Tag Archives: John McCain

McCain, Obama: We are running out of time

by Momar Visaya/AJPress
NEW YORK CITY — Presidential hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama set aside politics Thursday and talked about pressing issues such as climate change, poverty, health and education at the Fourth Clinton Global Initiative Thursday, Sept. 25.

There was, however, one major problem that they united to discuss in greater detail: the country’s burgeoning financial crisis.

With an extreme sense of urgency, Sen, John McCain told attendees that America’s fi nancial woes are getting deeper and that time is running out.

“The times are too serious to put our campaign on hold, or to ignore the full range of issues that the next president will face. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and obviously we are running out of time,” McCain said, adding that he was set to go to Washington to meet with President George W. Bush and congressional leaders.

McCain opened the plenary session for the initiative’s annual meeting. Initially, the plenary was supposed to tackle integrated solutions on the global problems of water, food and energy but the focus shifted a bit because of the current fi nancial crisis.

“The world is having various problems but here in America, we have a crisis of our own that began in the fi nancial center of this city, not too far away from where we are today,” McCain said.

Sen. Barack Obama closed the plenary with a speech he delivered via satellite. He echoed McCain’s call for the immediate fi nding of solutions to solve this deepening problem.

“You are meeting at a time of great turmoil for the American economy. We are now confronted with a fi nancial crisis as serious as any we have faced since the Great Depression. Action must be taken to restore confi dence in our economy,” Obama said.

“It’s outrageous that we fi nd ourselves in a position where taxpayers must bear the burden for the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street and Washington. But we also know that a failure to act would have grave consequences for the jobs, and savings, and retirement of the American people,” he added.

Obama also called for the creation of an independent and bipartisan board “to provide oversight and accountability for how and where this money is spent at every step of the way” and it was imperative for both the Republicans and Democrats to come up with bipartisan efforts.

“Now is the time to come together, Democrats and Republicans, in the spirit of cooperation on behalf of the American people,” he said..

Obama also pushed for the ordinary citizens, the taxpayers, whom he said need to be treated as investors. “Americans must not pay a single dime to reward the same Wall Street CEOs whose greed and irresponsibility got us into this mess,” he added.

Obama likewise outlined his four commitments should he win in November. He said, he would seek to end all malaria deaths by 2015 and promised to seek an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. He also hopes to increase foreign aid to cut extreme poverty in half worldwide by 2015 and to establish a $2-billion global education fund to erase primary education gap in the developing world.

“Our dependence on oil and gas funds terror and tyranny; it has forced families to pay their wages at the pump; and it puts the future of our planet in peril. This is a security threat, an economic albatross, and a moral challenge of our time. The time to debate whether climate change is manmade has past—it’s time, fi nally, for America to lead,” Obama said.

McCain, accompanied by his wife Cindy and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, thanked Clinton for inviting them to attend the meeting.

“This man’s drive, and determination, and compassion for those in need are still a force for good in the world, and I am proud to call him a friend,” McCain said.

Clinton said that he was grateful to both presidential candidates for finding time to address the initiative’s participants.

He shared that Sen. Obama contacted both him and his wife for advice on the current crisis, “He didn’t just call me and Hillary and ask us what we thought. He had a conference call with the primary members of my economic team and we talked about what a mess we are in,” he said.

According to Clinton, Obama added, “Just tell me what you think it ought to do and do not waste any breath talking about what is – or is not – politically salable. Let’s fi gure out what the right thing to do is and then we’ll fi gure out how to sell it.”

After two days of policy and politics, the Clinton Global Initiative wrapped up Friday.

CGI is now in its fourth year and draws world leaders, celebrities, activists and scholars for three days of discussions about pressing global problems. It coincides with the General Assembly meeting taking place on the other side of town at the United Nations.  (www.asianjournal.com)

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The Making of a President: All Roads Lead to the White House

by Malou Liwanag-Aguilar/AJPress
It’s almost the last hurrah.

John McCain and Barack Obama, the men who would be President—well, one of them. After their knighthood at their respective party conventions and the November 4, 2008 elections, all roads lead to the White House, or it’s back to the old hometown.

On August 25 to 28, the Democratic National Convention (DNC) will return to Denver, Colorado, after a century. The first DNC in Denver in 1908 was the first convention by a major party in a western state, and was the first national political event to accredit women, with five credentialed as delegates or alternate delegates.

On the other side, an estimated 45,000 delegates, alternate delegates, party officials, volunteers, members of the media and convention guests will troop to the Grand Old Party’s (GOP) 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota on September 1 to 4.  It will also be the second time for the party to convene in Minneapolis, when the Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison in 1892.

Democrat or Republican?

As is usually the case, America’s eyes are set on the two major political parties in the US. In the upcoming 2008 US Elections, for the first time, two sitting senators will run against each other—Obama (Democratic) of Illinois and McCain (Republican) of Arizona.

These two major parties used to be one—the Democratic-Republican Party, formed in 1792 by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other influential opponents of the Federalists.  However, since the split of the Republic Party in the election of 1912, the Democratic Party has consistently positioned itself as the left of the Republican Party in economic as well as social matters.

In 2004, USA Today reported that the Democratic Party was the largest political party, with 72 million voters (42.6 percent of 169 million registered) claiming affiliation.  Also, since the 2006 midterm elections, it was the majority party for the 110th Congress, holding an outright majority in the House of Representatives as well as control.

In the early 1850s, the Republican Party was born from the hands of anti-slavery activists and individuals who believed that the government should grant western lands to settlers free of charge. With its first official meeting held on July 6, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan, the name “Republican” was chosen because it alluded to equality and reminded individuals of Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party. Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to win the White House.

Republicans ruled mostly during the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. The White House was in Republican hands under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George Bush.  During the last two Presidents’ terms, the US became the world’s only superpower, winning the Cold War from the old Soviet Union and releasing millions from Communist oppression.

JFK and the making of a president

Conventions, nominations and elections always create a certain drama and complexity in choosing a leader for a great nation. But perhaps one of the most interesting highlights through time was the election of the late John F. Kennedy.

Despite his youth, JFK was able to capture the Democratic nomination in 1960 at the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, and then went on to win one of the closest presidential races in US history. He won the nomination by getting a series of state primaries, overcoming the traditional assumption that a winning candidate must have the support of entrenched party leaders from states with large blocs of electoral votes. The Republican nominee, then Vice President Nixon, was older and more experienced, led in the polls after the national conventions.

But a series of televised debates, watched by an estimated 70 million Americans (about 2/3 of the electorate) gave JFK an edge. Although Nixon and JFK had appeared as equals, issues about experience and maturity seemed to fade from the campaign.  Studies would later show that of the 4 million voters who made up their minds as a result of the debates, 3 million voted for JFK.

JFK was elected president with a popular vote margin of 118,550 out of a total of nearly 69 million votes cast. He was the youngest elected president, the only Catholic and the first born in the 20th century.

In 1963, the world mourned his death after he was shot in Dallas, Texas while his car drove slowly past cheering crowds. JFK’s brief time in office stands out in people’s memories for his great leadership, personality and accomplishments.

On November 4, 2008, votes will again be cast. Once again, the fate of the United States and its people will depend on one person, one leader. Whoever it will be—a Democrat or Republican—the change he brings is hoped to deserve the nation’s votes and to become the springboard towards the country’s continued progress and a much improved economy. (With research from rnc.org, gop.com and demconvention.com.)


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