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The Candidates on Homeland Security

February 21, 2008

Barack Obama Jonah Czerwinski over at Homeland Security Watch has started up a series examining each of the candidates’ positions on homeland security. While we sometimes chafe at the focus on homeland security issues, the fact of the matter is that in political parlance, homeland security has come to mean a broad range of topics, including public health preparedness, emergency management, and natural disaster mitigation, among other things. I think that examining the candidates’ positions will offer an insight into where public health preparedness efforts fall.

Jonah has so far only talked about Barack Obama, but comes away mildly impressed. I have to say that I’m pretty impressed as well. Especially with this exchange and Obama’s de-emphasis on military, defense and homeland security responses:

Obama made headlines at the first Democratic debate of the election season when asked what he would do first after a terrorist attack on the homeland if he was president. Instead of offering the predictable “Kill or capture those responsible, if they aren’t already dead as a result of the attack,” Obama said he’d first make sure the victims were tended to. Interesting.

The direct link to the Obama post is here, and I’ll continue to update this post with new reviews as Jonah publishes them.

Next post up: Hillary Rodham Clinton – one of Jonah’s commenters also mentions that Senator Clinton has, in the past, supported pulling FEMA from DHS, though stayed relatively hands off regarding DHS issues.

Next post up: John McCain –  Jonah is less than impressed by the almost exclusive focus on immigration and Iraq War, though hopes that might change as the campaign moves into the general election.

Photo credit: Daniella Zalcman

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