The Character Issue

Apparently, John McCain says things that are demonstrably false, in this case about a link between thimerosal and autism. He certainly doesn’t appear to know very much about anything, but this seems to me to be a relatively minor gaffe, as long as he comes clean about it.

This report, that an Obama trade adviser has been reassuring Canada that the candidate isn’t actually as interested in revisiting NAFTA as he is implying on the campaign trail, is more of a concern. The Obama adviser denies the Canadian memo’s implication that the rhetoric is fixed without regard to policy. The next step is to compare Obama’s speeches to his policy positions. It’s also darn strange that folks in the Canadian government would think it a good idea to characterize the conversation that way, and distribute that memo widely— maybe Canada is in the tank for Hillary!

Daniel Larison has written that the Obama and McCain campaigns are “defined so completely by biography.” I don’t think that’s true; Obama has policy plans, while McCain does not. McCain’s ignorance won’t be stressed by the media, and doesn’t really affect his appeal. If Obama is shown to be talking out of both sides of his mouth, it will be covered more extensively, and could affect his reputation for setting out clear, sound policies.

UPDATE:  The initial story about the Obama memo came from the AP’s oft-criticized Nedra Pickler.  The plot thickens…

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3 Responses to “The Character Issue”

  1. Jesse Says:

    McCain doesn’t have a chance.
    Hillary is farther behind.
    Obama seems to be pulling quite strong.

    If the corporate media does actually cover the issues for once, it could hurt Obama to a certain degree. But McCain still has some hurdles to clear, and I am not sure that he has enough umph to do it. His baggage is just too heavy.

    I am happy people are becoming excited about being involved (Obama). It’s just unfortunate that the fires being lit only serve to reinforce the political Establishment. The people are being duped. If Obama raises hopes and doesn’t deliver…..Of course, even if he does “deliver” but the country is in dire straits because of some catastrphe, he can always fall back on his inspirational rhetoric to boost morale.

  2. Elvis Elvisberg Says:

    Well, Jesse, I disagree with your point that “If the corporate media does actually cover the issues for once, it could hurt Obama to a certain degree.” Because his views are (1) better thought out, (2) better informed, and (3) more popular than McCain’s.

    If you’re suggesting that Clinton might have an advantage over Obama on issues, then on Social Security and health insurance, you may be right.

    I agree that President Obama could see a country in dire fiscal straits.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. Jesse Says:

    Well, economically, we are in dire straits. It’s happening across the globe. I meant catastrophe in a military sense. Biochemical or nuclear perhaps? Hard to say at this point.

    I’m being bias. The corporate media won’t address certain issues. Neither will Obama.
    The US Government practices intervention. Obama will not challenge the status quo.
    So he may be popular, but he won’t change anything.

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