Even though kids can't vote, we have a big stake in this election. The candidates are competing by describing their plans for education, health care -- a lot of issues that affect us directly. So kids should pay attention to how this process works.
Clearly, Barack Obama's message of change is getting voters' attention. He and Senator Hillary Clinton are in a close race for delegates, who will represent them at the Democratic National Convention in the summer. Obama pledges to mandate that kids are insured. For this reason, voters with kids may be paying more attention to Obama. Senator Obama also does not want to send another generation of children to failing schools. When TFK asked the senator about his plans to improve education, he responded that he doesn't want to continue the current policies for his own daughters, so he doesn't want them for any other children, either. I believe Obama really cares about the education of American children. Carl Sutherland, a fifth grader at Miramar Elementary in Florida, agrees. "Teachers help us learn the things we need to thrive in and out of the classroom," Carl told me. "They deserve more credit."
Spending time with Mitt Romney in Miami has led me to believe that if Barack Obama is not America's next president, then Romney stands a chance. Romney also has ideas for changing education policy, and I believe that he can make America stronger for kids! Romney says that if teachers fail to do their job correctly they should pay a serious consequence. Kadeem Hall, another student at Miramar Elementary, sees the issue of teacher quality the same way: "I agree with Governor Romney, because I want a teacher that will teach me the right things in a way that the class can understand."
Senator Clinton is a nice lady and definitely still stands a chance. She is strong on health care, as she's been in public service for thirty-five years. Clinton has a health-care plan that will provide coverage for about 9 million children who currently do not have health insurance. "When you are a child, you cannot care for yourself. You need help," said Ashley Acevedo of Miramar Elementary. If Senator Clinton became president, it would be historic. She would be the first woman president of the United States.
There are still many candidates with big ideas in the running. John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani will be running hard until February 5, 2008, when many states are going to the polls. The contests that day, called Super Tuesday, will make the picture much clearer for Election 2008.
The campaign is heating up and coming your way. Kids should get informed! Ask questions, talk to your parents, find short articles in the paper about the candidates, and read them! Do everything you possibly can to learn more about the candidates, especially their ideas on issues that will affect your life.
Simone Antoinette Nelzi, 10