Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 13:22 UK

Voters' Views: Samantha Cramer

Republicans are gathering for their party convention in St Paul, Minnesota as the election campaign shifts up a gear.

Here eight Republican voters from across the US look ahead to the convention and reflect on the state of the party and their presumptive nominee John McCain.

Samantha Cramer Software engineer | Republican

Our first priority must be foreign relations

Samantha Cramer
Age: 21
Lives: Manassas, Virginia
Occupation: Software engineer
Last election voted:
Too young to vote
In 10 words or fewer: Open-minded, inquisitive, speculative, passionate, optimistic

"Voters across the nation have been left worn and weary from the lengthy and tumultuous primaries.

This must be a time for the party to reconnect with and motivate their supporters.

I have witnessed the actions of our current president in terms of foreign affairs with disgust. Never before had I been so ashamed of the leadership in my country.

If we are to overcome a swiftly tumbling world economy, our first priority must be foreign relations.

Whilst I am looking for change I will not be voting for Obama.

After Mrs Clinton's defeat, I immediately researched Mr McCain's resume and track record thoroughly. I knew very little of him before.

After delving deeper, I found him to be potentially more capable than I had believed Mrs Clinton to be. His policies are straightforward, his character is strong and his intentions are honest and thoughtful.

He has seven decades of experience and has seen the consequences of war first hand. This should help him formulate effective strategies to deal with threats to the US.

I watched one of his speeches at a public event and noticed that he possessed a surprisingly youthful vigour.

He spoke to each person in attendance with his words, his eyes, and his heart. He did not simply rally a large crowd of rowdy youths like Mr Obama, but rather a large crowd of all ages teeming with many different lives and personal beliefs.

That in itself is proof enough of his ability to unite not only his party, but our country."

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The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.

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