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’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.
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.