serious presidential candidate’s visit to our area. So yes, our paper actually enjoyed covering Barack Obama’s visit to Fayetteville Wednesday. Read reporter Gordon Anderson’s account of his day here.
North Carolina finds itself in a unique position this year, compared to election years past. It actually matters in the presidential race — at least the Democratic side, anyway — three months after the first ballot was cast in Iowa. By May 6, Obama and Hillary Clinton will be duking it out for N.C.’s delegates … which won’t really matter anyway, since it appears it’s the superdelegates the candidates care most about now. Good thing is … we’s gots those, too!
Obama made the first of what he said would be several visits to the state Wednesday, and Clinton (Bill, not Hillary) will be in Raleigh Friday. John McCain doesn’t necessarily need to stop by, since he has the GOP nomination wrapped up, but he may make a cameo in the coming months as well.
Some of you may think I’ve already made up my mind as to who I’m voting for in November, and if you think that, you’re wrong.
I’m one of those coveted “undecided voters,” and I will give each candidate a serious look come the fall. I won’t be voting in the Democratic primary this May, so my first presidential vote will be the big one.
Until that day comes, here’s what I think of each candidate so far (in alphabetical order). I’m by no means a political analyst (as you will see), but 99.9 percent of the country isn’t either. So there.

Hillary Clinton
Of the three, Hillary’s got the most experience in politics (if you count eight years as First Lady), is part of the biggest political machine in D.C. and has the biggest cojonés of the three candidates. She desperately needs a win in Pennsylvania (where she leads) and she needs a few more states so she can head into the pre-convention time period with momentum.
HIllary ClintonHer pros: Would make women proud to be country’s first female president; she gets an unfair label as a “bitch,” but this may actually be a benefit when dealing with leaders of other countries; terms as First Lady and New York senator I feel make her prepared to step in; communicates well with citizens
Her cons: Much of the country disagrees with her stance on health care and taxes; she’s not been consistent in votes for the Iraq War; she can come off as fake (Yankees cap, crying in interviews, hideous fake laugh); would not command respect of country’s armed forces (not because she’s a woman, but because of things she’s said about them in the past); Bill Clinton

John McCain
A month ago, John McCain was hated by conservative Republicans and the backlash against him was enough to make people like Mike Huckabee think they still had a chance. Fast forward to today, and those same conservatives who realize it’s either McCain or Obama/Clinton are singing a different tune. And if you really REALLY think about it, this guy’s a conservative. He’d make Republicans happy (listen up GOP, there will never be another Reagan, get over it).
John McCainPros: Would have strong presence in times of conflict (which is now) and would command respect of military because of his service; has separated himself from Bush on just enough issues to make him likeable for people put off by the last 8 years; his support of the surge in Iraq is making him look really good right now; would have stronger views against illegal immigration than his opponents, which many Americans like.
Cons: He’s a white male running against two potentially history-making candidates, one is black and one is a woman … people are ready for “change” and McCain, whether he likes it or not, represents the “old way” …; he is staying out of the public eye having wrapped up his nomination so early and people may forget he exists; he’s not nearly as charismatic as his opponents

Barack Obama
Yes, the people and the media seem to love him, but if he keeps losing the big states (New York, Texas, California, Ohio, potentially Pennsylvania), he’s not going to overcome Clinton, or at least it will be very difficult. Perhaps, though, Democrats should consider that since he’s won the historically ‘red’ states, he may be the guy with a better chance against McCain, since the blue states will go Democrat no matter who’s running. Just a thought.
Barack Obama Pros: Likeable, great speaker, charismatic, attractive and different … people like different this time around; whether or not you agree with his view on Iraq, you must respect that he’s kept this view even when it wasn’t popular; did I mention the media likes him?
Cons: The preacher, his former campaign chum and other littler things are hurting his credibility; he still manages to say a whole lot without giving specifics … though this changed a little with his Iraq speech; he’s being beaten up by Clinton and this will hurt him if he gets the nod and starts getting drilled again by McCain.

There, those are my thoughts. I’m intrigued by this race, and I’ll be watching it closely. The Herald will continue to publish Associated Press reports on all three candidates throughout the year, and as always, we welcome your thoughts whether they’re on this blog or in the form of a letter to the editor.

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4 thoughts on “The candidates: Pros and cons

  1. I think Obama embodies the unity we need in America. As I watched Obama’s speech on race in America I realized that the video I made just a few days ago had to be changed to highlight Obama’s message. He is truly our One Hope, fighting for One Dream to make One World…
    Check out this video, if you like it, pass it on.

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