Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pondering the Democrats

Is it possible that the reason the Democratic candidates are ignoring McCain and the wider effects of their bickering is because they don't see the election as a race between Democrats and Republicans? Most polls suggest that dissatisfaction with the GOP is so high, that it won't matter who they put forward as a candidate, as the Democrats are a shoe-in. It's possible that this has led Obama and Clinton into narrowing the race until it is just a battle between the two of them, ignoring McCain completely. They're certainly expending an awful lot of energy, money and vitriol towards each other, that might ordinarily only have come out in the national election.
Also, can pundits please stop saying that only racist people don't like Obama? At this point, I'm fed up of both Democratic candidates - does that mean I'm a racist chauvinist? No. I'm not. I think either of them would be a good president (same goes for McCain), but I don't think we're going to have a great 44th president. By constantly mentioning his race, there is no way he can run the "post-racial" campaign that everyone keeps talking about. Treat him like any other candidate, who happens to be intelligent, highly organised and full of potential. Then at least Clinton won't be able to say he's received a free-ride.*
The Democrats are setting themselves up for the mother of all disappointments by building Obama up into a messianic figure of liberal salvation. It's dangerous, and will ultimately leave everyone feeling cheated or let down - there's no way anyone can live up to the expectations people have piled on top of him (not his fault, but he'll get the blame).
* Speaking of which, I think McCain would have a genuine beef about the Democrats receiving all the media coverage. Though, at the same time, he might benefit from it because by the time people come round to voting, they'll be so sick of both Clinton and Obama that they might just pull the lever for McCain who is, let's be honest, a good prospect. He'd be just as good in the White House as the Democratic candidates, if not better, because he won't have spent the last year tearing his party a new one.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lame Endorsement

This is quite possibly the lamest “endorsement” for Obama over Clinton, from Willie Barrow, an Illinois party official and Democrat super-delegate:

“I support Barack because [he] exemplifies a real man. He is a Christian, husband and father. Universal healthcare, employment and education are the primary issues for me. Our children are not going to school and not graduating. The state is closing schools and opening jails. I think that people of faith have to broaden their ministries outside the walls of the church. Anyone can sing in the choir or serve on the deacon board but how many know the level of unemployment in their community or the number of people losing their homes?”

It’s posted somewhere on Obama’s website, if you want to find it, and can also be found here (where I spotted it).

Below are the particularly noteworthy exerpts, that need addressing:

  1. Christian, husband and father” – Hillary is a Christian, wife, and mother. How is this any different? Unless you’re sexist.
  2. Universal healthcare, employment and education” as primary issues – well, as has been made clear by almost every media outlet in the world covering the primaries, Obama and Clinton are essentially in the same place for all these issues (and more).
  3. know the level of unemployment in their community or the number of people losing their homes” – well, I’d say that Hillary has proven that she has an amazing capacity for policy and for data, so I’d say she would probably be more likely to know not only her own community/district’s unemployment rates, but also those from obscure communities around the whole country.

And one other thing – Barack is a “real man”? Surely Hillary is a “real woman”? I’m not coming down on either side here, but seriously, this endorsement is the emptiest load of fluff I’ve ever read. If anyone is swayed by this, they deserve to be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Daily Show Bump?

Going to engage in a little punditry, now (it has to be done). After her successful appearances on both The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live, Hillary Has won three of the four states up for grabs yesterday. Claiming victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island, she edges ever closer to Obama, who only won Vermont.
What does this mean for the everlong Democratic primary race? Well, frankly I haven't the faintest idea. While I have been pretty close to the mark with my predictions since the beginning, now it's just becoming downright weird. Whenever someone is considered "out" or "lost", they have a comeback. Are voters deliberately playing with the media? I'd love it if they were, but I think that would be bestowing the American people with a communal guile that is wholly unlikely.
Needless to say, the race is still too close to call for the Democrats, while the previously scrappy Republican field (which has gone through three sure-thing front runners) has now been whittled down to just Senator John McCain (Huckabee conceded yesterday, and no one really knows what's happened to Ron Paul). McCain now has a couple of months' head-start to campaign for the whole country. While not knowing who specifically he's campaigning against, he can at least start general attacks against the Democratic platform - after all, both Hillary and Barack have told us so many times that they agree on everything anyway, McCain can safely just poke holes in the general ideas.
The Democrats, on the other hand, will continue to shout at each other, for months to come.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Clinton does Comedy Shows

Just a quick post:
Watched the Saturday Night Live sketches about the Clinton-Obama debates, and also Hillary's "Editorial Response"; and also caught Senator Clinton on The Daily Show, and while I know it was all very careful and semi-scripted (not the shows, but certainly the responses would have been over-thought), I must say I have come away liking her more than I did before.
Does that make me shallow? No, it probably just makes me the ideal Clinton/Democratic/American voter. She managed to get some good answers in, without sounding stiff or like a lecturer. Pleasantly surprised.
Still prefer McCain, by a little bit.