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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/13/12

Obama/Biden or Romney/Ryan, Does it really matter?

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Does it really matter that Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan to run as his #2 in November?

Traditionally, we Americans have been made to believe the choice for a vice presidential candidate was a big deal i.e. somebody to compliment the presidential nominee and garner additional votes, hopefully capture his state and others in the election and be a credible president if something dire happens to the president.

Back when the two main party's national conventions meant something and the eventual presidential nominee wasn't pre-ordained by the primaries, the nominee for vice president was often a rival in those primaries and chosen as a concession for his committed delegates to coalesce around and agree to support his opponent. Lyndon Johnson comes to mind in the Democrat's convention in 1960 when Kennedy chose Johnson as his running mate. Now the national conventions are nothing more than balloon dropping extravagances, meaningless afterthoughts of political puffery. The presidential candidate has long been decided in the party's primaries to vie against a sitting president, the other major party's unchallenged opponent.

Though the Republican Vice Presidential choice of Sarah Palin in 2008 caused a stir with questions about her competence to be president should a mid 70's John McCain become incapacitated, the harsh reality is, the presidential candidates and their running mates from either of the two main parties doesn't really matter who sits in the Oval Office. That's because the ultimate policy choices of endless war, unnecessary defense spending, the dominance of the big corporate and special interests influence over the electoral process and the political agenda in favor of those interests does NOT change regardless of which major party's candidates is elected.

Though Barack Obama was and is brighter and more eloquent than cowboy George W. Bush, the ultimate policy decisions of the two men differ slightly and in some cases have become worse.

Cases in point:

Drone warfare and missile strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia have grown substantially under Obama and what Bush initiated, getting secret Justice Department memos written giving "legal" cover for anything the president does but kept secret for reasons of national security (and therefore unchallenged), has become more pronounced since Obama came to power.

Tax cuts for the rich remain in place. Unemployment, foreclosures, student loan debt remain unacceptably high, while the big banks that needed to be broken up remain too big to fail. Meanwhile the financial industry skullduggery that became so pronounced during the Bush years has not been reined in with tough regulations under Obama which can only mean a new financial meltdown and severe economic dislocation will surely be in the offing in the not too distant future.

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