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The Issues of the Campaign (Websites)

McCain and Obama both list issues on their site in the form of a drop-down listing and an issues index page. I compare the two sites.

I was looking today at the two candidates’ websites, at their issues and noticed something odd. John McCain’s website puts education dead last on the issues page. So, I decided to compare it to Barack Obama’s website.


McCain Issue List
McCain Issue List

McCain’s site lists 12 items on its menu one of which links to the index of the issues (16 on the index page itself).  The disconnect between the menu and the index:

The page calls it Immigration, the list calls it Border Security

Judicial Philosophy, National Heritage, and Agricultural Policies don’t appear on the list but do appear on the index

Education is 6th on the list, but 16th on the index, way at the bottom.

The ordering of the issues can only reasonably be assumed to have something to do with his or his campaign’s priorities or the issues’ perceived impacts with the voters.  Putting education damned last with no rhyme or reason sends a clear message, which is oddly exactly what Obama has proclaimed of late: It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

McCain’s site has far fewer issues listed than Obama’s in the first place and I doubt he even knows what kinds of things would fall under a Women Issues heading.  He’s got a Human Dignity & Life or Sanctity of Life issues section (depending whether you consult the list or index; he’s got consistency issues as well).  But that doesn’t include things like equal pay or glass ceiling or day care in the workplace, for example.


Obama Issue List
Obama Issue List

His site mirrors the list on the index.  The issues are alphabetically listed.  The minor difference comes with the index page linking to a PDF on his policy at the top while the list places it at the bottom.  Also the list contains a link to Additional Issues that the index page does not.  Oh, and another minor difference: the index page leaves off Women.  Maybe that’s because the alphabetical listing would have put women at the bottom, but I’m not sure.

Obama’s only real flaw is, ahem, LEAVING OFF WOMEN.  Other than that the two are identical.  And alphabetical which justifies the order.  Women should be on the index page even if you have to rename them to Females to give them higher billing, dammit.

The Obama campaign is obviously more tactful and sensitive to making good choices about even minor details like the order of a list.  They understand that arbitrary ordering can only lead to people judging that order and the motives behind it.  They also understand that these issues aren’t one-off shots each standing on their own and that they effect each other and need addressing.  They’re taking a wider look at the world that the McCain camp probably dismisses quite readily, being from the truly elitest party.


Anyway, this has been a brief look at the issues list and issues index page for both the campaign websites.  Boiled down to a single-digit integer between 0 and 9 (from a pure design standpoint discounting the content of the issue items themselves) I’d give McCain’s list and index a 4 and Barack Obama’s a 7. is a good site. I recommend it.

I’m obviously interested in politics. Back in 2004 became a staple of any good political diet. In 2006, more coverage for the midterms. And now this past Primary season and on into the general election, it’s still rocking.

It wasn’t until this year that I found out the site is run by Andrew Tanenbaum. He wrote or co-wrote several of the texts for my classes over the past couple of years. It’s an inspiration to see what he’s done with that site. And just what has he done, you ask?

It’s data-heavy, but it’s still light enough to read. While he obviously has a liberal streak, he still does a good job of maintaining the truth. That, above all things, is the cardinal rule of gonzo journalism. You can have your opinion, but the moment you let your opinion influence your ability to tell a snark from a snipe, all is lost.

It’s in the interest of spreading that resource I’ve got the little banner over there. That and to help keep our eye on the prize, which is actually not to see Obama become the next president, and certainly not to see McCain become the next president. My goal for the 2008 United States Presidential Election is:

That both candidates electoral totals be prime numbers. At all costs.

17 521
29 509
47 491
59 479
71 467
89 449
107 431
137 401
149 389
179 359
191 347
227 311
257 281


Senator Clinton’s Mistake

Senator Hillary Clinton (D – New York) should admit her vote in 2002 authorizing the war was a mistake.

Senator Clinton (D – New York) is making a mistake. And her mistake is over an earlier mistake back in 2002 to vote to authorize the Iraq war.

Her mistake now is that she will not admit it was wrong. And there is not any amount of universal health that will change that it was wrong and that she is wrong for not admitting that.

To me, someone who cannot admit a mistake loses credibility. President Bush (R – Texas) is another lost soul who won’t admit his mistakes, and we’ve seen how incredible he has been as President.

People say, “She’s a politician, they don’t admit mistakes.” They try to whitewash it, that because of her position and her campaign motivations she can’t and somehow is absolved. Those people are wrong. John Edwards (D – South Carolina) admitted his vote was a mistake. Back in 2005 he wrote a column in the Washington Post about that. He may not be in the race anymore, but he didn’t sacrifice his integrity in a bid for the presidency.

Senator Clinton, please do what’s right and admit it was a mistake.