By the time this is read, the Democratic convention will be over or almost over. The Republican convention has concluded. Let the campaigns begin - as if they haven't already been continuous since who knows when. Now we're on to wall to wall campaigning and the sometimes defining debates. The good thing is that there are only approximately 60 days to go.
In truth, the 60 days are unlikely to uncover anything not already known. Mitt Romney is not an unknown. He's campaigned before. He has a track record as governor of Massachusetts and rescuer of the U.S. hosted Olympic Games and as a successful private businessman. His father was CEO of American Motors and governor of Michigan. He's written books ("No Apology: The Case for America's Greatness") and books have been written about him (Mormon In The White House").
Obama, who was not vetted before his election, certainly has been now. He has his own record as president, his own two books, "Dreams From My Father" and " Audacity of Hope". Then there is Ed Klein's (former editor of New York Times), "The Amateur", David Maraniss' (editor of the Washington Post), " Obama", and Dinesh D'Souza's " The Roots of Obama's Rage". The last is the basis for a political documentary now in theaters across the country " 2016: Obama's America". On top of that is Obama's own continuous speechifying.
So, no one can say " I don't know enough about either candidate to make up my mind." If you don't know enough you're either deaf, blind or demented or all three. As for the vice presidential candidates, they matter, but not much. Veep Joe Biden has been around a long time and continues to verbally stumble his way across the country. Paul Ryan is fresh political meat, known as a congressman, but emerging as a serious policy wonk. However, when push comes to shove, vice presidents don't mean that much to the voters. Ditto for the wives.
What can be said about this election is that there is a clear choice. There are few blurry lines. While the main stream media seems obsessed by verbal gaffes, flip-flopping, political incorrectness, dress, mistakes (but not their own), and every kind of "gotcha" that might happen along the campaign trail, obscured is the broader philosophical bases of the candidates and their core supporters (not necessarily the political party operatives or the platforms).
These are reflected in positions of taxes and the application of them, views on entitlements, views on the debt, health care (as separate from entitlements), the military, foreign policy as in the role and stature of America, and the role and scope of government in size, spending, and intrusion on private citizens and organizations.
Those too should be pretty clear by now. The point is that voters have a clear choice. While I say that the choices are clear, voters have to sort through the dialogue to decide. The "what's in it for me?" crowd are likely to have a different perspective than the "who's the best person to get us where we need to go?" crowd. And, from an individual personal self-interest point of view, there are more perspectives than those two.
Neither candidate, candidates, or their political parties are free of blemishes, mistakes, flip-flops, even corruption and malfeasance. Speeches don't often reflect actions when the reality of governing comes knocking. Pay attention, instead, to the underlying philosophies and beliefs, associations, and individual actions and achievements to determine how these fit with your vision, past, present and future, for America.