Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." - Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, 1792
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
CNN reports that Barack Obama is going on a “faith and family tour”
Score: 65% on the Right: Senator Barack Obama will launch a charm-offensive targeting the evangelical voters. The senator from Illinois is going as far as he can on the Right without alienating his base. According to CNN, Obama will link faith to almost every issue from the economy to the environment. However, the senator will stay close to the Center by attenuating some of his words. For example, he will focus more on the necessity to reduce the number of abortions than speaking of his pro-choice position or the evangelical’s pro-life stance.
We are a group of McGill University students taking Professor Gil Troy's History of Presidential Campaigning class. As an independent, volunteer project, we are going to be monitoring the two major party presidential nominees over the next two months, judging when they are appealing to the center, both tactically and substantively. We have developed a "moderometer" to chart where a particular tactic or statement stands on a scale from very red to very blue, with a purple middle, the ideal center. We acknowledge that this is subjective. We have a range of views among us and we are not assessing whether we agree with the particular tactic or statement or whether we think it is shrewd. Knowing the gravitational physics of American politics, and especially American campaigns, which pulls candidates to the extreme of left or right, we want to create a counter-force pushing toward the middle. We believe that a civil, reasonable, middle is necessary on certain issues, even as we acknowledge the advantage of healthy partisan disagreement in other realms. Feel free to plunge into the debate and feel free to disagree with us. If we all start wondering just what constitutes the center and civility - we will feel like we have made some small but necessary contribution to the campaign.