McCain-Obama, and other match-ups

As I’ve expressed a number of times in the last few days — although it occurs to me it’s been on video or live TV mostly, and it’s past time I say it in writing if I haven’t already — my fondest wish for the fall is that John McCain will face Barack Obama. It would be a "no-lose proposition for the nation."

In fact, it would be the best choice of my adult lifetime. Yeah, I liked both Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford pretty much. And I had nothing particular against George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton in 92. But this would be the first time I was ever positively enthusiastic about either eventuality. As I’ve spoken about it in recent days, I’ve had to stop myself several times from referring to it as a "ticket," and remember to say "on the same BALLOT" instead.

As to which I’d prefer — well, I don’t know which I’d prefer. If I’m to be consistent with my constant thought of the past eight years, McCain is the man. Going into last week, I was pretty sure I still preferred him, Obama (AND Clinton) being so much less experienced. There is also his position on the war, which almost exactly matches my own.

But the excitement of the last few days has made me wonder about that. And if Obama wins the nomination — with the Super Tuesday odds still against him at this point — I’ll be even more pumped about his ability to lead us into a new kind of politics.

None of that will diminish my deep respect for McCain. But once my dream is realized — if both are nominees — I’ll be able to compare them more objectively than I can now. Now, I’m just rooting for both of them.

But if only ONE of them is nominated — say, we end up with Obama vs. Romney, or McCain vs. Clinton — that makes my own, personal preference for endorsement the easiest I’ve ever experienced. And I think it would be just as easy for the nation, because the two I prefer are the ONLY ones with appeal among independents and crossover voters.

Then, of course, if NEITHER is nominated… well, that would be what we’re used to, wouldn’t it: A bitter choice between bad and worse. Surely this country can do better than that, for once.

After what we’ve seen happen in South Carolina, my hope is higher than ever for a far better choice for the nation than we have seen in many decades.

16 thoughts on “McCain-Obama, and other match-ups

  1. bud

    … the two I prefer are the ONLY ones with appeal among independents and crossover voters.
    I don’t think McCain has all that much crossover appeal. I can’t imagine a real democrat voting for someone who suggests staying in Iraq for 100 years. And now that he’s flip-flopped on the Bush tax cuts and the immigration issue he would appear to have very little in common with a mainstream democratic voter. It boggles my mind how you can continue to ignore all the many, many, many negative attributes about John McCain. (Keating 5, Age, tax-cut flip-flopper, adulteror, laughs when U.S. Senator called a bitch, etc.). He was likeable enough in 2000 but during this election cycle he’s really become quite the pandering partisan.

  2. Richard L. Wolfe

    The real irony Brad would be if either one of them could get good legislation past their own party in Congress.

  3. JJ

    I am frankly stunned that a newspaper would so openly campaign for a candidate(s).
    Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised, but I would at least expect you to not cloak your biases as journalism.
    Part of what happens when you’re the only game in town, I suppose.

  4. Phillip

    It would have the potential to be the most issues-oriented, civil campaign for President in memory.
    But Brad, I’m afraid all this SC excitement has clouded your vision. Much as I would like to see that race happen, as of right now I’d still bet on a Hillary vs. Romney race.

  5. Lee Muller

    If the voters really want “change”, McCain’s 30 years as an insider bodes ill for him.
    Obama would quickly find out that he cannot pull of of Iraq, or tax the economy into recession.
    Wall Street is already selling off based on the Hillary-Obama scare.

  6. Jeff Mobley

    I respectfully disagree that a McCain – Obama matchup would be a “no-lose proposition.”
    While Obama does display an ability to inspire, to excite, and perhaps even to rise above traditional political bickering, the truth is that an Obama presidency would reverse the many incremental advancements the pro-life movement has seen in recent years. This damage would be done just as quickly by Obama as by Clinton or Edwards, as the president of NARAL gleefully acknowledges.
    This is the reason that, though I am a big Huckabee fan, I would joyfully cast a vote for either McCain or Romney against any of the Democrats.

  7. bud

    Obama would quickly find out that he cannot pull of of Iraq, or tax the economy into recession.
    I hate to tell you this Lee but Bush has already put the economy into a recession.
    … the truth is that an Obama presidency would reverse the many incremental advancements the pro-life movement has seen in recent years.
    Newsflash – The GOP is about as pro-death as any party currently in authority anywhere in the world. They are pro-death penalty, pro-war, anti-health care for poor children, pro-assualt rifle. The number of deaths under the GOP has soared since Bush took office.

  8. Lee Muller

    The economy is not in a recession, despite the best efforts of the Democrats and news media. But since Iraq is becoming such a success for Bush, the media has dropped coverage and switched to the lie they used against President Bush in 1992.
    Clinton gave us 3 recessions, the last one cured by a small tax cut by G.W. Bush in 2001.
    What we do have now is a stock market sell-off in anticipation of a Democrat or a big-tax Republican like McCain winning the election and causing another tax-induced recession. If they don’t win, the market will shoot up.
    Any Democrat who says they will withdraw troops from the Mideast is lying to gullible followers.

  9. Karen McLeod

    Brad, who is this ‘Lee’ person and where are his/her claims coming from. I see nothing (and i’ve looked) to back her up. The reason the economy’s tanking has to do with corporate greed in the areas of subprime lending and overall in the area of extreme deficit spending. (Question: do the Chinese actually own each and every one of us; and if not, why not?).

  10. Herb Brasher

    Why is it that when Lee posts a comment I have the image of a Mr.Potter sitting on his riches, gutting out the less privileged, and hoarding all he can for himself?
    An unfair image, I am sure, especially since I don’t know Lee personally, but it is hard to detect the least bit of compassion in anything he, or some others write. Why is it that so many people have to impute the worst motives to those they disagree with?
    Do they actually think they can convince thinking people by that sort of approach? It makes me want to quit thinking about the issues altogether, and vote the opposite direction out of spite.

  11. Steve Gordy

    I’m particularly interested in Lee’s assertion (which he’s made before) that “Clinton gave us 3 recessions.” What the Bush tax cuts gave us (combined with the Fed lowering interest rates to the lowest levels seen in a generation and an explosion of Federal spending) was a real estate asset bubble to replace the stock asset bubble.

  12. Lee Muller

    It is not my assertion that Clinton gave us 3 recessions – it is official. If you weren’t here during 1992 – 2000, the BEA and Federal Reserve have records.
    There was no recession under President Bush in 1992, contrary to the Clinton campaign and the media. The tax increase on the middle class which Clinton gave us in 1993 did bring a mild recession.
    Clinton went on a wild spending spree in 1996 as the economy briefly went into negative growth again.
    The next recession began in November of 2000, when growth went negative. The BEA did not pick it up until February, so the media blamed it on President Bush, who had just been sworn in 8 days before. Revisions by the BEA were not reported by the media.
    By the way, I am a degreed, consulting business economist, as well as an engineer, so I follow these things for a living.
    Contrary to Herb’s smear, I do have compassion. I feel sorry for the millions of people kept in poverty by charlatans like Obama and Clinton.

  13. bud

    Karen, don’t get too worked up about Lee. He’s a regular who frequently makes claims that are not supported by facts. He’s been debunked more times than a child’s furniture store. But it’s always fun when he makes a nonsensical claim. Here are the official starting and ending dates for the 10 post WW II recessions as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (year and quarter indicated):
    48(4) – 49(4) Truman
    53(3) – 54(2) Ike
    57(3) – 58(2) Ike
    60(1) – 60(4) Ike
    69(3) – 70(4) Nixon
    73(4) – 75(1) Nixon/Ford
    80(1) – 80(3) Carter
    81(3) – 82(3) Reagan
    90(2) – 91(1) Bush Sr.
    01(1) – 01(4) Clinton/Bush
    The Clinton/Bush recession was mostly due to the Dotcom bubble burst (lax regulation of this industry is cited as a contribitng factor) but a good case can be made that the Bush administration handled it badly with a poorly designed tax scheme that largely benefited the wealthy and had only a mild effect on increasing job growth. Indeed job growth has been sluggish throughout the second Bush years. I would maintain that for the working and middle-class we have had a 7 year recession with little good news concerning wage growth.
    The bottom line is this: Economic growth, such as it’s been, has largely benefited the wealthy during the Bush years. And now we face the very real possibility of a second Bush recession. To suggest, as Lee and others falsely do, that the Republicans are better stewards of our economy is simply not supportable with the facts.

  14. Lee Muller

    Claiming I “have been debunked” is as close as you’ll ever come. The BEA has the official recessions as 1993, 1996 and 2000.
    The bubble was caused by Clinton cutting the capital gains tax in half as payback to Robert Rubin’s friends who injected $20,000,000 into Clinton’s broke campaign. This was in 1993, hidden behind the smokescreen of huge tax increases on middle income workers.
    New companies held for several years received special treatment, so there were lots of IPOs which were cashed out in 1998 by the investment bankers. The suckers were left holding inflated shares of common stock.
    Rubin’s firm handled the refinancing of the national debt for Clinton, which would have been done under any President as rates fell. Rubin collected over $200,000,000 in bonuses when he left office as Secretary of the Treasury.

  15. bud

    Lee, I just looked at the BEA GDP figures and you are just simply wrong. We did not have recessions when you said we did.

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