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February 5th, 2008
06:10 PM ET

Why is world captivated by ’08 race?

 A TV showing Barak Obama speaking at a presidential primary rally at a Tokyo electronics store. The Japanese on screen reads: Hillary vs. Obama, the 2nd match is a very tight battle.

A TV showing Barak Obama speaking at a presidential primary rally at a Tokyo electronics store. The Japanese on screen reads: Hillary vs. Obama, the 2nd match is a very tight battle.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush is in search of a legacy. How about this? He may be the reason there is unprecedented interest around the world in this year's U.S. presidential election. After his 8 years in the White House, people around the globe are seizing on this election's theme of "change."

Experts say that America's image is on the line. People overseas want someone who can "restore faith" in the U.S., along with our legitimacy overseas. They're hoping the next president will be someone they can work with, which would indeed be as switch.

Of all the candidates, Barack Obama is generating a lot of the buzz abroad. Some Germans are calling him "the black JFK." Many Africans also like Obama, whose father was Kenyan.

In Japan, the media are closely following both Obama and Hillary Clinton, pointing out that either candidate could make history. Israelis seem to prefer Clinton, because of her experience and her husband's relationship with the Jewish State. And a lot of Europeans – who are nostalgic for Bill Clinton's presidency – support Hillary as well.

When it comes to the Republicans, the Europeans aren't nearly as excited about them. They view Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee as too religious and think John McCain as too old.

Russian leaders, however, like the idea of another Republican president – as long as it's not McCain, who's been very critical of their president Vladimir Putin. And, an Iraqi political analyst suggests a Republican president will be more committed to Iraq.

Here’s my question to you: Why is there so much interest around the world in the U.S. presidential race?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
February 5th, 2008
04:50 PM ET

Issues vs. character?

People wait in line at a polling place in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles, on Super Tuesday.  Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.<br />

People wait in line at a polling place in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles, on Super Tuesday. Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The economy. The war in Iraq. Health care. Immigration. Terrorism. Those are the issues on the minds of Americans as they cast ballots on this Super Tuesday. But the issues are not “the issue” this election day.

The Wall Street Journal reports that voters are placing a higher priority on intangible qualities like leadership ability and governing style instead of ideas. It seems to be a reflection on the country's mood at the moment: people are sick and tired of the partisan wars and gridlock in Washington and are looking for someone to rise above it and lead. This is part of the reason why candidates like Barack Obama and John McCain are doing so well.

The Journal says: "To many voters, precisely what gets done seems less important than the prospect that something actually will get done."

One pollster says on the Democratic side there's been no correlation in exit polls between the issues people say are important and the candidate they vote for. As for the Republicans, a recent poll found that the characteristic on which McCain – who's now the front-runner – ranked the lowest was "shares your position on issues".

Of course, once we get past the primaries, this is likely to change assuming there are significant differences on top issues between the Republican and Democratic nominees. But for now, it looks like the American people are hungry for a candidate who can bridge the partisan divide and lead this country back onto the right track.

Here’s my question to you: What matters more to you in this primary election: issues or character, and why?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Super Tuesday
February 5th, 2008
02:30 PM ET

Changing the primary system?

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People walk past a voting station February 5, 2008 on 'Super Tuesday' in New York City. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Today's Super Tuesday primary contests are of historic proportions. It's the biggest primary day ever, with 44 presidential nominating contests in 24 states and more than 2,700 delegates up for grabs. This represents more than 40% of the total Democratic and Republican delegates.

It's also probably the closest we've ever come to a national primary in this country. So why don't we go all the way? There are plenty of arguments to be made for allowing all 50 states to cast their primary votes at once.

The system as it stands now certainly has plenty of flaws: Candidates spend lots of time and money in the early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, even South Carolina. Many voters in those states get to meet the candidates up-close in their homes, churches, diners, schools.

These voters then narrow down the playing field for the rest of us. Consider this: over the summer, there were at least 18 candidates running in both parties. Now, there are essentially two major candidates on either side to choose from. That's a pretty dramatic reduction in choices based on voters in just a handful of states.

Also, we saw many states move up the dates of their primaries this year to have more influence on the outcome. For the candidates, that has meant a significantly compressed amount of time to campaign in nearly half of the country. For most voters, it likely means the closest they'll get to the candidates are a few 30 second commercials.

Here’s my question to you: How would you change the U.S. presidential primary system?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized