With every twist and turn in the prolonged "primary circus" grabbing media attention, critics have accused the 2008 campaign of being long on personality and short on policy debate. Here’s a look at the issues confronting the candidates and where they stand.

Foreign Policy

Platform based on "securing America and restoring America’s standing in the international community."

Supports "tough, direct presidential diplomacy …without preconditions" with Iran.

Supports a strong US-Israeli partnership, Israel’s right to self-defence and US foreign assistance to Israel.

Supports two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Obama and running mate Sen. Joe Biden are co-sponsors of the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, which outlaws direct assistance to any entity controlled by Hamas
Platform based on preparing America to "prevail against any adversary on the field of battle" and "on the battleground of ideas."

Has twice mistakenly accused Iran of supporting al Qaeda, but has since retracted: "I am sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al Qaeda."

Supports Israel as a key US ally and Israel's right to self-defense "while terrorism remains the Palestinians' preferred bargaining tool."
Position on two-state solution on Israeli-Palestinian crisis unclear.