Saturday, June 28, 2008

Race for the White House-6/28/08

The tenor of the Presidential campaign this week was largely consumed by a couple notable Supreme Court decisions, dealing with the controversial issues of the death penalty and guns.

On both decisions, the High Court split 5-4, with Anthony Kennedy as the deciding swing vote, and gave many ideologues from both sides of the spectrum something to be happy about and upset about. In one decision that struck down a Louisiana law which allowed for the excecution of convicted child rapists, both Presidential candidates expressed disagreement with the ruling, which seems curious considering Democrat Barack Obama's stated past opposition to the death penalty.

The biggest decision though involved the striking down of a ban on handgun ownership in the District of Columbia in a narrow ruling that seemed to confirm for the first time, the Constitutional right for individuals contained in the Second Amendment. Republican John McCain, and most conservatives were strongly in favor of the ruling, but the reaction of Obama also raised some eyebrows. Earlier in the campaign season, Obama had expressed a belief that the DC gun ban was constitutional but deliberately had tried to avoid commenting too deeply on his beliefs while the case was still pending. When the decision was handed down, Obama, in a carefully worded statement seemed to express support for the ruling, in spite of what he had previously said. McCain and many other Republicans were incredelous at what seems to be a major flip-flop on behalf of the Democrat candidate.

Otherwise this week, the candidates continued their back and forth via press conference, conference call, and press release. The issue of energy once again received much discussion with McCain unveiling what his supporters will say are innovative new plans to deal with the matter, but which many Democrats call "gimmickry."

The one big event took place yesterday in the aptly named town of Unity, New Hampshire, where Obama and his vanquished party rival Hillary Clinton joined together for the first official campaign appearance. The event appeared to go off without a hitch and likely looked good on television. Notably absent though from the made for tv lovefest was Clinton's husband Bill, the former President, who is said to still be furious with Obama. While his office this week released an extremely terse press release confirming his endorsement of Obama, it was most noticeable for just how cold it sounded. To add fuel to the fire, a British newspaper today claimed that former President Clinton is telling associates that the only way Obama can get on his good side for the sake of his campaign is to "kiss my ass."


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