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Seattle Times Political Caucus

The Seattle Times Political Caucus is an online community aimed at adding diverse voices to our coverage of politics. How we'll use the Caucus will evolve over time. But the idea is to create a conversation with people of various backgrounds and political beliefs. As the election season unfolds, we'll ask participants to weigh in on key political questions and then post their comments here.

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September 10, 2008 3:31 PM

Where should the campaigns go next?

Posted by Katherine Long

Everyone loves to play political advisor, so we wanted to know how the Political Caucus members would advise the candidates on how to conduct their campaigns between now and November. The question: If you're in the McCain/Palin camp, what do you think the campaign should do after the convention is over to further make the case for a McCain/Palin presidency? If you're in the Obama/Biden camp, what should that campaign do now to further the case for an Obama/Biden presidency? And if you're undecided, what more do you want to hear from both sides to help you make up your mind?

Read all of the answers here.

We had a bit of a falloff in participation from Obama supporters for this question -- which makes us wonder if more voters are thinking like Scott Kastelitz of Bothell, who wrote: "I am still undecided but starting to lean more towards McCain. I am starting to believe that although Obama has positioned himself as the candidate for change, McCain is the one who truly may represent that."

Kastelitz thinks "McCain must continue to show that he is in fact a true reformer, someone that can get things done in Washington. Obama needs to figure out a strategy to convince voters that he can not only bring change to Washington, but that he can do it in bipartisan fashion, which he has not yet proven the ability to do."

Alexis Zolner of Seattle wants both campaigns to avoid making the race about religion, abortion and homosexual marriage. Rather, "I think the Republicans should pick a couple themes and go after them. I find talk about 'change' in the other Washington disingenuous and not specific enough. The straight talk express should be specific and include lowering taxes and curtailing spending; remove restrictions from offshore and Anwar drilling, advancing nuclear power, providing incentives to companies to develop other energy sources, providing means to people to find health insurance, solving illegal immigration, making the U.S. dollar stronger against the euro and the pound and removing impediments to global trade. The troops need to come home when the job is complete."

Carl Moll of Arlington, also a McCain/Palin supporter, had a lot of advice for the GOP, most of it centering on a focus on the economy. And he ended with these thoughts: "It has been said of this Congress, controlled by the Democrats, that it is a place where good ideas go to die. We need to change that. McCain and Palin should emphasize that good ideas are welcome and will be acted on. That is the way to reform America. Good ideas are our most important asset."

Paul Cox, vacationing in Vietnam, supports Obama/Biden and thinks the Democratic ticket needs "to clearly deliniate how and why they are different than Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin. They need to show themselves to be strong leaders on the issues that are on the people's minds- the war in Iraq, the economy, getting the government back under control, the housing problems.

"They also need to not fall into any of the traps that lured in Kerry or Gore," Cox continued. "If/when an issue comes up (and they probably will) they need to deal with it quickly, bluntly, and then drive onward."

Finally, Morgan Barney of Newcastle, who still counts herself as undecided, wants the next two months to be a serious discussion of the issues. "I would like to see continued communication from each of the campaigns about (1) their position on the main issues: the Economy, Education, Foreign Policy, War on Terror, Environment, Energy Independence, Social Issues, etc. and (2) their plans for the first year in office.

"What I do NOT want to hear are (1) more partisan attacks, (2) negative commercials (they all do it), and (3) what the "other" candidate thinks (I'll get that from the "other" candidate!!!)."

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