Barack, John and 'Joe the Plumber'

I have been watching the US Presidential Race between Barack Obama and John McCain with much interest. To be honest I have a lot of disagreements with the way the USA generally handle themselves especially with their foreign policy. They don't do themselves any favours and whoever gets in will have a difficult road ahead especially with financial situation at the moment. Having said that it will be good to see Obama in though as he seems to have a plan and is certainly inspiring young american voters.

The final presidential debate yesterday made for some interesting viewing especially when they kept talking about Joe the Plumber! I initially thought like many people, 'who the hell is Joe the Plumber?'

Apparently Joe the Plumber is a small business owner who challenged Obama over his economic policy when he was campaigning in Ohio at the beginning of the week. His name has now become famous as unwitting symbol of the econonic situation in the US because of being mentioned so many times in the final presidential debate.

Barack and John went on to discuss the issue of negative advertising in both of their campaigns. Both of these guy have been have mudslinging at each other the last few months. I think it doesn't send out the right message generally to focus on the negative. The Americans need positive solutions from their presidential candidates not personal attacks on each other.

McCain choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate has also been the source of much debate. In my opinion I am pretty shocked that someone like her could rise to such a position of influence. She comes from Alaska and is known for her radical creationist views. I find it hard to take her seriously. Go American Soccer Mums! Yeah whatever...

One thing I will say about both Obama and McCain's campaign is their impressive use of new media and the internet to propel their campaigns. Both have used Facebook, YouTube and Blogs to very good effect to engage with especially younger voters. Our very own UK policians could learn a lot from this as they seem to be very slow in the uptake of new media. Number 10's YouTube channel is a start but doesn't seem to be getting many hits. It's a shame but I don't think British Politicians have the media savvy or 'Pzazz' of their American Counterparts.

Barack Obama is one of the most charismatic speakers I have ever seen. He seems to really engage his audience in their own language. If he got in it would of course be historic as he would be the first American president of African descent. He is even inspiring kids from the ghetto areas of the US which is amazing feat. Symbolically in the US and across the world (even here in the UK) his appointment would have massive affect and would mean a radical shift in thinking.

Also I know this may sound ageist but I would imagine the American presidential role to be very demanding if not one of the most demanding roles there is. It would probably be more suitable for someone in his forties.

Fingers crossed Obama gets in as we don't want another four years of a Bush-style Government throwing its weight around. A change we can believe in? We I'm sure Joe the Plumber will.