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October 30, 2008

Its Your Choice Part 1

Bill Brosius

(Editor’s Note: Mr. Brosius did considerable research in compiling this comparison of the qualification of Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, and Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee for President of The United States. He read books by both men. He did not copy reporters, TV anchors, or .orgs. He is a former columnist for The Frederick News-Post).




Illinois Senator Barack Obama is a convincing, charming, silver-tongued man; few are better orators. He quickly gains the confidence of trusting people who cannot believe that he would obfuscate, and thus befuddle those who do not dig deeply into his jargon to clarify meaning.


Arizona Sen. John McCain, on the other hand, is direct, sometimes to the point of being blunt, without pretense. He takes pride in making sure his listener knows where he stands, without smoke and mirror effects.




Senator Obama has no executive experience; no military, National Guard or Reserve experience; never served in Afghanistan, Iraq, or anywhere; never ran a business or government; never allowed himself to be put in harm’s way. His only experience has been as a lecturer (not a tenured professor) on constitutional law for several years, and as a “community organizer” in inter-city Chicago for a short time.


Senator McCain, after Vietnam, was a captain; commander of the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy, thus gaining executive experience. (Battleships and aircraft carriers are commanded by Navy Captains, who exercise tremendous responsibility.) Under Captain McCain’s command the squadron won its first-ever Meritorious Unit Commendation. One does not get to be an officer in the armed forces without having extensive executive training, in how to command an organization, plot strategy and devise tactics. As he moves up, at every level an officer takes on additional executive duties. A captain in the Navy has been advanced to the sixth officer level, equaling a colonel in the Army. Senator McCain’s 17 military awards include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal for actions before, during and after his time as a POW.


Both Democrat Obama and Republican McCain headed up their presidential campaign organizations, no mean feat for either. Senator Obama proved to be able to attract more money, without being limited by accepting public funds, as Senator McCain did, to his disadvantage.




Senator Obama served as and Illinois state senator. He notoriously voted “Present” on controversial legislation, rather than commit to Yea or Nay. A U.S. Senator for less than one term, he was a subcommittee chairman, but held no meetings. He continued to frequently vote “present,” thus not being on record on one side or the other. He has introduced no significant legislation. He opposed the Iraq war, and the later “surge” action, and has favored unilateral withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.


Senator McCain is in his fourth term (21 years) as a U. S. senator and served two terms in the House of Representatives. He has served on the Senate Armed Service, Commerce, and Indian Affairs Committees, and the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. He co-sponsored the McCain-Feingold Act and has actively opposed “earmarks;” in his 21-year Senate career, he consistently opposed pork-barrel spending, and never asked for an earmark. He supported the War on Terror, and actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he criticized the conduct of the war in Iraq, calling early for what has become the successful “surge.” He proved to be right on Iraq; Senator Obama was wrong.




Honor and loyalty are words Senator Obama seldom uses; that rarely appear in his writings.


Senator McCain writes at length, and admiringly, about these two traits, particularly on the part of his father and grandfather. Invoking his honor kept him subject to torture in prison camp years longer than would have been the case if he had dishonored country, Navy and self.




Senator Obama refused to release his IQ test scores, SAT, and similar measures. A refusal to release such data indicates that there is something to hide. His IQ has been guesstimated at between 130 and 148, (Wikipedia). Some part of his score may result from Affirmative Action. No confirming data could be found.


Senator McCain had two IQ tests; the score on the first was 128 and the other was 133; no guesswork involved.




Senator Obamas wife, Michelle, is well educated, articulate, and presents herself well. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard. She and the senator have two daughters in private school. She works in “community outreach” for a hospital in Chicago. Living with a lot of racial anger, Michelle said early in the campaign: “For the first time in my life I am proud to be an American.”


Senator McCain’s wife, Cindy, is a charming, articulate, beautiful, woman, who has her own career as CEO of her large business. She holds a Masters’ in special education; is active in charitable works worldwide, and has organized several major projects, among them the removal of explosive mines from old battlefields.


On one charity-driven visit to an orphanage she came across an abandoned three-month old baby girl with a cleft palate. She brought the child back to the states, and had her infirmities surgically corrected. She and husband John adopted this little black Bangladeshi, who is now 14 years old. They have a daughter, Meghan, one son in the Naval Academy, another son in service in Iraq. Senator McCain and his first wife, apart for six years by reason of his Vietnam war service and imprisonment, were divorced after this extended separation. They remain friends.


Question: Which of these two women could measure up to or exceed Jackie Kennedy as First Lady in the White House?


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