Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Democrats vs Republicans

In two months time, the world will know if the next U.S president will be white or black. Never in history has the United States been presented with such a choice in presidency. 42 presidents have sat in the White House and there has never been a dispute over the race. The race of the President had to be of the same colour as the White House. Never also in history has the U.S have to decide if the President will be a he or a she. 'He' was the gender prefix that was used to describe a president. Alas, although Hilary Clinton created '18 million cracks in the glass ceiling', this election is not going to be about Man vs Woman but White vs Black.

This coming November, Barack Obama could be the first black man to hold the highest political office in the U.S. He is up against a tough political fighter in the form of John McCain. At 72, McCain will be the oldest President to be ever elected into office. Americans don't care. The political reverberations have been tumultuous. Millions throughout the U.S tuned in to the Democrat conventions that were held last week, surpassing the record audience that was transfixed on the Olympics in Beijing. It is interesting to see how this political battle between McCain and Obama are drawing in citizens who were not even interested in voting in the past.

And McCain and Obama are not resting their laurels in making this political battle an entertaining one. After Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate, McCain reacted by choosing Sarah Palin, an unknown governor from Alaska.

Perhaps, it is important to reserve some space in this article to examine the choice of Palin in some length. To most political analysts, the move to appoint Palin as running mate is McCain's tactical move to draw the refugees from the ousted Hillary camp into his side. It is hard to find any other reasons to this move. Palin is an inexperience politician who is in charge of United States' most obscure state, Alaska. With a total population of just 640,000, Alaska has been regarded by most Americans as another country. In the cold, uninhibted regions of Alaska, my only impression of that place comes from the B grade flop, 30 Days of Night.

Little is know of Palin as well other than the fact that she likes to hunt, fish and eat mooseburgers. On the domestic front, Palin is pro anti-abortion. With five kids to prove her stance, she can definately win over conservative voters in the U.S. However, this stance seems to be her only draw factor. Her foreign policy credentials is suspect. She has hardly any knowledge on how to manage foreign relations, much less deal with the complexities of withdrawing troops from the Iraq war.

There has been speculation on the part of the media that should McCain collapse from ill health (a likely possibility since he is 72 and has survived four bouts of cancer), Palin is incapable of fulfilling the commander-in-chief role. And that will spell trouble for the world's sole superpower. On McCain's part, this political move to appoint Palin as his running mate can be seen as a selfish motive. McCain wants to show the Democrats that he still has the ability to singlehandedly chart the U.S political future. Furthermore, his appointment of Palin will also show that it will not be 'four more years of the same' because he has the audacity to go for the unknown which could prove to be his shrewdest move yet.

Democrats have of course responded with glee. The appointment of an obscure Alaskan governor will only boost the emergence of Obama as president. Obama did not seek personal glory in his appointment of his running mate. Instead, he has chosen to appoint Joe Biden to complement his fallacies. Obama's lack of vision in foreign policy can be complemented by Biden's vast foreign knowledge. This partnership could prove to be the most complete yet in this political battle.

Naturally, it is easy to see why everyone is so convinced that Obama will win this coming election. He is charismatic and eloquent. He resembles the face that the world wants. Not some bushwacking cowboy from Texas who is blinded by war. The world is weary of the U.S unilateral stance. They want someone in which they could count on to bring about radical changes to U.S foreign policy. And the world sees this possibility more in Obama than in McCain

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