Wednesday, August 27, 2008

thoughts on obama

I thought I might take a few minutes to collect together a few rather unoriginal thoughts about Barack Obama, now that the race for the White House really does seem to be hotting up. At least half of these thoughts are really just echoes of things I've read recently - but I've tried hard to filter out the stuff that doesn't chime.

- McCain is much stronger than we're inclined to give him credit for. His debate with Obama at Saddleback Church demonstrated two things very clearly. Firstly, we must not be conned by his poor relationship with Bush/Cheney. In order to win the nomination - and the presidency - he has lurched comprehensively to the right. A win for McCain would be an absolute disaster. Secondly, at the moment he is better at this than Obama. His answers, particularly on abortion, were wrong, but they were calibrated precisely for his audience, were concise, and were straightforward. Obama, by contrast, waffled. McCain looked better on the night - even though Obama's responses were intelligent, thoughtful and measured.
- Having had such good luck for so long, Obama's good fortune looks a little less dependable. That holiday in Hawaii was timed very badly; McCain relished the chance to talk about Russia and Georgia, and Obama was nowhere to be seen. Now the Democrats have given too much time to Hillary and Bill at the Democratic contest, and it's doing him no good.
- Talking of Hillary; her speech was good, solid, dependable stuff. She went a long way to demonstrating that past wounds are healed. However, this is Hillary; a consummate, brilliant politician. That her speech was good, not great, was surprising. A great speech was well within her powers, so why hold back? It wasn't quite enough.
- Confession: I still wish that Hillary had won the nomination.
- Obama played the Michelle card well, though. It pains me to say that, because I hate to see a bright, intelligent feminist reduced to playing the support role. But it's imperative that the Democrats don't allow her to become a divisive Hillary figure. If she has to play a role to stop this happening, she has to do it. I thought she came across very well indeed, considering.
- Why is Obama not lights ahead in the polls? Why is he not storming this? Why did he appoint Biden as his running mate? There are lots of questions to be answered - we're a long way from knowing the answers at the moment.
- Lastly, how does Obama overcome America's innate anti-intellectualism? Right now he is too cerebral, too smooth. He's got an awful lot of work to do if he wants to win. At the moment, I'm feeling pessimistic.
- But... I like him a lot. It would be a great thing if he wins.

1 comment:

Will said...

OK mate! Money on the table who wins? I know its going to be long and drawn out but who do you think? Im thinking Obama will be elected president of the USA(whatever that means?)