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Reagan, Clinton, W, and Obama

Justin Webb | 08:16 UK time, Monday, 27 October 2008

Around Appalachia this morning people are waking bleary-eyed and opening their FTs with their diner-served egg muffins and expostulating: "Holy Cow! Britain's premier business paper has come out for Obama..."

I thought the FT's point about the need for a president to be good with crowds, eloquent and persuasive and charismatic, was a good one. Reagan had it of course and so did Clinton and - let me be controversial here - so did W in his own funny way.

I saw him wow people in 2004 - speeches with good lines well delivered. The last time I saw McCain, he was pedestrian - the biggest cheers came for Sarah Palin.

Is a way with verbiage "a priceless asset" as the FT claims, or a meaningless even sinister non-virtue as the McCain people claim? You do need to make a case convincingly, particularly abroad. This Obama would do.

There is more to come in the Appalachia-rocking endorsements, I can reveal: the Economist newspaper will be next. Being a fair-minded chap, the Economist editor - the decider - appointed two senior journalists to make the cases for Obama and McCain. At the time of writing, the white smoke has not yet appeared but McCain has less hope being chosen by the Economist than Sarah Palin has becoming an honorary citizen of Paris. Paris France that is...

And a postscript here, from an eagle-eyed British reporter - fascinating and illuminating that McCain is paying Obama supporters to work for him.

Mind you I suppose they could point out that mercenary armies in European conflicts in days of yore used to be rather successful...

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