Rating confusion: Is Obama a liberal?

McCain and other Republicans cite a National Journal rating to claim that Obama is the Senate's No. 1 liberal. But other measurements tell a different story.

Actually, there's some truth to both claims. The political magazine National Journal rated Obama the most liberal senator for 2007, while Congressional Quarterly calculated that Obama voted with Bush 40 to 50 percent over the past two years.

McCain's seemingly contradictory claims illustrate the limitations of congressional ratings. Although they can provide a quick snapshot of someone's voting record, the ratings have many shortcomings, political ... Full Story »

Posted by Kaizar Campwala

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Review

Andrew Van Camp
2.9
by Andrew Van Camp - Oct. 1, 2008

Bill Adair provides a generally coherent tour of the ins and outs of branding politicians as liberal or conservative via a number of groups. Further information that might have been helpful would be to indicate the spread in a particular rating system between first and last. If Obama or Mc Cain ranked tenth instead of first, yet there isn’t a dimes worth of difference between first and twenty first, then being tenth doesn’t mean much. A few more sentences devoted to flushing out what liberal - conservative social, economic and foreign policy positions are would also improve the article. The nation’s voters need clear concepts repeated in this regard to avoid the ills of the propaganda machines.

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