After watching the "either or" negative ads the McCain campaign had ready depending what stand Obama took on a particular issue, I get a feeling the candidates are falling into a trap as well as are we the voters.
This is nothing new. Attack ads. What does seem to be new is that no matter what the opposition says, there is an attack ad at the ready. No wonder campaigns are so costly. Ads are being prepared that will never be used! When you look at the pleas for money and the kazillions of dollars the candidates get in response I wonder just how dumb are we? Paying for ads that will never be used.
Then there is the slippery slope of the candidates trying to be all things to all people. So far neither has been particularly successful. Obama still has trouble with the white, blue collar voter. McCain still has trouble remembering what he said to which group and gets crosswise with himself. To the point where a campaign spokesperson stated "McCain doesn't necessarily speak for the campaign." Figure that one out!
Never-the-less they have to try. Because we, the voters, are more one dimensional than not. Too many of us have our hot button issues and if the candidate isn't in camp with us we will not vote for him. No matter if that is the only issue with which we disagree. The best example of how this progresses, I think, is that during the primaries the candidates are further left or right of center than they are in the general. They have to appeal to the base so they say what they need to say. Once beyond those factional lines they have to broaden their appeal so it's a drift toward more centrist politics.
It's our fault. It's a good part of why, even at this stage of the game, we can't be completely sure where either candidate stands on anything. Or even if they do.
That's what worries me about Romney being anointed by the talking heads as the best Vice Presidential choice for McCain. Republicans didn't like him all that much in the primaries. Forget his Mormonism. It was more that his positions changed so dramatically from when he was Governor. He did what he felt he had to do. Do we have any better idea now what he stands for? The man who would be but a heartbeat away from the Presidency?
I'm not giving Obama a pass on this. He's just kept his preferences and their likelihood closer to the vest.
We, as voters, need to discipline ourselves to look at the all encompassing scope of the candidates' stand on issues and choose accordingly. If we insist on this "my way or the highway" mind set we'll end up with the highway. And you know what condition they're in these days!