Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 23 May 2015 15:32:47 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at bob_flatters Mrs Clinton need to take a step back and breath and think clearly what she doing. because if she carrys on then there is a strong chance that Mcain will get in and will be another 5 years of the same thing.If she is hoping that the votes in Florida will help her then she is desperate. I hope that whens the smoke has blown over that she chooses to become the first woman vice-president. Thu 22 May 2008 11:49:05 GMT+1 Streathamite concerning WMDs, the argument that there was a risk they had them is disproved by the fact that it took me precisely 30 minutes webwork in 2002, and a little common sense, and actually knowing something about the m/east, to be sure Iraq didn't have them.Then again, I live on the "eastern side of the pond", and therefore have a culture of being objective and well-informed, rather than relying on bombast, bigotry, bombs and rhetoric, as is the custom elsewhere Fri 16 May 2008 13:23:07 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Marcus,"The civilization on the wrong side of the pond, the east side will come to a sorry end one day in the not to distant future. It's an end it will well deserve and I for one will not shed a tear."I know Americans "don't do irony", but have you noticed the title of the thread? Wed 14 May 2008 11:21:45 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII jacksforgeWe don't know if Saddam Hussein had WMDs or not. We may never know. If he had them as every major intelligence organization in the world believed including Britain's, he had plenty of time to hide them in Syria where his generals now reside beyond the probing questions of the coalition. That is because President Bush foolishly wasted 6 months trying to get a stupid Security Council resolution in a hopeless and needless effort to cover Tony Blair's political position in Britain. It's the same reason he wasted an entire month after 9-11 before he started bombing Afghanistan, more than enough time for al Qaeda and the leaders of the Taleban to slip across the border to Pakistan. As a commander-in-chief, a general of a military force, he stinks. BTW, I remind you that the dodgy dossier was a British invention, not an American invention. Tony Blair believed it, why shouldn't the CIA or President Bush or for that matter the US Congress have believed it too? George Tenet the then Director of the CIA who was appointed by Clinton, not Bush told President Bush Iraq having WMDs was a slam dunk. And it was President Putin of Russia who warned President Bush that his own intelligence agency believed Iraq was planning an attack against the US on American soil. What if all of these people had been right and the President had done nothing to stop it? It is people like you who tell all of these lies by omitting the facts that are a matter of public record who distort history because no matter what really happened, they will say anything to justify their opposition to the war. In all likelihood, you are among those I mentioned who wished America had been attacked again. The civilization on the wrong side of the pond, the east side will come to a sorry end one day in the not to distant future. It's an end it will well deserve and I for one will not shed a tear. Wed 14 May 2008 05:09:16 GMT+1 jacksforge Oh hail marcus emperor of the fools, because your sure not say."She made the correct decision. She was in good company. Most of Congress, the President, the Director of the CIA that her husband appointed, and the majority of the American people agreed. "Hate to ruin your day Saddam had no WMDclintons advisors wee as bad as him"the president" hardly a brainiac.Congress that was gun ho and foolish.and most people were vengeful vicious and hateful .oh and a tad antisemetic(if semites can be arabs).So how correct was the decision that led america into a war that has taken away the US forces ability to defend it's nation.that has created haven for terrorists.that has made more people hate the US(so they are ready to fight the US)destroyed the millitary capability at the same time as increasing the risk that we will need them.personally I always thought he was writing poetry. I had it more right than you, the self appointed "wise man". but so did Obama.clinton JUMPED into the war so she could say"I AM STRONG" HOW is it strong just to agree with the guys because you want their favour. No femanist there. Tue 13 May 2008 21:33:40 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Here we go!xxed Mon 12 May 2008 13:02:54 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Further information on Dick Gregory for president. Check out the policies in italics.And, from Wikipedia.He then wrote Write Me In about his presidential campaign. One interesting anecdote in the book related the story of a publicity stunt which came out of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago where the campaign had printed $1 bills with Gregory's image on them. Some of these bills made it into circulation in cash transactions causing considerable problems, but priceless publicity.Dick Gregory Dollar Bill..The majority of these bills were quickly seized by the Federal Govt. A large contributing factor to the seizure came from the bills resembling authentic US currency enough that they worked in many dollar cashing machines of the time. Gregory avoided being charged with a federal crime, later joking that the bills couldn’t really be considered US currency because everyone knows a black man will never be on a US bill. I still have one of his dollars somewhere! Ah, the memories....xxed Mon 12 May 2008 12:48:40 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Shefloridian,My apologies if I misread you. I too feel parties, and particularly enforced 'party loyalty' are a bane to true democracy, and how wise the Founders were.My point remains: Primaries are not 'elections' subject to constitutional law. They are an exercise in candidate selection by non-governmental organisations. I think it will be a dark day when the Constitution is expected to rule in the matters of the local bridge club."The National Committees of political parties are taking over powers that should only be given to elected officials, if at all."These are powers they rightly exercise under their own constitutions. The wayward children knew they were being naughty, and should be prepared to accept the prescribed punishment (which was determined by a committee dominated by Clinton surrogates)On all esle, I agree with your position, except that I'm somewhat hopeful of an Obama presidency.The last time I voted, it was for a Chicago man, one Dick Gregory.;-)ed Mon 12 May 2008 11:36:02 GMT+1 Shefloridian In response to Ed Iglehart, if you read what I wrote, I said specifically that the US Constitution provides no enabling language for political parties or their bylaws. That was not, incidentally, because there were no parties at the time of the writing of the Constitution. There were. The Founders didn't trust them - thought they were too divisive. How wise the Founders were.The violation of the Constitution has occurred because Amendments XV and XIX are being overthrown by the current primary system, and the Federeral District Courts have failed to rule in favor of those amendments.Both amendments indicate that neither an individual state, nor the United States itself, shall deny or abridge the rights of US citizens to vote. If the votes of residents of two states are discarded, the rights of those citizens have been abridged.To me, the way this issue has been handled - as though these two states were acting like naughty children - has a chilling future message for voters. The National Committees of political parties are taking over powers that should only be given to elected officials, if at all.Presently, the Democratic Party requires all members of the party elected to Congress to swear a party loyalty oath that they will support any Democrat who runs. This means that, if they have been working well with someone across the aisle to resolve problems important to their state or the country, tney nonetheless have to campaign against that person if a Democrat emerges to run against them.This is why I am hoping that a more centrist party will emerge in the US. I am 58 and have been registered as a Democrat ever since I began voting. The Democratic party used to passionately defend the rights of all voters to be counted. Not any more. At this point, I will write in a candidate for President rather than vote either for McCain, or for whoever (probably Obama) the 'Deaniac' Party decides to nominate. I could have supported Chris Dodd, but fear both of the remaining wannabes.Senator Obama has already promised to roll back the space program by another five years. He says he doesn't like the way they operate and he wants to use the money to improve public schools. After the way public schools have been destroyed nationally by the Bush 'No Child Left Alive, excuse me, Left Behind' program and the FCAT system in Florida, I'm all for improving the schools. But why take money from one of the few forward-looking science programs in the US to do so? And as a person with 'pre-existing medical conditions', I have to be concerned about Senator Obama's restrictive approach to solving our national medical problems.While I am happier about Senator Clinton's approach to health care, I can't figure out how she (or any of them, for that matter) can extract us from Iraq without leaving a terrifying mess behind, as in Vietnam.Once, it seemed as though we had an exciting future with many choices. Now, not so much. Mon 12 May 2008 04:51:55 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Shefloridian,"Thus, when the State Legislatures of Michigan and Florida decided to pick dates for their primaries that did not comply with the bylaws of the Democratic party, they were in line with the Constitution. Both parties, by partly or completely disenfranchising primary voters in those states, are in fact violating the Constitution."NOT SO! The constitution has nothing whatsoever to say about political parties or how they choose their candidates. When the constitution was written, THERE WERE NO PARTIES.If you can demonstrate where it says anything about parties, I'll be pleased to see it. Mon 12 May 2008 00:27:29 GMT+1 Shefloridian I'm new to this blog, so I apologize if I repeat anything that was said by others before.It amazes me that Europeans are so intent on this particular presidential race, but I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. So many decisions made by Bush II have had damaging impacts. We here can't help but hope for improvement; I guess it's the same there.That said, you need a bit of context. Both US political parties have stepped beyond their authorities in alarming ways this time around. The US Constitution does not provide power to political parties or their bylaws. The right to a meaningful vote is provided in Amendments XV and XIX of the Constitution. Neither of those amendments speak only of the general election, so their protection should also extend to primary elections.The Constitution also provides for State Legislatures to decide how the 'electors' of a president shall be picked in their respective states. Thus, when the State Legislatures of Michigan and Florida decided to pick dates for their primaries that did not comply with the bylaws of the Democratic party, they were in line with the Constitution. Both parties, by partly or completely disenfranchising primary voters in those states, are in fact violating the Constitution. It's terrifying that the Courts blew off Florida's Senator Nelson when he raised these very issues.Europeans also need to understand that, because the US has limited itself to only two political parties, those parties don't represent a consistent overall approach to any issue. Each party will, of course, try to characterize the other as doing exactly that, but both parties try(unsuccessfully) to attract a range of viewpoints.The majority of US residents are of moderate, centrist viewpoints. The unfortunate primary system now in place forces each party to surface its more extreme candidates, since the 'base' of each party - and those most likely to vote in primaries - are more extreme. This continues to be a losing strategy for the Democratic party. McGovern, Dukakis, Kerry, and now Obama are perceived by a significant number of voters as 'overly liberal. ' This translates as 'soft on crime, soft on national defense and in favor of big government that taxes and spends.' True or not, that is the perception.While many may dislike the McCain viewpoint on the Iraq war and Supreme Court nominees who pass the anti-abortion test beloved by the Republican archconservative base - when push comes to shove, it will be hard for moderate US citizens to vote for someone who is regarded as 'overly liberal'.The Democrat I was most interested in quit after the first primary. Chris Dodd's father had served as a prosecuting attorney at Nurembourg, and Chris himself had been in the Peace Corps before setting into politics. He would have been a President with a unique viewpoint on international concerns, and because of the stupid primary system that allows a small group of wealthy, heavily subsidized corn farmers to decide the Democratic candidate, the US and the world lost a decent potential candidate.It is time for the US to create a centrist party. Neither of the existing parties nor any of the current candidates can cure what ails us, and help us to stop flailing around on the world stage and hurting others. Sun 11 May 2008 05:59:35 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Emmnues;'3 million, 8 million, 11 million what's the difference? Piddling places. But not knowing Arkansas, you'd be making a big mistake to dismiss it lightly. Standards around the US are remarkably uniform. An education from an accredited university or college in Arkansas can stand up against anyone else's in the US including New York City or Chicago. I didn't go to college in any of them. Given a choice between living in Hungary, Austria, or Arkansas, I'd pick Arkansas over the other two in a heartbeat. The only advantage Austria and Hungary have over Arkansas that I can see is that they have no tornadoes. And Justin's funny link aside, Hitler came from Austria, not Arkansas. Half my ancestors came from Hungary but I have no desire to go there. All they'd want if I ever met them would be a handout...or an exit visa to America.So how do you equate someone who was a Governor of a sovereign state (that's what we call them) with someone who only served two years in Congress? "Iraq was a critical test of good judgment."She made the correct decision. She was in good company. Most of Congress, the President, the Director of the CIA that her husband appointed, and the majority of the American people agreed. What Europe thought then or what Americans feel now doesn't count. Now is now, then was then. The reason that Europeans were opposed to the invasion is that they wanted to see America attacked. They hate America because it is a far better place than they have. We know what kind of people they are. The vote in the UN and the demonstrations left no doubt. If the war served no other purpose, it let Americans know exactly who their friends aren't. The next time Europeans are in trouble and call 1-800-USA-HELP there will be nobody to pick up the phone. Their line has been disconnected.Obama was right on the gas tax, Clinton was wrong. It wouldn't make a hill of beans difference. I give credit where it is due.The internet will not win Obama the Presidency. In the end, it comes down to a man or woman in a booth with the curtain closed and a series of levers about 200 million times on one day next November. And heaven help the world if they get it wrong. Sun 11 May 2008 02:57:02 GMT+1 Emmnues MarcusAureliusII (post 67)To cast the many ho come to this blog as ignorant people by your claim that I and other readers don't know Clinton was governor before running for the White House is so petty and condescending. The real and not assumed display of ignorance is in equating Arkansas of 3 million people with Austria with 8 million people, and the highly ethnically diverse Hungary with 11 million people.If Clinton's political experience in Arkansas was adequate for the White House, then Obama with political experience from a vastly more complex state like Illinois with 13 million people, is even better prepared.The belittling of Obama has been the undoing of the Clinton's. Chicago is America's third largest city, its logical that a political education from Chicago beats whatever is on offer from Arkansas. Yes Hillary was a front seat observer in her husband's government but she wasn't the driver so she was not tested then. Iraq was a critical test of good judgement, she did not pass this test, Iraq is in a mess.Her campaign is also a critical test of good judgement and a consensus is building that indicates she has not done a good job of it. The claim you make that all it takes to keep a campaign going is money is very naive. If the best expert economists find the US economy to be a huge beast difficult to master, what hope is there for Hillary who publicly stated she is not going to put her lot with elite economists...Again Obama exhibited sound judgement with respect to the 'gas tax', Hillary didn't. Obama's campaign database is now the most powerful in the US, his facebook format is touted as revolutionary. As an aside, I am no child, my comments are reasoned, measured, dignified and eschew petty abuse. If you have the time to read other comments from me on this blog, you will discern my gracious style! Sun 11 May 2008 01:25:54 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Yes Vietnam. Was that really America which fought a war in a way it would inevitably have to lose? I didn't say that sometimes Americans aren't stupid. And looking at the way the war has been fought in Iraq, you have to wonder if we didn't learn our lesson about what it means to fight to win. One thing it must mean is not kowtowing to public opinion calling the shots. Another is not being particularly sensitive about how many civilian casualties are suffered on the other side. And a third is for the most powerful military on earth not to pull its punches for any reason including not worrying that the war will widen if some other foolish nation decides to join the battle. If Iran or Syria were dumb enough to enter the war in Iraq directly, that would be the pefect excuse to clobber them very hard. If we had fought World War II the way we fought in Iraq or Vietnam, we would have lost. Sun 11 May 2008 00:53:06 GMT+1 ronaine MarcusAurleiusII"Americans are above all not quitters"Vietnam? ;) Sat 10 May 2008 23:23:37 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Emmnues;See what I mean when I say Europeans don't know much about America? For your information, before he became President, William Jefferson Clinton was the Governor of the state of Arkansas. That is like being the Prime Minister of a European Country, say Hungary or Austria. His wife has only marginally more direct experience in government than Obama but she's had appreticeship as a first hand viewer with a front row seat for eight years prior to being a United States Senator. She's seen how its done in the White House. To equate her with Obama is ludicrous. I never said anything about Clinton's race having anything to do with her experience or lack of it, that is your conclusion. The only thing I ever said about Obama's race is that being black will gain him some, possibly many votes among blacks who would vote for any credible black candidate and will cost him some white votes among those who would not vote for a black if he was the second coming of Jesus Christ. That is a fact of American politics today. Among those in the African American community, they have traditionally voted overwhelmingly for Democrats anyway. Your nonsense is of the same ilk I heard from many when BBC asked children about what they thought of world events. How should they know. All it takes to keep a campaign going is lots of money. Obama has managed to get that through clever and unconventional ways, mostly from small contributions from individual voters and over the internet. I give him a lot of credit for his success at it. That doesn't mean he knows beans about how to manage the largest and most complex economy in the world. Even our best expert economists often don't get it right. And I've also said I don't think McCain understands it either by the way he would punish the banks for their stupidity in the sub prime mortgage fiasco, the real cause behind much of America's current financial woes. He would make the same mistake the government made in 1929 when it punished the markets for the same reason, stupid lending. It's punitive attitude only made the great depression deeper and longer. Fortunately there are enough economists in the government who do know at least that lesson. gunsandreligionYou just don't want to face the facts that are staring you in the face. Despite all the talk, these are NOT democracies and they are NOT our friends. What kind of democracy cedes its sovereignty to a foreign bureaucratic power without even so much as a public debate let alone an election. If something like what is happening with the EU in those countries were tried in the US we'd have a second American Revolution. And could you imagine giving up control over the dollar to a regional extranational bank, say a new currency the North American Peso? Not only don't they get to vote, they are so unaware that their rights have been stolen from them, they don't even protest it. They are not educated enough to even know what real democracy is or that you have to fight and maybe die defending it. That is because every time what little of it they had was under threat, we went and did the fighting and dying for them. And how did they repay us? Not only wouldn't they send troops to Iraq when we were sure we were under threat (something we never asked them to do by the way) they wouldn't even abstain in the UN if they couldn't support our invasion. In fact they actively worked against us. And why didn't we find those WMDs in Iraq the CIA's Director George Tenet who was appointed by Clinton said their having was a slam dunk? Because we stupidly wasted six months playing games with the British government trying to get them another security council resolution, more than enough time for Saddam Hussein to ship them to safety in Syria where they and Iraq's former generals are now hidden. And how do we know that's where they are? Because Israeli intelligence told us so around February of 2003 when they were moved there. Had the first President Bush or President Clinton had the political will and brains to force Iraq to disclose ALL of his WMD stockpiles and production facilities by resuming the bombing when the inspectors were resisted, we might not have had to go back into Iraq. Remember that his nuclear program wasn't even known until 1995, four years after Gulf Storm when his brother-in-law who ran it escaped to Jordan and disclosed it to the world. Better to fight in Baghdad and trash that place than in Baltimore or Brooklyn when he delivered WMDs to terrorists. The media has blown the cost of the war way out of proportion. 4000 dead troops in 5 years who were all volunteers is as many as die on American highways in about 4 or 5 weeks. 250,000 wounded as many as are injured in auto accidents in the US in about a month. A trillion dollars over 5 years about 1% of GDP in that period. Not a whole lot for a major war. As for the preposterous number of 600,000 Iraqis supposedly killed by 2006, almost certainly way off the mark, who cares? In war you kill the enemy, that is why the enemy should avoid threatening the US. David_CunardYou think we see civilization in different ways? So do I. I don't see it with rose colored glasses on. A true warrior does not withdraw from battle until he or she is defeated. Make no mistake, politics is war. Americans are above all not quitters. Hillary Clinton is not a quitter. Americans have gained their greatest trumphs overcoming impossible adversity, overwhelming odds against them starting with the defeat of the greatest military empire on earth by a rag tag band of volunteer soldiers. Clinton is no different. Win or lose, she is a warrior. As for the Democratic party, to hell with it, she is not in it for the party, she's in it for herself. Don't kid yourself, so are Obama and McCain. In America, the supremacy of a political party is not what it is in Europe, the parties are just vehicles to power. Sat 10 May 2008 20:16:27 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill MagicKinn (57):Condoleza Rice would, indeed, be an excellent choice of running mate for McCain, but she has disavowed any interest and I think it will be difficult to change her mind.I think the whole question of "experience" is overrated, however, either for vice president or president. Nobody has experience at being president except an incumbent president running for reelection. What is needed is maturity and judgment, in my view. The experience to run the government comes from the senior people in any administration who advise the president, many of whom have served past presidents. Someone with little experience in national government can make a good president if he (or she) has the judgment to select the right people for these advisors.Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president, was a one-term congressman. Sat 10 May 2008 19:53:37 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill Adrian (50),I am quite certain that Mr. Gore would not consider a place on the ticket, having heard him speak on the subject. After coming so close to the presidency and losing it, he has moved on and out of elective politics entirely. His only role now is as an elder statesman and delegate. Sat 10 May 2008 19:29:32 GMT+1 MagicKirin It depends how the European community endorses.I'm sure the DNC was thrilled in 2004 by the mailing from a European news paper urging not to be stupid and vote for Bush. Sat 10 May 2008 19:27:44 GMT+1 alexasher I think any talk of whether how Europeans would vote will have any effect on American voters who are in the 5th year of an unpopular war and heading into a recession is negligible. Perhaps it won't help Obama, but I don't think pundits will look back at this election and go "you know what it was. It was the way Europeans would have voted that decided this election" Sat 10 May 2008 18:34:04 GMT+1 Emmnues MarcusAureliusII (post 58)It seems you have a unique crystal ball that has informed you as a matter of factly that Obama will be a disastrous president. To back up this opinion of yours with reference to Obama's inexperience is nullified when you point out that Clinton turned around the US economy, because Clinton was a rookie compared with George Bush (Snr.).Except of course you wish to point out that Clinton was of a certain hue so his hue makes up for his inexperience while Obama's hue makes him a sure candidate for disaster. It takes a great manager to keep a campaign team together through the fire as Obama has done with his, despite the kitchen sink attack.Great managers don't need to be old battle hardened individuals, they just need to be persons of skill and maturity. There is a verse in the christian's 'book' that says 'wisdom is not always found among the aged'. So far in this campaign, Obama team has displayed greater sense of wisdom than Clinton team...On this ground, they have evidence to show that they will be better managers of the US economy. So your crystal ball might just be giving you the wrong message, or knows what you want to hear and is acting accordingly. Or are you in denial? I respect the logic you always try to put forth in your comments but I do think they are flawed. Sat 10 May 2008 17:26:30 GMT+1 gunsandreligion Marcus, I don't see where all of your virulentanti-Europeanism comes from. It is to ourbenefit for the Europeans to have a democraticform of government, because now we have a buffer between us and the Russians.It's really a reach, by the way, to criticise Bill Clinton for bad foreign policy, that wasone of his strong points. At least we weren'tbogged down in Baghdad. Sat 10 May 2008 17:22:08 GMT+1 David Cunard MarcusAureliusII writes "The wheels of civilization are greased by one thing and it isn't gracious manners." I think we see 'civilisation' in rather different ways - perhaps I should have written 'civilised behaviour'; it was late at night! The topic was 'how', if necessary, 'could Mrs Clinton withdraw graciously?' I suggested a scenario that would permit both sides to move ahead without too many hurt feelings and which would mollify her millions of supporters. A conciliatory approach would be required - Mr Obama would need to show as much grace in victory as he has done in defeat; only then can the Democrats go forward as a united party. Manners and etiquette may appear superficial to many, but they do make the tribulations of life rather easier to accept. He cannot afford to alienate the demographics of those such as in West Virginia, where it is thought that Mrs Clinton will win overwhelmingly. However, I suggest that if indeed this comes to pass, at least some superdelegates will be considering - even reconsidering - their endorsements. Sat 10 May 2008 17:13:37 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart I think I hear a corpulent female warming up....xxed Sat 10 May 2008 16:56:05 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII We have a model for Obama in office, David Dinkens as mayor of New York City. After the mess he made, it took Sherrif Rudolph Giulliani to clean it up. Obama's campaign slogan should be "Apres mois le deluge."If McCain were to pick Dr. Rice or Colin Powell as a running mate, it would give black voters something to think about and the Democrats their worst nightmare. A VP who is a black American war hero or a VP who is a PHD, a top adviser to the President, and a black woman. Both have been Secretaries of State. So black voters would have a choice, a black President who if elected would probably have one disasterous term and you wouldn't see another black candidate again for a long time or a black VP who could very well be the Presidential candidate of the Republican party when McCain leaves office. Clinton's assets are that she is electable where Obama probably isn't and her husband put together a winning team to rescue the economy when he was president, something that might be done again. That her husband's foreign policy was weak is one of the reasons Europeans liked him. He was Europe's poodle fighting their war in Kosovo and Serbia while the real threats to America from Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, and Iraq went unaddressed. 9-11, a North Korean atom bomb, the prospect of an Iranian atom bomb and nuclear war starting in the middle east are the price we paid for his incompetence in foreign policy and national secuity. gunsandreligioin #46Why should Americans care if there is a resurgence of Russia? Why should they care if Russia cuts off its oil and gas deliveries to Europe? What skin is it off America's nose? Ten years ago America might have cared but that was before Europe sold America out, showed America it could not count on Europe for so much as an abstention in the Security Council when its own security appeared threatened. Franakly, I'm rooting for the Russians to begin selling most of their oil and gas to China and India. Let's see how strong the Euro stays when that happens. BTW, you do not have to know how to pronounce the world "nuclear" to push the button. All you need is "the football." Sat 10 May 2008 16:41:45 GMT+1 MagicKirin As far as the VP choices for both canidatesObama needs to choose someone with experience:Bider, Richardson or Dodd would be good choices for him.McCain needs to pick someone ready to be President.Condi Rice an African American who has accomplished something unlike Obama would be a good choiceOthers would be Joe Liebermann, charlies Crist or Mitt Romney Sat 10 May 2008 14:48:45 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart David,It may well be that the "Johhny come lately" superdelegates are jumping on the bandwaggon (and it is a bit of a rush at the moment), and it's probably true to say they're looking to their own advantage.Many of them are up for (re-)election in November, and to have such a charismatic leader at the top of the ticket can only help those further down, especially if they have been seen to have supported his candidacy. It's only Realpolitik, after all, and there's little doubt of the potential benefits to be had from the Obama fund-raising machine.It looks at present like we're in for a pretty substantial shift away from the Republican Party this November, and not before time. If you want to explore the betting, check this out. There's loads of different 'contracts' available, and if you're wanting to bet Republican, the odds are attractive.It's fun, and it's free.xxedFormer heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali visited the ruins of the World Trade Center on Thursday. When reporters asked how he felt about the suspects sharing his Islamic faith, Ali responded pleasantly, 'How do you feel about Hitler sharing yours?'BOO! Sat 10 May 2008 13:56:36 GMT+1 Reuben33g In order to avoid going the way of Kennedy and Johnson, Obama could do as Dubya did and pick a VP that no one wants as the president, but Hillary wouldn't be a good choice for him.Our very own Darth Vader prefers to run things from behind the scenes.Hillary on the other hand wants the top job bad enough to make it happen like she did for Vince Foster.Chiefy1724: I'm so far out of the box that you wouldn't know how to make your comments personal. Sat 10 May 2008 13:34:49 GMT+1 DianneB Don't even bother writing HILLARY off! Simply listening to negative media spin and a biased DNC means you are misinformed! According to GALLUP it's still too close to call and HILLARY is doing extremly well in West Virginia and Kentucky! As far as I can tell, the only obsticle for Hillary is one of support her! Don't turn your backs on the only person who is truly qualified to be PRESIDENT! Because Obama can't beat McCain, but she isn't called the "comeback kid" for nothing,HILLARY CAN DO IT!!! Sat 10 May 2008 12:38:53 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII David_CunardAt midnight your time last night, I had just gotten back home to the real world from a trip to Southern California. I was reminded once again why it is called LA-LA land. This isn't a Hollywood movie. This isn't about some fantasy. The wheels of civilization are greased by one thing and it isn't gracious manners, it is money and the raw political power that directs where it goes. A lot of wealthy people have many millions of dollars invested in Hillary Clinton's campaign with the expectation that if she is elected they will get some return on their investment. If she does not fight it out until there is no doubt that it is hopeless for her, they will be very angry and she will be for all practical intents and purposes finished, washed up in politics. That is why it is far too premature for her to quit. This isn't about the unity of the Democratic party, that is of minor concern to her and her backers. It's about money. You don't walk away from the table until all of the cards have been played. Or in the words of that great American philosopher Yogi Berra; "It ain't over 'til it's over." Sat 10 May 2008 12:38:01 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII watermanaquarius;America's best people usually do not go into politics. Just look at the disreputable people we have for elected officials. Most of them start out as lawyers. Doesn't that say it all? What do they know about life except how to sue? Small wonder that we have the current sorry crop we do. It's more a wonder what they do accomplish than what they don't. It's very easy to get involved in politics in the US. You start out at the local level at the city council or board of education level and if you show any promise at all, you start moving up. You make friends and they bring you into ever wider circles. Politicians are not held in high regard here. An old American song among the collections Aaron Copland orchestrated and arranged has it that "The Candidate's a dodger, yes a well known dodger...He'll meet you and treat you and ask you for your vote, but look out boys' he's a dodgin' for a note." This is different from the high esteem we hold the offices they occupy in. The privilege to be elected and serve by being allowed to wield power over the rest of us is a very high honor. This may seem a confusing dichotomy to those outside the US but that is how it is. It is what Nick Robinson failed to understand about the American culture in has gaff at the White House press conference. He didn't merely insult the man George Bush, he insulted the office of President of the United States and the country with it.Europe is an entirely different civilization from America's. The American Revolution was far more than a rejection of British political power over the colonists, it was a rejection of the entire philosophy of what government was, how it relates to ordinary people, and how it is justified. In a sense America is an anti-Europe by intent. America's government is much closer to what Europeans would consider anarchy than their own governments. Americans have an inherent suspicion and distrust of government. The Constitution was not the first government of the independent American colonies, The Articles of Confederation was. That government failed because it was too weak. The Constitution would probably not have been passed had it not been for the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments which sharply curtailed the power of government. Anti-Americanism started in Europe right from the beginning. Small wonder.Most people outside of America only have the most superficial knowledge of it. They may enjoy what's popular in America at a given moment. It's most commercial aspects in music, films, television, fast food. They see brief images of it in the news through other people's eyes on their TV screens, read other people's accounts in their newspapers. Those in BBC who are covering the election are traveling around the country outside of the major centers of power, political power in Washington DC, financial power in New York City, cultural power in Los Angeles California. They are meeting the ordinary people in all walks of life. But even after that process is over, they will still not begin to understand it unless they start to read American history. The history of the US is the story of how it got to be the way it is, how it diverged from Europe and took an entirely different path. It isn't always a pretty story, much of it is ugly. We hope we learn from our mistakes. Exposing them in their most excruciating details is the only way to understand them and correct them. This opens America up to criticism from around the world but other countries have far worse problems they don't discuss, they don't even admit to. So why should Americans care what others think of them? What happens to America is not a consequence of what others do to it but what it does to itself. It has the power over its own destiny. What those outside should realize is that if you live in a glass house and throw stones at other people, you may find rocks hurled back coming crashing through your own windows. Lots of rocks have been thrown at America from the outside. Knowledge of the outside world provides me with a mountain of them. I just hope my aim is good. Sat 10 May 2008 12:28:46 GMT+1 watermanaquarius MarcusAreliusIITo you too I offer my apologies.Have reread a lot of your pieces [ I,m a slow reader] and you are not a dyed in the wool Clinton supporter.I was wrong. You were right.You were very right.I hear you. You even sound Wright about some of your anti-european comments.The pun is mightier than the sword.No hard feelings I hope.Regards wma. Sat 10 May 2008 10:32:01 GMT+1 Adrian_Evitts Whilst it would be wrong to declare for Obama just yet - there are all sorts of games that may still yet be played - what is wrong with Al Gore for the Obama ticket?As I understand it, there's nothing constitutionally to prevent Gore from being elected as Vice President for a third time, and, although he may not want to do it, this makes him more suitable, not less, in my view! Sat 10 May 2008 09:45:21 GMT+1 watermanaquarius David,You ARE a gentleman. A dying species in this world today. I stand corrected. Sat 10 May 2008 08:09:56 GMT+1 David Cunard At midnight here on the 'left coast' it occurred to me that perhaps, if any graceful end to Mrs Clinton's campaign should be required, it would take the active participation of Mr Obama, not merely his advisors. Supposing he did not want her as his vice-president or that she did not wish for the post even if asked, what a triumph of diplomacy it would be if, when the time came, he announced that he had asked her to join him but that she declined, saying that he must be his own man. I realise that the argument against this is that whoever was selected would appear to be the second choice, but that could be readily spun away, perhaps saying something along the lines of "it is an honour to step in Mrs Clinton's shoes." It would be the gentlemanly thing to do on the part of Mr Obama, just as he assisted her with her chair in one of the televised debates; there would be nothing to lose and everything to gain, not least the goodwill of her supporters at the Convention and across the country. The wheels of civilised behaviour are greased by gracious manners and it never hurts to heap praise on a defeated opponent. Although I am as yet not entirely convinced that she will fail, I observe the Boy Scouts credo, "Be Prepared". And in case the scenario does not play out as currently predicted, the reverse of this would hold true. Sat 10 May 2008 07:19:28 GMT+1 watermanaquarius MarcusAureliusIIHaving problems here with the new Chinese computer which is fitted out with the latest Makrosoft Gardeners Pro software. Apart from the Chinese characters, the Plough, Seed, and Harvest keys are too close together. I have learned however that removing my gloves before starting to type minimises the chance that I hit the Manure and Agression keys together. Try taking your mittens off I'm sure it might help your copy.My simple, and I agree it is a pathetic and simple input to this blog is where I am trying to show an understanding for all sides of these election arguments. Again you misunderstand my comment, as did NoRash in the past., as did David_C, as I believe did Righteousmisty..My first line was a tongue in cheek suggestion that RighteousM's comment had little or no grace.{ See exclamation and question mark following the line} The 2nd statement was my praise for the passion of all, that was ALL posters for all of their candidates.David takes my analogy of , will the democrat team for the world be a Rolls Royce or Edsel and quite rightly shows a new model / old model slantDavid. Hillary is like an old DAF with improvements. Whereas a Daf had a gear box -forward goes forward, back goes back , hers has the goes left ,goes right, goes up goes down. Now she is dissapearing in little circles to who knows where.With the mistakes I place in my post everybody may accuse me of FARMGATE.! Sat 10 May 2008 07:04:14 GMT+1 gunsandreligion I have to disagree to some extent with Marcus(#44). I believe the Europeans and Americansare coming together somewhat since the resurgence of the Russians. However, I would caution Mr. Webb againstascribing too much benefit to a relationshipwith a civlization whose leader cannot properlypronounce the word "nuclear." Sat 10 May 2008 06:06:38 GMT+1 Emmnues Hillary is fighting to the very last, so there is nothing about being graceful in her campaign's style of operations. Her campaign has thrown aside all decorum and is using an iron-fisted approach. This continues to weaken the democratic party.The superdelegates who are fence-sitting are also aiding and abetting this insidious continued weakening of the party.To see a much revered political figure stoop unashamedly to the low discourse of racial politics is unbelievably shocking. Sat 10 May 2008 05:49:40 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Mr. Webb, you do flatter the British most undeservedly. Few if any Americans actually care what the British or anyone else thinks about America. In fact it isn't clear that most people who are not Americans actually think about America at all. Mostly their reactions to events and their attitudes regarding America seem visceral rather than intellectually driven. This not only holds true for average Joe Bloke but for BBC and surprisingly and most disappointingly high British government officials. It was most astonishing to hear Owen Bennet-Jones' interview of Sir Christopher Meyers, former British ambassador to the US for over five years. Listen to it sometime, it is remarkable. Bennet-Jones; "Why are they so rich, why are the Americans so rich?" Meyers; They were there first. First????? Europe was a civilization that thrived for nearly a thousand years before the first Europeans settled in the untamed savage wilderness that was to become America. The Industrial Revolution started in Britain, not in America. If they are rich, it's because they were more industrious, more efficient at creating wealth, had different values which placed importance on the fruits of labor and intellect and less on the nobility of those in high places. In short, in a practical sense, hard as it is for Europeans to admit, it is a superior civilzation to theirs. They can look for as many facts to prove the contrary as they like but the fact that they just keep coming here and never leave is the real proof of where the truth lies.Impatient Europeans who want Obama coronated right now will have to wait a long time. Nothing is certain. There is a lot at stake, a lot more than most people realize. Besides the wielding of pure power, there is the many billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs the winner of the White House can bestow on loyal friends. Graceful? There is nothing graceful about American politics and there shouldn't be. Don't let the polite words on television in the debates or when primary election results come in fool you, this is a fight to the death. And if Obama wins he will have an even tougher one ahead of him in the general election where the sympathies of the country for many reasons fall far from what little we know of his positions with the possible exception of Iraq. I think most Americans will not trust him because he has almost no experience in government and becaue what we do know of his positions are very far to the left on the American political spectrum. He reminds me of George McGovern who lost in a landslide only for being far to the left. Watermanaquarius #14I don't know what you are talking about. I do not have a candidate. I made it clear from the very beginning that I didn't like any of them. But if Obama wins and is the Democratic nominee, I will hold my nose and vote for McCain. This despite his sponsorship of the Kennedy McCain sellout of America to illegal aliens bill and his obvious lack of understanding of the economy. As is often the case, it comes down to who is the least worst choice. While McCain will be no prize, IMO Obama would be a catastrophe. BTW, don't expect Obama to have any special sympathies for Britain or the Europeans. Whatever his failings, he is American through and through and will place its interests in his own misguided way above all othes, just like any other American president would. Sat 10 May 2008 03:39:58 GMT+1 David Cunard Reference Mr Obama's (supposed) lead in superdelegates, the figures do seem to vary from one source to another and are open to interpretation. From what I read on the Politico site (for which our thanks) there are still 207.5 "Uncommitted Superdelegates" and if that is so (I may have misunderstood the chart) then that seems to be a large number to convince either way. Will those whose districts voted for Mrs Clinton be bold enough to switch sides? For myself, I don't consider that those who formerly - and formally - had endorsed Mrs Clinton and have now "seen the light" so to speak are anything but Johnnies-come-lately who want to jump on the Obama bandwagon so as to enjoy the potential praise and implicit future advantages for being on "the right side". Should there ever be a President Obama, I can hear the cries now - "remember how I supported you . . ." I'm not at all convinced that latecomers to his campaign are entirely altruistic; self preservation might well be the motive. Sat 10 May 2008 02:34:49 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart David,ABC news had it out around 6AM (EST?)Most of the others, including Politico now have Obama ahead.Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace Namaste -ed Sat 10 May 2008 01:08:31 GMT+1 David Cunard From The Times, a publication not known for its support of Mrs Clinton (not that it matters) there is this headline: "Why Barack Obama may stumble if the House of Clinton falls" - see: 5:00 pm PST (1300 BST) CBS radio here in Los Angeles announced that Mr Obama now has more superdelegates endorsing him that Mrs Clinton. No online news organ has made that statement, not Reuters, AP or any of the British papers who have been so strident in support of him. If it were so I would have thought a gleeful press would have rushed to put it online ASAP. Perhaps once again it's wishful thinking - then again, perhaps not. Sat 10 May 2008 00:09:16 GMT+1 MagicKirin This meanwhile is a disadvantage for Barack Obama. All those Americans who care deeply what the Brits think will be voting for him anyway and the enthusiasm of foreigners - even British foreigners - will only add to suspicions that he is not the heartland candidate. That is very presumptious of you. Considering the Tories recent victories. I have spoken to many people from Britian and most don't understand the equivilent of a back bencher is getting such a response. Fri 09 May 2008 23:52:52 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart NoRash,I don't think many Europeans are 'disappointed' by Bush. Perhaps we were disappointed by America for 'electing' him (Twice!), but he has been more or less what it says on the package - a complete dolt/puppet, manipulated by some very evil folk.Disappointed? No, but as an American ex-patriot, deeply embarrassed. Sadly, I've become so attached to Scotland, I'm also embarrassed by the leadership the UK has elected over three decades or more. I'm pretty enthusiastic about the situation in Scotland, though. Ms Alexander should be an embarrassment to her party, but that's OK by me.Slainteed Fri 09 May 2008 23:26:38 GMT+1 ThoughtCrime What bothers me about Hillary is her apparent obsession with being the first woman president.The impression I get is that Obama wants to be president, and if he is successful he would happen to be the first black president. Yet he doesn't seem to be implying that people should vote for him simply because America has never had a black president before.Hillary seems to think that because she is a woman and America has never had a woman president, that she should be elected.I must admit I would have loved to see an election between Condi Rice and Hillary Clinton, not least because it would prevent Hillary from playing the gender card. Fri 09 May 2008 23:26:24 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart David,"I'm surprised though that "The Manchurian Candidate" solution has not been posited by someone . . :)"Oh, but it has, but more often with regard to McCain, who fits the profile rather well...As to whether LBJ had anything to do with what happened in his home state, we'll never know, but qui bono?I wouldn't trust HRC in any dark alley (or the political equivalent).知 者 不 言。 言 者 不 知。 Fri 09 May 2008 23:17:18 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions Also, Justin, implying that foreign enthusiasm for Obama will "add to suspicions that he is not the heartland candidate", as if to say that Americans and those citizens in other countries want different things out of life, is, I feel, a new low for you!!!! Since when does someone who represents the American people's hopes and dreams the complete opposite of someone who represents foreigners's hopes and dreams? God!!! You act as if Americans are alians, and foreigners are normal human beeings, or vice versa!! People are people the world over, no matter which way you slice it!!! So what?! Americans are going to see foreigners's enthusiasm for Obama and immediately vote against him because he is too "unAmerican"-whatever what means? I sure hope not!! Please don't fall into all that Republican propaganda business!! Fri 09 May 2008 22:42:56 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions I don't understand, Justin. How could a presidential candidate actually being stomached, never mind seemingly enjoyed with excitement and enthusiasm shown toward the prospects of what they could bring to the international comunity, how is that a "dissadvantige" for them? I think the more international backing before he is confirmed the nominee, if he is, that will just further prepell his case for turning a page in American foreign policy, and getting the world to respect us again!!! Please explain your reasoning for this. Bring on the European endorsements!!That having been said, though, I do have some qualms with some of the points raised in the Times populus article. First, when it states that '"The trouble with Obamamania, however, is the risk of excessive expectations, and consequent disillusionment when/if American policies change less than hoped.", is it suggesting that Europeans will eel he same toward Obama if he doesn't meet their expectations as they do toward Bush now? The same massive disapointmenlt, disalusionment, despair, that they-and many Americans!!-feel toward Bush due to the unpopularity of the Iraq war etc? Because if it is, I think that those potential European feelings may be a bit "accessive" and uncalled for in and of themselves, frankly. Obama is nothing like Bush, so even if he isn't 100% what Europeans expect him to be, I don't think they need be that despaired at what he may/may not do when/if in office. I think they could still look on the US with some semblance of optimism. The same-i believe-can and should be said for Americans!!, but I especially feel this for foreigners!!! After all, the US can't be disliked that much more in the world, right? So the only way we can go from here is up!Second, and this is particularly frustrating to me, and if anyone could answer this question it would be greatly appreciated!! And that is why do so many at least news paper columnests/journalists in the UK refer to the UK s the US's "51st state"? Is it because they are still offended at Blair's foreign policy action while in power? Is it a suttle way of showing their discontent with what they view as Brown's failer to break with that line? Whatever it is, I think its a hair unkind! First f all, its not true!! The UK does have an independent foreign policy-yes I completely agree that some prime ministers have not demonstrated this nearly enough!!! And it s true whether people believe it or not! Second, I think it kind of clings to the past a bit. Blair is no longer in office!! That alone should give people some cause to rejoice-there is no other thing that could happen, that could bring up the risk of him being accused of being our pootle again!! I wish we could say the same for Bush! And as for any "lacky/pootle/no spine" accusations that may/have been levyed at a UK prime minister, I feel should be based out of fairness, and therefore only levyed against the current sitting prime minister. If they do something that warrents such a lable, then by all means so be it!!! But I don't think its fair for the labels/baggage of a previous prime minister to be careyed over to the current one!! Fri 09 May 2008 22:25:37 GMT+1 musesum Gary, Ed, Coincidentally, I suggested Kathleen Sebelius as veep earlier today in a NYTimes comment. This was after a google search - not the Huffington Post. Am I being a sexist/racist? Or is that centrist? (Something of double entendre, "centrist", as both Obama and Sebelius come from the Midwest.) I like the thought of politicians in the exec branch who can work with members of both parties - it belies a certain degree of (ahem!) grace. Fri 09 May 2008 21:38:03 GMT+1 basvdbogaard Justin,Great blog! Will it continue after November? Fri 09 May 2008 20:18:23 GMT+1 righteousmistyfog #25 David_C - you are gracious in your response. You're also right in supposing that the two parties are talking.#26 Ed Inglehart - you may be bored(!) but I enjoyed your comments about the debt. It's a problem and its increasing for Hillary with every passing day. If she really wants to hang in there until June, then we might be talking about $20 million rather than $10 million. I rather suspect that the Clintons might finally baulk at the cost of continuing without sufficient outside financial backing. Fri 09 May 2008 20:18:07 GMT+1 David Cunard #24 Ed - Unless you are implying that Lyndon Johnson was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, it is just as possible that the same fate could attend any president. If Mr Obama were to become President there could be some crazed individual just there was with President Reagan - and the same would apply to any candidate, save perhaps Ralph Nader, about whom no-one cares enough to bother. I'm surprised though that "The Manchurian Candidate" solution has not been posited by someone . . :) Fri 09 May 2008 20:09:52 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Gary (29),"An Obama-Sebelius ticket will make it the most significant election year since 1860."Can't argue with that!Here's a bit more on her"Kathleen SebeliusTalk about reaching across the aisle. This Kansas governor convinced a Republican to leave his party, become a Democrat, and run as his Lieutenant Governor. Kansas is rife with stories of Republicans undergoing conversions, and Sebelius gets a good amount of credit for this...Pro: Another Red-state governor with an excellent post-partisan record. Having a female VP could be a strong ticket...Con: Sebelius didn't wow anyone with her response to the State of the Union, which raises questions about how she would do on the national stage. And her location in Kansas doesn't add much that Obama doesn't already get from Illinois."xxed Fri 09 May 2008 19:38:59 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill Clinton indeed seems to have self-destructed with her recent remarks. Obama will win the Democratic nomination and he will not (and should not) choose Clinton as his running mate. There is too much bad blood and, except for the most fervent Hillary boosters, we are tired of her.A bold choice, and the best one, for Obama's running mate is Sebelius, the governor of Kansas, for several reasons:1. As a female, she will attract many voters who wanted a woman in the race, and who might otherwise not vote if they were Clinton supporters. Also, she does not have the negatives of Clinton, so will attract those who are favorable to having a woman on the ticket but who don't like Hillary.2. She is a successful Democrat in a Republican state, on her way up, not out.3. She is a governor, not a senator. A ticket of two senators is weaker.4. She was an early endorser of Obama's candidacy.5. A ticket with an African-American and a woman may seem risky, too much change at once, but the Republicans are weak this year so this is the time for it. While McCain is a likeable candidate to many Democrats and independents, his age makes him a weak candidate. We should have had him for the past two terms instead of Bush. Too late now.This is already the most interesting election year since 1968. An Obama-Sebelius ticket will make it the most significant election year since 1860. Fri 09 May 2008 19:17:28 GMT+1 Justianus Can one be graceful even if one isn't? Should one even try?This reminded me of Seinfeld - the episode where Elaine, searching for a new job, gets interviewed by a woman named Landis at Doubleday.Here's how it goes:________LANDIS: Of course, Jackie O. was a great lady. Those are going to be some tough shoes to fill. Everyone loved her. She had such...grace.ELAINE (gushing): Yes! Grace!LANDIS: Not many people have grace.ELAINE: Well, you know, grace is a tough one. I like to think I have a little grace...not as much as Jackie - LANDIS: You can't have "a little grace." You either have grace, or you...don't.ELAINE: O.K., fine, I grace.LANDIS: And you can't acquire grace.ELAINE: Well, I have no intention of "getting" grace.LANDIS: Grace isn't something you can pick up at the market.ELAINE (fed up): Alright, alright, look - I don't have grace, I don't want grace...I don't even say grace, O.K.?LANDIS: Thank you for coming in._______Clinton's campaign - as opposed to Obama's, Huckabee's, or even (yes!) McCain's - was never about being "graceful" in any shape or form. Having said that, though, I don't really think that's a problem as such. I agree with Elaine on this one: if you don't like what you see, don't get it.Ultimately, the voters went for Obama, not Hillary. That's fine, by why should that make her change her stripes? Hillary's never been graceful, and it's a little weird to ask her to turn a new leaf now. Fri 09 May 2008 19:10:07 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 How to exit with grace:::do it withhonour and grace also with integrity! Fri 09 May 2008 19:01:59 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Bored,Regarding the debts, there are several considerations, not the least of which is the amount owed to a certain Mr Penn:abig chunk of those debts -- an estimated $10 million or more -- is owed toPenn."Penn is the CEO of Burson-Marsteller, which has "a global network of 94 offices and 1600 employees that brings world-class public relations to companies around the world.""Burson-Marsteller is one of the 246 companies owned by WPP, a leadingglobal advertising and marketing services group. WPP controls a powerful array of public relations, advertising and lobbying companies, including Hill and Knowlton; Dewey Square; Ogilvy and Mather; Public Strategies Inc.; AGB Nielsen Media Research; Quinn Gillespie and Associates; Timmons and Company; Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates; Young and Rubicam.....I reckon most Obama supporters would baulk at sending good money after such bad advice. Besides, I reckon WPP can afford to be stiffed, and probably deserve to be.知 者 不 言。 言 者 不 知。ed Fri 09 May 2008 18:58:23 GMT+1 David Cunard #7 righteousmistyfog - A parallel has been drawn between Tony Blair and Barack Obama and, like the British, the electorate must be careful for what it wishes lest they receive it; promises are easy to make and just as easily broken. One only has to look at California which tossed out a perfectly good if colourless Governor and voted in a glamourous film star who promised no raises in taxation: consider the state's financial plight now! My opinions are not subjective, but an objective consideration of the two individuals with similar policies; if a motoring analogy may be used, one is an untested bright and shiney new model, with all the bells and whistles, the other a reliable older vehicle which has stood the test of time. I'd rather have the more reliable of the two. And, as everyone knows, the value of a new vehicle decreases by at least 10% the moment it leaves the showroom - a used model retains more.With regard to "How to be graceful" I draw readers' attention to The New York Times in which the same issue is addressed: have no doubt that there is a quiet negotiation between the two campaigns - Mr Obama needs Mrs Clinton and her supporters rather more than she needs him. Fri 09 May 2008 18:03:43 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart David Cunard,If I were Obama, I wouldn't invite Clinton onto the ticket for fear that the outcome might be the same as with Kennedy and Johnson.There are plenty of good possibilities for Vice President.My favourite remains Jim Webb:Webb is the closest thing to a frontrunner for Obama's VP these days. A former Republican, he served as Secretary of the Navy for Ronald Regan. Webb defeated George "Macaca" Allen to become a junior senator in Virginia...Pros: Webb is a good foil for Obama's post-partisan message, and he's the military credentials to go match up with John McCain. He's good at playing the attack dog, which will let Obama keep the high road. And he's from trending-blue Virginia, which would be a great pickup in November for Democrats. He's also pro-guns...Cons: Webb can be a little out-of-control as attack dogs go.I look forward to an Obama/Webb ticketxxed Fri 09 May 2008 17:44:33 GMT+1 gunsandreligion Since we have both Clintonites and Obamaphileson this blog, I am curious as to what extent therecent events in the middle east (i.e., Lebanon)would cause you to modify your views about the coming election.Particularly, can you explain how yourfavorite candidate would deal with the increasinginstability of the region? Fri 09 May 2008 16:25:22 GMT+1 Chiefy1724 Reuben33g #20:Thank you for your exceptionally polite correction of my misapprehensions. (and it was #16 BTW). I look forward to your input on Blether With Brian, where I will be delighted to guide you through the myriad intricacies of the setup of our Pretend Wee Democracy here in North Britain.I wasn't directing any comments at anyone in particular but you seem to have taken what I said personally, for which I apologise.Back to the point.Condy won't take the VP slot even if there is a reasonable chance that McCain wouldn't serve a full term. There is nothing the voters either side of the pond these days seem to detest more than a leader who is in place without facing the electorate In Their Own Right. Witness the stompings handed to Gerry Ford on your side of the pond, Jim Callaghan on this and more recently, Gordon Brown in the local council and London elections. Also, didn't LBJ not run in his own right because he knew that he was going to get stomped ? Maybe there was more to it than that ?Also, the Dems spin machine couldn't help but suggest that as she hadn't gone through the primary process, i.e. she wasn't really up for it in the first place, that she owed her place on the ticket due to tokenism. She couldn't recover from that if she ever hoped to run in her own right.And I hope that she chooses to one day.Rightly or wrongly, the perception is that although McCain has the nomination, he is , what's that phrase again, RINO ? Now, as with politics anywhere, you get the Core vote who vote their party line even with the apocryphal Stuffed Dog wearing the rosette. For the Dems, Prior to Obama pulling ahead, I would have said from my restricted viewpoint that a McCain-Clinton fight would have had McCain having a greater cross-party appeal and Hil defeated and off to fill the shoes of Ted Kennedy for the next 40 as Dowager Duchess of the Party, wheeled out at every Convention to remind everyone of the Good Old Days.However, it seems apparent that Obama can attract "outside" his "natural" constituency in a way that Hil can't. Still leaves a hole in the VP slot, and it seems to this ignorant North Britisher that it is Very Edwards Shaped.The GOP have another problem, as I have intimated, in that McCain is RINO and he needs a Social and if you want to use the phrase Religious Conservative. Huckabee seems to fit the bill.And this is my contention. For the first time in a while, the choice of the VP candidate could actually have an impact. If either side gets it wrong, in what appears to be a very close contest, that could swing those few percent if not to the opposition, then not to vote.Frankly, Edwards and Huckabee are more "colourful" than McCain, Obama or Clinton, and I would like to see them standing up for their beliefs in a campaign rather than vomiting pre-digested spin back into the baby-bird consensus that the Parties seem to demand. Fri 09 May 2008 16:04:09 GMT+1 Skerri I think Clinton is too determined to stay in the race to do any real good for the party. Many people are beyond tired of the incessant speculative coverage. I've heard "threats" of voting McCain just because the democrats can't pull it together already. I think there comes a time when being graceful means doing the best thing for the good of the whole. I think that time has come... Fri 09 May 2008 15:31:05 GMT+1 Reuben33g Chiefy1724 #16:I said that Hillary would not accept the VP.I also said that Obama wouldn't offer it to her.Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the House, not Senate Majority leader.Senate Majority Leader typically goes to the Senators with the most tenure.Edwards would balance the democratic ticket by bringing back voters that would have gone to McCain.The religious right might like Huckabee, but he'll alienate the middle with his crazy ideas. McCain should ask Condileeza Rice to be his VP.I know Condi said she didn’t want to be president (it didn’t fit in with her plans).On the other hand, being a VP would be a lot more relaxing than being Secretary of State, especially if she brings that office back to the way it was before Darth Vader re-invented it so he could play puppeteer with his pet-president, Dubya.And on the gripping hand, McCain is old, so he might kick the bucket in office, giving her the top job. Fri 09 May 2008 14:54:54 GMT+1 nobleFloridian Now that the vituperative Democratic campaign is all but over, bobgodwin exhorts Obama followers to start work trashing John McCain. Now that the despicable attempted trashing of McCain's "stay" in the Hanoi Hilton has been squashed with the story from his cellmate in that hellhole I wonder what nefarious stunt at denigrating this heroic man comes next. The age factor will obviously be stressed ad infinitum, but as a World War II veteran, aged 86, I think bobgodwin will agree, albeit somewhat reluctantly, that I am in full command of my faculties, and that I write a pretty good blog for my advanced age. That of course is not to say that I would wish to run for President of the United States - why ANYONE would want that job is beyond my comprehension! Surely it can't be the $400,000 a year salary! Fri 09 May 2008 14:23:40 GMT+1 Chiefy1724 All very interesting, and as a first foray here from my usual home as a "Cyber-Nat" on "Blog With Brian" (That's the BBCs Scottish Politics Blog), I must start as declaring an interest in that my partner is American and that one day we may well chose to go and live in the US.Now, shoot me down here, but I see it like This as far as the Democrats Go.Option 1: Hilary by a mathematical fluke wins the nomination and is forced with bad grace to accept the "Salt N Pepper" ticket with Obama as VP in order to bring the African-American community who clearly couldn't bring themselves to support her back into the fold.Option 2: Obama wins the nomination and he will offer Hil the VP Slot. Which he has to and she won't accept as, has been ably pointed out here and by (who ? can't remember), the office of VP "Ain't worth a bucket of Warm Spit" and with 3 notable exceptions (Truman, LBJ and Al Gore) has never attracted the best and the brave.Option 3: Hil holds on through the primaries but at some point concedes, at the same time saying that she was only running for the Top Job and if the Party and the People can't bring themselves to vote for her in that role, she'll go back to being Senator Clinton and, after, working tirelessly for a Democrat Victory in November, then devoting her energies to Her State of New York. Waiting to pick up the role of Senate Majority Leader where she will wield far more power than she ever could as VP.I think that we all know now realistically that Barring Act of Deity or Tabloid Journalism, Obama gets the nomination. If it went to the floor and the Super-Delegates swung it for Hil, you can already hear the spin teams crying that an elite few had overturned the will of the pee-puland that the only act for a True (large or small-d) Democrat was to vote against this terrible anti-constitutional imposition etc....I'm sure that Rush already has his speech on this one prepared.So, can the VP slot actually bring anything to either ticket ? Both parties have Significant Others in Huckabee and Edwards. Both "Balance The Ticket" - Huckabee brings Mthe Social Conservatives and Edwards balances the Black Northern Liberal with the White Southern Firebrand. Will the various Men In Grey Suits of either stripe have the courage to make The VP slot one where you actually DO have a man (or woman - Lets not rule Nancy Pelosi out for VP which then gives Hil Instant Majority Leader) who is worthy to be President if the unthinkable (another assasination) or (particularly for McCain) health comes into play through a term.What do our American chums think - Its going to be McCain vs Obama for sure, but is the most interesting part of this whole election going to be who gets the #2 berth. Personally, I'ld fly to the States without an airplane to be there for the VP debate of Edwards vs Huckabee !To quote the Hapless Wendy Alexander (See Blog With Brian, it's a fun blog to hang out on !)" Bring It On !"Regards to all,Ewen Fri 09 May 2008 12:59:40 GMT+1 watermanaquarius righteousmistyfogSomewhere in the back of my mind is the "Forgive and forget, and the, He who is without sin can cast the first stone" quotes .{ Regarding the old preacher thing I always fall asleep in church so I never know what my reverend has threatened me with.} She's a woman for heavans sake - doesn't that say enough- Marvellous creatures , what would we do without them. Putting her in the "kitchen powerhouse" to oversee the selected dishes of power is more favourable than her as figurehead of the restaurant ., and guarantees a success. Also, some Arabian countries I believe will not accept a female Maitre D.Yucont - Here in the sticks I could not think of an African American to fit my skit so I chose the one who came to mind- Also a newbie, and has not yet learned the Schumakker tricks but he's a quick learner.End of the racing , and cooking analogies commentary for the day. Fri 09 May 2008 12:09:07 GMT+1 yupcont @Watermanacquarius - I think the Louis Hamilton analogy is pretty apt. For all the media worship he still only came in second place to a more experienced driver. Fri 09 May 2008 11:16:33 GMT+1 righteousmistyfog Watermanacquarius, thank you for your kind comments. My own view is that Hillary is self-serving and would make a deadly running mate. Recognise these qualities:- Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."- They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering- When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive.- The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way. What some see as 'feisty', others see as the classic behaviour of a sociopath. Fri 09 May 2008 11:01:37 GMT+1 watermanaquarius righteousmistyfogA graceful response if ever there was one!?One has to admire though the passion of David_C, MarcusAureliusII , Chewbaccaresponse and all submitters on this and other blogs for their chosen candidate, where voter / supporter apathy for all has only been too noticable in the past.Assuming , and its my individual assuming, that an Obama democrat outcome is achieved where all pull together, then as Board Stupid so rightly states, Hillary Clinton's positive properties channelled in the right direction as the Senate Majority Leader can only work for the good of all.Obama might be the Louis Hamilton in the driving seat , with his chosen co-driver next to him, but it's as much about the build of the car, - engine, tyres, gearbox and transmission that holds the key to success.The future is not 50 laps around Indianapolis, but a guelling 4 - 8 year marathon over a course full of potholes.Will the "team" work like a Rolls-Royce or an Edsel ? Will the wheels fall off ? And last but not least will they have enough gas, and will there be enough fuel pitstops in the world to get to the endpoint?ps Justin / Mr Moderator- I left out the put down comment about Bill being the clutch. Fri 09 May 2008 10:39:44 GMT+1 righteousmistyfog Ruperornelius - I wasn't aware that Hamas was actually a voting member of the US electorate. Fri 09 May 2008 10:23:05 GMT+1 watermanaquarius righteousmistyfogA graceful response if evet there was one !?One has to admire though , the Fri 09 May 2008 10:19:34 GMT+1 Reuben33g European support would only cast suspision on the canidate that receives it.It didn't help Kerry whose detractors refered to as 'the french looking canidate'.McCain should avoid European support. Fri 09 May 2008 09:50:56 GMT+1 Candace9839 Clinton is grasping at straws on the issue of white working class voters. Her margin of 'victory' in Indiana was less than two percent, and she needs to accept she has lost and get over herself. Graceful exit? She is arguing on about Michigan and how she should get all the delegates. This after rejecting a compromise that would effectively split the delegates and not affect the outcome, but would try to take into account the fact that the other candidates withdrew their names according to DNC rules when she did not. Fri 09 May 2008 09:08:29 GMT+1 rupertornelius The Times article provides an interesting counter to the Republican 'argument' -which McCain is actively touting- that Hamas wants Obama in power. Fri 09 May 2008 08:54:25 GMT+1 Board Stupid Clinton will carry on to fight West Virginia and Kentucky - both states that she is leading by a mile in.It is actually in Obama's interests that she does do this - if she withdrew now and an unopposed Obama lost or did badly in either of those states then it would not be good for him.I expect a deal to be stitched up pretty soon so that she can exit gracefully after Kentucky. One issue is her campaign debts - a big rumour doing the rounds is that Obama's campaign are prepared to pay them off. Another issue is what role she has now. The VP slot may seem attractive but it is a superficial powerless position. I think it is almost certain that she will end up as the Senate Majority leader - the second most powerful position after the POTUS. Many also forget that she is popular amongst all senators and has a record of working with moderate republicans on bi-partisan legislation. Therefore it may not matter if McCain or Obama is elected - she would still be in a very powerful position. Fri 09 May 2008 08:29:15 GMT+1 righteousmistyfog David_C, I think that we can all guess your political leanings by now. Try looking at things more objectively and you'll be surprised at how enlightening the experience can be. For a start, it might get you to accept that Hillary has lost. Fri 09 May 2008 08:23:20 GMT+1 bobgodwin National Association of Obama Supporters "NAOS" l want to formally thank you all for your support on this blog and to assure you that the race is over!!! Now we need to start making moves to gain back the confidence of the Clinton's camp in order to trash out McCain and in general elections. Because from the lastest unoffical source says that McCain wants to use both the race and gender wildcard to gain support!..... so think carefully we need Clinton as VP... l think it will work!!! l hope someone can communicate this to her....:) Fri 09 May 2008 07:40:23 GMT+1 KathyNicholas Clinton takes Indiana by a ‘razor’ and Obama wins North Carolina by a huge margin. Nevertheless, Kentucky, Montana and West Virginia are still to come.The Democratic race for nomination is still very much alive – and most likely to be decided by superdelegatesIf you’re tired of waiting around for those super delegates to make a decision already, go to and push them to support Clinton or ObamaIf you haven't done so yet, please write a message to each of your state's superdelegates at http://www.lobbydelegates.comObama Supporters:Sending a note to current Obama supporters lets them know it's appreciated, sending a note to current Clinton supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Obama, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Obama. It's that easy...Clinton Supporters too …. !It takes a moment, but what's a few minutes now worth to get Clinton in office?! Those are really worth!Sending a note to current Clinton supporters lets them know it's appreciated, sending a note to current Obama supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Clinton, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Clinton. It's that easy... Fri 09 May 2008 07:03:35 GMT+1 David Cunard When writing that Mr Obama "is both known and seen as fresh and exciting" British writers should recall that a decade ago that supposition had propelled "New" Labour, led by Tony Blair, into government. Apart from some soothing words about Princess Diana, what did he do? He reneged on his promises to the elderly, that they would not have to sell their homes to pay for longtime care, declined to accept the findings of a Royal Commission on the same subject, introduced ASBOs, pursued the idea of mandatory identification and took Britain into a futile adventure in Iraq. There is a laundry list of his shortcomings, all made possible because a gullible electorate believed his promises of hope and change for the future. I don't for one moment think that the supporters of Mr Obama have any idea how he would be able to implement his vague proposals; they appear to be wearing rose-tinted spectacles. On the other hand, Mrs Clinton has 20-20 vision and, knowing how the system works, could more readily implement her vision for the future. It is most unlikely that May 20 will be any kind of watershed moment, since there is still the nagging question of Florida and Michigan. Any nomination, if it is to be democratic, must include the results of those two states.Concerning the Vice-presidency - if Mr Obama should be the eventual candidate, he will need all of Mrs Clinton's supporters and goodwill - without them he could not possibly succeed. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were not the best of friends but they worked together, and it hardly need be said that subsequently President Johnson made life for African-Americans better than at any previous time. Ronald Reagan was not well disposed to George Bush, who had dismissed Reagan's fiscal proposals as "voodoo economics". There does not have to be great affection between the two, but both the present candidates need each other to deliver the keys to The White House. As for being "a decent vice-president" recall Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle - could she be any worse than they? If nothing else, Hillary Clinton can spell! Fri 09 May 2008 06:32:10 GMT+1 gunsandreligion Vagueofgodalming, you are right. It's not as ifmost Americans eagerly anticipate the arrivalof the next issue of The Economist.P.T. Barnum wasn't wrong, he was justahead of his time. Fri 09 May 2008 06:31:34 GMT+1 vagueofgodalming You think anyone will notice British (or European) enthusiasm? Fri 09 May 2008 06:15:37 GMT+1 Risforme The sad thing is the way the mindset of the country is if McCain had the backing of the international community it would only help him. The double standard in American politics will be very clear for all to see this election cycle. I just hope he doesn't get the endorsement of any European ministers who have controversial preachers. I mean, reverend Wright is bad, but a German angry preacher would destroy the Obama campaign. Never discount how angry moderately loud talking Germans sound to the untrained ear. Fri 09 May 2008 04:54:33 GMT+1