Analyzing the political machine is indeed a daunting task.
Decisions that decide elections are calculated and played like cards in a deck. Often, these cards are little more than political stunts in the election game. During this Presidential season, one card has been played more than the rest. How does one get elected to the highest office in the World when Presidential and Congressional approval ratings are at a decade low (~30% and ~20%, respectively)? Simple, distance yourself from politics.
This strategy is readily apparent in both Sen. Obama’s and Sen. McCain’s Presidential campaigns. Sen. Obama uses the rallying cry of “change” from “failed Washington politics” to try and distance himself from the Congress he is a member of. Sen. McCain claims to be a “maverick” within Washington politics. He borrows heavily from Sen. Obama’s “change” slogan to show that he is also an outsider in the institution he devoted his career to.
Is either candidate as removed from Washington politics as they would lead you to believe? No. The truth is both candidates are intimately tied to Washington’s political machine and have done more to uphold the status quo than to change it. Sen. Obama has voted 96% of the time with his Democrat colleagues while McCain has voted 88% of the time with his Republican colleagues. To vote for a candidate solely because they tout change from an institution they are bound to is naive at best. An informed voter needs to look beyond the political facade to the underlying principles they believe make a candidate qualified to be President and not allow themselves to be charmed by clever campaign rhetoric and catchy slogans.