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2008 Presidential Campaign Case

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The race to the presidential nomination for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections has been intense.  This holds most true for the Democratic Party, whose candidates have been fighting neck to neck in the primaries. Both Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama are determined to emerge victorious in their journey to the White House.  However, as the two articles to be discussed will show, the road to victory is not without struggles.

            The first article is written by Tim Padgett for Time Magazine, and was published on May 19th of this year.  Entitled “Obama Tries to Make Up With Florida,” Padgett discusses Senator Obama’s estrangement with the Sunshine State. The article explores the possible repercussions of the presidential hopeful’s detachment from said state, which in the past proved to be instrumental in significant political outcomes. It also includes Obama’s efforts to reach out to Florida. While the article is focused on Obama’s shortcomings in the state, Padgett also mentions Clinton and Republican presidential nominee John McCain in relation to Obama (Padgett, 2008).

            According to the article, Obama’s absence in Florida poses a problem for the candidate (Padgett, 2008).  The fact that his presence is not felt by voters may jeopardize his chances of winning the nomination.  It all started when the Florida primary was set on January 29; the Democratic National Committee decided to nullify the vote and deny all Democratic delegates from Florida any seats in the convention.  As a result, both Obama and Clinton decided not to campaign until the primary is over.  Clinton changed her mind after it was declared that she was victorious in the state, and even told voters she would do her best to seat the delegates. Obama, on the other hand, has not visited the State since then (Padgett, 2008).

            The article states that while Obama may be confident in winning the Democratic nomination, he should still not disregard Florida as a key state. After all, he has much to do to win the Floridian votes, especially because he faces a challenge in winning over certain sectors of society.  This includes the Latino and Jewish community.  However, the supporters of Obama are assured that when he visits the state, he will definitely resolve all issues. Aside from the solid support of the African-American community, backers of Obama are confident that his stand on certain issues which are similar to those of the Florida voters will close the divide (Padgett, 2008).

            The second article is taken from Newsweek, and is penned by Jim Kuhnhenn from the Associated Press.  Published on May 28th of this year, the article was entitled “Clinton Touts Electability in South Dakota” (Kuhnhenn, 2008).  This article reports that Senator Clinton persuaded the community in South Dakota that she is the better opponent for Republican presidential nominee John McCain (Kuhnhenn, 2008).

            According to the article, Clinton tried her best to convince those in South Dakota that she is a better Democratic presidential nominee that Senator Barack Obama based on her victories in “swing states,” as well as the vote margins in certain areas (Kuhnhenn, 2008).  She believes that these two factors determine that she is best suited for the presidency, if not as the opponent of McCain.

To prove Clinton’s point, her supporters have sent “a letter, a memo and a compilation of state polling data” to encourage the superdelegates that indeed, it was she who deserved to win the nomination.  She highlights her victories in the Ohio and West Virginia primaries, as well as her voting advantage among elderly women, rural folks as well as the Hispanic community.  The data that Clinton distributes among the superdelegates also include the votes from Florida and Michigan.  However, the Democratic National Convention refused to award delegates from the said states as punishment for setting their primaries prior to February 5 (Kuhnhenn, 2008).

            Senator Obama’s lead is huge, and it is next to impossible for Clinton to bridge the gap.  Nonetheless, Clinton is not yet ready to give up the fight.  She is allotting a significant amount of time in making her presence felt in the last states in an effort to improve her standing in the presidential nomination race (Kuhnhenn, 2008).

            The articles are similar because both mentioned the Democratic National Committee sanction in Florida about moving the primary date. However, both articles are also very different, not only because they were written by two different people or released by two different publications.  The first article by Padgett is longer and is more thorough.  He introduced a problem, which was Senator Obama’s seeming non-involvement with Florida.  While he presented how problematic Obama’s situation was without the commitment to Florida, Padgett still wrote about the opinion of Obama’s supporters in the article.

This is, in my opinion, one of the best features of the article; the story presents two sides. It assumes a questioning stance towards the Florida issue, but it allows the party in question to speak about the issue. This enables the reader to have a better understanding of the topic.  Meanwhile, the negative aspect of the article for me is the fact that the author’s opinions are still partially evident despite his attempt to be impartial.  This is not actually such a negative thing, but it helps that such topics be treated as objectively as possible.

            The second article is short and concise. The message conveyed is straight and direct to the point. As opposed to the first article, the one written by Kuhnhenn is purely a news article. It simply states the facts about the presidential campaign and Clinton’s objective in her trip to South Dakota.  I liked the article because, although it is short and objective, it clearly conveys its message.  However, it presented no problem; thus, it also did not resolve any issue.  This is what I did not like about the article.  Simply stating news facts make it an uninteresting read, however informative it is.  In this sense, I prefer the first one because it gives a broader perspective on a political issue.

            In my opinion, either Senator Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would be a great American president. To begin with, their victory in the upcoming presidential election would be historical. The United States would celebrate the election of either the first woman American president or the first African-American president. This simply means that the Free World is ready for politics and is not hindered by either race or sex.

            This opinion, however, does not mean to state the incapacity of the Republican presidential nominee John McCain to be Chief Executive.  It is simply a matter of preference that I choose either of the Democratic candidates.  McCain’s victory as the Republican presidential nominee is rather quick, as opposed to the ongoing battle between Clinton and Obama.  This only proves that both Democrats are qualified enough to be elected to the White House.  If both candidates were in a steep competition against each other, it only means that the people are having a hard time choosing between the two because both are capable enough in running the United States.  If one of the two was a better option for president, the Democratic nomination would have been over a long time ago.

            Despite the capability of both, if I had to choose one, I would choose Obama for president.  Based on the aforementioned articles, he seems to be more promising.  This is not to say that I wish to side with the already winning party, but the information the articles gave presented me a clearer picture of both candidates.  For instance, in Padgett’s article, it appears that Obama’s actions are planned. While he seems to be distant to Floridians, his efforts are well-thought of. He is sincere with his actions that there is no point in rushing to things.

            On the other hand, Clinton appears to act out of sheer desperation.  She is lagging behind, and her actions seem to reveal insincere motives.  For instance, as mentioned above, both candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida because of the earlier date of the state primary (Padgett, 2008).  However, the moment she discovered that she won, she abruptly went to Florida to pledge that she will do her best to seat the delegates. This judgment is only based on the articles provided.

Hence, the battle between the Democratic candidates continues.  People may have different opinions on who should win.  At the end of the day, however, the one who will win should prove himself or herself to be the most deserving to assume the highest political position in the country.


Kuhnhenn, J. Clinton touts electability in South Dakota. Newsweek.  Retrieved May 29, 2008, from http://www.newsweek.com/id/77910/page/1

Padgett, T. (2008). Obama tries to make up with Florida. Time. Retrieved May 29, 2008, from http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1807620,00.html

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