Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Presidential race or just race?

In the race between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, positive qualities have been disregarded or minimized, and negative qualities overlooked. Would the U.S. presidential elections be a contest at all if Obama was Caucasian?

Consider, What if?

Let’s hypothetically reverse the backgrounds of Democratic and Republican candidates.

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three-month-old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was former president of the Harvard Law Review?

What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair, while he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was a former rodeo queen and the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard and was a lawyer?

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn’t read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Facts on their educational background

Now check their respective majors, alma maters and academic achievements.

Barack Obama
Columbia University – B.A. Political Science with a specialization in International Relations
Harvard University – Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden
University of Delaware – B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science
Syracuse University College of Law – Juris Doctor (J.D.)


John McCain
United States Naval Academy – Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin
Hawaii Pacific University – 1 semester
North Idaho College – 2 semesters – general study
University of Idaho – 2 semesters – journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College – 1 semester
University of Idaho – 3 semesters – B.A. in Journalism

After reviewing the facts in black and white, it appears to be an issue of black and white. How else could McCain have made it this far?

Isn’t this supposed to be about credentials, experience, moral character and focused leadership?

Vote America.

I did.

This article was reposted from Ich Kalliope, and the original can be found at the Engaged Observer. Photo by Jim Bourg, Reuters


  Giorgos wrote @ November 3rd, 2008 at 09:24

The differences in education levels of the candidates are truly remarkable.

Here in Australia, many people are following the US presidential elections with an interest that is not even generated in the local national election. Let’s hope America will select the more competent candidate. So far the polls show it seems it will = )

I think the real challenge for the first black US president will be to justify the enormous expenditure of his campaign, with some refreshing policies that bring America closer to unity and financial stability, the latter of which will impact many other countries too. Winning the election seems like the easy part…

  photene wrote @ November 3rd, 2008 at 15:42

It’s an exciting time for a lot of voters in the US but it’s also scary for those in the GOP who suddenly find themselves unable to support McCain b/c of Palin. Will conservatives still vote for that ticket or will they stay home? I’m curious to see what turnout will be like for Republicans. I expect a HUGE victory for Obama and just received notification that we’re getting tix to the Grant Park (Chicago) rally for Obama tomorrow night. It truly is history in the making and I can’t wait!

  susan wrote @ November 3rd, 2008 at 18:24

today on the news they are saying Obama could win by a landslide in popular vote and lose the electoral vote count. How would we ever explain that to the world???

Petros will be travelling to Greece on election day. Usually we go to the democratic party headquarters to watch the results. He says he will check the news in Amsterdam on his way:)

  Cheryl wrote @ November 3rd, 2008 at 20:51

I can’t believe that there are people out there that will vote strictly according to party lines even with this knowledge. As always, I have plenty to say…but I’ll hold my tongue and cross my fingers. We need change…and there’s HOPE! :)

  Maria wrote @ November 3rd, 2008 at 23:09

I have seen Republicans trying to play the elitist card and for the life of me I can’t understand why I wouldn’t want someone with top education (not to mention his other qualities) to become the president. When did it make sense to have an average Joe as the head of the state? This isn’t about giving equal opportunities or seeing someone beating the odds.

I really hope Obama will win tomorrow. I shudder just thinking the alternative…

  graffic wrote @ November 4th, 2008 at 10:08

First I’d like to say that I agree with your point. Having someone intelligent is better than having a puppet/puppy as the head of your country. (I prefer puppies for my house and puppets from Metallica).

But I guess the point is also: who made important contributions to their area of expertise. You can be a bad student but be an intelligent/smart person, and also do great things where you work.

For me this point come also in the way you speak (Hey! you’re gonna be hired to speak for your country). While Obama shows a more serious and professional speech, McCain looks like a Texas ranger with a suit.

I only hope America gets a better president :)

  Christopher wrote @ November 4th, 2008 at 13:45

Uh oh Kat, your site can no longer be considered non-partisan! :-O

Personally I’m a Democrat and an Obama supporter myself, but I don’t like the demonizing of McCain by many Obama-supporters. Should we place much weight on how low McCain ranked in his naval class four to five DECADES ago? Would McCain be a bad president because he’s been divorced, or had a sexual relationship with a woman he happened to meet in a bar? If so, then I guess I’m out of the running too on all accounts, as probably many ex-presidents would be too.

As Obama doesn’t have a huge amount of political experience, reflecting on his education and other work experience are the few ways we can get some sense of how he will be as president. And everything shows us he’s got the intelligence and the chops to probably be a pretty darn good president. McCain may have been a lowsy student, pilot, etc., forty years ago but he has a several decades long vote-record in the Senate to review to get an idea of how he’d run the country. Demonize McCain for what he shows himself to be through his political record, not through his high school and naval school transcripts.

It’s unfortunate, though it’s human nature, that we have to demonize the people we dislike in order to prop up the ones we do like.

  Kat wrote @ November 4th, 2008 at 19:15

G – It’s startling to see it in plain text without the hype and rhetoric, isn’t it? And yes, he did spend a lot of money; maybe it has to do with the fact that heavy security had to be placed on him earlier than any presidential candidate in the history of the USA.

P – Well, voters can choose to cross party lines, as I recall. I take nothing for granted and will simply wait for the results. Remember elections in 2000? Yeesh.

S – Again, it would be 2000 all over again. I’ve tried my best to explain it to people unfamiliar with the electoral system, which in my opinion should be revised to reflect modern times.

C – I’m crossing my fingers, much like you.

M – Elitist card. That’s so ridiculous, isn’t it? Especially when you consider that Mrs. McCain is filthy rich and declares her income separate from her husband. In addition to what you said about not wanting an average Joe to lead the most powerful (and most hated) nation in the world, I don’t need four more years of incomprehensible sentences and embarrassment.

I like it when McCain appears on SNL and the Daily Show, I think he’s hilarious. But as president, help us.

G – LOL! As usual, many of your comments made me laugh. In the end, yes, I do not want to see four more years of Texas.

C – The thing about me is I vote for the person I feel is best qualified for the job after much research, and I cross party lines to accomplish that if necessary. I agree that a poor student can later raise himself up to be successful; I agree that one’s personal life is not necessarily an indicator of a leader. However, I do believe in consistency and character, especially if they’re preaching it to the general public. The point of this post was not to demonize McCain. The point was to illustrate how race does indeed play a factor, even if people try to deny it.

The final hours are ticking down…

  Eugenia wrote @ November 5th, 2008 at 15:34


  KT wrote @ November 5th, 2008 at 17:41

I think it’s hilarious how Greeks and the rest of the world, hate America, and call us stupid, but all the Greek channels for the past week or so that I have been watching have been focusing on the American elections..
Finally , an African-American president!! I support Obama all the way, he will makes us proud

  Going Crunchy wrote @ November 8th, 2008 at 03:43

I had to check in on your take, and lovin’ the posts. I think all of the husband’s family has breathed a collective sign of relief.

I’m proud to be an American for the first time in a while………

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