Senator John McCain, Barack Obama

A Handy Guide to the Presidential Debates

By —— Bio and Archives--September 29, 2008

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My daughter is one of those who are still making up their mind as to who to vote for in the Presidential Election.  I talked to her after the First Presidential Debate, and she was more confused than ever.  She told me that she and some girlfriends had watched the debate, and felt that it was a shame that both men couldn’t be President.  “I mean, I know they can’t, but it would be nice if they could.” 


When Rodney King famously asked “Why can’t we just get along?” he obviously didn’t know my daughter and her friends. 

At any rate, my daughter and her friends had a tough time deciding who was telling the truth.  Especially during the dialogue revolving around whether Henry Kissinger said it was a swell idea to invite foreign psychopaths to the White House.  (Just for the record, Henry does not think it’s a swell idea).  The point here, is that these debates can often be confusing to the uninitiated.

And the post-debate “expert” analysis shows on TV are not much help in clearing things up.  Depending on what channel you listened to, and who was speaking; either McCain wiped the floor with Obama, or Obamba kicked McCain’s butt.  And truth be told, the debate was a pretty evenly matched affair.  McCain scored some points, but Obama.did too. 

For the benefit of my daughter, and other Independent voters who are still making up their minds, or were confused by the issues raised in the First Debate: I have made up an impartial list.  This list compares some of the differences between the two candidates, and can serve as a helpful guide in the remaining debates.  In no particular order, differences to watch for include:

Obama is a politician; McCain is a statesman. 
Obama has book knowledge; McCain has real-world experience.
Obama is a Democratic apparachik; McCain is a Republican maverick.
Obama has intellect; McCain has wisdom. 
Obama has studied maps; McCain has traveled the globe. 
Obama has charisma; McCain has character. 
Obama has talked of change; McCain has worked for change.
Obama has excelled at running for office; McCain has excelled at working in office
Obama wants more rules, regulations, and taxes; McCain wants less rules, regulations, and taxes. 
Obama serves his party; McCain serves his country – and has the scars to prove it. 

So there you go; a concise, clear, informative guide to this year’s election.  Let your conscience be your guide. 


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Jim ONeill -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Born June 4, 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Served in the U.S. Navy from 1970-1974 in both UDT-21 (Underwater Demolition Team) and SEAL Team Two.  Worked as a commercial diver in the waters off of Scotland, India, and the United States.  Worked overseas in the Merchant Marines.  While attending the University of South Florida as a journalism student in 1998 was presented with the “Carol Burnett/University of Hawaii AEJMC Research in Journalism Ethics Award,” 1st place undergraduate division.  (The annual contest was set up by Carol Burnett with money she won from successfully suing a national newspaper for libel).  Awarded US Army, US Navy, South African, and Russian jump wings.  Graduate of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School, 1970).  Member of Mensa, China Post #1, and lifetime member of the NRA and UDT/SEAL Association.

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