3 Wishes For Our Next President

Like the rest of the media elite, we here at Little Village are in the can for Obama. The reasons are myriad, but we’ll spare you the details because you could find similar endorsements on the pages of most newspapers in America­—an astounding 75 percent of them favor Obama as we go to press. Still, the press doesn’t pick the winner (democracy, eh?) so we’ve prepared for either result. In the event that Mr. Obama does secure a victory, we’ve got some requests. Or, if the polls are turned upside down and Mr. McCain comes out on top, hear what we would wish for him. Either way, if you’re the one who’s been hiding that magic genie lamp, November 5 would be a good time to use it, this country needs all the help it can get.

3 Wishes For Barack Obama

Just Do It
Modern presidential politics dictates that any contender lay out their policies and intentions on nearly every issue of the day. But, more often than not, those plans are unrealized. In 2008, all evidence points to a real possibility of united Democratic leadership in the oval office and Congress. If that happens, one can reasonably assume that the American public is ready to accept progressive ideas in areas like health care reform, tax structures, environmental policy and the war. Like He-Man before him, a President Obama will have the power. Let’s hope he uses it wisely.

Bipartisan Buy-in
On multiple occasions, the Obama team has hinted at a bipartisan cabinet. Here’s hoping they follow through. It’s little secret that an Obama selection will be welcomed outside of our borders. But here at home, the losing party will still count over 40 percent of the American public among its ranks. How to curry their favor at a pivotal point in our nation’s history? Bring them into the fold. Obama’s high-flying “one America” rhetoric has been denounced as fluff, but we believe America could come together if it had a leader willing to involve the other party.

Keep them Engaged
Who? New voters. Well, all voters really, but especially the recent additions. Obama’s opposition has reminded us often that oratory excellence can not substitute for action. We couldn’t agree more. But, Obama’s way with a crowd, his campaign’s incredible ability to engage young people and the previously uninterested, and his message of, yes, hope have given the country a sense of ownership in his ascendancy. We’ve thrown our chips in with his hand and we’re ready to do our part to play it through. America’s good faith in its leaders has been squandered so many times before. Let’s cross our fingers that things really do change this time around and participation in democracy doesn’t end on November 4.

3 Wishes For John McCain

A Return of Maverickiness
Like the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the Maverick McCain has long been presumed extinct. But, if John McCain somehow overcomes his significant polling deficit, it will be because the moderate middle believes that somewhere inside McCain 2008 (the one that votes Bush 90 percent of the time) lies McCain 2000 (the one that votes McCain 100 percent of the time). Certainly, this country does not desire (or deserve) eight more years of radical conservatism. Here’s wishing that the current McCain is just a Trojan Horse for that inner Maverick.

Victory in Iraq
Nothing would validate a McCain presidency like success in the Middle East. Sen. McCain has staked much of his reputation on his belief that we can “win” in Iraq, but to this point, even defining victory has been out of his reach. Still, these are wishes and we’re going big. Whatever winning is, it would surely mean the return of a majority of U.S. troops, a drastic reduction in expenditures and, presumably, a public relations boost in the eyes of the world at large. America needs to exit Iraq gracefully. If we can simultaneously claim a victory over “terror,” all the better.

Let’s face it, age is a factor. Another truth: Sarah Palin isn’t ready for the big leagues. Her selection has been a drag on the ticket. And for good reason: She isn’t knowledgeable on the issues of the day. If Sen. McCain is elected, it will be because Americans want him in the White House, not his running mate. As potentially our oldest first-term leader, already seven years past Social Security eligibility, good presidential health will play a major role in establishing confidence in our markets, in our domestic policy and in our foreign relations. We’d prefer a late 2008 retirement for Sen. McCain, but if not, let’s hope its still a healthy one whenever it happens.