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The campaign starts

Justin Webb | 08:20 UK time, Friday, 16 May 2008

The election campaign proper has started now, supporters of John McCain are turning their attention to winning, or more precisely how to win.

And this, from team McCain, is not a bad early effort:

If the choice comes down to "change" or "victory", McCain's newly tweaked more positive message might well play strongly...

This too is a sign of seriousness about winning - perhaps the McCain people have been using their spare time in recent weeks more usefully than some Democrats imagine.

Meanwhile, I see my friend Gerry Baker of the London Times has Obama's number.

This is the key point: "This [positive] media narrative is not only an outgrowth of the journalists' natural enthusiasm for a Democrat such as Mr Obama. It is also a clever ploy to pre-emptively de-legitimise any Republican critique of the Democratic nominee. It is designed to prevent Mr McCain from asking reasonable questions about Mr Obama's strikingly vacuous political background, or raising doubts about his credentials for the presidency."

Comments

  • 1. At 10:52am on 16 May 2008, Reuben33g wrote:

    No matter how much his supporters in the media try to portray him as such, Obama is not the second coming of Kennedy.
    Suc high expectations of a cannidate of such shallow experience, will very likely lead to disapointment.
    Obam should denouce the attack adds that have been put out by his fellow democrats.
    It only makes Obama look bad when his side is putting out negative attacks against McCain while McCain is keeping his adds positive (so far).

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  • 2. At 10:55am on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Justin,

    The McCain "not a bad early effort" ad is laughable!

    Have the Texas ants got into your brain? And the article from the London Times makes much of Obama's "thin" resume, but remember, Abraham Lincoln's was far less impressive.

    Obama's most clearly demonstrable capability is to form concensus as illustrated in the profile from the NY Times I linked earlier.

    As to "raising doubts about his credentials". how about calling him an appeaser, and I see McCain, who two years ago was admitting we'd have to talk to Hamas, has agreed with the Shrub.

    Don't let them thar ants get to ya!

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  • 3. At 11:12am on 16 May 2008, ukcowgirl wrote:

    Experienced politicians got us into this mess. Bad advisers (rumsfeld to name one) helped us deepen this mess. Obama is not afraid to admit a mistake, and rectify it.

    Obama has surrounded himself with excellent advisers, strategists, and yes, experienced democrats, who are all pulling for him. A saint? I doubt it. A calm, intelligent, rational person who can see all sides of an argument, dispute? Yes! Tied to oil, lobbyists? no! A hawk? No!

    If the infighting stops soon enough(hillary bows out), the democrats will win this election. Obama is the right choice, regardless of what the British press thinks.

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  • 4. At 11:14am on 16 May 2008, Candace9839 wrote:

    Bush declared 'Mission Accomplished' and look where we are today. 'Victory' in 2013 seems just as unlikely, and at what cost? We need a change in the White House and a new direction with Obama leading the way. All the more reason for Clinton to stop our wasting time, and Obama should have enough delegates by May 20 when Kentucky and Oregon hold their primaries.

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  • 5. At 11:20am on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    From your linked Atlantic article:


    The Obama campaign has had a similar conflict of interest policy since the campaign began last year and has required prospective employees to list potential conflicts.


    Just one more indication of administrative competence...

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 6. At 12:10pm on 16 May 2008, Streathamite wrote:

    I do hope USA posters aren't taking the Times as representative of Brit public opinion.
    It isn't: it sells a princely 700,000 copies a day, and the self-important witterings of a few sozzled wapping hacks who rarely, if ever, encounter average British citizens have nowt to do with what the rest of us think or believe.
    Now if only Hillary would face reality and do the decent thing...

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  • 7. At 12:19pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Interesting recollections from Obama's past acquaintances.

    Siddiqi said his female friends thought Obama was "a hunk."
    ..
    "We were always competing," he said. "You know how it is. You go to a bar and you try hitting on the girls. He had a lot more success. I wouldn't out-compete him in picking up girls, that's for sure."
    ..
    Obama was a tolerant roommate. Siddiqi's mother, who had never been around a black man, came to visit and she was rude; Obama was nothing but polite. Siddiqi himself could be intemperate _ he called Obama an Uncle Tom, but "he was really patient. I'm surprised he suffered me."


    Nice.

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  • 8. At 12:35pm on 16 May 2008, ronaine wrote:

    An instance of good comic timing, that Justin should link to the same video that Ed linked to yesterday - with a vastly different appraisal.

    To be fair to Justin, though, he did say "this, from team McCain, is not a bad early effort" - which could suggest he had very low expectations of what they would produce.

    I think the economic confidence bit, with the house building, looks like an attack of Houston ants!

    And gotta love the delivery. The kind of voice that could persuade you to buy aftershave...

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  • 9. At 12:49pm on 16 May 2008, ronaine wrote:

    I still have this nauseous feeling that the larger threat will come from within rather than the GOP.

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  • 10. At 12:55pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    The McCain video is pure Disneyland, and I recall an Edinburgh policeman describing the new police headquarters as "Disneyland".

    When I gave a questioning look, he replied, "The telephones dis'nae wurk; the radios dis'nae wurk, ..."

    xx
    ed

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  • 11. At 1:16pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    And the blog dis'nae wurk?

    Early warning of Blog not working.
    ..
    * Eddie Mair
    * 16 May 08, 10:48 AM
    ..
    We've been told that this Blog and others will be out of action to allow essential maintenance. The email has just come in and I thought I'd let you know straight away.
    ..
    "The work is scheduled to begin at 1800 on Wednesday (21 May), and should be finished by 2100 at the latest." It's subject to change of course.

    (wry grin)
    ed

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  • 12. At 1:21pm on 16 May 2008, ronaine wrote:

    Who would have credited Edinburgh's finest (discounting Mr Salmond, of course, oh and that brilliant bagpipe player on the bridge) with such humour...?

    ;)

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  • 13. At 2:06pm on 16 May 2008, darrylfrancis wrote:

    "Streathamite in Milano" (eh?) complains about Gerald Baker's article in The Times. But the point that Baker was making is that Obama has relatively little experience in the Illinois legislature and the US Senate. I agree that Obama is an inspiring figure (I've just read his "Audacity of Hope"). But something tells me that - if he wins the Presidential elction - then in 2 years' time, we'll all be wondering where it went so wrong. How come all the promise and high-minded intentions fizzled out? While Hillary Clinton is not as inspiring as Obama, something tells me she'll be a tougher President, and will make some change happen. I'd be happy to see Obama or Hillary Clinton become President, but I think Clinton will have the experience and ability to get things changed, and Obama would be a lesser President by comparison. Gerald Baker points to the 'canonisation' of Obama by the left-leaning press. He's right - it's the kind of single-minded way of thinking in parts of the media, as so neatly depicted in Allen Drury's novels of some years ago.



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  • 14. At 2:09pm on 16 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    I had two simultaneous thoughts when watching the video;

    1) Most of the issues mentioned - energy security, healthcare, the economy, even withdrawal from Iraq - are traditional Democrat areas. Is this an indication of how McCain will play it in November? Certainly, viciously attacking a figure enveloped in such hope-related mysticism, such as Obama, would probably be counterproductive. He will, by this indication, play it calmly in style and moderate in politics. So we may have an election year where the Democratic challenger gets his hardest tackle from a fellow Democratic with a very similar ideological position.

    On the other hand, this tactic might turn a narrow Obama win into a landslide. What will the fire-eating Republicans (a la Limbaugh) do when they see adverts like that posted above? I have a feeling that very few will jump over to the Obama camp, but many of the rank-and-file conservative Republicans might just not turn out.

    2) The advert is pathetically weak. Perhaps as a Brit living in Britain I am not immersed in American political culture to the degree that Justin is, but I might also be immunised from Washington hype. I would also flatter myself that as a dedicated politico I can tell good propaganda from bad. This, in my humble opinion, is bad. One does not lure swing voters by merely providing elegaic visions of utopia. Politicians have to convince voters that they not only have the same goals as them, but that they know how to carry them out.

    That is not to say that McCain is light on policy - perhaps he is lighter than the Democrats, since he has to bridge the chasm, mentioned above, between him and ultra-conservative Republicans - but rather that this particular ad is poor. The real question, as mentioned in point 1, is whether McCain will try the same sort of thing in November.

    Hoping any day now for a Hilary capitulation so that the real fun and games can begin,

    SlashDashUnderscore

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  • 15. At 2:12pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    If you can stand it, an illustration of American TV madness.

    Thank G-d for the BBC!


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  • 16. At 2:12pm on 16 May 2008, Justianus wrote:

    “Come in , Mr. Hussein!”
    “Err, the name’s Obama…”
    “Yes, yes! Of course! Please sit down, Mr. Obama! Now, tell us why you’d like this job?”
    “Well, I feel it’s time for a new approach, and –”
    “Just a moment. A new approach? You mean, you’d like to run things differently?”
    “Exactly. I feel we need to change the way things have been –”
    “What experience have you got?”
    “I’m sorry?”
    “What experience have you got? At running things differently?”
    “Well, not very much. That’s just the thing. What I’m proposing is a new way of –”
    “Not very much, you say? You’re proposing something that’s not been tried before and then say you’ve never done it before? Well, that’s interesting. Thank you for coming, Mr. Osama. Thank you very much. We’ll let you know.”

    The Gerry Baker article is, I feel, old hat. If it had been written three months ago or so, it may have had its merits; now, it has none. By now, Obama has been vilified by many in the media (mainstream and otherwise). And yet, from lapel pins to Wright, from a Hamas “endorsement” to the callous mutilation of his name, Obama has seemed to weather it all.

    More importantly, though, the Baker article misses the crux of the Obama campaign and its appeal to many voters. They don’t, it seems to me, care all that much about his “strikingly vacuous background”. They simply want someone to step up to the plate and try things differently. Whether Obama can deliver on that promise is anyone’s guess, but the point is he’s offering us the choice.

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  • 17. At 2:20pm on 16 May 2008, AndreainNY wrote:

    Calling Obama a "light source" captures him perfectly.

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  • 18. At 2:43pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Slasher,

    Well put, except, "That is not to say that McCain is light on policy -"

    More like dim, I'd say
    xx
    ed

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  • 19. At 2:50pm on 16 May 2008, Shawn wrote:

    Obama is just as qualified to be president as McCain. Sorry to burt that bubble, but Obama has reached the same level of national government as McCain and is a highly intelligent, accomplished man who knows about the world beyond the twisted prism of war. This is important to a lot of voters.

    McCain was a bad pilot got caught and tortured while he was overseas killing people. This makes him more qualified to be President? Not in my book. He is just a typical, flip-flopping, pandering career politician and this self-proclaimed "foreign policy expert" doesn't even know the difference between Sunnni and Shia, how they relate to Iraq and Iran or that Czechoslovakia hasn't been a country for almost 20 years. Even my 7 year old nephew can name the countries of Europe.

    Similarly, Hillary is not more qualified simply because she is married to a former president. Obama has defeated one of the strongest, most well-connected and funded political machines in US history - the Clintons. Not capable or qualified?

    Obama is who we need now. The American people are more with him on the issues and I don't think voters are very excited for the third Bush term that McSame would deliver.

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  • 20. At 3:03pm on 16 May 2008, Reuben33g wrote:

    A Clinton capitulation will not come until the democratic nominee is selected at the convention; Hillary's numbers are too close to Obama's for her to just give up.
    Obama is not the guiding light and salvation of the free world, he's just the best pandering politician the democrats could get.
    Even Bill, who knew just what to say get himself elected twice, didn't have a good enough gauge on public opinion to keep from sticking his whole leg down his throat while campaigning for Hillary.
    You can't rely on a politician's campaign promises to know what their positions really are.
    You need to look at his voting record to know his real political position. If you want to know what moral guidance he had growing up, to inspire his political position, read about his parents and his church.

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  • 21. At 3:20pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Darryl (13),

    "While Hillary Clinton is not as inspiring as Obama, something tells me she'll be a tougher President, and will make some change happen."

    Surely these statements require the subjunctive mood - "would" instead of "will"?

    Obama's campaign as compared to Clinton's gives an indication of administrative and organisational capabilities. He has also already assembled an impressive array of extremely competent and experienced advisors.

    I think 2013 will be looking fine, but it won't be President McCain stepping up for his second inauguration...

    xx
    ed

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  • 22. At 3:25pm on 16 May 2008, newBodo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 23. At 3:28pm on 16 May 2008, Adrian_Evitts wrote:

    If the choice will indeed be between Senators McCain and Obama, the Benet poem (Song for Three Soldiers, reference previously posted), sums it up perfectly:

    McCain:

    Oh, where are you coming from, soldier, fine soldier,
    In your dandy new uniform, all spick and span,
    With your helmeted head and the gun on your shoulder,
    Where are you coming from, gallant young man?

    I come from the war that was yesterday's trouble,
    I come with the bullet still blunt in my breast;
    Though long was the battle and bitter the struggle,
    Yet I fought with the bravest, I fought with the best.

    Obama:

    Oh, where are you coming from, soldier, tall soldier,
    With ray-gun and sun-bomb and everything new,
    And a face that might well have been carved from a boulder,
    Where are you coming from, now tell me true!

    My harness is novel, my uniform other
    Than any gay uniform people have seen,
    Yet I am your future and I am your brother
    And I am the battle that has not yet been.

    [The reference to "gay" is from the 1940's, and should be given the meaning from that period, not that it has come to have!]


    I respect Sen. McCain, if only for refusing early release from Hell in a Vietnamese Prison. But I also wonder whether the terrible damage inflicted upon a man by his mistreatment for five years thereafter makes him best qualified to be C-in-C. There's good reason why victims do not directly judge criminals in a sound judicial system - although their voice should, of course, be heard.

    I hope that Sen. Obama realises that a genuine "battle for hearts and minds" can only ultimately be "won" with love and understanding for all, and not with ray-guns and sun-bombs. I think that he is wrong if he thinks that persisting with violence in Afghanistan will achieve anything positive. But then It took the Russians a decade to realise that, in an age when their own internal media were so subservient that the state did not need to heed negative publicity.

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  • 24. At 3:41pm on 16 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    Reuben,

    Firstly, I'd like to make clear that I am not a doctrinaire Obama supporter. For one thing, I'm not an American, which means that I observe events across the pond with some detachment, and (I hope) a little more reflection. But this is, essentially, not my contest, and I feel that in my cool rationale I'm missing a lot of things about the American political psyche (e.g. the Clinton supporters threatening to vote for McCain if Obama gets the ticket, the queasiness about seemingly mild race-inflected comments).

    That said, I think that a new American foreign policy is vital for British interests (and for America!). Of the three candidates, Obama is the most likely to provide this. Perhaps his unwillingness to swear that he will unconditionally support Israel shows a maturity regarding that country that first reared its head with the Clinton administration, but was swiftly buried during GWB's.

    Clinton (Hillary, that is) will not win. That doesn't mean that we won't see a brokered convention (which, incidentally, I have been predicting since before New Hampshire), but it will be a relatively easy affair for Obama - perhaps he will even be elected on the first ballot. For this reason, she is wasting her money (and the money of others that might be better spent on the struggle in November), her time, and her credibility.

    Regarding his politics, as I have already mentioned, there is very little between them in terms of ideology. Both of them are fairly firm Democratic Leadership Council - although Obama has become the champion of the Left primarily because Clinton is more identified with the DLC through her husband and her vote for the war - and their arguments have been pretty technical - the merits of a gas holiday, or their respective healthcare plans.

    Having read 'The Audacity of Hope', I would say that Obama is Bill Clinton 2.0. He embraces the same sort of willingness to 'triangulate' in its most positive form, and practical initiatives that Bill pioneered, but he thinks things out a little further. For instance, he appears to be broadly in favour of free trade, but is concerned that NAFTA has had damaging effects. Hillary is, at best, Bill Clinton 1.1.

    Btw: Shawn, I agree that McCain would continue the disastrous foreign policy of GWB, but I doubt that his administration could ever rival his predecessor's for procedural incomptence.

    Hoping that this isn't far too long,

    SlashDashUnderscore

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  • 25. At 3:42pm on 16 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    To add to #19, McCain referred to the
    "Soviet Union" a month or two ago.

    Still, I think the past was better in many ways -
    maybe we can go back there with this candidate.

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  • 26. At 3:48pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    NewBodo (22),

    "all the nonsense Wright is preaching..."

    Have you actually checked out the "rubbish"? I suspect not.

    Adrian (23),

    Excellent! And I agree about the futility of changing anything in Afghanistan through gunplay. Charlie Wilson was right. They need schools, not guns.

    Charlie Wilson (an old Republican) has endorsed Obama.

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
    Namaste -ed

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  • 27. At 3:49pm on 16 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    NewBodo,

    You have managed to smear Obama with every single thing in the book.

    - He is an extremist liberal
    - He is a Muslim/Muslimish, and therefore a danger/unpatriotic.
    - He is a black extremist

    I can only say that there few black radicals - indeed, few black politicians - are as ambivalent towards affirmative action (positive discrimination) as Obama.

    And you've manage to include a rather laughable slander that he is a poor public speaker. I would say that he is very impressive, although not impressive at the debates as Mrs Clinton. He appeared on 'The Daily Show' a couple of weeks ago, and managed to infuse such dull statements as 'I need to buy some dental floss' with charisma. The tricks are all superficial - the hands, the calm voice, the eye contact - but isn't all oratory?

    SlashDashUnderscore

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  • 28. At 3:53pm on 16 May 2008, Hadleyreetz wrote:

    The reality of the United States is that we are going the way of the Romans. Although I will be voting for McCaine, it doesn't really matter. McCaine will slow our country's demise a bit more than Obama, but niether will defeat the trend toward mediocracy. Wealth has made us arrogant. As an American culture, if one even remains, we now worship need, dependency, and failure. Just listen to our politicians, they rarely if ever speak to or even show much concern for those who pay the bills. It is all about those who need. Conveniently, our government continues to inspire the growth of dependency and need, thereby creating a voting base that will vote us into demise.

    I don't know what happened when Atlas Shrugged, but if the answer is that the producers stopped producing, just packed up and left, I'd believe it and I'd go for it too.

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  • 29. At 3:57pm on 16 May 2008, Streathamite wrote:

    @ DarrylFrancis #13:
    not complaining at all and gerry baker makes some fair points; it's just that there is a certain uselessness about one member of a notoriously unrepresentative, incestuous, hermetically-sealed national press highlighting the groupthink tendency of another that has roughly the same qualities.
    @ newbodo #22; The fact that obama being Black and of muslim descent is the key issue for you indicates that the failing is not Obama's - but yours.
    Such wilful bigotry, prejudice and ignorance is frightening in someone entyitled to vote for the world's most powerful politician

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  • 30. At 4:15pm on 16 May 2008, newBodo wrote:

    Bigotry is a favorite word of today's left that has nothing better to offer in the debate. Just like "if you don't agree with me you are racist". What people fail to understand, while worrying about their 401K and taxes is that in this day and age the most pressing issue is that of international relations. People who fail to read enough history and don't have enough reason to learn the lessons and extrapolate into the future, ignore the threats and urgent issues to be resolved and continue living on an island of America. Obama has nothing to offer this country but a few trite and true social policies that will attempt to address the poor (by choice) black population, illegal immigrants and some other social things that have no pressing role. The major problems of foreign relations, energy, and global trade will remain in the "eloquent" talks in the senate and we will continue having to deal with terrorism and muslim jihad for years to come. And the brainwashed American public will continue to make excuses that the reason Obama didn't accomplish anything is because racists like me didn't let him.

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  • 31. At 4:22pm on 16 May 2008, gunsandreligion wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 4:22pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 33. At 4:24pm on 16 May 2008, rupertornelius wrote:

    Hey 29_ remember Obama is trying to be president in the country that elected George Bush! Note 22's use of ancient word 'negro'.

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  • 34. At 4:28pm on 16 May 2008, NHGeoffB wrote:

    I disagree with the article from the London Times. Many people constantly refer to Obama as the media's darling, yet they have not hesitated at any opportunity to try and throw him under the bus at the slightest word of what have been remarkably trivial (in any rational person's mind in any case) 'scandals' Saying the media worships the ground he walks on is irresponsible journalism in nearly its purest form

    But thats been what has characterized this entire Primary season, hasn't it?

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  • 35. At 4:52pm on 16 May 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Don't you know that the newspaper the Gerry Baker piece is from is named The Times?

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  • 36. At 4:53pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Why did newBodo get moderated at #22?

    It was rubbish, but entertaining, and I didn't know we had extended the prohibition on 'n-words' to 'n-gro'.

    In any case, for those who might like to see a bit of Rev Wright's "rubbish" IN CONTEXT, follow the link. Personally, I'd love to attend a Sunday service at Trinity United..

    Tell me this man is a preacher of hate or anti-Americanism, I dare you.

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
    Namaste -ed

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  • 37. At 4:55pm on 16 May 2008, whitescc wrote:

    As someone who has voted republican in the last two general elections, I am not very enthusiastic about voting republican this time around and looking at the Mississippi results I am predicting this year goes badly for Republicans (they will lose the house, senate and the presidency).

    What is killing me with all of these candidates (including McCain) is the lack of the specific plans (How are you going to make America energy independent? How are you going to bring about immigration reform/secure the borders? What are you going to do about Iraq? What are you going to do about the War on Terror? What are you going to do to get us out of this recession?)

    Based on how popular Obama is in the press, on college campuses and not to mention hollywood (he is about as popular as Bush is unpopular) he is going to win the general election. He will also win the general election because he is a much prettier man than McCain (for confirmation look at the past presidential elections) and McCain doesn't seem to aggressively engage his political rivals (he let Bush walk all over him in 2000).

    Nevertheless, I think in another two years the congress will go Republican and Obama (who has no real plan to address the vast majority of America's problems) will relive the Carter term.

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  • 38. At 4:56pm on 16 May 2008, rupertornelius wrote:

    On the issue of having Gerard Baker for a friend: I suppose it saves time finding enemies.

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  • 39. At 4:58pm on 16 May 2008, Shawn wrote:

    Justin - this isn't on the topic but have you checked out

    http://www.thingsyoungerthanmccain.com/ ?

    or video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNYHq0WuiUo

    It's worth a look and highlights the more humorous side to our often mean and contentious political process.

    Don't worry - I won't bombard you with clips or ideas. I just haven't seen this on your excellent blog.

    Cheers.

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  • 40. At 4:59pm on 16 May 2008, newBodo wrote:

    What is amazing is that some pathetic character here refers comments he/she disagrees with to moderators. It's the lowest possible response to the true statement someone has made and shows only that the truth is unpleasant and there is no reasonable argument against it. Brainwashing at its best. God forbid we the "good white people" get thought of as racist or bigots. Look what happened to Don Imus. But Jeremiah Wright keeps driving his Mercedes and making outrageous comments. We can't touch him - he's black.

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  • 41. At 5:24pm on 16 May 2008, Streathamite wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 42. At 5:32pm on 16 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    I would indeed recommend following up Ed's link. It is really quite illuminating.

    SlashDashUnderscore

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  • 43. At 5:40pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    NewBodo,

    BOO!

    Sorry if I scared you, poor thing!
    Smile

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  • 44. At 6:03pm on 16 May 2008, chewbaccadefense wrote:

    McCain will move to the middle as Obama moves to the left. This will result in McCain winning. This is part of that strategy of capturing the centre ground. To be honest it's a pretty good advert.

    Interestingly the republication have sleepwalked into the only candidate who can beat the democrats in Nov.

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  • 45. At 6:04pm on 16 May 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    # 3 ukcowgirl writes "Obama is the right choice, regardless of what the British press thinks." From what can be read in web editions of the British press, the bias has been in favour of Mr Obama from the start. I had read Gerard Baker's piece earlier and thought it a refreshing change of tack for The Times. I don't know what news sites NHGeoffB (# 34) has been reading, but it's a fair appraisal to say that he's incorrect. Like so much of the American media, the British have regarded Mr Obama as the saviour of the world. Although it's late in the day, the only realistic saviour for America is Hillary Clinton but, like Jesus, she will be sacrificed. But look what happened to Jesus!

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  • 46. At 6:09pm on 16 May 2008, jaybs1 wrote:

    So Justin you have now jumped from one ship that has virtually sunk to another one that is sinking fast with McCain as Captain, does this mean that the next six months will be pro McCain propaganda, hope not!

    Well I don't feel a "Victory" message is going to cause that much excitement around the country?? in fact serious Republican friends are having serious doubts about McCain!

    The big story this week and not getting much media coverage was the Republican loss of a special election in a deeply conservative district of Mississippi – kind of the equivalent of Henley-on-Thames going to Labour for those in the UK. The Democrats have also picked up Safe Republican seats in Illinois and Louisiana recently. While Republicans seem to be bracing themselves for the loss of at least 20 House seats and at least five Senate seats in November. McCain and the GOP look a little like Gordon Brown is currently in the UK, I think they will need a little more that a Victory Message in a TV add or video, but unlike Hillary claimed the race would be all over by February 5th, the Obama Camp and Team are just waiting to get started proper and then keep working hard, no wild claims!!

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  • 47. At 6:32pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    David,

    Welcome back. Waterman and I have been worried.

    Slasher,

    Glad you made the effort.

    Links tutorial, for those who may be interested.

    Also here is a website which will give you a very short URL (web address) in exchange for one of the long and complicated ones which are awkward to copy and paste.

    Thus this:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/05/the_campaign_starts.html#comment46
    becomes this:
    http://tinyurl.com/4862aa

    Both lead to comment 46 above. try them.
    Fun for idle fingers.
    xx
    ed

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  • 48. At 6:37pm on 16 May 2008, chewbaccadefense wrote:

    I can't help but agree with David_Cunard.

    For me it isn't that BO is not a nice guy but that he is not ready.

    He should have take a VP slot under Clinton while he and the democrats had the chance.

    Now the democratic battle lines are drawn and many of the HRC voters I have spoken to will vote for McCain. Others in the privacy of voting will do the same. This will be increased if McCain remains mainly in the centre.

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  • 49. At 6:38pm on 16 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    Jabs, I agree with you up to a point.

    In the Senate and House, it will be slaughter for the Republicans. They didn't feel the heat, as they should have, in 2006. They'll feel it this time.

    But this presidential election will be, in the minds of the voters at least, one of a man against a party. It will be the Democrats against McCain.

    McCain still appears to be a maverick. No doubt that he is not an ultra-conservative. The man has my (that is to say, a liberal)'s respect, not so much for his valour in combat as for his common sense, bipartisanship and genuine patriotism. A lot of other people across the pond probably feel that way. McCain will be a serious figure to contend with. But he's pretty conservative all the same, which is why I cannot understand those Hillary supporters who are threatening to defect to McCain.

    Hence, polls so far have put McCain ahead of either Clinton or Obama, with Clinton marginally better than Obama. I think this will change, and that Obama will probably eventually win. But it will be a struggle. Do not write off Mr McCain!

    Chewbacca, my hairy friend, Obama will stay exactly where he is, or move to the right. He has stayed where he is under hostile fire from the Clinton camp, which is indicative of his staying power. The Democrats still bear the scars of the 70s and 80s - they are very wary of turning Left.

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  • 50. At 6:40pm on 16 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    If you don't believe me, have a look at this map;

    http://presidentelect.org/e2008.html

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  • 51. At 6:48pm on 16 May 2008, newBodo wrote:

    Skin color is not the issue, underlying mentality of blacks in America is. Europeans making claims they understand American dynamics sound like children. Ghettos across the road from white gated communities are a perpetual proof of a gap that cannot be bridged no matter how much we hide behind political correctness. Liberalism is not really a problem unless it's backed by stupidity and lack of education. In Obama's case Harvard didn't result in knowledge and wisdom.
    Shout "bigotry", shout "racism", it only proves the lack of argument. The argument that not all Muslims are extremists and not all blacks are criminal is ridiculous and childish. As westerners we will never see through the soul and true intentions of a Muslim because we are worlds apart. Axiology or the science of value explains it in terms of difference in valuation systems that varies for cultures and individuals. And no one will ever convince anyone that one's opinion is wrong. All we have is to take what the "crowd", the plebs want and suffer consequence.

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  • 52. At 6:49pm on 16 May 2008, rupertornelius wrote:

    Hey, why are you calling it 'the London times' -have you gone native, Justin?

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  • 53. At 7:06pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chewbacca,

    "He should have take a VP slot under Clinton while he and the democrats had the chance."

    Slasher,

    "Hence, polls so far have put McCain ahead of either Clinton or Obama, with Clinton marginally better than Obama. I think this will change, and that Obama will probably eventually win. But it will be a struggle. Do not write off Mr McCain!"

    Which polls are those?

    McCain's not having a good day.

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 54. At 7:14pm on 16 May 2008, newBodo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 55. At 7:36pm on 16 May 2008, Reuben33g wrote:

    rupertornelius (52):

    In the US 'the Times' refers to the New York Times, while in the UK it refers to the London Times. To avoid confusion on a blog used by both Americans and Britons, he uses the whole name of the newspaper he is referring to.

    I don't know what bodo's original remarks were before they were deleted by the moderators, but I do see a lot of accusations of bigotry when political opinions are opposed, and can only assume that it is an effort to suspend intelligent dialogue.

    If you read the article written from a democrat named Julie who is from West Virginia you will have read that the attitude of rural voters that is being mislabeled as racism is actually xenophobia, or in other words, a general mistrust of outsiders.

    The use of the Spanish word meaning 'black' is common among people of my grandparents' generation and was commonly used like the more politically correct term 'African Americans' is today. The person who uses that word may not be a bigot, just very old with an outdated mode of speech.

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  • 56. At 7:36pm on 16 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    "I don't see much accomplishment behind black population in US."

    And what is this thread all about? I'd call being a candidate for president an achievment, at least in the field of politics.

    You may as well say that the people of Iowa are morally bankrupt wastrels for their failure to produce any particularly illustrious sons and daughters.

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  • 57. At 7:42pm on 16 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    Ed, if only the presidential election relied on the popular vote! Alas, it does not, and so we must rely on state-by-state polls which are nowhere near as positive for Obama. Here are the recent polls for the swing states, two of which are going for McCain at this present time.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/ohio.html

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/pennsylvania.html

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/fl/florida_mccain_vs_obama-418.html

    But you're right, things are narrowing.

    /-_

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  • 58. At 7:44pm on 16 May 2008, nobleFloridian wrote:

    I thought for just two seconds about answering #19 (shawnbb) at length, but as a World War II veteran I decided that his disgusting and vile references to John McCain did not deserve any more of my time than this short blog.

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  • 59. At 8:09pm on 16 May 2008, newBodo wrote:

    noble Flrodian:

    Amen to that!

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  • 60. At 8:28pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    /-_,

    You may find This site
    of interest.

    Serious number-crunching.

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 61. At 8:30pm on 16 May 2008, MMarcelo wrote:

    shawnbb (19) - I agree that the US should elect a president with a firmer grasp on foreign affairs than Sen. McCain, but you cannot write off McCain's military service. He refused to use nepotism to gain his release from a prison where he was being tortured. That is a testament to his character and speaks to people on both sides of the political spectrum.

    Ignoring McCain's strengths will not make him easier to beat.

    newBodo (30) - to assume that Americans of ANY race are poor "by choice" reveals your apparent disregard for the very real socioeconomic issues plaguing the US. Your belief that many in the black community choose poverty reveals your willful ignorance of racial bias still present in the education and criminal justice systems.

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  • 62. At 8:51pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 63. At 9:18pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 64. At 9:25pm on 16 May 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    # 55 Reuben33g - Actually the British publication should simply be called "The Times", with both initial words in upper case - in the rest of the world there are many papers which use "Times" in their title - for example, the Los Angeles Times. To say that in the US that "the Times" automatically refers to the New York Times is not necessarily true. But as to the original question at # 52, it does seem that Justin has taken his US residency to greater lengths than most of us - I would have thought most posters would have known that The Times meant the English publication as opposed to the Scottish Evening Times, Los Angeles Times and others. But perhaps some posters don't know that there are others!

    Thanks Ed for the welcome back - for the last two days I have been unable to read any comments, let alone make one because of 'Server Error in '/dna/dnapages' Application'. However, I think you are rash in writing, with regard to # 21, "Surely these statements require the subjunctive mood - "would" instead of "will"" - as the saying goes, "there's many a slip 'tween the cup and the lip" - Mr Obama is so close and yet so far from his goal. A few more slip-ups of the "sweetie" variety, or worse, and then he could be beaten by a nose! But failing that, and he does receive the nomination, there being no ballots, perhaps in an effort at reconciliation, Mrs Clinton herself would move that the Convention accept him by acclamation - now that really would be gracious!

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  • 65. At 10:21pm on 16 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    David,

    In Germany, it's Die Zeit (The Times)

    I'm not usually a fan of the subjunctive, it being the land of "might have been", but I reckon it'll take more than a "sweetie" slip - nothing short of sheep-shagging, or equivalent - to derail Obama now. Apparently he only needs 17 more pledged delegates to have a majority of the total available for pledging. He should get those, even if he has a disastrous Tuesday (unlikely).

    Elsewhere I've linked a story saying that FL and MI can't save Hillary (Huffington Post), but you can kee[p your powder dry if you wish.

    I believe HRC is shaping up for the gracious gesture you indicate, probably well before the convention, and you'll note Obama has never been one of those calling on her to exit early. He is very gracious himself.

    Meanwhile, McCain goes from strength to strength - NOT!

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 66. At 11:32pm on 16 May 2008, chewbaccadefense wrote:

    Ed:

    If BO called for HRC to exit he would be seen as just another politician. His surrogates have been calling for just that. At least the ones I have seen interviewed on MSNBC the obamaganda channel. As for Keith Olbermann, he is the worst journalist (Justin, I use the term loosely, I hope you are not offended by the fact I have just called Keith Olbermann a Journalist) I have ever had the misfortune to know exist. Maybe Keith should look up the word biased in the dictionary! Jeremy Paxman you are not. This is not the way to conduct ones-self, Keith. It is possible to make the point in a calm detached manner. See:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/24635229#24635229

    Slash: My not so hairy little friend, he has a very liberal record. Which I would call left. As for the polls these numbers depend on the question asked. I believe the polls are overestimating OB's support. Many people when voting may change their stated preferred candidate. OB is fashionable at this moment I suspect this will not last, we will see.

    McCain's choice of running mate will determine success or failure. We will see in November.

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  • 67. At 00:06am on 17 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chewbacca,

    Bush lied!

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
    Namaste -ed



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  • 68. At 00:14am on 17 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 69. At 01:32am on 17 May 2008, SezWho wrote:

    @NewBodo
    Bigotry implies that you ascribe negative characteristics to a group of people, it has nothing to do with Left or Right. Every prejudiced person believes that their bigotry is justified because IT'S TRUE! The fact is that generalising about millions of people who have nothing in common except ethnicity or religion is by definition bigotry.
    We've come a fair distance in dealing with prejudice, but obviously for some people there is still an extremely long way to go.

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  • 70. At 01:49am on 17 May 2008, David Cunard wrote:

    The number of delegates is rather higher than Ed thinks, as can be seen here

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  • 71. At 03:14am on 17 May 2008, Grrrlie wrote:

    It is extremely important to bear in mind the VERY LARGE number of young people that the Obama campaign has brought into active participation in the democratic process in the USA - flawed though that process certainly is. The cross-section of ALL colors/ethnicities of young people backing Obama is new. There are may cross-over voters from the right and from non-mainstream parties as well as many, many independents, among older voters as well. I personally know voters who had planned to support McCain, who crossed over to the Obama campaign and attended their first Senate-level caucusses as elected delegates within the Democratic [Labor] Party, here in Minnesota. Even the Kennedy brothers did not cause that kind of a phenomenon. People who had stated they would NEVER re/join the Democratic Party did so in order to take part in precinct and higher-level caucuses. High-school students of ALL colors came out in DROVES to vote for and work for Obama. It is easier to find fault with Senator Obama's 'newness' to this high level of political activity, than to take a good look at the implications of so many of the "next generation" becoming VERY active and VERY involved in policy making. Senator McCain manifests NONE of this - and neither does H.R. Clinton [pun intended]. It would be foolish indeed to minimize let alone trivialize the potential impact - win or lose - of Senator Obama's campaign, upon the next generation. Think hard about this aspect of the campaign at hand.

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  • 72. At 04:43am on 17 May 2008, elchinas wrote:

    I suspect that newBodo has never left the country, and is a fervent follower of Fox News and Rush Lumbaugh... on the couch. Or he is just a sarcastic liberal playing a joke.

    Else, how can such ignorant and inhumane comments ever come out of a decent and reasoning being's mouth?

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  • 73. At 05:35am on 17 May 2008, boro_rat wrote:

    First to shawnbb (#19). While I doubt it will matter to you that I take exception to the fact that your comments regarding Senator McCain were out of line and offensive, I will also state that your take on the views we have here in the United States are exceeding shallow. As I don't know where you reside, I am unable to speak to your lack of knowledge regarding underlying U.S. attitudes and American's expectations of our leaders being due to ignorance or apathy (both?).

    As to Senator McCain and the message of his 30 second advertisement, I believe it got a very salient point across. The point was that he understands the issues that he sees as most important and that, given the chance, he will spend energy on those tasks.

    Anyone who chooses a candidate based on these 'sound bites' is foolish. It requires a great deal of study, questioning, skepticism, and most importantly, knowing thyself. This will be an interesting race with much angry rhetoric, name calling, and mudslinging.

    This Georgia boy is going to hunker down and enjoy the ride. I am a dyed in the wool Republican and am confident that, should Senator Obama get elected, within 18 months many who are now shouting his praises will deny they voted for him. God knows we need strong leadership - both in Congress and in the White House.

    Y'all take care! 'boro_rat

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  • 74. At 06:41am on 17 May 2008, chewbaccadefense wrote:

    Ed:

    You didn't just reference the Huffington Post did you! That bastion of fair and balanced reporting. Now think about that now, does that make sense........

    It also is not the point that Bush was wrong, one should show so control and decorum.

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  • 75. At 07:25am on 17 May 2008, chewbaccadefense wrote:

    Boro_rat: I agree with you on "should Senator Obama get elected, within 18 months many who are now shouting his praises will deny they voted for him."

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  • 76. At 10:38am on 17 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chew,

    "You didn't just reference the Huffington Post did you!"

    Sho 'nuff did! Objective? Where does one find that? Informative? Yup!

    "It also is not the point that Bush was wrong, one should show so control and decorum."
    ??? Not sure of your meaning.

    My other post might have been moderated because it referred to a certain candidate's rather low ranking (894th of 899) in his graduating class at the Naval Academy. Fact, not libel.

    But we all know it don't take much brains to get to the highest office in the land....as exemplified by the incumbent. Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, finished in the top 10% of his class at the same institution eight years earlier....

    Obama's response
    to Shrub and Oven-chip

    Yup, it's from Huffpost! ;-)

    xx
    ed

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  • 77. At 10:43am on 17 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    David (70),

    Glad to see you've mastered links, but yours simply confirms that Obama is within 17 pledges of a pledged majority. I hope you're not among the sour-grapes section of HRC supporters who would cut off their abortion rights to spite a better organiser.

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 78. At 12:24pm on 17 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    Chewbacca, I think you have a point regarding voting record.

    http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/

    By this measure, he is the Senate's most liberal member. Although if you look at a comparison of his and Hillary's votes...

    http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/votes.htm

    ...you can see that there are relatively few differences between them, because Obama abstains on politically difficult decisions, so there will be relatively few points for Obama to be attacked on in the Fall.

    This is quite a bad weakness, especially for one who supposedly attacks hard decisions head on, but may well come from the Illinois political culture, which has a rather bizarre feature known as a 'present' vote, which seems to be a kind of formal abstension.

    http://tinyurl.com/6ctlr9

    I still maintain that Obama will stick right where he has campaigned from. We shall see, no doubt.

    /-_

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  • 79. At 1:07pm on 17 May 2008, SlashDashUnderscore wrote:

    Oh, and by the way Ed, that marvellous site you linked me to yesterday is showing Hillary doing better than McCain in terms of electoral votes, and only a smidgen (0.1%!) behind Obama in terms of popular vote, which bearing in mind the margin of error can be quickly written off.

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

    Obama is perhaps not the most electable candidate, but he still the best one.

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  • 80. At 1:34pm on 17 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Slasher,

    Glad you liked it. I agree Obama is the best one (but y'all already worked that out).

    As to popular vote, I posted yesterday that popular vote in the UK has given us "landslides" involving as little as one third of the popular vote - witness the last eleven years. (I must have committed some offence, 'cause it got moderated).

    The present mixed PR/FPTP system in Scotland is looking like yielding my ideal - a situation in which a "majority", even cobbled together by three parties, will soon be considered a laughable idea. Long live 'minority' government, which may well produce less legislation, but everything produced will be dealt with 'issue-by-issue'.

    We have had more than enough of ill-considered legislation, enabled by "majority" governments.

    Parties are a major impediment to true democracy, in my not-so-humble opinion.

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 81. At 04:30am on 18 May 2008, masconfusn wrote:

    Race is not an issue for white people in this election as evidenced by Obama's supporters. There are 77% + white people in the US and 12% + black people. Obama has almost the entire vote of the black registered voters but that alone wouldn't get him elected so obviously white people are voting for him in great numbers. If race was such an issue that wouldn't be the case. Although, the same cannot be said for the majority of black American voters as they have shown they will vote for him based on his race alone. I would say that indicates racism on the part of the majority of black Americans. I personally don't care what color or sex the president is I just want one that's capable and that I feel has my same ideology. Obama is not that person as far as I am concerned. It's much more than just his inexperience. For those of you that think Wright is not so bad you should check out the website for his church.
    http://www.tucc.org/home.htm
    Oprah was a member of this church and left it because of Reverend Wright's views. Then there is Rezko and Ayers. This is all enough for me not to trust this man or his motives. The Hillary supporters who will vote for McCain over Obama do so not out of spite as some of you suggest, but because they know what they will get with McCain and they fear what they'll get with Obama.

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  • 82. At 10:29am on 18 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Masconfusn,

    "the same cannot be said for the majority of black American voters as they have shown they will vote for him based on his race alone..."

    Not true, according to this, Black folk have voted for white Democrats in virtually the same proportions for some time.

    The difference this time is likely to be in increased registration and turnout, and it could be impressive.

    Salaam, etc.
    ed

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  • 83. At 2:34pm on 18 May 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "...Mr. Obama's strikingly vacuous political background...."

    I could hardly have said it better myself. This is by far the most important issue in this campaign. To overlook it is to miss the point completely. Even John Kennedy had more experience yet the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis showed how a weak inexperienced President who won election on charisma (and on the Mafia buying half the votes he got in Chicago) nearly led to the end of the world.

    Another which is far more difficult to understand or even approach because of contemporary cultural sensibilities is to what degree Obama's early influences in life including having been for a time educated in an Islamic school in Indonesia precludes him from fully sharing core American values. This is not one of race but of cultural influence at a very impressionable age. That he was clearly influenced by Reverend Wright for so long and was reluctant at first to completely disavow any connection with him, in fact that he embraced him as a close friend for two decades only makes the question more troubling.

    Between the two issues, many including me feel we really don't know who Mr. Obama actually is, his smooth talking and Ivy League law school education only adding to our suspicions that he is not what he appears or would have us believe. If by some circumstance he is elected, he will be tested early on the way all of our Presidents are and I think he will prove his weakness just as President Bush did in the incident over the reconnaissance plane near China around April of 2001.

    John McCain reminds me of President Eisenhower. History has been very kind to Eisenhower. A war hero with strong ethics and a practical sense of the world, his stewardship of the US Executive branch got us through some very troubled waters in some of the most dangerous times the US ever faced. A period of relative calm may not be in the cards for us with the war on Islamic terrorism in full swing but an experienced steady hand at the tiller seems to me to be just what is called for now. I don't agree with McCain on some very important issues such as illegal immigration and protection of our borders or his seeming lack of understanding of the economy but overall he seems the far better fit.

    So Mr. Webb, following this circus closely day in and day out, you are caught up in the US political campaign and have taken sides despite yourself. That shows you are only human. Most reporters usually do intentionally or not. It's hard not to.

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  • 84. At 4:13pm on 18 May 2008, Joland wrote:

    I find it funny how people doubt Obama because of lack of experience... no one has experience being president except ex presidents (not even Hillary) but that's not even the point. Ability to make intelligent choices and understand issues is the point, and with this Obama shows more promise then any other candidate in my opinion. McCain and Clinton just want to win. They will do whatever other people want them to do... Obama shows vision and that's what people want. As long as the democratic primary goes on and is covered he gets to show this and his leadership skills... McCain on the otherhand is not in the media and therefore already losing. (remember good publicity or bad publicity what really matters is people remembering your name when they go vote.) Obama has the publicity to get uneducated voters, and the intelligence to get the educated ones... good combo. McCain can do what he wants in the meantime.

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  • 85. At 4:27pm on 18 May 2008, OldSouth wrote:

    Mr. Webb, you understand! And Gerry Baker understands!

    The Dems have, since the time of Woodrow Wilson, and then Franklin Roosevelt, operated by seeking some secular Messiah to sweep all opposition in his/her path, and by demonizing anyone who threatens to question this approach, or the latest pretender to the throne.

    The problem is--recall the Democrat presidents from Wilson through Clinton. Roosevelt and Kennedy were indeed charismatic, but when the record is viewed dispassionately, is becomes clear that charisma and wisdom are two completely different items.

    Notice how Mr. McCain is not presented as a secular messiah, and if you are a US voter, think on these things.

    Think on these things--our lives are at stake!

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  • 86. At 4:30pm on 18 May 2008, Joland wrote:

    to: MarcusAureliusII,

    you admit to not agreeing with McCain's major policies "border control and immigration" and don't think he understands the economy at all... but you think he's a "fit" because like Eisenhower he was a war hero?! WHAT?! so because he has a similar image you think he'll do as well?... And you don't think Obama will do well because he's highly educated and has an understanding of Islam few other Americans can understand (which is potentially an important understanding if one wants to actually have peace in this "war on terrorism) and his pastor is a radical (to which he addressed quite intelligently).
    Your decision is based on viseral response and not rational thought. It's the same kind of thought that put Bush in the Presidency. There are many old war hero's that became leaders in history that history is not nearly as kind to as Eisenhower... I no not want to make a Hilter reference because I definately do not see McCain as that bad (his immigration policy may be bad but he's not calling for genocide), but hopefully you get my point. Judging someone because they have the same image as someone else who was good doesn't work... choose someone based on the policies you want to see happen in your country.

    Democracy is nothing if it simply becomes a image-based popularity contest.

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  • 87. At 5:02pm on 18 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Obama: Bush, McCain Should 'Explain Why They Have a Problem With JFK'

    The campaign has started.

    xx
    ed

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  • 88. At 6:12pm on 18 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    On the Gush Shalom ("Peace Block") website, there is a banner near the bottom of the linked page, which says in large, friendly letters:

    "Peace is with enemies - Speak with Hamas"

    Kinda says it all, don't it?

    From Uri Avnery:

    "LATELY WE are flooded with friends. The Great of the Earth, past and present, come here to flatter us, to fawn on us, to grovel at our feet.......The common denominator of this group is that their prestige at home is close to nil, while their standing abroad is sky-high. Their mutual adoration compensates them for the lack of respect in their own countries......One of the senior members of this club is Tony Blair, who has been pushed from power in his own country but is not content to enjoy his pension and raise roses. As a consolation prize he has been granted the pleasure of playing around with our conflict. Every few weeks he convenes a press conference to present the good tidings of his phenomenal success in ameliorating the lot of the Palestinians, while the actual situation in the occupied territories goes from bad to worse. Our security establishment treats him like a bore who has to be thrown a crumb from time to time to keep him happy."

    With friends like these,....

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
    -ed

    "God, save me from my friends, my enemies I can deal with myself!" says an old prayer.

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  • 89. At 6:46pm on 18 May 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Joland, I don't like people putting words in my mouth. I don't know if Obama has a grasp of the economy. He was right about a suspension of the gas tax not working, it won't. But it seems to me he is a typical tax and spend liberal who has a lot of ideas he won't be able to pay for without raising taxes at a time when that is the worst thing we could do. We need economic stimulus now, exactly what new taxes to pay for his social re-engineering would thwart. Youth dismiss the value of experience because they don't have any but experience gives you the opportunity to learn from mistakes you've seen, your own and other people's. Obama hasn't had that chance yet. His understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East, the threats America faces, the potential for far worse if we pull out of Iraq precipitously, his understanding of the threat Iran poses to the US all seem way off base, far from sufficient to protect America's security. Small wonder Europe likes him.

    Every American President who has his finger on the nuclear button is prepared to commit genocide on a scale the world has never seen and might never recover from. The readiness to launch a full scale thermonuclear war against a third of humanity is the worst atrocity thinkable but that has been American policy for 60 years and still is. It is the only thing that kept Western Europe free during the cold war. Incidents like Abu Gharib and GITMO are laughable by comparison and should hardly have gotten a mention on the back page.

    Nice to see you didn't compare McCain to Hitler because "he wasn't that bad." How generous of you. Do you compare President Bush to Hitler? If America had fought World War II the way you suggest it should fight everywhere, Brits would be speaking German now.

    Ed Iglehart;

    It was a lot easier when they didn't fight back. Those days are over forever. I have only contempt for those who would return to it. They let others do their fighting for them. Fortunately even many of the most pacifist people come around to realizing that if they fight they might die, if they don't they surely will anyway. It's far better to go down fighting to stay free than to live like a dog as a slave until they've worked you to death and then when they don't need you anymore, throw you live into a furnace or gas you to death.

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  • 90. At 7:23pm on 18 May 2008, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Dear Marcus,
    May I alay your fears over the muslim smoking gun as suggested by Obamas' years in Indonesia.
    At the end of the Suharto,{ dutch spelling Soeharto }and beginning of the Sukarno [ dutch spelling Soekarno] period Indonesian authorities decided overnight to make every school a "muslim" school With the exception of Western races everybody including the locally born chinese had also to Indonesian-ise their family name. Obama with his Kenyan name was not required to go through this formality. Maybe a christian school recieved an Indonesian name change too, but its christian pupils still recieved a christian upbringing , with christian and western values. It is so strange to meet an Indonesian family with their original name of 'Smith' and learn that brothers and sisters have all diferent surnames now, many having decided that in a safe country the paperwork is too complicated to bother to change it.
    In Holland one meets many who have escaped the cruelty of that Indonesian period which again reared its ugly head around the 1997/1998 timeframe.
    Brainwashed never! The only sin that they absorbed and brought back with them was the enjoyment of tasty Indonesian cooking, and the chefs' touch to repeat it, as now visible by my ever expanding wasteline

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  • 91. At 7:40pm on 18 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Marcus,
    "It was a lot easier when they didn't fight back. Those days are over forever."

    Huh? To what is this a response?

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  • 92. At 9:52pm on 18 May 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Ed, what do you think I mean? I'm talking about when pogroms and other atrocities against Jews were committed with impunity. When the most pacifist people in the world were hauled away to be slaughtered like animals simply because they were Jews. Has it ever occurred to you that today, Israel has the capability (not that it likely would have to use it) to blow Britain off the map? Today, you are no safer than they are, including from them, including from US. Don't worry, you are way down on the list, there are far worse villians for the world to concern itself about.

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  • 93. At 11:29pm on 18 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Marcus,

    Simply stupid and non-sequitur.

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  • 94. At 00:24am on 19 May 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Ed Iglehart

    I taylor the level and nature of my response to my estimate of the person I am responding to.

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  • 95. At 00:41am on 19 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    The anti-lobbyist?

    ;-)
    ed


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  • 96. At 11:04am on 19 May 2008, Streathamite wrote:

    @ newBodo #30:
    If finding someone unacceptable on grounds of their national origin 9in a nation built on immigration, skin colour and a Faith they don't follow anyway (and there's me thinking the US is about religious freedom!) ISN'T bigotry- then what is, pray?
    those who aren't bigots tend to focus on the worth of each and every individual, after considering all aspects of them. You seem to stop at the skin colour.

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  • 97. At 02:53am on 20 May 2008, masconfusn wrote:

    Ed,

    Regarding your repsonse of:
    Not true, according to this, Black folk have voted for white Democrats in virtually the same proportions for some time.

    I'm afraid your statistics don't negate what I said. Obama and Clinton are both democrats and he has 90% of the black vote. You are also using results of general elections and not the party primaries/caucus to elect a nominee. So this just strengthens my statement in that 90% of the black voters chose Obama the black democrat over Clinton the white democrat.

    I do believe you are right however, in that more black voters will turn out this election year to support a black candidate.

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  • 98. At 12:47pm on 20 May 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Masconfusn,

    You're right, of course, and the fact that WJC polled lower black numbers than the other Democrats may indicate an antipathy of sorts...

    If I was black, I know who I'd be voting for - the same as the last time I voted.

    ;-)
    ed

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  • 99. At 02:45am on 26 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Justin:
    the campaign starts and ends; now, that the voters elected a president!

    --Dennis Junior--

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