I am very fortunate. I am able to subscribe to XM radio and benefit from a variety of programming (almost all of it free of commercials). One of my newest favorites is XM 130. This is the POTUS (President of the United States) channel. And before the members of my Chomsky reading fan base chime in, it is NOT twenty-four seven playing of George Bush saying the word "nucular". It is a great collection of partisan news programs, non-partisan interviews and commentary from great folks in the thick of the campaign process. It's been on the air almost a year and covers candidate speeches unfiltered from start to finish. This channel, like sources such as www.factcheck.org, reflect the continuing evolution of real information politics. It was observed today that by the principal of a focus group company (www.mediacurves.com) that both candidate's negative ads are being viewed negatively by both sides. What is clear from the voting population is that they want to hear some substantive ideas from either candidate. This is something that neither side is delivering. Between Sarah Palin being pinned down by Katie Couric on John McCain's legislative record, to Joe Biden claiming he was "forced down" in a helicopter in Afghanistan, the candidates aren't giving the voters any meat for their political stew.
I have set myself solidly down in the McCain camp. There are many positive reasons and some negative ones. On the positive front, I think he will manage the economy better. He is an advocate for smaller government and revising our tax code to favor growth, innovation and investment. He is far superior in the realm of national security and his personal military experience (and yes, his captivity) give him a unique human perspective on the cost of conflict. Finally, he is decidedly out of the mainstream in his party with regard to social issues. Although he claims to be "pro-life" and touts in a 2007 statement that he will appoint conservative judges to the SCOTUS, his past record and actions contradict that. My sense is that once elected, he will simply walk away from these "distraction" issues and govern.
Senator Obama captures my attention for his ambition, skill and rhetoric. I am very concerned about his pedigree (Bill Ayers and the Annenberg Challenge specifically). I am deeply concerned about his position on guns. I do not think his financial plan for the nation is viable. As one of the "rich" taxpayers he is targeting, I think his approach to revenue generation is flatly socialist and at odds with the foundation of our nation's economic strength. He is also opposed to missile defense, the single biggest tool in our diplomatic arsenal. The mere suggestion that we would place units in Poland or Ukraine gained substantial attention from Russia. The ability to defend Japan or any of the Persian Gulf states from North Korea or Japan is critical to maintaining stability in the region.
I am not vitriolicly opposed to Obama, as many seem to be towards McCain. And I don't think that Obama's race makes a whit of difference (although I think that Hillary's did to the DNC). And so onward the race trundles. McCain's "put your money where your mouth is" move to delay the debate synched nicely with his "country first" message.