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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    What Change?

    ‘Stand by because change is coming and real change is coming to Washington D.C. and we’re going to shake things up.’

    It sounds like a quote directly from Senator Barack Obama, giving a rousing speech to an endless sea of enthusiastic supporters at a stadium filled rally doesn’t it?

    Surprisingly it’s not. These words are actually those of Senator John McCain on the campaign trail from a video on cnn.com. Notice his newly adopted language. ‘Change?’ ‘Shaking things up?’ Haven’t these words been the campaign slogans of Senator Obama ever since he started on this long and arduous campaign trail months ago?

    From a non-partisan perspective, both Obama and McCain’s campaigns have strengths and weaknesses. As far as John McCain is concerned, his political ideology is often disagreeable, but I have to give him credit where it’s due. A month ago, I would have thought that he’d have thrown in the towel by now. Who can possibly compete with someone who draws the crowds and enthusiasm that Barack Obama does? I wrote last week about how John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for his vice presidential running mate was a risky move, and honestly, I didn’t think Americans would buy such a cheap ploy at creating the illusion of diversity and representation within the core of the Republican Party. But with McCain now leading Obama in various polls, it seems as if the seemingly brash decision to make Palin his running mate is bringing in unexpected levels of support. According to the Rasmussen daily tracking poll, as of Sunday, Sept. 14, McCain’s support has reached 50 percent, compared to Obama’s 47 percent, for a third straight day.

    McCain is playing his cards better than Doyle Brunson could ever dream to and the American people are buying it faster than they can fill their cars with price-dropping oil. Palin has energized the GOP base. McCain continues to avoid outlining any real details of how he plans to solve most of the issues the nation is facing. He also has also stolen Obama’s ‘change theme’ and spun it 180 degrees on its head, warping the idea into his own sour concoction of ‘real change’ via war and Washington experience. Well done, Mr. McCain.

    So how should Obama respond? First, he has got to help people get over the national obsession with Sarah Palin. She is George Bush in a dress and he needs to make people realize this truth. Secondly, he has to keep reminding the public about how despite McCain’s new ‘change’ rhetoric, he did vote alongside president Bush 90 percent of the time. Thirdly, Obama must make this campaign about the issues no matter how much the McCain camp dotes over, ‘pig-in-lipstick controversies.’

    It’s going to be an uphill battle for Obama. Despite the fact that he continues to outline his policies while McCain touts his admirable, if overplayed war record, Americans don’t seem to be getting the fact that at the end of the day even an election like this should be about the issues, and not the candidates. Obama should, for his campaign’s sake, call out McCain on his phony message and make this election about the issues. Meanwhile, McCain can continue doing what he’s been doing since the convention, like trying to convince Americans he knows something about the economy, and trying to foster party identity. It’s worked so far, winning more support from both independents and disgruntled Democrats, who is to say it won’t last until November 4?

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