Can a person effectively and engagingly argue for something without arguing against something? Or vice versa?
It would seem difficult to pursue one without the other, presuming that the objective is to persuade others. For instance, Obama makes his case by villifying the current state of, well, just about everything. McCain chooses to villify Obama personally. Which candidate has a larger opportunity based on those targets?
Now that we know where each candidate stands in the "against" arena, what about the "for"? Here's where McCain loses out yet again. Obama is effectively telling America exactly what he plans to do, along with exactly what he says the effect of those policies will be. That's where people can get confused or disagree - regardless, however, of the effects of his policies, we know what Obama stands for.
What does McCain stand for? Not what did he used to stand for, but what does he stand for right here, right now? We know he stands for winning the war. Beyond that, we don't know a lot, other than that he's against Obama's proposals.
In the final analysis, Obama is against more of the concrete, real world problems than McCain appears to be. Obama is also for more of the things that matter to people than McCain appears to be. In politics, appearances are everything; therefore, whatever these two men ACTUALLY STAND FOR OR AGAINST, Obama has outflanked McCain on every front of this engagement.
This post was intended to be a different branch of yesterday's atheism article post, but I somehow got sidetracked. I'll pick that train of thought back up later tonight or tomorrow though!