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October 9, 2008

It’s not much of a headline, I know, but the truth is, I can’t think of anything else that better sums up my feelings toward the final days of the never-ending presidential campaign.

Since returning to the states a few months ago, I’ve reacquainted myself with my inner political junkie. For me, that means lots of NPR and, lately, MSNBC. (Yeah, I’ve got liberal tendencies. Shoot me.) While NPR does its best to remain as neutral as possible – in my humble opinion, at least – MSNBC makes no bones about its political leanings. And that’s fine with me. They’re up front about the fact that they’re supporting Obama, which I think is much more honest than FOX, which refuses to publicly admit that it’s a shill for the Republicans and McCain.

Still, whatever agendas the networks have, I don’t think they’re any worse than those of the candidates themselves. I’m voting for Obama and, generally, I like him. But, that doesn’t mean he’s perfect or that he’s run the world’s cleanest campaign for the presidency. I’m voting for him because I agree with his policies (for the most part) and, after watching the first two presidential debates, I believe he’s got the temperament necessary to make the tough decisions required by the leader of this thoroughly fucked up democracy we live in.

McCain, on the other hand, strikes me as the crotchety old man who has nothing better to do than sit on the front porch and yell at kids for playing ball on the South Lawn of the White House. In every appearance, he comes across a little angrier, a little meaner and, oftentimes, a little more out of touch with the realities of the real and political worlds around him. Who really cares if Obama may have worked with former 60s radical during his time as a community leader in Chicago? What does that have to do with the pressing issues of the day like the economy and the fact that the Dow keeps going down faster than a $3 hooker on the Vegas Strip?

McCain says this election is going to come down to character and, here I think he’s right. The problem for him, however, is that I think it’s his character – or lack of same – that’s going to cost him his shot at the prize he so desperately wants. If Johnny Boy wants people to believe that he’s qualified to be president, then he needs to start acting presidential. Stop picking fights over nothing “character” issues and address the issues of the day in a manner that seems calm, thoughtful and sane and, maybe – just maybe – people will listen. It certainly seems to be working for Obama who I think has done an amazing job of rising above the petty politics and name calling coming out of the McCain camp and keeping his eyes focused on the issues.

No, Obama isn’t perfect and he’s not going to fix everything that’s broken in this country overnight. But, given the state of the world we’re living in, I certainly think he’s the right man for the job right now. He’s got the conviction of his beliefs and strength of character that I think is missing in Washington right now, while McCain simply comes across like a caricature.

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