Obama: 19 days till the election
Obama: 19 days till the election

The 2008 US presidential race is quickly coming to a close and so far there have been few surprises other than a black man got this far.

George W. Bush has pretty much killed the Republican party (and the US economy and the world economy) and any chances the Republicans have for winning this election, and their strategy since facts and public sentiment is not on their side, is to hang their hopes on mom and apple pie.

Apple pie couldn't be talked into running so they played the mom card - and Sarah Palin is the commensurate Republican mom. But she's also a dingbat with the moral sense of godzilla and the intellectual vigour of a half filled ashtray.

We're not voting for mom though, we're voting for somebody to define strategy and tactics for the good ship US of A at home and on the world stage in a time of war and economic ruin. Chances are high you need one smart cookie here, or rather, the chances of the US seem tied, as a function, to the smartness of who inhabits the White House.

Throughout the campaign Obama inspired while McCain looked tired. At a time when the US is also tired - very tired of the failed Bush administration, possibly the worst presidency ever with the results the US is in a tailspin so bad it's dragging the world economy down with it. And the tone of the Repulican campaign has been unquestionably negative. Why is anyones guess as the effect can be seen in black in white - every time they get all negative their ratings drop and the Republicans are starting to look like a savage pack of dumb thugs.

The biggest surprise for me as I watch the campaign and now that the debates are history is how Obama is revered for his coolness under pressure and distinct lack of meanness that so characterises the McPain campaign. That is, how much Americans value "niceness". They say the candidate that wins is the one you'd most like to have a beer with.

Neither of their policy platforms are so hideously broken that they won't work although Obamas pass muster to a greater degree, but something funny happened on the way to the debates, and this is not a case of "nice guys finish last".

No, being a nice guy gets you the nod. While health care and the economy may be on everyones mind, kindness is what's on their hearts mind and to their geat credit the American people value kindness over nearly everything else when it comes right down to it as though they were vetting a son-in-law: "is he kind and smart and does he have good prospects and a plan?"

One could agrue that old white guys have run the US since its inception and America may be mature enough now as a society to change that. But this will take kindness and understanding from its leader, hopefully it will trickle down from there.

Kindness is a product of a loving environment and the most significant point of the debate series was the end of the third debate when the candidates wives walked on stage to congratulate their husbands. This was the most important reading of the candidates to me.

The Obamas had a sort of "we did it" and embraced with what appeared to be genuine warmth and loving and sense of a true team; I can see Barack being told what to do under some occasions, and vice versa and I suspect that the state of the country will be a function of how well the candidates marriage is put together.

The McCain couple frightened me. First of all I find both the McCains just plain creepy and robotic. John McCain has quite a womanizing streak apparantly and Cindy McCain just looked like the whore du jour - here honey have a little peck on the cheek now stand well back over there.

We'll have to see what happens. But I posit: if you want to see how somebody treats the country, look at how they treat their wife.