Posted by: bikenwalk | October 16, 2008

Better Biker, Better President?

With the Presidential Election just around the corner, the worlds attention (when not distracted by the lack of money everywhere) is focused on two individuals, Sen. John McCain and Sen Barack Obama. So since everything has been focused on these two gentlemen, I thought I should look at the two Presidential hopefuls from a two-wheeled perspective. One of the most popular images that has associated Sen. Obama with cycling is the one below:

Sen. Obama Commuting in Chicago

While I admit that Sen. Obama looks somewhat “dorky”, if you go beyond the tucked in polo and oh-so-tight whitewashed jeans you would see that he is wearing a properly fitting helmet, in a bike lane, and is toting one of the Obama Bunch with a trailer. Overall he looks like a pretty solid commuter.

What gives Obama my respect as a cyclist is when he showed up to Indiana University’s little 500, a 500 lap race of 4 person teams around a quarter m

ile track. Any Presidential canidate who will support track racing has got my vote.

Sen. Obama at Little 500 at Indiana Univ.

Images of Sen. McCain on or around bikes could not be found. John, seriously, biking can improve your cardiovascular fitness. When you hear people shouting, “4 more years” you want it to be becuase they want you in office for another term, not because they think that’s how much time you have left on this earth.

On a more serious note, in Barack Obama’s campaign, he has committed himself to pursuing alternative forms of transportation. Here is a quote from the Barack Obama Campaign website:

“As president, Barack Obama will re-evaluate the transportation funding process to ensure that smart growth considerations are taken into account. Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks, and he will also re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country. Building more livable and sustainable communities will not only reduce the amount of time individuals spent commuting, but will also have significant benefits to air quality, public health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sen. McCain, “hasn’t released a formal policy identified as targeting urban issues”.

So far, Sen. Obama is out to a commanding lead in the realm of urban transportation policy, but as cyclist know a lot can change in the last leg of a race. So from now until Nov. 4th we will see how viewpoints and opinions of each candidates change. My final plea to both candidates, don’t go mountain biking, apparently it doesn’t bode well for presidents.

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