I was going to start this thread myself! Anyway, here come my random thoughts on the subject.
Eroschilles wrote:I have been following the U.S. Presidential election closely for the last year now, and I am glad with the outcome, but waiting to see what the new president will do. Curious as to what course the U.S. will take domestically and internationally. What campaign issues that Pres. Obama promised will be kept, which will be modified to better fit the nation, and which will be left at the door.
I followed the election very closely ever since the end of the Mid Terms in 06 and I thought that McCain would easily get the Republican nomination and Hillary Clinton would get the nod for the Democrats, with Obama as a possible VP. My how things change.
If Obama wants to win a second term he absolutely has to follow up on the promise of governing from the centre and to work with the Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives. If he doesn't the Republicans will use this failure to attack the Democrats during the 2010 Mid Terms and the 2012 General Election, thus ending the Democrats comeback prematurely.
One way I think he can try to work with and win over the Republicans is via deficit reduction; after all this is an issue the Republicans have championed, at least until recently. It's not exactly a secret that the US National Debt is - how do I put this? - MASSIVE; and if he wants to push his spending plans through he will have to make cuts elsewhere. By putting a prominent Republican in charge of cutting waste he a) appears bi-Partisan; and b) gives him more room for maneuvoring with regards to his aforementioned spending plans. To me, the perfect choice for this role would be none other than John McCain, who impressed me during the third(?) debate with his suggestions of cutting the budget (reducing military procurement costs was the one that stood out to me - granted because I work in purchasing!). Plus, he did get 46% (please correct me if I'm wrong) of the popular vote, so to me it makes sense.
Another way to govern from the centre would be to appoint some Republicans to his Cabinet, with Robert Gates being a highly touted choice given his success as Secretary Of Defence, or even Chuck Hagel as Secretary of State.
As for international affairs I doubt Obama will rollover like many conservative pundits think he will - doing so would cost him the Presidency. What does interest me, however, is how will he handle Iraq and Afghanistan, the Israel/Palestine conflict and the rise of a belligerent oil and gas empowered Russia and China. On this subject I find it hard to predict how his administration will act.
Eroschilles wrote:A year ago during the primaries I predicted amongst my friends that Obama would be the Democratic candidate and that McCain the Republican, and that McCain would be the next U.S. President. Obviously, I was wrong, and I could see the change in McCain within just one year. Which is why I clapped at his consession speach, because that was the McCain who I saw a year ago. I think McCain was a good Presidential candidate in my eye because he was moderate right instead of far right, which is why I wasn't too put off by Palin's super far right. However, as I watched the campaign trail and the debates, it seemed to me that he shifted farther right, and was not the candidate that I wanted anymore.
I also think that McCain was a good Presidential candidate - in the 2000 and 2007 primaries that is. Back then he seemed to be himself, a moderate/centrist Republican who would stand up to his own party who, IMO, could have won the White House had he stayed that course. Bizarrely, he eschewed the conventional wisdom of a Presidential Election of shoring up the base during the primaries and tacking to the centre during the General. Instead he won the nomination as a centrist and then ran to the right by picking Sarah Palin (after meeting her twice for roughly an hour each time) and taking completely contradictory stances to those he had previously held (abortion; taxes; immigration; etc). During election night John Bolton (former Ambassador to the UN) criticised a BBC reporter who mentioned this volte-face, claiming that McCain couldn't have won without his base; granted this is true, however you cannot win a general election (as Tuesday shows) by alienating moderates/centrists and independents.
Still, he gave a very good, touching concession speech which appeared to be the real John McCain, with his promise of trying to help President Obama being another reason why I think McCain would be suited to the deficit reduction task I outlined above.
Eroschilles wrote:So, I voted for Obama. His views on the issues impressed me more and seemed to be the better solution to our problems, but we will see in the future if that holds true.
Had I been able to vote I probably would've voted for Obama. Interestingly, if you pick up the latest issue of The Economist a poll they conducted shows how the rest of the world would've voted in this election - the map was overwhelmingly blue, which indicates that there might be a great deal of goodwill toward Obama.
Eroschilles wrote:And before anyone goes knocking on Obama for being a communist or socialist, I'm going to put out there that FDR (who is said to be one of the best U.S. Presidents by many) started us down any socialist path with Social Security, welfare, taking control of private businesses, and creating a massive amount of jobs with the government to pull out of the great depression. Also, Obama's plans aren't even socialist in my opinion. The point is, keep in mind the precedent that was set by previous presidents during economic instability, and how that was successful, eventhough those policies were at least socialist in appearance.
If you were to take Obama's policies to any die-hard socialist and describe them as such they'd be laughed at. I found it hilarious that John McCain was attacking Obama by saying he'd increase taxes when the opposite was true. What was even funnier was that some people believed him, yet didn't find his plan of giving $300 billion to people struggling to pay their mortgages the least bit socialist.
Obama's plan to invest in the US' infrastructure appears sensible to me at least, as it does to the likes of The Economist and The Financial Times who gave their endorsement to him. Other Random Musings From The 08 Election
- Is it me or does Mitt Romney look incredibly like Bruce Campbell from the Evil Dead films?
- Will Joe Biden be on the Democrat's ticket in 2012? Think about it this way, Dick Cheney didn't run in '08 because of his incredibly high unpopularity, age and health problems. Should Obama win in 2012 Biden would be the presumptive party nominee for 2016, at which point he would be very, very old and may be inclined not to run, leaving the field wide open again for 2016. Therefore, I think that in 2012 it'll be Hillary Clinton as the VP Selection - back to break the glass ceiling.
- Are the Republicans, who routinely criticize Democrats for being "Hollywood" (whatever that means), aware of the previous jobs that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan held? Seems a bit weird to me.