Both candidates are running on a platform of change.  Ultimately, this speaks to most Americans.  Everyone wants…

  • to pay less taxes (although some feel others should pay more [inserted for attempted fairness])
  • live a free of fear from terrorists
  • be less dependent on foreign powers for energy
  • eliminate government corruption
  • feel the government represents their ideals and beliefs (or lack thereof)
  • a government that doesn’t dictate to the individual how to think or feel
  • a good job, healthcare and comfortable retirement
While we often disagree on the “how”, the overall “what” we want is pretty universal.  In other words, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  
Back to change… Change implies discontent with how things are.  Again, I think we can all get behind that.  To both candidates, it also seems to mean to get away from President Bush.  Since they both seem to agree on that point, it doesn’t make for good politics and we really don’t hear much about it.  So, the definition of change really comes back to the details and personal interpretation.
Change for me is a move away from partisan politics and a focus on government for (ALL) the people.  I want my senator or representative to represent me regardless of my political affiliation.  Same goes for my president.  I’m tired of the fighting, corruption and manipulation for personal gain and power.
Both candidates emphasize their bipartisan approach for change, but their records show a different take.
The Washington Times compared the number of bills both senators led or signed onto since Senator Obama joined in 2005.
…since 2005, Mr. McCain has led as chief sponsor of 82 bills, on which he had 120 Democratic co-sponsors out of 220 total, for an average of 55 percent. He worked with Democrats on 50 of his bills, and of those, 37 times Democrats outnumber Republicans as co-sponsors.
Mr. Obama, meanwhile, sponsored 120 bills, of which Republicans co-sponsored just 26, and on only five bills did Republicans outnumber Democrats. Mr. Obama gained 522 total Democratic co-sponsors but only 75 Republicans, for an average of 13 percent of his co-sponsors.
Additionally, the areas where Senator McCain broke from the Republican party on include climate change, out-of-control spending, torture,  campaign-finance overhaul, immigration, a patients’ bill of rights, gun control and tax cuts.  At the Saddleback Church forum on values, Senator Obama “said his major break with Democrats came on congressional ethics, when he sponsored a bill to curb meals and gifts from lobbyists”.
When asked for comments, Senators Dorgan, Kennedy and Feingold, top Democrats who co-sponsored bills with McCain, chose to not comment.  Senator Obama’s aid stated that Senator Lugar (R-Indiana) would back up the claims of bipartisan-ism.  Senator Lugar must not have gotten the memo.  His response was that he respects Obama, thinks he’s a good guy, passed a couple of meaningful pieces of legislation, but “hasn’t gone head-to-head against his leadership when it mattered: “Where have you seen him challenge the status quo?””
Many right-wing conservatives do not like McCain because they feel he gets along with the Democrats too well.  Obama’s only suggestion of “change” comes down to anything but Republican.  
I think it was in McCain’s RNC acceptance speech where he said he didn’t care where the good ideas came from.  That’s who I want leading my country… representing me.  Not someone who is going to disregard a large section of the population because they aren’t like him, believe what he believes or because his party told him to.
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