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General Election Prep Tips For Political Junkies: Part I

The Fourth of July Summer break is the perfect time to gear up for the Fall's sure-to-be-whirlwind presidential campaign. I have a couple of tips for you on how to transition from the hectic primary season to the general campaign marathon. They should help the entrenched supporter as well as the undecided voter.

  • Tip #1: Pick up the candidates' books. Let Barack Obama and John McCain tell you their stories. McCain's well-received Faith of My Fathers ends with his release from POW camp. You might also consider McCain's Hard Call: The Art of Great Decisions. Obama, also down with the father-title theme, has put out Dreams of My Father (a memoir about race and community) and The Audacity of Hope (a book about his vision for America). The books were written before McCain and Obama could predict the twists and turns of this campaign season, so they offer a relatively unfiltered account of their lives and world views.
  • Tip #2: Mix up your news source. It's always good to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. So conservatives pick up a NY Times and you libs flip to Fox News. If you read the New York Times surf on over to the Wall Street Journal. Trade in Anderson Cooper for Keith Olbermann one night. Not only could you see what your political opponents have to say, you may also learn something new. Of course, come back to CitizenSugar and share your new perspective with all of us!

I'll have more tips for you all tomorrow, so check back!

Join The Conversation
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Bella, you're so sweet! :HUG:
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I have read each book by each candidate above. trésjolie ---I crown you the top talker of the month.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Living abroad makes me realize how important a convincing leader on the international level is. To think that it is all about us would be wrong. I doubt McCain's ability to get support and make new allies, not to talk about rallying up those who slipped away during the Iraq war. It is true that Reagan was an international figure who stayed involved in foreign politics, and restored our image. I disagree with a lot of other things he did, but that was an important thing I won't pretend didn't happen. That said, being a good orator like Reagan IS important. We just had almost 8 years of the worst speaker in our recent memory, and I do not think America can afford another one in that end of the spectrum. We are not an island, an the world is more globally run than ever. I think Obama is the most capable candidate out of all the candidates we have seen in this election, and the fact that he is the best orator we have seen for some time is a huge plus. Now, the opposing side will always take his best features and try to ridicule them. But to think that Reagan would have made this everlasting impression about him, nationally and internationally, if he wasn't a good orator would be sadly mistaken. So, rhetoric is important. Oratory is an excellent skill. To say it has no room in politics is quite a remarkable stand.
stephley stephley 9 years
UnDave, my confidence was not restored by the gang who called ketchup a vegetable, the German people tore down the wall, not Reagan. It was during the Reagan Administration that the U.S. delivered weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein. But people did consider him a sweet talker.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Reagan also killed John Lennon. I will always hate him for that.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Yeah, Reagan did absolutely nothing for the American people. He only restored confidence in America, that was lacking from the debacle of the Carter years, brought freedom to East Berlin (Brought the Berlin wall down), negotiated arms reduction deals, bringing us back from the brink of nuclear destruction, and gave us the Space Shuttle.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
You're totally right Lain...falling for people who are great orators or Great Communicators (i.e. Reagan) only leads to the country being led down a horrid path of self-destruction. Too bad we believed the Great Communicator of the 80's...all style, no substance (except for bringing crack into the black community and Iran Contra, etc, etc, etc).
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
HF- Must. Say. Something. :TREAD:
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Good and objective points, AuntieCoosa! 1, 2, 5 - This is why I have a mix of news feeds on my iGoogle page. I suggest including international sources, but remember, they have agendas, too. 3 - Oratory is not substance! I think we've all become victims of marketing, very prone to support the nicely-packaged product. And not just in politics, but in entertainment, news, etc. Also remember that people (both intentionally and through sheer ignorance) take great quotations out of context and twist their meanings.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
1- Don't believe that every politician is completely honest when they write a book or give a speech. Do your own homework. Google a lot. Check the agenda of the person writing. There's a great blog called An American Expat in Southeast Asia who reports factual information from a totally different point of view. 2- Everyone has an agenda and everything is politics. That's just the way it is with humans. So whatever you read, be it book, newspaper, blog, website, realize that there's an agenda there. Once you find it, you're better off because you can then read with knowledge. 3- Don't get caught up in the emotion of the moment. Just because someone has a fluid mesmerizing voice doesn't mean that the words ring true. Just because the man quotes great scholars to prove his points doesn't mean that what he says is basically without flaws. Just because a man stutters doesn't mean that his words carry no weight. 4- Don't necessarily support the "popular" guy because the popular guy could be the chief lemming leading every other lemming to the edge of a cliff. 5- Come to your own conclusion. Study the facts and base your decision on known facts not on fairy-tale stories. And check out the persons providing the facts. They can have an agenda too.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Do it tresjolie! Take best talker for July!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Wow, didn't realize I double posted before. Maybe it is my underlying craving for Top Commenter T shirt(and glory) that did it. But I agree with Lain and others that we need to educate ourselves. I'm actually really looking forward to watching some FOX. Maybe my view will become more nuanced as well.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I agree, trésjolie, all bad journalism should be boycotted. I tried to subscribe to the L.A. Times a year or so ago, and had to cancel it. I try to keep up with all points of view, but the Times just goes too far in pushing their political agenda(s). I can keep abreast of that on the internet, I don't have to give them my money. The Economist is great, as is the Wall Street Journal. IMO anyone who refuses to expose him/herself to opposition viewpoints cannot make a god and balanced decision. And isn't that the goal?
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Hm. I think everyone should avoid the NYT. Boycott bad journalism! But I read the Economist, and it is very balanced. I'll be going home for a summer vacation soon, and then I'll look and see if FOX is as bad as I think.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I used to like a balanced world view so I read Mother Jones and watched Fox News. But then I had no idea if we were winning or losing in Iraq, if the economy was in a downfall or starting to recover, or if Obama was our savior or a Muslim terrorist. So now it's strictly The Onion from here on in. :step: Keep stepping!
janneth janneth 9 years
I love Wall Street Journal. It is as balanced as it can be. I learn alot from every issue.
underyourwaves underyourwaves 9 years
I refuse to touch Faux News, but since I have the Wall Street Journal on my Google Reader, I think I'm good.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
:spin: Never stop!
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