Posted by: dstieglitz | November 1, 2008


         Including primaries, Barack Obama’s campaign has raised over $600 million as of September 30th. When October’s fund-raising and the Democratic National Committee’s contribution are added, his 2008 campaign may exceed a billion dollars – triple the previous record. No wonder he declined public financing and its $84 million cap! But the money was well invested, at least from the Democrat’s viewpoint, since the polls say we will have a liberal President for the next four years. The indicators I rely on point toward the same election result.
         More than that, this appears to be a watershed election like President Reagan’s election in 1980, but in reverse. Conservatism (my natural leaning) is on the way out and liberalism is in. Not because of any wonderful vision the liberals have offered, rather because conservatives are self-destructing. Historically, conservatives champion smaller government, fiscal responsibility, individual rights, and an economy free of government intervention. The Bush administration has done the opposite. Most Americans disapprove of his actions, but the fact that a conservative President took liberal actions indicates that conservatism probably isn’t the best strategy in today’s global economy. Based on his Senate voting record, Obama is the most liberal of all 100 senators – further left than John Kerry. A liberal direction for the country scares me, but I may have to “tame my dragons” and change.
         These developments have caused a big shift in the Change Quotient which measures the candidates’ ability to change Washington on a zero-to-one hundred scale. Not because of the debates – they were a draw. The shift has come from Obama’s advertising blitz over the airwaves and electronic media. I haven’t counted, but there seem to be three Obama ads for every McCain ad. A billion dollars will do that. Both of them produce the same number of attack ads which I just ignore. That leaves Obama with many more ads than McCain to market his economic, tax, energy, and health care plans. In addition, I receive two or three emails daily from Obama, but rarely any from McCain. Among other things, that tells me Obama is in tune with current communications media, a key factor in change.
         According to the Change Quotient, with four days to go until the election Obama has a clear lead as the candidate most able to change Washington. The ratings for Obama and McCain are:
         Change Quotient (CQ) Ratings
                      Jul    Aug   Sep   Oct  Nov                                
      Obama     75     76     78      72    81  
      McCain     73     72     76      73   73
That means if Obama is elected, he is more likely to be able to implement his liberal program than McCain would be to implement his conservative program. A CQ rating of 81 is significantly less than President Reagan’s 91 or Johnson’s 90, two presidents who accomplished major changes. Obama’s scores went up in: (1) Consistent Ideas because of the clarity he has achieved in communicating his programs, (2) Forming Relationships especially with non-partisan thinkers like Paul Volcker and Colin Powell, and (3) Ability to Execute because of the effectiveness of his campaign. As a businessman, I admire the focus, efficiency, and results of his fund-raising machine, and hope that he will apply that expertise to manage the Executive Branch. That being said, the changes Obama proposes alarm me, and that’s why I’ll make my decision behind the curtain on Tuesday. I will definitely vote Tuesday – and you should too.



  1. Very interesting reading especially coming from a conservative. My reasoning for saying this, is that the conservative movement has, in recent times, put too much energy in divisive thinking (i.e. We are all good, and liberals are all bad). It is self destructive for a group that espouses “Country First”. I think Dick raises soem very powerful arguments, and to acknowledge his own fear that maybe the tides of change are at work in their infinitely wise ways.

    I choose to see it as a Pendulum, however. It swings too far one direction and the natural corrective action of Nature’s Balance will pull it back in the other direction, and the cycle repeats.

    Where I differ with Dick is in the acknowledgement that the Bush Policies were “Liberal” in nature. Both Conservatives and Liberals want the same things, effective government – neither has a monopoly on what is right. The history of the last 20 or more years shows that Conservative Presidents out spend Liberal Presidents, while touting “Smaller Government”. The reality is: “Both parties spend on what is important to them.”

    In my lifetime, I have found that Liberal ideas are not all bad, nor Conservative ideas are all good. The idea of America, a country where one man has one vote and all people are are presumed to be created equal, is a liberal idea. My response is not a defense of liberalism, but rather a defense of the Attack of Liberalism, the devisive agenda that has been brought to the forefront by a small group of individuals.

    Naturally, most people fall under the Bell shaped curve within 1 standard deviation. The farther out in each direction, the more radical. I am hoping the colloquialisms of the Bush Administration are a thing of the past (i.e. The Democrats are the Party of “Cut and Run” and other divisive remarks). Speaking of Colin Powell, I thought his comments were extremely well pondered, healing in nature, and corrective. I challenge all individual, Liberal or Conservative return to the days of Civic Importance vs. the Party Importance.

    Just my thoughts,

    Phillip Mack

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