Now that Sen. Barack Obama clearly will be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, facing Sen. John McCain in the November election, Americans can get down to examining the issues.
To date, the focus has been primarily on personalities — on image, not substance. We doubt that a majority of voters really have thought much about how the candidates stand on specific issues.
With five months left in the campaign leading up to November, there is plenty of time for Americans to reflect that Obama, while portraying himself as a moderate, offers nothing but ultra-liberal ideas of the type that have failed the nation in the past.
Thus far, Obama has been able to capitalize on his charisma. He has wooed and won many voters solely on the strength of that. He has faced few probing questions from the press or, for that matter, from Hillary Clinton, about policy. That may be because Obama and Clinton agree in principle on so many issues.
That honeymoon with the press and public is about to end, we hope. Critical issues — will Americans be safer under a President McCain or under Obama, for example — need to be addressed. The focus now needs to be on the candidates as leaders and policy makers, not as “personalities.”