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Barack Obama vs. John McCain

As the presidential primary race continues, clashes between the Democratic front-runner Senator Barrack Obama and the presumptive GOP nominee Senator John McCain become more intense. John Sidney McCain III is a senior United States Senator from Arizona and the presumptive Republican Party nominee for President of the United States in the upcoming 2008 election (McCain) while Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. is a junior United States Senator from Illinois and the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the 2008 U. S. presidential election (Obama).

Both candidates are going to make history after the 2008 presidential elections. Sen. Obama, who turns 47 in August, would be the first black U. S. president as well as one of the youngest while Sen. McCain, who turns 72 in August, would be the oldest person to take office as a first-term U. S. president. Obama, a former Illinois state legislator, was elected to the Senate in 2004, and McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot and prisoner of war in Vietnam, was elected to the Senate in 1986, after four years in the House of Representatives.

McCain has amassed a record of legislative achievement, including a landmark bill to tighten controls on campaign financing, a signature issue. He also helped lead the charge to normalize trade relations with former foe Vietnam. As a relative newcomer to the Senate, Obama has far shorter records of accomplishments although he helped lead a charge to tighten ethics rules in the scandal-hit Congress (Reuters). The Obama vs. McCain matchup would represent the largest age gap between major-party presidential candidates in American history.

The campaign would pit change vs. experience and fresh vs. tested. Obama’s public service record pales in comparison with McCain. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives in 2000, Obama won as a US senator during the 2004 elections. John McCain was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives from Arizona’s 1st congressional district in 1982. After serving two terms, he was elected to the U. S. Senate in 1986, winning reelection in 1992, 1998, and 2004.

While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain established a reputation as a political maverick for his willingness to disagree with his party on several key issues. The critical issues that are to be dealt with in the 2008 presidential elections are national security (crime, terrorism and war on Iraq) and the economy (taxation and international trade). When it comes to homeland security and dealing with crime and terrorists, McCain has an overwhelming advantage over Obama having been a key national security adviser of the Bush administration and being a war veteran himself.

If elected, Obama will immediately begin to remove the troops from Iraq with one to two combat brigades each month and have all of the combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months (Obama). To John McCain, this is all dangerous nonsense. Mr. McCain argues that withdrawing from Iraq would spell disaster for the Middle East and humiliation for America. He reckons that America needs to stay in Iraq and believes that a greater military commitment now is necessary if we are to achieve long- term success in Iraq.

America’s ultimate strategy is to give Iraqis the capabilities to govern and secure their own country. Until Iraqi forces are ready, however, a precipitous U. S. withdrawal would condemn Iraq to civil war and intervention by its neighbors and energize al Qaeda and other terrorists across the globe (McCain). On the faltering economy, neither man has any management experience. Neither Obama nor McCain is an economist or is known to have any personal ideas of economics. Nevertheless, they can do what Bill Clinton did, which is to employ the best available talent in the key positions.

McCain seems genuinely in favor of trade liberalization and the centre of gravity of the Republican Party is largely with him while Obama has a mixed record. He voted against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and has called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a bad deal. He says he would use the threat of pulling out of NAFTA to strengthen America’s hand in renegotiating it as president. His economic advisor got in a flap by allegedly telling Canadian diplomats in a private conversation that Mr.

Obama’s anti-trade talk was more political positioning than policy substance (The Economist). However, with regards to the global warming and climate change, McCain and Obama have backed efforts to aggressively address global warming and have criticized the Bush administration’s inaction. According to the The Economist’s April 15, 2008 weekly poll, voters appear to be aligned most closely with McCain on international trade, taxation, war in Iraq, crime and terrorism, budget deficit. Mr. Obama comes second on most issues, impressing only on fuel prices and health care.

Obama employs the soaring rhetoric of change and holds liberal views that have not been put to the test of experience while McCain has the lessons and scars of 20 years of fighting for change. Obama has a blank slate on foreign affairs and crisis management; McCain has been tested many times and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of foreign affairs and the key players in world politics. I would definitely support and vote for Senator McCain, because he has the experience, and the proven character, to fill the role of Commander-in-Chief of the only superpower in the world today.

Works Cited

McCain, John. “US Senator John McCain from Arizona”. McCain. 24 Apr 2008. 24 Apr 2008. <http://mccain. senate. gov/public/>. McCain, John. “Strategy for Victory in Iraq”. McCain. 24 Apr 2008. 24 Apr 2008. <http://www. johnmccain. com/Informing/Issues/fdeb03a7-30b0-4ece-8e34 4c7ea83f11d8. htm>. Obama, Barrack. “Foreign Policy”. Obama. 24 Apr 2008. 24 Apr 2008. <http://www. barackobama. com/issues/foreignpolicy/>. Obama, B Barrack. “Barrack Obama: US Senator from Illinois”. Obama. 24 Apr 2008. 24 Apr 2008.

< http://obama. senate. gov>. Reuters. “Factbox: McCain, Obama and Clinton”. Reuters. 22 Apr 2008. 22 Apr 2008. <http://www. reuters. com/news/globalcoverage/2008candidates>. The Economist. “Who leads on the issues? ” The Economist. 15 April 2008. 24 April 2008. <http://www. economist. com/daily/chartgallery/displaystory. cfm? story_id=11035582> The Economist. “Who wants to trade? ” The Economist. 14 April 2008. 24 April 2008. <http://www. economist. com/daily/news/displaystory. cfm? story_id=11039674&top_sto y=1>

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