John McCain’s campaign for the office of president of the United States has been carefully thought out in order to attract the largest possible amount of voters. As in all campaigns, everything that the candidate has said and done has been screened and planned so as to not offend or scare off any potential voters. Because of the campaign’s thoughtfulness and attention to detail, the McCain campaign has been mostly successful up until this point.
Until now John McCain and his closest competitor for the Republican party nomination, George W.
Bush, have nearly been splitting support from party members, with a slight advantage toward Bush. Both candidates have been campaigning hard and the competition has been fierce, recently resulting in the negative advertising aimed toward the opponent that has become common place in American politics today. The campaign’s success at this point can only be based on the number of primaries and caucuses that McCain has won, and since it only includes a few states, time will serve as an increasingly better indicator of his success.
McCain and his advisors have incorporated many of the usual strategies into the campaign such as a large number of public appearances, speeches, debates, and advertising, but they have also included some new approaches which aim to attract voters. The campaign tries to highlight McCain’s history of service to his country by means of service in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war, and as a US Senator. The major ideology that is stressed is the fact that McCain puts his country first and does and will continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure it’s welfare. When asked why he is running for office, McCain sites three main reasons: To restore integrity to the office, To reform government, And to renew the American dream.
The presentation of John McCain’s high moral character is another strategy of his campaign, especially since many people are looking for a president who is completely honest and free from scandal. One of his best attributes, and one which really helps his campaign is McCain’s willingness to talk to the people and to the media. This openness helps him get media attention and improves his image in the minds of Americans who are looking for someone whom they can relate to take the office. An interesting strategy that McCain employs in his campaign is his attack on the “Religious Right” including the Christian Coalition.
For many years, republicans counted on this ultra-conservative group for votes, but McCain goes against the norm, calling the group un-American and divisive. By attacking this extreme right group, McCain loses many of their votes, but he gains many of the moderate republican votes, a group which is much larger. Here, McCain takes a risk by offending some, with the hope of gaining the votes of others. When it comes to his positions on major issues, McCain mostly conforms to the “Republican”viewpoint.
With regard to taxes, a major issue for most Americans, McCain believes that taxes are presently too high and that the tax code is in need of reform and simplification. His reform would include eliminating tax increases for married couples and increasing tax incentives to promote saving and investment. On Social Security, McCain believes that reform should protect funds for both present and future recipients and take control of the program out of the hands of Congress and the President who have misused funds in the past. McCain believes that the present education policies are robing the country’s children of their given right to learn because money is not being allocated properly.
He thinks that the local and state governments should be responsible for education funding because they know the needs of students better. McCain also supports school choice because he believes that the inherent competition is good for students, and that parents can send their children to a school which best meets their needs. On national security, McCain states that we have the best military in the world, but he also believes that we have a great amount of potential in that field as well. Better administration, decision making and advancements in military readiness will help prepare the country for national defense in the 21st century.
John McCain takes a pro-life position on abortion, a key topic in the eyes of many single issue voters. The pro-life viewpoint is the stance taken by most republicans, but McCain adds a small loophole which accepts abortion under certain circumstances such as rape, incest, or when the mother is in danger. This addition to his belief on abortion may help him win both voters and future support in congress. If the amount of money that a candidate earns through donations is an accurate indicator of his success, then John McCain is in trouble.
As of December 1999 McCain had only raised $15.6 million, while his closest competitor George W. Bush had acquired $67 million. Although Bush has a large advantage in the amount of money he can spend, the race is still close and does not yet reflect that difference in financing.
With McCain’s strong stance on issues and his lively and reform centered attitude he is sure to win his share of primaries. The present selection system favors candidates who can win the primary votes in the large states. Although this may not accurately reflect the opinions of the whole country, the present system is the best way of determining support for the candidate on a state to state level. In the larger states, where a greater number of votes are at stake, an advantage goes to the candidate who has more money to spend on advertising and campaigning, and who is vocal in supporting the local issues of that state.
The type of candidate who is at a disadvantage in the current system is someone who has little support to begin with, and cannot buy votes through any amount of advertising or campaigning. When it comes time to run for the Presidential election, not for the party nomination, the battle between candidates heats up. A good candidate must have a tough skin to shed off criticism and personal attacks from the media and from the other candidate. The candidate must now speak to audiences more confidently and present himself as a person who wants and can handle the power of being president.
If a candidate has the endurance to make it through the campaign process successfully, then they should be commended for that alone regardless of the final result in the election. 1. Internet http://www.mccain2000.
com2. Internet http://www.mccain2000.com/issues/qna/html3.
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