Election Speak

As we enter the final two weeks of the Presidential campaign, I find myself asking what is truly needed to push the ball over the finish line. And what is it that can make a huge difference. And it seems to me there are three main things that need to happen:

1) Supporters need to vote.

2) Supporters need to help convert non-supporters into supporters

3) Supporters need to make sure that as many other supporters as possible also vote.

As I spoke to my children recently about their thoughts about the election, they saw the election as good and bad, right or wrong. Only when pressed would they spout the details behind the issues that were a more substantive argument for their opinions. Their first comments were very condescending. This may seem like the juvenile mistakes of inexperienced debaters, but I have heard many Obama supporters lash out with rhetoric that served more to invigorate the opposition as opposed to sway their conversion.

I realized that the key thing for me to remember in talking to undecided voters is to sit in their seat, to listen from the audience’s perspective. To speak in rah-rah rally talk, or to just slander the other side does not offer substance for them to create conviction and commitment.

In the next several days, we need to be talking to those who are undecided and giving them respectful, thoughtful reasons to consider and commit to Obama. Here are four reasons I have heard people cite who were either direct McCain supporters or undecided, but now have switched to support Obama (you may not agree with their logic – but these real quotes and real sentiments):


  • Judgment: “If Sarah Palin is John McCain’s assessment of the BEST REPUBLICAN available for the top ranking role in the United States (next to his), then I have to question his judgment. She is not qualified to be VP – let alone President and it is an insult to the many experienced, distinguished and competent republicans who could bring real substance to the campaign. Not to mention the fact that it is irresponsible and divisive.” 
  • Negative campaign: “I just get turned off by the constant negative attack in his campaign – why can’t he say something positive about what he is going to do instead of trying to trick us with twisted, irrelevant issues that insult our intellect. Obama is not a terrorist and we know that. And it seems to me Obama is actually going to lower my taxes more than McCain will, regardless of what McCain says. What is he thinking about?” 
  • Financial recovery: “Everything went to hell in a hand-basket for our economy over the past few years. Things were better under the Clinton administration – by a LONG shot. Obama has said some good things about what he is going to do to help the average US family and we need it now. In addition, I trust Biden a lot more than I trust Palin to be fiscally conservative as a side kick to the president. I am willing to give the Democrats a shot at trying to fix the mess we are in.” 
  • Cross-party unity: “When it comes right down to it, the two candidates are both strong candidates. It is hard for me to really decide on line-by-line differences. So, then I think about who seems to have the real ability to bring the country together across party lines. McCain certainly failed doing that for the $700B bailout plan, both the President and the congress went against him.  Obama seems to be gathering new unity from all corners.”

So, speak to facts and respect the starting points of others, but get out and talk.

Help others get to the polls. Vote.

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  1. 1

    You’ve hit the ball out the park! Inclidebre!

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