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Voters' views: Geoffrey Nolan

Presidential candidate Barack Obama has reached out to US voters in a half-hour, prime-time advertisement underlying his dominance of the airwaves.

Here Republican and Democratic voters share their views on the commercial and the Democrats' advertising advantage.


Geoffrey Nolan Salesman | Republican

Obama cynically breached his promise to accept public funding in this campaign

Geoffrey Nolan
Age: 62
Lives: Miami, Florida
Occupation: Canvas awning salesman
Last election voted:
Republican
In 10 words or fewer: Political duellist - fencing with relish but not without pity

"Former Senator, war hero, and charismatic Democratic party luminary Bob Kerrey has just written in the New York Post that Obama personifies the definition of a hypocrite.

He was referring to Obama's cynical breach of his promise to accept public funding in this campaign.

How convenient for Obama that he later realised that the funding system is so broken that he must renege. This means he is not limited in the amount of money he can spend, unlike McCain. Ominously, Obama has gotten away with it.

In his 30-minute commercial the governor of Missouri waxes euphoric about how Obama, man of the people that he is, banned the use of fancy airplane rides for politicians. But is he really a man of the people? He seems more like a well-healed and well-oiled money-making machine.

People around the world watching Obama's commercial may have noticed something about the struggling Americans featured. Their comparatively large homes and nice cars mean they may have seemed the definition of luxury and not poverty to viewers abroad.

Obama's funding advantage suggests that the McCain-Feingold Act on campaign finance is not functioning properly. We need measures to ensure candidates have similar funds to spend and there is greater transparency with regard to where funds come from."


You can add your comments and questions on Geoffrey 's views using the form below:

Your comments:

Geoffrey, I think that if John McCain had had any inkling that he could possibly raise a lot more money than he could have gotten via the public funding system, he, too would have opted out of it. And if John McCain had received the same amount of campaign donations, he, too, would have spent them on advertising. However, the fact is, he hasn't had the same financial support as Obama has, which might just be a sign that less people trust him to be a good president than they trust Obama.
Paulina Smid, London

Geoffrey, I agree that proper rules need to be put in place regarding election funding. However, to describe Obama as a money making machine is a little unfair. He is, after all, a person who rejected a high earning law job to work with the the poorest community in Chicago. I'm not sure how 8 homes McCain could claim anything similar. The Republicans usually blow the Democrats out of the water in terms of funding. It must be upsetting for the tables to be turned on them for once.
Oliver, Melbourne, Australia

You could argue very effectively that Obama's, 'cynical breach of his promise' was actually a masterstroke of tactical genius that effectively crushed McCain. In other words a hard example of a superior tactical decision by Obama and an equally good example of a serious error of judgment by McCain. McCain is now paying the price for his decision not copy what was clearly in retrospect the right move for Obama.
Pete the Teacher, Houston, Tx

Mr. Nolan's criticism of Obama's reneging on a promise public funding may be true. We in the US still cling to the quaint idea however, that our politicians have to be 'squeaky' clean - a notion that the rest of the world has long since come to understand as a contradiction in terms. Both Presidential candidates have 'flip-flopped' on a number of issues. It's par for the course.

Obama isn't a 'man of the people' perhaps. Neither is McCain. The are both so called 'elites' and there's nothing wrong with that. I don't really want Joe the Plumber, or Sarah Palin's Joe 6-pack to be leader of the free world, any more than I would want them piloting my aircraft or doing my heart surgery. Both Obama and McCain are qualified to be President. But if the rest of the world had a voice, Obama would win by a landslide. Mind you Al Quaeda did endorse McCain.
Bernard Lowe, Merion, PA USA

To: Paulina of London, Oliver of Melbourne, Pete of Houston, Bernard of Marion, Pa.

You all have made points that I consider interesting and well put. I was just thinking this morning that Roosevelt is considered a great president yet he shamelessly tried to pack the Supreme Court by adding four more justices to "help out" with the heavy work load. You may recall that he had huge blocks of his New Deal declared unconstitutional. McCain however has worked for years to reform campaign funding and very early on declared he would hew the line. Obama declared - in writing - that he would also. If neither candidate were so constrained you could fairly say that perhaps the people trust one over the other by looking at the amount of money collected. McCain chose to honour his word.

Thank you for responding. My closest friend shares some of your views but he could no more disown me than he could a kindly old uncle who got carried away and said some things he shouldn't have.
Geoffrey Nolan, Miami, Florida

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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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