Tuesday, October 7, 2008


And you wonder why people are fed up by politics.

This campaign was supposed to be different. This was going to be the one about issues, conducted by two decent men who would present their respective platforms to the American people.

Instead, this is where we are, as described in today's New York Times by veteran political reporter Adam Nagourney:

"Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama entered their general election contest this summer denouncing American politics as trivial and negative, and vowing to run campaigns that would address the concerns of voters during a difficult time.

"But Mr. McCain made clear on Monday that he wanted to make the final month of the race a referendum on Mr. Obama’s character, background and leadership — a polite way of saying he intends to attack him on all fronts and create or reinforce doubts about him among as many voters as possible. And Mr. Obama’s campaign signaled that it would respond in kind, setting up an end game dominated by an invocation of events and characters from the lives of both candidates."

So we await tonight's debate, with most Americans wondering and worrying about the economy, hoping the men who seek the presidency will have answers. And we also still seek a solution to our presence in Iraq. That's another significant matter to most Americans.

But what are they talking about on the McCain side: Who are Obama's friends? What's up with his association with 1960s radical Bill Ayers? Is Obama not patriotic?

(Interesting how the McCain people denounced the Times' supposed lack of credibility when they perceived it to be pro-Obama in its coverage. Guess which paper had Obama-Ayers on the front page the other day? Heck, even Sarah Palin read it and ran with it!)

There are plenty of honest-to-goodness differences between Obama and McCain on important issues. Both campaigns would be doing us a favor if they stuck to them. With apologies to McCain, in this election cycle, make it "country first."

With a month to go before any Election Day, it's always easy to see which side is desperate. And when desperation sets in, it gets ugly and nobody emerges smelling sweet. That's where we are heading into tonight's debate. This was the year it wasn't supposed to be like this.
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