The phrase “Obama hasn’t closed the deal” is one that is long threadbare. We are treated to it on a weekly basis by the media and the pundits who, almost gleefully, report that Obama hasn’t “closed the deal” yet in the various and sundry “polls” that are conducted to determine “who” will be our next President. Anyone who has ever taken a poll knows that sometimes bias is built-in to provide only certain ways to answer the questions. Sometimes, those answers you are “allowed” to choose from don’t adequately reflect how a person might evaluate the question and their answer. I’ve participated many times in polls where I had to check “don’t know” or “unsure” because of the way a question is worded.
On that premise, let’s more accurately look at this “closing the deal” tripe that we are bombarded with. First, let’s examine the images that are being presented to us of the candidates: John McCain, the older, wealthy white man, born a child of privilege to a high-ranking Navy officer and his wife in Panama (which was under American control at the time). McCain also lived in various “exotic” locales during his childhood, yet we hear nothing about that. Then, McCain decided he wanted to go the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Since his father was a high-ranking Navy officer it’s naive to ignore the fact that didn’t help McCain get into the Academy. McCain graduated near the bottom (within the last five) of his nearly 900 member graduating class (is this ringing any bells a la Bush and the Texas Air National Guard?). Unlike Bush, McCain did, indeed, serve in a “war” that was never officially declared by Congress. McCain was shot down over North Vietnam, and, according to one report, ignored an “incoming missile alert” that led to his being shot down.
He was held at the Hanoi Hilton, along with many other naval pilots and assorted other military branch POWs. There is no doubt that life at the Hanoi Hilton was not easy and there is also no doubt that our POWs were tortured. McCain gets credit for that. The best of us, under those circumstances, would most likely break psychologically, too.
Eventually, McCain, along with most of our other POWs was released and repatriated back to our country. McCain has said himself that he didn’t really appreciate America until he was taken prisoner – and no one has disputed the depth or validity of his “loyalty and patriotism” – but remember that Michelle Obama echoed a similar sentiment and was practically crucified for it by the media and the pundits.
Fast forward: McCain begins an adulterous affair with the younger and very wealthy Cindy Hensley. He divorces his wife and marries Cindy. Her family helped bankroll his entry onto the national political scene. Shortly after first being elected to serve as a US Representative, he became entangled in the Keating Five scandal. As it also happens, Keating was an associate of Cindy McCain’s father, and helped bankroll McCain’s campaign. Can we say the word “political corruption?” Of course, after McCain was caught with his fingers in the cookie jar, he “regretted” what he had done because it “didn’t look right.” Sounds familiar again, doesn’t it? The ones who get caught “regret” their actions but they choose NOT to apologize to the people whose trust they have betrayed.
Over the years, McCain carefully cultivated the image of his being a maverick and not the stereotypical white Republican male politician. McCain is frequently referred to as being an honorable man with a great sense of humor – oh yes, the humor that prompted him to compare Chelsea Clinton to a dog, whose mother was Hillary and father Janet Reno. The humor that told a joke about a women being raped by a gorilla and wondering where that “fabulous ape” was, the man who spontaneously sang a song about “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran”, called his current wife a trollop and a c*nt, and most recently, offered her up as a contestant in the Ms. Buffalo Chip contest at Sturgis, SD.
This man, we are told, is a foreign policy expert yet doesn’t know the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslim, doesn’t know (or forgot) that the USSR broke up more than a decade ago, and thinks that Pakistan and Iraq share a common border. Some may disagree but these things do matter considering each of them is on the radar right now as sticky and dangerous foreign policy matters. McCain either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or shoots from lip (meaning he speaks without thinking). Thinking before speaking is a very important quality for a good leader to have. It means they will not make rash or brash decisions.
There is, quite simply, a litany of rash and brash statements that McCain and/or his campaign have made over the past several months (besides those mentioned above): 1) McCain demanding Congress reconvene during their annual summer recess to vote on the “Drill Here, Drill Now” campaign championed by the Neopublicrats/Corporate Oil industry while he, himself, McCain has been absent from nearly EVERY Senate vote since this past April; McCain’s stating his “position” on something and a day or so later, McCain’s campaign saying “Ignore him. John McCain doesn’t speak for HIS campaign? What in the world is THAT supposed to mean? McCain doesn’t speak for his own positions or for his own campaign? 2) McCain’s campaign giving out tire gauges and billing them as “Obama’s Energy Plan.” This act, of course, discounts the fact that this has long been accepted conventional wisdom in the automotive industry – namely that proper tire pressure does increase mileage, thus SAVING us gas and dollars at the pump. NASCAR even recommends it. The overall point here is that McCain mocked a concept based in accuracy but it wasn’t the whole of Obama’s Energy Plan – it was a step that we can take to get more for our ever-shrinking buck. In fact, after this suggestion came out, service stations reported more people coming in and asking for assistance in making sure their tires are properly inflated. The beauty of it is that it’s something very simple and easy that each of with a motor vehicle CAN do.
Granted, some of these things seem minor, but what it all means, when put together into a larger picture, should send up giant red flags in the mind of any person who thinks critically and is looking for a leader who will be creative and innovative when dealing with more important issues. If a person, such as McCain cannot effectively deal with small issues in a positive way, then tell us how he can be trusted to act maturely and responsibly as a leader handling much larger issues and questions with far more serious implications and consequences?
Can we really trust a man who appears to despise – amongst others, females as a whole and non-Caucasians as a whole? The world is much bigger and more accessible than it was when I grew up as a baby boomer. I’m an “old-timer” who remembers when a real-live telephone operator was at the other end of the line asking, “Number, please” and the evolution to dial telephones. There were no computers in schools when I attended but we now have computers and hand-held phones. In fact, our entire way of life and the world could not function in this day and age without computers – we could not send rockets out into the vast stellar regions of our Cosmos, we would not have digital imaging that has revolutionized medical care, our cars wouldn’t work; we would not have “SMART” bombs and we most certainly would not have the modern weapons and protective systems we now have for our military – yet, McCain claims to know NOTHING about the simple operation of a basic personal home computer. That should scare the bejeezus out of all of us.
The larger question contained here is: If McCain, is the hotshot the media and pundits keep proclaiming him to be, WHY hasn’t McCain closed the deal by now? He should have all the advantages that the young upstart, 40-years plus, Barack Obama doesn’t have. McCain: born to a privileged high-ranking Naval officer; legacy admission to a top US Military Academy; a wealthy younger wife; tons of “foreign policy” experience; and a man of honor. Obama, on the other hand, grew up as the son of a white woman from Kansas and a Kenyan sheepherder. He spent some of his formative years in Indonesia with a step-father who was Indonesian; he graduated from both Columbia University and Harvard Law School; taught Constitutional Law for 12 years (eight years as Senior Lecturer) at the University of Chicago Law School; and been a community activist on several fronts – voting rights, combating poverty, and improving educational opportunities for our young – amongst others.
Again, why hasn’t McCain closed the deal on Obama? According to the media and the pundits, McCain is the man who should be our President – but WHY is McCain still behind in the polls? The question really isn’t “Why isn’t Obama farther ahead?” The issue is that Obama is and always has been ahead of McCain. Therefore, the question should be asked “Why hasn’t McCain blown Obama out of the water? Why hasn’t McCain been able to close the deal?”
The question is an important one and I posit that one primary reason is that McCain is not fooling We, the People – the past eight years have been a painful object lesson in what phony politicians look, sound and act like. McCain hasn’t been able to close the deal because We, the People aren’t fooled while the media and the pundits still are, or refuse to look at the reality of the two candidates.
Like nearly everything else in life, it depends on your perspective.