All right, silly season’s over.
Just one last bit though – Scarlett Johansen endorsed Obama. Must be worth a second look.
Mind you, so did Ted Kennedy. Anyone endorsed by the Kennedy’s has to be dodgy.
Now some serious thoughts on the US election: its turned into an interesting tussle – not so much the tussle between candidates, but the tussle between electing a set of policies and attitudes and electing a person.
In theory, the Republicans shouldn’t have a hope in November. an unpopular war and a looming recession should make it just one of those years it should be a shoo-in for the opposition party.
The only hope they have is someone with major cross-over appeal. My pick would have been Guiliani but that’s now a gonner.
But it does look as though the Republicans, pretty much despite themselves, are about to nominate someone who actually has a good chance of being elected.
And if – as I suspect – McCain picks Huckabee as his running mate, that will appease a lot of Republicans who believe McCain isn’t a true conservative. (I’ve got more reservations about Huckabee than I do about McCain, because I believe in the separation of church and state.)
As each day goes by the Democrats look to be in more trouble. A lot of the internal scrap now seems to be about which ancestral sin needs to be atoned for more: racism or sexism. This is not the way to win over undecided voters.
They’re still very caught up in the identity politics battles of the past half century. I suspect most voters have now moved on from all that. The ones who haven’t are going to vote Democrat anyway.
The thing is, when you elect anyone to office, its not just about picking someone who has ticked off the right policy boxes. When it comes down to it, we elect human beings.
Here’s a wee thought experiment: how many people do you know whose political views are pretty close to your own but who you would not put in charge of anything more complicated than the wine list?
It comes down to judgement and strength of character, in the end. McCain – who sort of reminds me of a stroppier version of Uncle Charlie in My Three Sons – has it in spades. The Vietnam prisoner of war thing, yeah, but more importantly also the willingness to defy his party when he thought his party was making a big mistake. He’s got guts.
Having said all that, I’ve got an atrocious record at picking US presidential candidates…by that, I mean, my own preference as opposed to who will win. My favourites usually,…well, this year it was Guiliani, and he did what most of my picks have done.
Lets see now, Anderson in 1980; can’t recall who in ’84; Kemp in ’88 Tsongas in 1992 (an economically conservative Democrat was an intriguing anomaly) ; Dole – somewhat reluctantly – in ’96…None of the Above in 2000 and 2004…you get the idea.
I stress though these were picks I wanted to win, not who I thought would win. I’ve got a much better track record on that one.