With both national party conventions now complete, candidates John McCain and Barack Obama hit the ground running as the race accelerates to Election Day. Analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks discuss the road ahead.
The bulk of their analysis revolves around the issues of "change" and how both candidates are struggling to define it. If your definition of change is we need another set of policies, if it's left-right change, then Barack Obama is going to win, Brooks says. If it's more existential change, the system is terrible, John McCain will win.
Shields and Brooks also discuss whether John McCain has changed from his maverick self over the past eight years on issues of religion in politics, immigration, and torture, and if he's elected, how would he lead the White House.
"[Sarah] Palin is just new. Whether you like her or not, she's new." - David Brooks, The New York Times
"John McCain, to me, what Sarah Palin served for him, she became his proxy for change. He didn't have a program for change. He didn't have a policy change. She became his proxy for change." - Mark Shields, Syndicated Columnist
"If your definition of change is we've had one set of policies, we need another set of policies, if it's left-right change, then Barack Obama is going to win. If it's more existential change, the system is terrible, we need someone who knows the system, who has a history of fighting the system, who will fight the system, and who is in his nature to be an insurgent and a system-fighter, if that definition of change carries the day, then John McCain will win." - David Brooks, The New York Times
"George Bush happened to McCain. If John McCain loses, it will let history record George Bush twice deprived him of the presidency, in 2000 in South Carolina and in 2008 with his record." - Mark Shields, Syndicated Columnist
1. What's happening in the 2008 presidential race?
2. What is your definition of "change"? How are the Democrats and Republicans defining change for the 2008 election?
3. How do you think the health of the economy affects the presidential election?
1. What points were made during this video about John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama?
2. What is your definition of change?
3. Did this analysis change the way you think about the presidential race?
4. Interview your classmates and your family, what are their definitions of change?
5. Write an essay on your definition of change and how it compares with the candidates' definitions. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org