Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.
McCain hits pitch but Obama makes sale
You can make the case that Sen. John McCain won the presidential debate Friday on foreign policy, but if it is victory, it is hollow, as McCain was in something of the position of selling yesterday. His references to the bombing in Lebanon and Somalia and Kosovo showed he understands the history of foreign policy, but he appeared tethered to it when the nation clearly wants a new course.
Sen. Barack Obama made a change of direction — getting out of Iraq more quickly than McCain and focusing on Afghanistan and other incubators of terror — sound safe in his hands.
In the end, McCain was like a Buick salesman who did a better job pitching his car than the Toyota guy. Great on points, but we know who gets the sale.
“Obviously our foreign policy over the last eight years has not worked,” Obama said.
The Illinois Democrat showed a presidential command of foreign policy issues and went after his rival in a strong, respectful manner — a more Midwestern approach, if you will.
McCain flexed large foreign policy muscles, but he detracted from that with personal attacks on Obama, calling him naive and inexperienced. At times, the presidential debate at the University of Mississippi seemed like a contest between confidence in the form of Obama and arrogance itself with McCain.
It is a subtety not lost on Midwesterners.
Both candidates successfully articulated highly nuanced foreign policy positions, effortlessly getting the challenging names of world leaders correct (mostly), and weaving through complexities with no hiccups. No one lost the debate tonight as Obama, 47, showed the bearing for the Oval Office and McCain, 72, demonstrated sufficient vigor.
How will it play in the Iowa?
For those in Iowa looking for specific personal financial reasons to pick a candidate, McCain may be the only one who has provided us one — and it is not good for him in this state. McCain made it clear one of the casualties of the potential Wall Street bailout should be ethanol.
Supporting ethanol might be debatable on a national level, but it is N.I.M.B.Y. around here.
“I’d eliminate ethanol subsidies,” McCain said flatly. “I oppose ethanol subsidies.”
Those are likely deal-killing words for farmers and others in rural America who have made investments and business decisions based on ethanol.
Iowa’s ethanol industry has resulted in more than 47,000 new jobs in Iowa. Production of ethanol puts $1.7 billion into Iowa consumers’ pockets each year, according to the Iowa Corn Growers Association.
In neighboring Nebraska, ethanol is big business, too, and because the Cornhusker State bases three of its five electoral votes on how presidential candidates do in individual congressional districts, McCain’s ethanol blast only serves to help Obama’s already aggressive efforts in Omaha.
Candidates on offense
McCain had his strongest moments of the night in challenging Obama’s long-stated and controversial declaration that he’d meet with certain world leaders without preconditions.
Actually using the word “Holocaust,” McCain attempted to paint a picture of Obama sitting down with Hitler-like figures bent on Israel’s destruction. A mere meeting, McCain argues, confers legitimacy on thug rulers.
“It doesn’t mean we invite them over for tea,” Obama shot back.
Obama generally found success when he sought to connect McCain with George W. Bush, leaving the Arizona Republican with little but ridiculous deflectors. McCain went so far as to give himself different nicknames in the debate. First he said some people call him “sheriff” because of his alleged efforts to attack waste, fraud and abuse. I wonder what Charles Keating called McCain back in the 1980s? Sheriff — of Mayberry, maybe.
McCain then called himself a “maverick” as if plucking that word from his first life would save him in a second as he faced a withering assault on the links to Bush.
The Arizonan never adequately answered the charge that 90 percent of his political DNA comes from W.
“It’s well known I have not been elected Miss Congenialty,” McCain repeated.