ClickBack: Powell Endorsement

Posted Oct. 20, 2008, at 6:05 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 3:26 a.m.

The election is two weeks from today, and so ClickBack remains locked in political mode, so we focus our questions on issues that will be resolved on Nov. 4. What do editorial page readers make of Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama? Should the casino proposal be approved? Will John McCain pledge to serve just one term?

To participate the BDN’s weekly editorial page interactive feature, visit bangordailynews.com and pull down on the “Opinion” menu and let up on “ClickBack.” Readers may respond to our questions, or post their own.

Some of the comments posted at ClickBack may be featured on Friday’s OpEd page.

What does Colin Powell’s endorsement do for Barack Obama?

The former Secretary of State, chairman of the Joint Chiefs and retired general, who is a lifelong Republican, endorsed the Illinois senator on Sunday’s “Meet The Press” show on NBC. Will this win over undecided voters, or even moderate Republicans? Will it persuade military retirees — who make up a big bloc of voters in Florida — to vote for Sen. Obama? Or will it be dismissed this late in the process because most voters have made up their minds? Do endorsements of any kind have influence?

Question 2 on the Maine ballot seeks approval of a casino in Oxford. Should it be approved?

A Nevada-based company, Olympia Gaming Maine, hopes to spend $100 million or more to build a casino in the Oxford County town of Oxford, but needs voter approval. Olympia has taken over the project from Evergreen Mountain Enterprises, which put the question on the ballot through a petition drive led by Rumford lawyer Seth Carey. Proponents argue that Mainers should be able to spend money on this sort of entertainment – as they do at Hollywood Slots in Bangor. They also point to the millions of dollars that will be sent to public institutions from the revenue gambling produces, as described in the law that accompanies the referendum. Opponents say it will drain working Mainers of what little disposable income they have, or worse, take money they need for housing and food. How will you vote, and why?

To boost his flagging campaign, should John McCain pledge to serve just one term if elected?

Pundits have suggested that Sen. McCain could win over undecided voters if he promises to serve just one term. Such a strategy would enable him to be bolder in his policies, because he would not have to answer to voters or his party if he did not seek re-election. Would this work? Or would it appear to be a ploy? What else might Sen. McCain do to persuade voters who are on the fence?

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