Monday, August 18, 2008

Election 2008: Obama Beats Bush...McCain Wins

For months, Barack Obama has been the self-identified candidate of "change". As for change, his entire campaign has been based on a "change" from the Bush Administration. A "change" in the war in Iraq. A "change" from tax cuts for the rich. A "change" from special interests like the big oil companies. A "change" from no child left behind. Good or bad...just "change"!

Now, Barack Obama finds himself running against a Republican, John McCain, who is "no George Bush". All of a sudden his message of "change" doesn't ring as true because McCain would also be a "change" from George Bush. McCain has always been the maverick who has bucked the Republicans and, all too often, sided with the Democrats. Unlike Bush, McCain is against lobbyists and special interest groups. He had a much different view on how to prosecute the Iraq War than did either Rumsfeld or Bush. He was against all torture when Bush/Rumsfeld believed in its limited effectiveness. McCain didn't want tax cuts unless their was a fiscally responsible adjustment in spending. Most recently, it has become all too obvious that McCain was extremely wary of Vladimir Putin while Bush was too buddy, buddy with the guy.

So what does Barack Obama do in order to keep his concept of "change" alive; as in a change from George W. Bush? His only choice is to try and equate John McCain with Bush. That's why we keep hearing his message that McCain is 4 more years of Bush or the 3rd Bush term. But, I don't think people are buying it and that's why Obama is slipping in the polls.

It was fine to use George Bush as the whipping boy during the Democratic Primaries. It worked. But, Obama isn't running against George Bush in the coming general election. He is running against John McCain and he hasn't shifted his campaign to address that fact. That's why I think that election 2008 will be known for Obama beating Bush (in the Primaries) and losing to McCain in the general election.

Image by openDemocracy's photostream on Flickr with Creative Commons Licensing. All rights retained. (Click to View Other Works).

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