News stories like the one today involving Iran’s missile test give Barack Obama and John McCain an important opportunity to show their presidential chops.
I think we saw pretty clear today the differences between the two candidates. McCain first talked about action and tough sanctions that will get the Iranians attention. Obama talked diplomacy and a change in American foreign policy. He talked sanctions too but that was not his main focus.
There are dangers an opportunities for both men here. For Obama, events like today give him a chance to show the country how he handles a significant breaking news story that is full of national security and foreign policy consequences. In essence this is like a test run for him to not only look presidential but to act presidential too. The danger is that his diplomacy talk will turn off Independent voters who may be tired of the Iraq war but don’t necessarily feel the problem is so much with American foreign policy. He needs to be careful with coming across as a “Blame America First” attitude. I’m not saying he’s doing that. I am simply stating that anytime you issue a statement where you look inward at America’s foreign policy before looking at Iran’s actions, there’s danger ahead.
For McCain, anytime he is center stage talking about national security and foreign policy incidents it showcases his strength and he looks very presidential in doing so. That’s the good news. The bad news is that when he talks about how “action is what’s necessary” and reacts in a very aggressive way toward Iran it may have voters start to lump McCain in with President Bush. You know, “The Testosterone Brothers”. Hey, that’s the danger. I’m just keeping it real.
More on McCain, Obama and the Iran missile test here.