Wednesday 29 October 2008

She'll be Back

With less than a week to go until the 2008 US presidential election, the polls are currently pointing to a comfortable victory for Barack Obama over John McCain. The latest gap between the candidates is shown to be fairly large in view of the very close-run campaign thus far.

From the perspective of an outsider, it seems that Obama is not leading as much as McCain is trailing. Obama has played a safe game and made sure that he has not made any mistakes. His campaign appears to have been sure-footed and error-free without being startling in any respect. It seems that, instead of offering voters reasons to vote for him, he has offered them reasons why not to vote for his competitor.

From the external view, it appears as though factors beyond the control of the candidates will ultimately be the difference between them. The credit crunch and ensuing finanical crisis has damaged John McCain more than Barack Obama. It is my conclusion that this will probably be factor that gives Obama the White House ahead of McCain.

Each candidate's vice presidential running mate has made for some interesting analysis. In keeping with his "safe and steady" campaign, Obama selected Senator Joe Biden as his running mate. In truth, he has hardly been visable in the campaign coverage as the Democrats do all that they can to focus on Obama. In stark contrast, McCain chose Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. She has enjoyed a great deal of media coverage, not all positive. She has contributed to McCain's campaign remaining highly visible in the media at all times.

Despite the obvious disadvantages that she comes with and the mistakes that she has made, Sarah Palin has made a positive impression on me. I like her feisty style and determination to continue with her job to the best of her ability despite many trying to trip her up and find another negative headline to write about her. True, she is highly inexperienced on the national and international stage. True, her teenage daughter's pregnancy could not have come at a more inconvenient moment for he mother's vice-presidential hopes. True, it did not help her when it was revealed that she was spending $10,000 a month of campaign funds on her clothing and beauty treatments. But she has still provided the best entertainment and has been a breath of fresh air in an otherwise very boring campaign. Her name is today internationally recognised whereas 3 months ago, nobody beyond the borders of Alaska had heard of her.

Once the campaign has been fought and lost, I find it difficult to believe that Sarah Palin will simply retire to the Governor's residence in Anchorage and go back to what she used to do. I think that we will hear more from this interesting lady in the future, no matter what the outcome of the 2008 election will be. I think that she has it in her to go back to the drawing board and to evaluate her strengths and weaknesses in light of her experiences over the past few months. She may know little about international diplomacy today, but she has plenty of time to learn what she is lacking. After all, at only 44 years old, she could easily go through an extended learning process and still be running in an election 20 years from now.

I think that we will see a lot more of this lady and, who knows, she may even break the ultimate glass ceiling in the USA and be the first lady to occupy the Oval Office. Watch out for Sarah Palin - she'll be back!

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