Anticipation of the 2008 Election

Anticipation of the 2008 Election

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Change Is Coming

November 4th, 2008 is the date of the election that could change the lives of all Americans. Barack Obama and John McCain both came to the podium with different promises on the issues that are tearing America apart. Whom do we turn to? Who will build us back up? The election will make a big difference in American policies.

John McCain, 2008 Republican, was born at Coco Solo Navel Air Station. He spent his childhood and adolescent years moving between Navel bases. He graduated in 1954, from a private boarding school. McCain soon followed in his fathers footsteps. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958. When the Vietnam War began, McCain volunteered for combat duty, and began flying carrier-based attack planes. On October 26, 1967 during his 23rd air mission, McCain’s plane was shot down during a bombing run over the North Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. He broke both his arms and one of his legs during the crash. McCain was taken to Hoa Loa Prison. His captors soon learned that McCain’s father was a high ranking officer in the navy. They offered McCain early release, but McCain refused, not breaking his military code. John McCain spent the next 5 years in various prison camps, where he was repeatedly beaten and tortured. McCain earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. 1981 is when John McCain retired from the Navy. John McCain was elected to political office, easily winning a seat in the House of Representatives. McCain also wrote “Fathers of My Fathers”, the story of his family’s military history. Now he is running President, and has goals for success.

Barack Obama, 2008 Democrat, was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, HI. Obama grew up herding goats with his father. Obama was reared among Muslims, but soon became an atheist. In the fifth grade Obama was enrolled at Punahou Academy, graduating with honors in 1979. He was one of three black students at his school. Obama struggle with his heritage, and the death of his father in 1982 put him in a depression. Obama admits to using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teen years. Obama graduated in 1983 from Columbia University with a degree in political science. In 1985 Barack Obama moved to Chicago where he worked as a “community organizer” with low income residents.

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Harvard Law School just made sense to Obama. He entered in 1988 and graduated in 1991. Obama was also elected the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama practiced as a civil rights lawyer. He also taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Obama helped organize Bill Clinton’s registration drives during his 1992 presidential campaign. Like McCain, Obama also published an autobiography in 1995, and was elected to the United States Senate from Illinois.

As I watch each candidate talk about how they are going to change major issues, I listen to how each one is completely different. Both believe change is needed, but both disagree on each others way to solve it. Being a 23-year old woman trying to join the Marines, the issue and the war in Iraq lay heavily on my mind. Who is going to bring our troops home? Who is going to send me on my first tour? Despite the improved situation, the Iraqi government has not stepped forward to lead Iraqi people to the political changes, which was the purpose of the surge. More than 1.75 million men and woman have served in Iraq, or Afghanistan. Military equipment is wearing nine times the normal rate due to the usage and harsh environment in Iraq. More than 4,000 Americans have died. More than 60,000 have been injured. The United States may spend up to 2.7 trillion on the war, and aftermath, yet we are still less safe around the globe and more divided at home.

“Fighting a war without end will not force the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. And fighting a war without end will not make American people safer. So when I am Commander-in- Chief, I will set a new goal on day one: I will end this war. Not because politics compels it, not because our troops cannot bear the burden, as heavy as it is. but because it is the right thing to do for our national security, and ultimately to make us safer!” These words brought Barack Obama’s followers to their feet. Obama believes we must be careful getting out of Iraq, as we where careless getting in. Obama states this will be a responsible and phased withdrawal. Obama believes we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq, at a pace of two brigades a month. That would remove our troops in 16 months. Under Obama’s plan a force will remain in Iraq, to conduct targeted counter terrorism missions. Unlike McCain, Obama will not build permanant bases in Iraq. Obama wants to continue efforts to train and support the Iraqi security forces. “The United States must apply pressure on the Iraqi government, to work towards real political accommodations.” Obama’s plan offers more than enough time, for Iraqi leaders to get their own house in order. Barack Obama opposed the war from the beginning. Can he fix the mess Bush created?

John McCain is taking the war in a different approach. “When Iraqi forces can safeguard their own country, American troops can return home.” McCain feels that if we bring the troops home, nothing will be solved and the terrorists will attack again. McCain’s plan is, “More progress.” The government must improve its ability to serve all Iraqis. “A key test for the Iraqi government will be finding jobs in the security services and the civilian sector.” McCain tells NBC on one of his interviews that getting the economy back on their feet is on the top of his list. John McCain’s action is simple - secure Iraq until they can stand on their feet as a Democratic government. Both McCain and Obama agree on one thing - bringing the troops home. Two very different candidates with two very different plans of action, with one question remaining: Whose plan will be best for our country?

“The only difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull is lipstick,” Sarah Palin stated at the Republican National Convention at St. Paul, Minnesota. Palin, the Republican candidate for Vice President, was born February 11, 1964 in Sand Point, Idaho. Her family moved to Alaska when she was three months old. Sarah Palin grew up in the small town of Wasilla, about forty miles north of Anchorage. After graduating from Wasilla High School in 1982, Palin wore the crown as Miss. Wasilla. She went to earn her bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987. Palin entered politics in 1992, winning a seat on the Wasilla City Council. Four years later Palin was elected mayor of Wasilla. On December 4, 2006 Sarah Palin made history when she was sworn in as first woman and youngest person to govern Alaska. While very popular, Palin is not without personal controversy. An independent investigator was hired by a legislative panel to look into whether Governor Palin abused her power, when she fired a Public Safety Commissioner. Was Palin angry at the commissioner for not firing an Alaskan trooper who went through a messy divorce and an ongoing custody battle with Palin’s sister? Palin retained a private attorney to represent her in the case. A ruling is expected October 10, 2008. Does Sarah Palin have what it takes to run this country? They say the Vice President is a heartbeat away from being the next President. With all the reporting on her family and her seventeen year old daughter being pregnant, will Sarah Palin have the time and the strength to uphold the duties as our Vice President?

Joe Biden, a veteran of more than three decades in the Senate and one of his party’s leading experts on international affairs, is the Vice President candidate of the Democrats. Biden formally accepted the Vice President nomination on August 27, 2008. “Together we can build America back up,” stated Biden. Joe Biden was born November 20, 1942 in Pennsylvania. At the age of ten his family moved to New Castle County Delaware. In 1965, Biden received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware. After graduating from law school, he retuned to work as a public defender. He quickly turned to politics, serving on the New Castle County Council from 1970-1972. Biden was also elected to the United States Senate in 1972 at the young age of twenty-nine. Biden is Delaware‘s longest serving senator. Joe Biden focused on foreign relations, criminal justice, and drug policies. Biden also has a personal stake on the outcome in Iraq. His son Beau, of the Army National Guard is scheduled to deploy to Iraq on October 3, 2008. Joe Biden has all the right characteristics and knowledge for being Vice President. There’s just one final question that stands: Can he run this country at the drop of a hat?

This could be a historic election either way we go. We will either have our first African American President, or our first female Vice President. I think this election is the most important election ever. America is mired in an economic slump that seems to be getting worse. Our nation is torn by policies imposed by the present Administration and we are fighting wars on two fronts that many Americans no longer support. The candidates promise to build us back up. They promise that change is coming. I just want to know who is going to put the hope back into Americans. We are the land of the free, but we seen many of our freedoms disappear in the last seven years. November 4, 2008 is the day that promised change is to come. Whom will you put your trust in? Who will make us proud to be Americans again?
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