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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 113

US Elections: New Dialogue Set to Reverberate

By Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

Los Angeles, 24 July, ( US voters were treated to a new dialogue this week. It is bound to reverberate until the election judging by the way it has been framed. Barrack Obama started it this way: “we need to be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in." Prime Minister of Iraq endorsed the idea of US troops leaving Iraq in 16 months. John McCain not to be outdone said “it looks like Obama is ready to lose a war in order to win a campaign for president.” The "al-Maliki endorsement" greatly bolsters Obama's position. But the Republicans maintain that any time the inexperienced Obama enters the realm of Iraq policy he has entered into Sen. John McCain's area of expertise.

Said one commentator, this may be a case of whistling past the graveyard. Obama can now point out that there is a difference of only months between his proposal for withdrawal and that of Iraqi Prime Minister -Maliki. Obama runs the risk that he has changed from his strict and simple 16-month withdrawal plan, which was instrumental in defeating Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

McCain is hitting hard that Obama is not admitting that the Surge, which he opposed, is the reason that Iraq is secure enough for him to visit. Obama camp retorts that their candidate has known since the beginning of the campaign what was needed to bridge the Iraq demands of Democratic primary voters and general election voters: This is their trump card that withdrawal can be done honorably and safely. Obama’s success in Iraq may have prompted the McCain camp to allegedly leak the news that McCain would name his vice presidential candidate this week. It was a futile effort to downplay Obama’s success in Baghdad.

In contrast to Obama’s triumphal tour, McCain candidacy appears constricted and stale. Obama's is lovelier and effective. The McCain camp hopes that inherent public hesitancy about Obama's ability to be President in a dangerous world will persist until Election Day. Some believe that provided Obama makes no serious mistakes between now and November, he would sail through the "commander-in-chief threshold" well.

The domestic front also acquired a new framing of issues. The on-going housing crisis and sub-prime lending debacle prompted the Congress to intervene by giving a stimulus package and then introduce legislation to help those in need including some of the banks. Reagan years of tax cutting and deregulation may be over.

Much to the chagrin of the Republicans, Obama’s position on these matters seems to be gaining validity. The Republican strategy of self-reliance and smaller government principle-a hall mark of McCain’s campaign may suffer as a consequence. President Bush is striving to take control of the fiscal operation that would put a dent on what many conservatives call a direct hit against Republican principles.

We will see a new dialogue reverberating until the Election Day. Conservative corporatism, private entrepreneurship and free trade agreement are getting devalued due to the harsh economic climate with price of a gallon of oil going over $130 a barrel.

- Asian Tribune -

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