It’s now August and we’re less than 100 days from the election. Surprise! Since my last comments Obama has changed his positions on several issues and is sounding more like McCain than McCain does. I guess on a positive note he hasn’t had to apologize for any more whacko preacher friends. A little disturbing news came out this morning with Obama claiming that "he doesn’t look like the other Presidents on the dollar bill" which is being touted as his having played the race card.
Obama recently toured Iraq and announced that he would establish a timeframe for U.S. withdrawal in agreement with the Maliki government there. Iraq has largely been stabilized now (for which Bush will get no credit, either for the regime change, the elimination of a potential nuclear terror state, or for persistence in pursuing the Surge strategy which paid the current dividend) and while McCain would see a continuing U.S. Military presence there ala Korea, Germany et al it is possible the Iraqi government will not choose this to be in their best interests. McCain has shown no indication he would move ahead against the wishes of the Iraqis so in my mind that makes his position and Obama’s very similar.
The economy is still tanking, although July has been a better month; however, I am concerned about the go forward strategies of both candidates. Obama appeals to me because he’s talking eliminating personal income taxes at certain levels which would benefit me greatly. Beyond that, however, neither candidate seems to have a strong go forward strategy. My instincts are that whatever gas price reduction we receive through normal market forces, we ought to maintain price stability at a high level through federal taxation and invest all such funds in alternative energy research. I think this is the way we finally get the oil monkey off our backs. I’ve heard nothing from either candidate indicating such a move.
Net net is I am still on the fence. I am tired of Obama’ Change theme by now which really has been overplayed and lacks substance. McCain is about as charasmatic as a mastadon but at this point at least he has the track record over Obama who would definitely be a ‘learn as you earn’ kind of guy with, I am convinced, a lot of baggage he’ll be carrying in with him.
Still no VP picks yet on either side. Probably a good thing as selection now would diffuse even further the lack of substantive discussion of real issues. Keep tuned.