General election is in two months. Both campaigns are in a frenzy. Media is covering it full speed. Even low-information voters are slowly starting to pay attention. At this point, every word every candidate says is analyzed and over-analyzed and can potentially be disastrous if the opposing side spins it in their TV ads. This is not the time to venture into unnecessary topics. Caution is the key.
Nobody who cherishes reason, logic, empiricism and rationality is crazy to vote for the train wreck that is the McCain/Palin ticket. Such people are going to vote for Obama even if they think he is too conservative, or too liberal, or whatever. There is no reason for Obama to spend any time and risk in order to woo such voters.
Yet, he did. He answered the 14 science questions facing America, posed by the ScienceDebate 2008 group. Just the act of doing this shows he is serious about this and understands the importance of science and technology in every policy decision.
As for the answers, some are better than others. He is obviously well informed and understands the broader issues well. Some of the answers are a little vague – but that is to be expected at this point in the debate: each detail will be treated as a “campaign promise” so he has to thread cautiously. If anything, I am impressed how MUCH detail he provided.
For specifics, I agree with criticisms of individual questions written by Revere and Nick. I would also add that I hoped to see more about the way agriculture fits into the Energy policy, i.e., how it can be reformed so as not to be the biggest consumer of oil in the US economy as it is now.
Also see this discussion.
But in general, I am happy. I am looking forward to McCain’s promised answers (and how much they are at odds with Palin’s known stances as well McCain’s own previous responses). Finally, if/when Obama becomes a President, I would like him to do this exercise again – not having an election at stake and knowing he is in charge, perhaps he can provide more detail on his policies as well as mechanisms he’ll use to procure funding and to persuade the Congress and the people to let him follow through on these.
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