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Weird process

Justin Webb | 21:17 UK time, Tuesday, 1 April 2008

For Stephen and everyone else who has commented on, or lamented the lack of comment on, the Texas final result, NBC seems to think Obama did win. The full weirdness of the process that leads to this conclusion is wonderfully set out here.

Of course, it does not really matter any more...

Hillary Clinton campaigns in Pennsylvania, 1 April 2008Meanwhile, I see prominent Hillary supporters are turning to unlikely allies in their efforts to stay in the race.

And the British press are taking an ever more detailed interest in the race - with the Guardian sending its Westminster sketchwriter to watch Mrs Clinton close-up.

I wonder how many people either of the two Democrats or indeed Senator McCain have slept with during the course of their lives... Outrageous question? Not for British politicians.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 10:13 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Antoine wrote:

If so many leading democrats (who presumably are superdelegates) want Hillary to pull out, why don't they just all pledge their convention vote to Obama? That would settle it.

  • 2.
  • At 11:35 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Candace wrote:

Not an outrageous question for Bill Clinton either, who is becoming less and less attractive and more and more divisive on behalf of his wife's campaign.

  • 3.
  • At 11:59 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Greta wrote:

Is this for real? I couldn't find this statement on the Speaker's site.

A New Direction

As Congress returns for the month of April, 2008, the House leadership has agreed that it is time to act. We will not be bringing up for a vote any more bills to fund the occupation of Iraq. We will not run scared from nonsensical accusations of cutting off funding for body armor. We intend to bring every soldier, mercenary, and contractor home alive, whree they do not need body armor bu do need health care, education, financial support,and our sincerest apologies. Those we will provide.

The surge has failed. The game is up. The people have spoken, and we have heard them. Not another dime of our grandchildren's hard-earned pay will be borrowed to fund the occupation of Iraq.


If, in the course of the first 100 legislative hours in the month of April we have not seen the withdrawal from Iraq of at least 60,000 troops and an operation clearly underway to complete the process, the House will vote on a resolution to create a special committee to investigate the grounds for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney.

While an election, even one likely to be severely fraudulent, can bring us a new president and vice president, it cannot restore those offices their constitutional bounds. Nor can it prevent the crimes we risk over the next 10 months. Impeachment is the only tool remaining to us, and we are willing to use it if we must.

Make Americans safer here at home.

The policies of aggressive invasion and occupation, lawless kidnapping, detention, torture and murder are not the policies of this Congress, and no longer will this Congress tolerate an executive who rewrites and violates laws, refuses subpoenas, and fails to enforce contempt citations. The Congress is the first and most powerful branch of our government. This Congress was elected to create peace and prosperity and to restore the rule of law. We shall.

  • 4.
  • At 12:31 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Chad wrote:

What is a "Westminster sketchwriter"?

  • 5.
  • At 12:32 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Mary wrote:

How can you say that!! Of course it would still matter if Obama really did in fact win Texas!! In every rase, but especially this one, every vote counts!! Although I doubt right now it will matter much-they're still trying to decide what to do about Fla/Mis!!

With respect of the GQ interview, I should like to think, that although Nick Clegg answered it as if it were about his favorite color, that he thought it at least a little strange, or was taken back a little by the question, because after all, while most politicions lives-private and public, are open books in this day in age, still, for a major magizeen or news paper to ask such a totally random, and I would deam innapropriate question of the leader of a party in one of the most influencial nations in the world, I should like to think at least some people there would find it a bit invasive. Am I correct in assuming this?And am I to assume that such a question wouldn't be considered shocking by "all" UK politicions as you suggest, Justin? Because if I am I think that's a bit of a generalisation, wouldn't you agree?

Journalists here are probably just as curious-but instead of asking the people/person of interest, they would rather do research into the matters themselves, as they probably believe that their interviewee(s) perhaps wouldn't be as truethfull as they are in Europe when it comes to that kind of stuff.

  • 6.
  • At 12:36 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • James wrote:

My immediate assumption was that the Nick Clegg admission was an April Fools, but apparently it is in the magazine.

It seems bizarre that he would even answer such a question. Clinton and McCain would certainly dodge it given their rumoured chequered pasts. Obama has probably written about it in some book...

  • 7.
  • At 12:43 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Justin wrote:

Nick Clegg needs to get a grip if he wants to make any ground as leader of the Liberal Democrats. Britain (or England at least) is still a reatively conservative country and most people are just gonna think back to Tory sleaze when he makes comments like that.

I've enjoyed the Democratic Party race but it's getting so so monotonous now.... I wish Hillary would just swallow her ego and step aside. It's funny though to think that were the Republican Party rules to apply to Democrat race, Hillary would probably be in the lead, wouldn't she????

Anyway, the novelty of the Democrat race is wearing thin for me. And don't forget we're having a fun election in Britain at the moment... between Boris Johnson and Red Ken.

  • 8.
  • At 03:23 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Andrea wrote:

As for Clegg's discussion of sex, I would say what my children have said on the same subject: Too much information!

  • 9.
  • At 07:43 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Dennis Lane (Brit now living in Pretoria) wrote:

Greta (number 3) of COURSE it is not real. It is a jpg file so has obviously been constructed from a screen shot of the speakers site.

  • 10.
  • At 08:15 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Lewis and Clark wrote:


This sounds like a grass roots effort to force action in the Congress. I've been hearing a lot of this kind of thing here in the States and a lot of it is focused one of my state's Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

Ms. Pelosi is Speaker of the House of Representatives (the lower House) and she is taking much grief from progressives for not pursuing articles of impeachment and other stringent measures as a partisan activist.

While I sympathize with those who seek justice, I also realize that Mrs. Pelosi is a solid Liberal who has done nothing to deserve the harsh criticism of some. She represents Northern California and the San Francisco Bay and has personal knowledge of the complexities of Liberal constituencies.

She does control a majority in the lower house, but any legislation she guides through the House is still subject to the will of 100 Senators.

Senator Harry Reid (D)of Nevada is the Senate Majority leader by a measure of 1 vote. Any Bill passed by the house to impeach or refute Mr. Bush will not pass the Senate with the needed majority - for political reasons.

And so you see why we Liberals need this coming election to change the balance in the Senate.

This is why we are working for change in America.

This is why we hope our friends in the UK will offer their support for change.

The US has a special relationship with England and we know the cost of the war you've borne at our request.

We thank you for standing with us as loyal friends in combat. And we hope you'll stand together with us for peaceful change.

My Best Regards - An American Voter

  • 11.
  • At 11:18 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Simon O'Brien wrote:

The Clegg interview is yet another attempt by a politician to make the public interested in politics.

The fact is that despite the burning interest of journalists, activists and some voters the vast majority both in the US and UK are not interested.

It would be interesting to see this reflected in the coverage of the US primaries. At the moment we are given the impression that those in the US are consumed with the primaries, in actual fact only a minorty are.

If Britney Spears were to throw her hat in the ring - that might be different, but two lawyers and a retired war veteran?

  • 12.
  • At 12:00 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

AS a Englishman looking in, it seems extremely selfish of Clinton to hurt her parties chances so much by staying in the race this long. Naive too that she doesn't realise it!

By appearing to have lied so much already, what hope of her being an honest president is there?

All three candidates talk of "fixing the American economy" but i've yet to see an article quoting ANY of them saying HOW they plan on doing this? Surely you Americans care about issues that AREN'T Iraq?

I've also read that McCain wants to abolish the right to an abortion? How can a country proclaiming itself to be free take away this right? I'm not too "up" on your amendments but surely the right to an abortion would be covered in there??

(Wish we had more invasive coverage of the whole election process here in England)

  • 13.
  • At 01:18 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Justin in Wonderland; this really is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Of all the inane purposeless rituals on earth, I can hardly think of one more inane or more purposeless than the weekly spectacle of Prime Minister's Question Time in the British House of Commons.


Wretched Rabble in the front and back benches; ")_(&*)^)(^**(^^%%"

Boomin' Betty Boothroyd; "Awda! Awda! We'd all like to hear what the Prime Minister Has To Say.

Prime Minister Tony Blair; "I refer my right honorable friend to the reply I gave some moments ago."

Half an hour of that and you wonder what planet these people are on. By comparison, a fertility rite with a human sacrifice by a stone age aborigial tribe seems sane. Half an hour of that and you'd cry for the idiotic and pathetic state of British democracy if you could stop laughing so hard. And you call the process in Texas wierd while this is normal? Brits just keep getting curiouser and curiouser.

Never mind that HRC's lead in Pennsylvania polls is shrinking.

One thing y'all seem to be forgetting is the "handicapping".

HRC gets extra points for being female, almost retirement age, and most importantly, blonde. BHO gets points deducted to offset the advantage of minority status due to political correctness, and a handicap to adjust for youthful stamina.

When these factors are taken fully into account, HRC is a clear winner.


  • 15.
  • At 01:37 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Joe wrote:

April Fool?

  • 16.
  • At 01:48 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Penny Hall wrote:

Good, good,good.

  • 17.
  • At 01:51 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Ron Gillespie wrote:

Great site,once you have customised it.....
Could be improved if the Business & Money section included the main currency values eg Dollar & Euro to the pound value each day.

Kind regards

Ron Gillespie.

  • 18.
  • At 04:30 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • H K Livingston wrote:

Here we go again: the same people submitting themselves to the electoral process--the race for the nomination (elected delegates and Super Delegates in all fifty states and other territories)--but calling for its abandonment halfway through because the results are not to their liking.

Deja vu 2000 and 2004--the race for the Presidency (popular votes and the Electoral College)--the validity of the results questioned for no other reason than
> their inability to accept the fact that
> the electorate at large found them to be
> the worse option.

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