Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Take my political challenge

Ok. There are a lot of people out there who would love to vote this coming election but do not know who to vote for. They are either on the fence or dislike both Obama and McCain. I've heard it from Dems, Reps, Northerners, Southerners. Too many undecided.

So I am asking all those who are politically educated to take my challenge and help out those who have a tough decision to make this coming election. Please give intelligent, well supported answers and please no mud slinging. Be nice. This is not a forum to spew your political views. It is a forum to share your opinion in a nice manner.

Also, if there is a question you would like me to present here please email me and I will consider it for inclusion.

Read Barack Obama's stand on the issues

Read John McCain's stand on the issues

** Indicates newly added questions since original post!

Presidential/VP candidates:


1. Give the top 3 reasons you are supporting your candidate.

2. Give the top 3 reasons you are not supporting the other candidate(s).

3. Do you think Obama made a good choice in selecting Biden as his running mate? Why/Why not? **

4. Do you think McCain made a good choice in selecting Palin as his running mate? Why/Why not? **

5. Do you think your candidate (if not listed above) made a good choice in selecting their running mate? Why/Why not? **

Answer the following questions about the candidates that do not involve their political platforms.

1. Does Obama's previous associations, friendships, etc. bother you? Why/Why Not?

2. Does Obama's name bother you? Why/Why Not?

3. Does it bother you that Obama is a black man? Why/Why Not?**

3. Does McCain's age bother you? Why/Why Not?

4. Does McCain's personality/character bother you? Why/Why Not?

5. Does Biden's personality/character bother you? Why/Why Not? **

6. Does the fact that Palin is a woman bother you? Why/Why Not? **

Please answer the following questions not specifically related to the candidates?

1. Do you think the media is focusing too much or too little time on a specific candidate or party? Or is the coverage fair and balanced in your opinion. Please explain.**

2. Do you feel the economy is strong or weak right not? Why/Why Not? **

3. Do you feel that the current state of affairs with the lending companies is a result of bad corporate management or the government's fault? Why/Why Not? **

4. Do you feel the government should step in and bail out these companies or stay out of the business matters? Why/Why Not? **

5. What are your top 3 issues this election? **

6. Do you feel the candidates are addressing your issues in their political campaigns? **

Thank you for taking the time to post your opinions and help others make informed decisions this coming election!

16 comments:

Krista said...

wow, this is the second time I've come back to see what others have said, and no one has taken the plunge. so I suppose that means I have to. sigh.

1. Give the top 3 reasons you are supporting your candidate.

First of all the big Obama magnet on the back of my car gives me away. I'm a Obama supporter and have been for well over a year. Since I read his book, The Audacity of Hope. And that's reason number one. HE GIVES ME HOPE. Reason number 2 - he seems smart and reasonable and gracious(these 3 things do not always go hand and hand) He speaks of working with those who don't agree with them. he runs campaigns with integrity. His book taught me a lot about how things work in Washington, without making me feel dumb. (that's sort of 3 reasons rolled into one, so I'll just call it a day on that question)

Top REASON I am not supporting McCain: I don't like his stand on the issues, from the war in Iraq to more drilling for oil in America and nearly everything inbetween, I disagree with him.

your other questions:
1 - obama's past associations don't bother me. He has spent time growing up outside of the states, and I think that can only serve him to have a wider perspective. He was loyal to a church that he saw as his home, and a pastor who served him in many ways, even if he didn't agree with everything he said. Again, I think this shows that Obama does not have to agree with every last thing you say or do to respect you. It's about dialogue, and that's the whole foundation of democracy. He didn't turn his back on someone at the first sign of trouble, that speaks to me about loyalty.

His name does not bother me in the slightest. It's a name. I'm glad he didn't change it. He shouldn't have to change it. It's his name. It was chosen before anyone had the negative associations they have now.

I am a bit concerned about McCain's age. He's old. Being the president is a tough job. I'm not saying that means he can't do it. But it does concern me.

About McCain's character: I'm frankly more worried about his stance on issues. I don't agree with him. I don't want him deciding important things about our country's future. I do believe he is a man who wants to serve our country. I just don't agree with what he thinks is best for it.

Bayou Belle said...

Thank you Krista for jumping in and getting this rolling. Would love to hear from others. Good to hear all sides, all opinions!

Leendaluu said...

It's about time someone phrased these questions and presented them in public. I'm going to cogitate on them a bit but I will answer them and then I plan on asking everyone I know the same questions.

Thanks.

Christine said...

This is an excellent challenge! And I'm thrilled to be the second to comment, and being from the other side of the equation.

1. Give the top 3 reasons you are supporting your candidate. The top 3 reasons I'm supporting McCain is because he's been in the military and a leader, and knows how to correctly handle the war on terror and will know how to get Bin Laden. He has a proven track record of reaching "across the isle" and worked with others of all political parties, even when his own party was against it. Lastly, the other issues that are important to me, such as homeschooling, gun owner rights, smaller government, McCain holds the same values as I do.

2. Give the top 3 reasons you are not supporting the other candidate.
Although Barrack Obama is a very great motivational speaker, his stance on all the issues are all the reasons I am against voting for him. He wants universal health care, but insists that taxes will not be raised. But does not say where the money is going to come from to pay for the health care. He can not admit that the war in Iraq has been war, because he was wrong about the surge. He has no experience in military rule, or running any form of government body. As idealistic as he is, and as nice as some of the things he stands for sound, the idealism is unrealistic, and more of the mdidle class will be paying for these "social" reforms and we will be weaker country in the long run.

1. Does Obama's previous associations, friendships, etc. bother you? Why/Why Not?
No, because who he hangs out with is his own business, even if I don't like their stance on anything. I question his judgement for continuing to stand by them, but I don't see how that reflects on his candacy. If there weren't excellent issue based arguments against him, I might take it as a reason, but the issues are really what bothers me.

2. Does Obama's name bother you? Why/Why Not?
Again, even if it did, which it does not bother me, but if it did, it would still make no difference in my decision because it is his stance on the issues that bother me, not his name or friends.

3. Does McCain's age bother you? Why/Why Not?
Definately not. Even if it was a concern, look at his mother! She's 96 and still in great health and has a sharp mind. He'll be kicking around long after his presidency is over.

4. Does McCain's personality/character bother you? Why/Why Not? Absolutely not! He's a strong leader, caring person, willing to say he was wrong, and willing to listen to the people and what they want. I don't believe the rumors that are abound on the blogosphere.

Thank you for holding this challenge and allowing a respectful and safe ground for people to come and learn about the different candidates!

nola said...

1. Give the top 3 reasons you are supporting your candidate.

-1. Obama's tax plan. I am a tax atty and I like that the income tax plan is even handed. I do have concerns abt the capital gains tax increase, but think he is in the right direction with the estate tax and other taxes.

-2. His foreign policy. He is clear that he wants us out of Iraq as soon as practicable. It continues to be my opinion that we should never have set foot in Iraq (that Bush was underhanded and had hidden agendas) and will do what he can to get us out. Further, I feel he will keep us out of other such foreign conflicts. And THAT will have the fringe benefit of saving a gazillion dollars.

-3. His position on civil liberties. We are first and foremost Americans, and that means something because of the rights we have. Bush has made a mockery of our rights these past 8 years and I have hope Obama will more to restore them and give them the protection they deserve.


2. Give the top 3 reasons you are not supporting the other candidate.

-1. McCain's foreign policy. He has an excellent military career. And that is fine. But I want our president's focus to be on the US and not wanting to get into other conflicts, which he has said in no uncertain terms that he will get us into.

-2. I have a complete and thorough lack of trust of the Republicans. Bush has lied so much, and even his election is called into question. And McCain votes with Bush 90% of the time. We need a change. And McCain ain't it. Just look at his tax plan--major reductions for the elite rich (top 1% ONE PERCENT!). That is just absurd.

-3. McCain stated today, the day Lehman Bros filed bankruptcy and our economy tanked even more, that our economy is strong. That kind of ignorance or denial is frightening.

Answer the following questions about the candidates that do not involve their political platforms.

1. Does Obama's previous associations, friendships, etc. bother you? Why/Why Not?

No. Overall, there is nothing worrisome about his associations. His pastor was a flake, but we all have opinions and mouths. And many of his associations are very positive. You have to look at the whole picture, and I see a decent guy.

2. Does Obama's name bother you? Why/Why Not?

No. No more than Trig or Bristol or the other crazy names Palin has named her kids.

3. Does McCain's age bother you? Why/Why Not?

No, expect if he wins and dies, Palin would be Pres. Scary.

4. Does McCain's personality/character bother you? Why/Why Not?

No. I think he's personable. Not "bothered" by his personality.

Bayou Belle said...

NOLA,

Would you mind giving a bit more of an explanation on this statement to educate us all since you are more of an expert in this area. Thanks!

"I do have concerns abt the capital gains tax increase, but think he is in the right direction with the estate tax and other taxes."

Nicole said...

Political Position: Feel I am middle of the road. Have voted republican for last two presidential and will again this year, but on local/state level have voted Dem, Rep, Inde.


1.Give the top 3 reasons you are supporting your candidate.

1.When I look to selecting a candidate I make character a #1 priority. I want to feel comfortable with the person representing us on an international. Although the president needs to take care of business nationally our role on an international level is very important.

2.I think McCain is more middle of the road which appeals to me. He also reaches across party lines. Reform (for me) is a strong platform right now. The general public is just sick and tired of the crap that is going on.

3.I am simply for less government involvement in business and lower taxes.

2. Give the top 3 reasons you are not supporting the other candidate(s)

1.There is something about Obama that scares me. He makes me uncomfortable. He seems angry and almost as if he has a chip on his shoulder.

2.I do not like his personal associations with terrorists, his minister, etc. That tells me a lot about a person. Again, going back to character.

3.I question how is going to pay for all these great plans he speaks of.

3. Do you think Obama made a good choice in selecting Baden as his running mate? Why/Why not? ** Yes, I think it helps him against McCain in that he has a long political career and is closer to McCain’s age so that negates all the negative thrown at Obama about lack of experience and helps those people who feel Obama is too young feel comfortable with him.


4. Do you think McCain made a good choice in selecting Palin as his running mate? Why/Why not? ** Yes, in fact, this choice has blown me away. I would love to have a woman up there at such a level but Hilary was not doing it for me. Hilary would have been an excellent leader, but her integrity (with me) was not strong and that bothered me. So far I am happy with the selection of Palin. Experience is important but at the P & VP level you are surrounded by so many experts that you will learn from them what you need to know. It is being able to make decisions and lead that is important. I think if Palin had to take McCain’s place as pres she would serve well.

Answer the following questions about the candidates that do not involve their political platforms.

1. Does Obama's previous associations, friendships, etc. bother you? Why/Why Not?
Yes, explained above.

2. Does Obama's name bother you? Why/Why Not? Yes and no. I don’t care what his name is, but I am sure the terrorists will think their day has come if he gets elected because in their eyes they have a muslim running our country now even if Obama isn’t one.

3. Does it bother you that Obama is a black man? Why/Why Not? Not at all. At this point I think America can handle a woman or a minority running our country.

3. Does McCain's age bother you? Why/Why Not? No.

4. Does McCain's personality/character bother you? Why/Why Not? It did at first – a lot- during primary debates, but as time has passed and I have learned more about him I feel he has very strong character.

5. Does Baden's personality/character bother you? Why/Why Not? ** No, I like him too.

6. Does the fact that Palin is a woman bother you? Why/Why Not? ** No, I love it!

Please answer the following questions not specifically related to the candidates?

1. Do you think the media is focusing too much or too little time on a specific candidate or party? Or is the coverage fair and balanced in your opinion. Please explain.** A little too much on Palin but I think that is more because people want to get to know her. Actually, I have been impressed how much more fairer CNN has been! Would love to see Obama on Fox News for an interview with Sean Hannity! Ya know, he might win some supporters in the middle if he took on that challenge. Not doing so make me wonder what he is hiding.

2. Do you feel the economy is strong or weak right not? Why/Why Not? ** Economy has had growth the last two quarters so technically it is not in a recession. However, the housing/mortgage market sucks. Housing, not in all areas. But it is scaring people and the media is making us think the world is going to end.

3. Do you feel that the current state of affairs with the lending companies is a result of bad corporate management or the government's fault? Why/Why Not? ** Corporate Mgmt. is my guess but I don’t understand enough about this issue to make an explanation why?

4. Do you feel the government should step in and bail out these companies or stay out of the business matters? Why/Why Not? ** Again, don’t know enough about this to make an educated statement. My guess would be no.

5. What are your top 3 issues this election? ** Regulation of health insurance, homeland security, taxes

6. Do you feel the candidates are addressing your issues in their political campaigns? ** On 2 yes, on health insurance – no.

nola said...

Here's Obama's own words abt the capital gains tax (ie, sales of stocks, etc.): "What I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. The top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year--$29 billion for 50 individuals. Those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That's not fair."

Now abt the federal estate tax when you die:

Obama would allow exemption of $3.5M per person ($7M per married couple) and tax amt over that at 45%.

McCain would allow exemption of $10M per person ($20M per married couple) and tax amt over that at 15%.

McCain is for the rich. Obama is for everyone else. McCain's income tax plan benefits the rich; Obama's benefits all but the uber rich.

Krista said...

lovin' the discussion.

but, um, it's Biden, not Baden.

I like Biden, and I like his stance on issues, although I may not think he was the smartest choice as a running mate. He clearly hasn't brought the same energy to Obama's campaign that Palin has brought to McCain. That said, I don't like Palin or what she stands for. She's a mom who got involved in government because she thought she could evoke change. I like that. But I don't care for her policies. She's a strong person of faith, and I have no problem with that, and do believe that faith does and SHOULD effect how you run your life and make choices, but there are aspects to her faith that scare me, and I think she has bought into the fundamentalist line that abortion and gay marriage are the two "faith issues" and has ignored what the bible has to say about caring for our creation, taking care of the poor, sharing our resources, and telling the truth.

I know that all campaigns, unfortunately, stretch the truth and use misspoken and out of context words of their opponents to their political advantage. But I am outraged by recent claims from the McCain/Palin campaign, and I think the media is right to be focusing A LOT right now about how much misinformation and lies are coming out from them. Palin was a media darling for a brief time, but now they are rightfully questioning her (or trying to, her lack of access is beyond frustrating!) and calling her out on her lies, such as the "Thanks, but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere" - that bridge that she fully supported until after it became a national disgrace.

And thank you, nola, for your comments about the Obama tax plan -one that will benefit the people who need it the most, not the wealthy. And yes, the "upper middle class" will take a hit. But why should they NOT take a hit at the expense of the poorer population. Why do they "deserve" a bigger piece of the pie. Lots of people work just as hard and make far less, those are the people who the Obama tax cuts can and will benefit. Who SHOULD benefit. And when they benefit, all of society benefits. Trickle down economics has obviously NOT WORKED. We need a new plan.

Bayou Belle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bayou Belle said...

I asked Nola to clarify a bit more on her Obama estate tax comments above. I thought they sounded a bit confusing. So here is her explanation:

Estate tax--Obama wants the tax to apply to more people (those that have $3.5M). McCain wants to all but eliminate the estate tax--his would apply to less people, yes (the uber rich--$10M), BUT the rate would be verrrry low to those verrry rich. So, in the end, McCain's plan is favoring the rich and Obama's is more fair.

I said Obama benefits all BUT the uber rich. I mean that Obama's tax plan is fairer all around, but the 1% richest pay more in income tax. With McCain, the uber rich would pay LESS in income and estate.

Bayou Belle said...

For those who may need further explanation, the estate tax is defined as "The estate tax in the United States is a tax imposed on the transfer of the "taxable estate" of a deceased person, whether such property is transferred via a will or according to the state laws of intestacy" according to Wikipedia.

To say that even simpler it is a tax on any money/assets that one holds when they die. It is taxed before being distributed to their heirs. (NOLA - please correct me on this if I am wrong)

So I have a new questions for all participating.

Do you think that it is fair that the government even have an estate tax at all? Essentially, do you think that they should be taxing ones wealth/assets that they have acquired throughout their lifetime?

Amy P @dotamy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
nola said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bayou Belle said...

This comment was sent to me privately via email and today I received permission back to post it on my blog:

"Nice job on this. Can you remember any time in our lives where people were so involved? I love it! We've even gotten the kids interested, especially Alec. He went to a rally with me during the primaries and got to meet President Clinton. He was thrilled! We're trying to show him all sides and teach him to respect all opinions, so I may have him read your blog to see some civil discourse in action. He sees a lot of nitwits on TV that cannot seem to 'be nice!' :)

Beth

jakesmomma said...

First let me say I think it's great to agree to disagree and I'm always open to hearing other smart womens comments.

1. Top reasons I support Obama.
a.Education: His commitment and understanding that education MUST be a priority so that we can compete globally. The $4k tax incentive which basically make the first $4k of college free. Our kids are far behind children in other countries and this hinders their/our ability to compete globally in the future.

b. His tax plan: If your making over $200K he's not for you but most of us aren't. People making under $200k will see a significant drop in their tax bills.

His plan to promote tax breaks as a reward to companies who keep their work here in the USA instead of going overseas.

C. Foreign policy ideas. He is for opening relations with countries we have refused to open dialog with because we don't want to legitimize their government. Pakistan is an example. Just because we don't like who's in power or agree with how they got their doesn't make them any less relavent. What if Russia, Germany or England stopped talking with the U.S. because they didn't agree with who we elect?

2. Why don't I support McCain?
a. More of the same, we need to try something really different because what we're doing hasn't worked for a while now and he's another 4 yrs of Bush in my opinion.

b. Taxes In general with McCain the more you make the greater your tax cut would be.

c. His contiued support of BIG BUSINESS.

3/4 Running mate choices
Obama did ok not my first choice by any means but ok.

McCain poor choice, I was thrilled he chose a woman but he could have chosen a more informed one. Palin lost me after I watched her Katie Couric interviews.

Candidates assoicates etc:
Yes Obama's name does bother me I wish it was Smith but it's not and he's the best candidate. The fact that he's black is not an issue for me. I don't vote by color/gender or party for that matter.

McCain's age is a factor because the office does take a great toll. Look at every president before election and when he leaves office and this is clear. It wouldn't be as much of an issue if I felt he had a more competent vp.

I don't have any negative feeling towards any candidates personality or character. I think McCain is a great man and good American he's just not the man for the job in my eyes. Palin being a woman is exciting to me. I'm thrilled woman are being given the opportunity to be VP something we couldn't even imagine a very short time ago. Again she's just not the right woman for the job in my opinion.

THE MEDIA: I think it depends on which network,magazine,newspaper you get your info from as to whether it's fair and balanced. Some are very slanted and I'm pretty unhappy in general with all of them "hyping" things for ratings.

The economy: A BIG MESS!
It is unfair that those of us who did pay our bills on time and spend within our means are being hurt by those who were irresponsible. I think it boils down to greed. Greed on lenders parts for loaning money to people who by any educated/knowledgeable persons standard would be unable to repay. Greed on people's part for wanting more more more and living well beyond what they make. The party is over and unfortunately we're all paying!

I would LOVE to see someone anyone come out and explain the "bailout" to us in a bullet point format.

Finally I think that neither candidate has done a good job of explaining how they will FUND their programs. OR how we will pay for the "bailout".

I do think it's a necessary evil because we're all losing $ in the market, credit is drying up for everyone, even those with good credit. The $ is just not available which only further slows our economy. Home values are slipping because of bank seizures.