Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain vs. Obama in a Crisis

Or, is Yosemite Sam our best option in a crisis?

Much has been made of Biden's remarks predicting an international crisis that would test Obama's mettle, and rightfully so. However, is one to assume that McCain would have handled an international crisis such as the Cuban Missile Crisis or 9/11 better than Obama? If so, based on what?

Based on how both candidates handled their campaigns amid the recent economic crisis it seems clear who appeared calm and level-headed and who appeared erratic and directionless. For some reason in my mind McCain came across as Yosemite Sam, ready to go somewhere, guns blazing and do something, anything without much forethought. Obama on the other hand came across as cool, collected and thoughtful.

Yes, I understand that McCain served his country with distinction and was a P.O.W. for years. However, that in and of itself does not dictate how he would handle a crisis such as the Cuban Missile Crisis for example. Remember, Kennedy went against is top military advisers and in doing so probably averted a nuclear exchange with the Soviets. Does anyone really believe that McCain would have disregarded the advice of top military brass? Remember, McCain was in agreement with W. on going into Iraq and still cannot admit it was a mistake to enter. Obama, admittedly on the outside looking in, pointed out that those responsible for 9/11 were in the Mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, not in Iraq and, was therefore against an Iraq war.

Does anyone believe that Obama would have told the American people to go out and, "shop," like W. did after 9/11? And if a severe economic downturn so confused McCain and his advisers what would a, God forbid, military or terrorist crisis scenario bring us from a McCain presidency? Again, if recent history has any lessons it would indicate that McCain would act erratically and take over a week to begin to appreciate the severity of the situation (the fundamentals of the economy were strong according McCain for more than week before he proclaimed that we were in the worse economic crisis since the Great Depression).

Moreover, the next president, which ever is elected, will not make decisions in a vacuum. Both will surround themselves with advisers. If this election and campaign are any indication of the company they would keep in the Oval Office then again, Obama's judgement would seem to be more sound. McCain in this campaign has surrounded himself with lobbyists and former Bush advisers. I think I'll take my chances with an Obama cabinet borrowing from the best of past administrations and injecting new blood.

But lastly, crisis management to a large extent involves having the thoughtfulness and temperament to make decisions in a stressful environment. Who would you rather have making those decision, should they need to be made, in the next four years? I wouldn't want it to be Yosemite Sam.

Side note: Palin and McCain camps start blaming each other?

Or again, ow, it hurts when you stab me in the back

The following story is leaked on purpose by "insiders" in the campaign. A McCain insider has called Palin a, "diva." A Palin friend said that McCain's advisers, "mishandled," Palin and her rollout. They're firing shots back and forth already. These leaks set up the postlogue to the election should the campaign fail to win. The postlogue will include why the campaign failed and where blame should be placed. If McCain/Palin lose this election I don't think that they'll be sharing Thanksgiving together. That the leaks and back stabbing between the McCain and Palin camps is happening before the election is telling.

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