Summer: 'flip-flop' time

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's shaping up to be a very strange presidential election campaign. The presumptive nominees of both parties, Senators McCain and Obama, are both making moves to appeal to a broader cross section of voters and both are being criticized for "flip-flopping" on issues.

Earlier this summer, Obama changed his mind about accepting public financing for his presidential bid, opting to go it alone. He had earlier pledged to accept public financing if his opponent would agree to the same. McCain had initially accepted public dollars, then opted out and is now back in.

Obama earlier this month announced his support for a continuation of an expansion of several faith-based initiates started by President Bush. McCain held a women-only town hall meeting in Wisconsin last week in a blatant effort to court supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Obama, who declared his family off-limits paraded them before an entertainment program last week.

Even though Tim Russert has passed away, the dry erase boards and potential "paths to victory" maps have already begun popping up. Iowa is among the states that are seen as being pivotal to either candidate winning the election this fall, so get ready for a lot of politics between now and November.

Also expect no shortage of pandering as each candidate seeks to offer quick solutions for our nation's problems. From what to do about the Iranian nuclear program to global warming to gasoline and food prices and mortgage problems, expect to see all sorts of "new" solutions to these issues. Nearly all of them will, we bet, include an expanded role for government as a centerpiece of the solution.

Now would be an excellent opportunity for President Bush to tie up some loose ends, like solving the current Medicare funding debacle that is affecting millions of senior citizens and their healthcare providers. If that's not his cup of tea, perhaps he could get serious about strengthening the dollar, which would bring immediate relief to nearly everyone suffering from high energy costs, bringing investments back out of oil speculation.

Well, it's just a thought. Or, he could just coast out of office and leave it all for McCain or Obama.

Enjoy your summer. The fall should be wild.