US Presidential Race Gets Nasty

As the US presidential race enters its last lap, the poll campaign is getting increasingly nasty. Considering the performance of Republican presidential candidate John McCain in recent opinion polls as compared to his Democratic rival Barack Obama, the desperation in the Republican camp is only understandable. Obama who until late last month appeared locked in a dead heat battle with McCain in opinion polls has emerged decisively ahead to take a lead of nearly 10 per cent against the 72-year old Vietnam war veteran.

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Published: Tue 14 Oct 2008, 9:18 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:08 PM

Which is why the Republican campaign that is being advised by the masters of spin like Karl Rove, the former guru of President George W Bush, is falling back on what it does best: playing dirty and launching personal, below-the-belt attacks on the rival. And in this all-out war for 1600, Pennsylvania Avenue, everything from Obama’s race and colour to his Muslim middle name and his alleged closet Islamic faith are all fair game. And the more the Republican candidate loses ground to his Democratic rival in key states in the north and south, the more desperate and nasty his campaign becomes in targeting Obama.

Unfortunately for McCain, none of these tactics seem to be working this time around though. In fact, the latest disclosures about the abuse of power by his running mate, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, have shocked the Americans and put the Republicans on the back foot exposing McCain to accusations of indiscretion and a lack of judgment.

However, the real odds the Republican candidate faces on his path to the White House is not Barack Obama but the disastrous legacy of the incumbent president George W Bush.

As a New York Times argued this week, tragically for McCain, he would be defeated twice by his own party and the outgoing Republican President Bush.

Bush had demolished McCain’s presidential ambitions by snatching the Republican nomination from him in 2000. And now if McCain is defeated in the presidential vote next month, which looks increasingly likely, he wouldn’t be beaten by the first African American candidate but by his friend, Bush 43.

Given the incredible mess the outgoing Republican president has made of the economy and almost everything else, it would be a true miracle if anyone from his party were elected to the White House this year or four years later.

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