Präsidentenwahlen in Zeiten der Krise

CAMBRIDGE – Am 4. November werden die Amerikaner mitten in der schlimmsten Finanzkrise seit dem Beginn der Großen Depression im Jahr 1929 ihren 44. Präsidenten wählen. Beide Kandidaten sind Senatoren ohne nennenswerte Führungserfahrung und aus diesem Grund wurden ihre Fähigkeiten als Krisenmanager zum zentralen Wahlkampfthema.

Zu Beginn der Kampagne prognostizierten viele Beobachter, dass der Irak das beherrschende Thema des Wahlkampfs 2008 sein würde. Nun ist es aber die Finanzkrise. Prinzipiell sollte dies Barack Obama und den Demokraten zugute kommen, denn in Meinungsumfragen wird ihnen mehr Kompetenz in Wirtschaftsfragen bescheinigt, wohingegen die Republikaner und John McCain in Sicherheitsfragen besser abschneiden. Nach dem Parteitag der Republikaner wiesen die Meinungsumfragen Anfang September einen Vorsprung für McCain aus, aber nach der Kernschmelze im Finanzsystem übernahm Obama die Führung.

Obwohl beide Kandidaten das 700 Milliarden-Dollar-Rettungspaket für den Finanzsektor mit Skepsis befürworteten, gibt es zwischen den beiden doch deutliche Unterschiede. Obama ist nicht nur der erste afroamerikanische Präsidentschaftskandidat einer großen Partei, er ist auch einer der jüngsten Kandidaten, die jemals zur Wahl gestanden sind. McCain hingegen verfügt über Erfahrung als Marinepilot und saß über zwanzig Jahre im Senat. Im Falle seiner Wahl wäre er der älteste Präsident Amerikas bei Amtsantritt.

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