When considering McCain vs Obama for President, I looked at major qualities and criteria to decide who I would hire for the job. I organized my criteria into 3 groups -- Character, Capability, and Issues. Here is how I think each candidate compares.
Honesty & Trustworthiness - Winner: Obama. While not perfect, Obama has done a much better job of being honest and truthful. McCain and Palin have both been caught by too many lies or bending the truth. Also McCain has changed his mind more radically, more quickly, and more whimsically than Obama. Obama has had a steadier hand and been more consistent. Finally, the Republicans in general have done some very ethically questionable things of late so I trust them much less. Biden has had some problems in the past but has been better of late.
Respectfulness - Winner: Obama. Obama was very considerate of both the moderator and of McCain in the first Presidential debate. Obama looked at McCain. I never saw McCain actually look at Obama. Palin smeared community organizers (most Americans) as well as Obama. Biden has been pretty quiet lately.
Friendliness - Tie: Obama & McCain. Both seem quite personable and friendly.
Experience - Winner: McCain. McCain does have more experience than Obama. Although Obama's experience is sufficient for the job.
Intelligence - Winner: Obama. Obama has shown a much better capability to think quickly and accurately than McCain. McCain has seemed slow on the uptake or bumbling and stuck on the same old saw much of the time. Palin has fumbled when she was not carefully prepped.
Schooling - Winner: Obama. He has excellent academic credentials having done well both at Columbia and Harvard Law. McCain and Biden are ok (whereas Palin pales in comparison to everyone else).
Communication - Winner by a long shot: Obama. Obama has shown he is an excellent communicator. Obama is clear, crisp, well spoken, and inspirational. Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" is very well written and tells us more about who he is then we can know about just about any other Presidential candidate. McCain is more muddled and confusing when he talks. McCain uses lots of nice sounding words but ends up saying little of real substance. In the debate, Obama was much clearer on the issues. McCain kept trying to attack Obama's character and did not answer many of the challenges that Obama set before McCain.
Leadership - Winner: Obama. Not only has Obama shown himself to be a strong, consistent, reliable leader in the US, the rest of the world respects him as well so he can be a real world leader rather than someone who uses US military might to bully others. We need to have the rest of the world on our side willingly and not against us or only coerced to be on our side.
Health - Winner: Obama. The job of President is very physically demanding. It took a lot out of Bill Clinton. McCain is quite old and showing some physical vulnerabilities. Biden is older but not too old yet. Palin is quite healthy.
Balance - Winner: Obama. Obama is more of a centrist than McCain and especially than Palin. Read Obama's book, he is clearly a thoughtful centrist and not prone to make dogmatic statements or get stuck in dogmatic positions.
War & Peace - Winner: Obama. War is rarely justified and Peace should be the priority. I was strongly against the Iraq war and so was Obama. The Iraq war was a huge mistake and has been a huge waste of resources, money, and lives. Obama and Palin support the Iraq war, feel it is justified and can be won. (If you believe in War and might makes right, than vote for McCain.)
Economy - Winner: Obama. Obama recognizes that regular Americans are the backbone and strength of America. Obama wants to give these regular folks tax breaks rather than the wealthy. McCain says he supports regular Americans but plans to give the real tax breaks to the wealthy. Also McCain was one of the people who were around during the time we got ourselves into the financial pickle we are currently in. If his experience is so important, then why did he not succeed in doing more to prevent the current crisis? Also McCain has been wrong a number of times in the economic area -- saying "Our economy is fundamentally strong..." even though there has been horrendous financial mismanagement recently and now we are trying to rescue our economy from disaster. (If you believe in making the rich, richer, then vote for McCain.)
Education - Winner: Obama. Obama understands that education is fundamental for a strong nation and will strongly support it so our entire nation can be knowledgeable and strong. McCain and Palin seem to see funding education as socialism rather than an investment in our future. I believe that education is the best possible investment in our future that we can make. Our children are our future. Books not bombs. (If you believe in not spending money on education, then vote for McCain.)
Energy - Winner: Obama. Obama has a vision and a reasonable plan for energy independence. This must be one of our top priorities. McCain and Palin want to delay and mainly drill for more oil rather than solving the root cause. (If you believe we should just get more oil, then vote for McCain.)
International Policy - Winner: Obama. Experience is not everything. It also takes the right perspective and capability. The rest of the world recognizes Obama as someone they can trust and respect. (If you believe we are always right and should force other nations to get our way, then vote for McCain.)
Civil Rights - Winner: Obama. Obama knows that free speech matters. He also seems more aware of civil rights issues than McCain does. (If you believe our government knows better and should control our lives more, then vote for McCain.)
Right to Choose - Winner: Obama. I strongly believe in a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. It is a tough choice and she is in the best position to choose. McCain's side, and especially Palin, want to eliminate the ability for women to choose. (If you believe others should choose for women, then vote for McCain.)
Environment - Winner: Obama. Obama seems much more likely to be a good steward for our environment than McCain. McCain seems to more strongly support big businesses that are more likely to want to rape our earth than maintain and restore it. (If you believe the environment can take care of itself, then vote for McCain.)