Check out my previous blog and the comments. If you use the ranking feature you can see the top several arguments for voting for McCain versus Obama. I found it fascinating to see which arguments were most persuasive to the extra-smart readers of this blog.

Personally, I think neither McCain nor Obama meet the minimum requirements to be president. I think we're hosed either way. But I am inspired by your arguments to come up with my own best case for each candidate. First, McCain:

Argument for McCain

You've heard the saying, "Only Nixon could go to China." If not, here is some background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_in_China_(phrase)

Likewise, only McCain, the ultra-hawk, can make peace with Iran or North Korea or Cuba. No one could accuse him of being soft. If a hawk like McCain decides to make peace, it must be because peace is clearly the best option.

Likewise, only McCain could draw down troops in Iraq without it appearing to be a defeat. All he'd have to say is, "We'll be back tomorrow if needed," and it would seem credible. That promise wouldn't be credible coming from Obama. And the threat of return is the only thing that would make a withdrawal work.

McCain went hard to the right to get the nomination. And he appears to have been inconsistent on some issues just to get elected. That proves he is a practical guy who knows how to get the job done. Once elected, he could be expected to drift back to the middle, where things can be accomplished in this country. Even if you like more of Obama's plans compared to McCain's, only McCain could get the support from congress to get anything done. Obama will be stonewalled, especially when he tries to pay for his plans by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy. Even if you like that idea, it can't happen in this country because corporations and the wealthy control congress.

If you like any two ideas from McCain, and you like ten ideas from Obama, you're still better off voting for McCain because his two ideas can happen. Obama's ideas are too left to get the support needed.

Argument for Obama

McCain is simply too old to be trusted with his finger on the nuclear button. While it is entirely possible that one particular 70+ guy could defy the rules of aging and remain sharp, it is a fool's bet for voters when so much is on the line. He's clearly sharp enough today, but at that age, the drop will come quickly.

McCain supported the gas holiday over the objections of every economist. That proves he's either dishonest or willing to ignore experts, even when all of them are on the same side. Either explanation disqualifies McCain for the job of president.

Presidents don't have much impact on the economy. And as different as Obama and McCain seem on Iraq and Iran, they would end up in the same place: stuck in Iraq and talking tough with Iran but doing nothing. So you can discount the economy and foreign affairs in your voting calculation. Presidents make their biggest impact on how we feel. That was Reagan's gift and Kennedy's too. Obama makes people feel inspired and hopeful, and those things have a huge impact on the economy and even education. The very existence of an African-American president would change who we are as a country in a way that everyone agrees is positive.

If you agree that presidents have little power over economics, and both candidates will end up on the same place with international affairs, you have to decide between the inspiration of Obama and the senility of McCain. Those are the two most predictable elements.

And if you happen to be a social lefty, you need Obama to nominate the next few Supreme Court justices.


I reiterate that I don't think either man meets the minimum qualification I would like in a president. I just like the challenge of coming up with good arguments. How'd I do?

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Jun 12, 2008

Do you realise that your reasons for supporting McCain are "because McCain would be/do this", and your reasons for supporting Obama are "because McCain would NOT be/do this".

I think you've already made your choice as to who you support.....
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 11, 2008
Anybody who thinks that Obama doesn't understand economics or that he thinks the solution to everything is "more big government" needs to read the speech that he gave to Cooper Union in New York this past March:


Obama's speeches aren't just about pretty rhetoric and personal charisma. To make a speech like that one, you have to really understand history, economics, finance, and public policy. How could it possibly be a bad thing to have someone like that in the office of the President? A big part of the President's job is appointing the people who lead the regulatory bodies in the executive branch, such as EPA, FEMA, and the SCC. When you have a president who is guided by anti-regulation ideologies, you get the failures of the Bush administration. When you have a president who actually understands the complex issues behind different kinds of regulatory challenges, you're bound to get something much better.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 11, 2008
I have a long list of reasons, but already spent enough time explaining in detail in several blogs, but I just wanted to throw it out there...

I'm voting for Ron Paul even if I have to write his name in.

Youtube is a great resource to view speeches right from the source - then it's not just "some guy's opinion." Judge for yourself, but do it with an open mind. We don't need to just vote for one of the two mainstream candidates that the media puts in place for us.

Also, when it comes to youtube, check out the censorship. Obama's videos only allow strong supporting comments to be registered and they use bots to up the thumbs up counts. There are videos explaining how that works as well. It's a scam using a loophole in youtube. Feel free to compare those Obama support videos put out there by Obama versus other Obama support videos. The ones that aren't put out there by Obama's people actually have an open discussion and it's far, far less biased.

Don't follow the bias - educate yourself on all sides of the subject, then judge for yourself. If you're still supporting the same person, at least you have more real supporting reasons.
Jun 10, 2008
Interesting that your argument for Obama was simply anti McCain arguments coupled with the hope that he inspires - basically, his undeniable charisma. Is this a tacit admission of his lack of experience and ideas, form over substance?

I agree that both are probably unqualified.
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 10, 2008
This one came in after the wire - But The Best Argument for Obama is that Mccain would veto BEER...

The man wants to veto BEER!!!!!


"I will use the veto as needed. I will veto every single beer — bill with earmarks"

Oh sure he tried hiding it - but its out now...BEER!!!
Jun 10, 2008
Obama is the candiate of hope, yet your arguments for him are largely based around fear. There are better ones.

Obama is energetic, smart, well spoken, motivating, well liked abroad, and physically represents many aspects of the "American Dream". What better qualifications are there for a leader whose power is largely vested in symbolism, and the power to get people to listen?

In terms of the few concrete powers of the President, Obama has several quanifiable advantages. He will withdraw sooner from Iraq, saving lots of money, which could be put to far better use. He is less likely to wage further ill advised wars. Being an expert in law he is also more qualified to make sensible judicial apointments, and more likely to have a reasoned position on constitutional issues.

However, the most compelling reason for Obama is not any of that. The candidate doesn't matter as much as where his power comes from. In American politics power ultimately comes from money. Obama's money comes from ordinary people. So who's he going to look after?

-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 10, 2008
I am unpersuaded. I think the arguments you chose were based on what was important to you, but not necessarily what is universally good. It comes off as overly simplified, with really just one bullet for each candidate, both of which were weak. By reading the comments of your readers directly, however, I was far more persuaded by both sides. So maybe a loss in the summarization?
Jun 10, 2008
As an occasional observer from Germany, I really don´t get the talk about Obama being "left" and McCain being "right". From a strictly German point of view, Obama would be in the political middle-to-right and McCain would be so far out right, he would be spied upon from our three different intelligence services (MAD, BND and the Verfassungsschutz (Constitution Defense)) or would rather be the official Punching Ball of the German establishment.

Heck, we even have a party called "Republicans". And they are outlawed and forbidden because of their "right" views. Most of which would be considered moderate by most Americans. Living in a country calling itself "The Federal Republic of Germany" this seems somewhat ironic.

Jun 10, 2008
There is a huge difference between the comments for each.

The McCain comments seem to focus on his strengths and how he would make a good president.

The Obama comments seem to attach McCain and focus on how Obama is better because he is not McCain. The first two are prime examples.
The 3rd and 4th just say that having Obama in office would make us 'feel good'. Woopie!
The 5th one isn't even about Obama!

So who seems to be the real winner? I agree with Scott that it's like choosing the the best looking turd in the bowl, but his experiment has shown me some clear results.
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 10, 2008
Your arguement for McCain was mostly positive. Your arguement for Obama consisted largely of reasons not to vote for McCain, the only positive you could give was feelgood factor. As an uninvolved observer (i.e. British) you'd almost tempt me to vote for McCain, just because his spiel was more positive. Since, to a European, an American ultra-liberal looks middle-of-the road, and an American moderate conservative looks like a foaming-at-the-mouth far-right rottweiler, that's quite a turnaround in my thinking you almost achieved.

Is there really so little positive good you can say about Obama?
Jun 10, 2008
So, in other words, you're saying we are screwed. Again.

The only people qualified to run the country, would never want the position.
Jun 9, 2008
McCain moved hard right to get the nomination? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I realize Scott professes ignorance on political issues, but this takes the cake.
Jun 9, 2008
So, not content with having your readers build a house for you, you've now got them to build you a fence to sit on, eh?
Jun 9, 2008
while working for the federal government for 35 years[ 29 in washington,dc] i and my coworkers noticed that the less we did the better off the country was. so vote for neither; vote for someone who can't get anything done, like nader or barr.
Jun 9, 2008
The Obama argument is pretty weak as to why he would be the best candidate and really just concentrates on why McCain shouldn't be. It seems to be more to "anyone buy McCain".
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 9, 2008
First yahoo to get the F'n "remember me" button on your blog to work for more than 5 minutes will get my vote.

No room to flip flop around on this issue, just fix it so it works. Is that asking a lot?

Do you think they'll remember that in November?

I'll sure try to.

Jun 9, 2008
I really think the most important qualities for a president are just intelligence and an open mind. That means the policies you propose can change based on the best advice. It's how Bill Clinton broke with democrats by cutting social programs and balancing the budget, and how Bush set a course for Iraq and ignored any negative criticism. I feel that for the first time in a long time, both candidates are intelligent and open minded, so I'd disagree with Scott and say they are absolutely qualified.

Jun 9, 2008
First of all, could we slow this page down, way too fast for my taste.

It is interesting to me that in your analysis, the most compelling reason to vote for Obama is that he is not McCain. Nothing about his policies or the way he'll govern. Oh, and maybe that he is black. Neither is very compelling, but there are some compelling reasons to vote FOR McCain, if you agree with those reasons. I smell trouble for the Democratic Party in presidential politics this fall.

I too am troubled by both candidates, but I am sure it is way diferent than yous. Looks like we get Marxism and Marxism light no matter which way we go.
Jun 9, 2008
The way I read it is that we should vote for Obama because he's a left-wing Marxist and McCain's old. I beleive that almost everyone that likes Obama doesn't have a clue as to what his stance on anything is. I'm voting McCain because he is midde-of-the-road and has the most important qualifications for president - foreign policy strengths.
Jun 9, 2008
I disagree with you while agreeing with you.
I like your arguments for both candidates. While I support McCain, I wouldn't be overly upset to see Obama win. So I guess for me, both candidates have the minimum qualifications; actually I see a lot of good in both.

I hope you aren't using your "no qualified candidate" line to justify your lack of voting. Not voting for a candidate because you can imagine someone better is like not buying merchandise from a store because you can imagine a better item.
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