Heading to New Hampshire

January 7th, 2008 at 11:07 pm by David Farrar

Well the Iowa result has shaken the two races up and things are not so close now.

The markets now have the cost of betting $1 on getting the nomination as 66c for Obama and 30c for Clinton. Edwards is around 3c.

On the GOP side, McCain is leading on 37c, Giuliani next on 27c, Romney 18c, Huckabee 16c, Thompson 2c.

Turning to the polls, there have been five in New Hampshire and Obama’s lead over Clinton ranges from 3% to 13% and it is hard to see him not winning New Hampshire.

And again on the GOP side, McCain leads Romney in all five polls – from 4% to 14%.  So unless there is a massive upset, McCain should win there.

After New Hampshire it is more murky.  One has Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina and Florida.  Florida may be a big battle for three reasons.  Firstly it has a lot of delegates.  Secondly it is a key swing state and electability there is important and finally it is the last chance to get momentum before Super Duper Tuesday on 5 February.

Oh yes the Republicans also have Louisiana, Hawaii and Maine before SDT.

Obama is generating excitement on a level not seen for some decades.  He is becoming a symbol as much as a candidate.  Liberal Republicans such as Andrew Sullivan rave about him. I’m not quite so convinced.

On the symbolic level yes he does have significant promise.  But his lack of experience make him a risky choice.  As I have said before my preferred Democrat is Hillary Clinton.  Not because I like her.  In fact quite the opposite.  But she would be a safe and competent President. However she is so tied into the battles of the past, while Obama is branded as a candidate for the future,  that she is in danger of becoming irrelevant.

No tag for this post.

74 Responses to “Heading to New Hampshire”

  1. tim barclay (886 comments) says:

    If it is McCain v’s Obama then it will be very tight indeed and in the end if there are concerns about security McCain could win. With Obama we may have another Cuban missile crisis and this time we might not be so lucky. It was Kennedy’s inexperience that lead Kruschev to take his gamble. Thankfully Kennedy handled that tricky situation with great skill. The race is going to be more fun than I first thought. Remember this, Clinton is a turbo charged Helen Clark, nice to see her campaign getting into trouble.

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  2. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    Obama is Commander & Chief (that terrible TV show) wereas Clinton, for all her many, many faults, is closer to West Wing.

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    The possible upset for McCain is having a few too many of his independents opting to vote in the democratic primary…

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  4. francis (712 comments) says:

    GPT1: that’s effin funny and sadly true.
    Graeme: You’re right.

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  5. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    GPT1

    DONT EVER DISS GEENA DAVIS AGAIN. I WILL FIND YOU.

    sorry. It’s late.

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  6. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    On the symbolic level yes he does have significant promise. But his lack of experience make him a risky choice.

    And one-and-a-half term Hilary is any less risky? And, no, I don’t regard being the First Lady as credible ‘experience’. If you want to talk about actual elected office, Obama has four years on Clinton and Governor Bill Richardson (after 14 years in Congress, and terms as US Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary in the 2nd Clinton Administration) is the “best qualified” candidate on the Democratic Party slate.

    I would not be stupid enough to underestimate the financial and organisational machine Clinton has behind her. But I wonder if she’s going to look back and think the whole ‘inevitability’ meme her campaign has been pushing for over a year – with the willing co-operation of the media – is coming back to bite.

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  7. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    The Democratic party machine is still going to try and appoint Billary as candidate. Whilst it is interesting to see average Joe and Joanne queing to see Barack, the Dems have a nifty way of subverting democracy in much the same way labour do when their constituency selection committees are stacked by HQ drones. They call them super delegates and so far Bilary has many more votes than Obama.
    As i do not wish to be labelled a link whore, might i suggest anybody who is interested tries googling “Democratic party super delegate”

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  8. Matthew (163 comments) says:

    I have some real concerns with Obama.

    One of them is that he has previously voted in favour of infanticide. Does that surprise you? Well when he was a State Senator in Illinois he voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Bill (now Act). This Act requires doctors who, if they perform abortions and the baby is still born alive, then they must take all action necessary to protect the life of the baby after it has been born. Note this Act does not deal with the right to get an abortion or not, it instead deals with the legal requirements on the doctor once the abortion fails.

    On that basis alone I would say that this man has a callous disregard for life and should be avoided at all costs in terms of being President.

    If this sort of detail gets out into the public sphere then I think logically Obama should disappear from the race, and if he didn’t, then he is by far a poor choice on behalf of the Democrats. There maybe sharply divided views on the rights and wrongs of induced abortion, but I have yet to come across someone who wants to legalise infanticide in NZ (unlike Holland where it is already legal).

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  9. PaulL (6,040 comments) says:

    Funny really. Abortion never seems to be an election issue in NZ, but as soon as we start talking about US elections the NZers suddenly start talking about abortion. Why is it never a campaign theme in NZ?

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  10. francis (712 comments) says:

    Do you have any idea what condition that baby would be in after a failed (induced) abortion? The bill would have imposed an obligation on doctors that they were already free to take. Voting against it is not condoning infanticide but recognising reality. You’ll have a hard row to hoe, convincing anyone that Obama favours infanticide in any way.

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  11. mahjoun (7 comments) says:

    You overstate Florida’s importance, at least in terms of delegates. Because the parties in Florida moved their primaries forward to before Super Tuesday, the Democrats have stripped it of all its delegates and the Republican half. So for the Democrats it’s worth 0 out of 4040 and for Republicans it’s worth 57 out of 2345. It’s only possible significance will be Guiliani’s performance; he may need to win Florida to stop the momentum of a rival candidate.

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  12. francis (712 comments) says:

    The delegate systems of the Republican and Democratic party primaries are both designed to be responsive to incumbancy. It has nothing to do with suppressing democracy.

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  13. LabourDoesntWork (291 comments) says:

    The bill would have imposed an obligation on doctors that they were already free to take.

    An obligation is not something one is “free to take”. The Act is what was necessary to codify that obligation in law.
    This is particularly necessary in a life and death issue when these “doctors” include abortionists who have in the past been willing to let those babies die on a bench. There are ample news reports about this happening.
    Are they doctors or not?

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  14. Matthew (163 comments) says:

    PaulL: I’m talking about infanticide. This is an issue because Obama’s stance is so extreme.

    Francis: yes I do: enough for a nurse to watch the baby die along after it has been taken out of the placenta. And he is favouring infanticide. Currently the law states that if someone assualts another person and the assualted person is taken into hospital and dies within 30 days directly because of the injuries he/she received, then the assualter can be charged with murder. In the case of the doctor, failing to assist someone they have just tried to kill means they can be charged with infanticide, just like the assualter can be charged with homicide. Therefore while Obama is not committing infanticide, he does favour it.

    The Bill was passed into law, both in the State and Federally. Obama has taken a position that is extreme and therefore he is not a mainstream candidate that the American public should vote in. It’s a bit like asking Sue Bradford to become PM. She is entitled to her views, but the vast majority of NZ’ers don’t consider her to be a viable PM, because she doesn’t have mainstream appeal, like Helen Clark has.

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  15. francis (712 comments) says:

    We’re not talking about a baby in normal condition, Matthew. He does not favor infanticide.

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  16. clintheine (1,571 comments) says:

    Obama is supported by the “Hollywood elite” so do we really think that is would be a credible candidate or rather a protest “anybody but Bush” candidate.

    Obama is another one of those “pop” candidates, voted by the masses who like the way he looks… ironically by people who probably don’t know where he stands on anything. And the left accuse Americans for being dumb voting for Bush… sheesh.

    Sadly enough it almost sounds like I’m pro Hilary… (I’m not)

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  17. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Obama has nothing. His policies are decades old and they failed back then too. But policy doesnt matter, experience doesnt matter. Democrats have spent 8 years denegrating the position of president to the point that it doesnt seem like a job that requires any sort of ‘qualification’. Hell, an illiterate monkeyman has been doing the job for 8 years, how hard can that shit be?

    He has one thing going for him that no other candidate has. He is black but not too black and definitely not angry, race hustling black. He is just black enough. But god help him if he ever says he is ‘down’ with anything.

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  18. Lindsay Addie (1,588 comments) says:

    Obama is getting an real armchair ride from the MSM in the USA. He is saying nothing and getting away with it. He has no experience in foreign policy. It’s easy to get up and give flowery speeches how you are going to “change the world” when no one questions what your saying. Clinton is changing her message far too much for her own good.

    On the Republican side there is too my mind only one choice and that’s McCain, none of the others have the right stuff. Guiliani doesn’t have it neither does Romney. Huckabee is true political lightweight punching above his weight.

    If it came down to a McCain vs Obama contest then my bet would be McCain, he’ll bury Obama on foreign policy.

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  19. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    Obama is getting an real armchair ride from the MSM in the USA. He is saying nothing and getting away with it.

    The US journalists also adore McCain, so if those two are nominated the MSM worship should cancel each other out.

    Say what you like about the New Zealand media – at least they don’t engage in the sickening high-school style crushes that the US political reporters indulge in.

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  20. Lindsay Addie (1,588 comments) says:

    Say what you like about the New Zealand media – at least they don’t engage in the sickening high-school style crushes that the US political reporters indulge in.

    Very true, also the endless boring panel discussions on CNN and Foxnews are stacked with so-called commentators some of them who are actively involved in working for one or other of the candidates campaigns.

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  21. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    While I like the idea that the US could seriously consider a person such as Barack Obama as a viable president, and he has enough momentum to be a serious contender, there will come a moment where he is found wanting on the campaign trail. Wether the beneficiary of that moment is a democrat in the primaries or a republican in the final race remains to be seen.

    Also I note that Clinton seems to be distancing herself from the name “Clinton”. Election banners in the states seem to be along the lines of “Vote Obama”, “McCain for president”

    With Hillary, you get “Vote Hillary”.

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  22. mygumboot (18 comments) says:

    Romney has come second in Iowa, won Wyoming and looks to come in at least second in New Hampshire. He is a smart guy that has made it in the real world as a venture capitalist, pulled the Salt Lake Winter Olympics out of the disgrace they were in, both financially and morally, won the Governorship as a Republican in a predominately Republican state.

    Actually Tim, if Hillary is a turbo charged Helen Clark, Romney is a supercharged John Key. I wouldn’t count him out.

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  23. mygumboot (18 comments) says:

    Opps should be predominately Democrat state

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  24. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Would McCain’s foreign policy experience really be a clincher over Obama considering Bush’s record? He had, by all accounts, an even worse record when he came to power in 2000, like when he confused Slovakia and Slovenia and called Kosovars “Kosovarians,” Greeks “Grecians” and East Timorese “East Timorians”.

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  25. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I could have phrased that as “would Obama’s lack of experience really matter”, but whatever. Although I understand he said he would send troops into Pakistan to apprehend Osama bin Laden if the Pakistani government was unwilling or unable to do so themselves – constituting an invasion by all accounts.

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  26. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    stephen – when Bush was first elected, foreign policy wasn’t a big deal. It of course became one, and is a big deal this election.

    If Obama gets the nod, look for Joe Biden as VeeP or Secretary of State (perhaps Bill Richardson).

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  27. dad4justice (8,303 comments) says:

    “Hillary is a turbo charged Helen Clark”

    Oh no ,the mere thought that Biliary and Bilious running the show together is enough to send the shivers down the spines of real men who despise the rapid rise of the feminazi movement .

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  28. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    won the Governorship as a Republican in a predominately Republican state.

    …Opps should be predominately Democrat state

    Yes, and he just keep getting caught out fudging, ‘triangulating’ in a most Clinton-esque manner or flat out lying about his record while pandering to the hard right. Now, I’m not overly impressed by Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts but its a defensible one, though hardly endearing to either the loony left or the rabid right. What a shame he won’t.

    Oh, and he’s just had to apologise for running deceptive attack ads on McCain’s record on immigration.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=azM9gMPkrFRA&refer=home

    From flip-flopper to big old fibber… yup, that’s moral leadership.

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  29. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    “…he would send troops into Pakistan to apprehend Osama bin Laden if the Pakistani government was unwilling or unable to do so themselves – constituting an invasion by all accounts.”

    Which showed his lack of experience. There was actually no need to make this statement at the time – nothing new in Pakistan had occured. The sole reason he made the statement was to present himself as “not a dove”. His statement caused riots in Pakistan. So there were unpleasant consequences of his desire to better his image in such a hamfisted way.

    It’s his experience in foreign affairs compared to Hillary rather than with the Republican candidates that’s more of an issue at present.

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  30. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    IMHO the American people will go for what they see as the safe option and thats McCain Middle America is very conservative and thats where the election will be decided.

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  31. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Yeah, I don’t think Obama will become President, and it won’t be fair to claim that he won’t make it because of racial prejudice. I actually think that if the Republicans were to run Condi Rice, SHE’D make history, first, on both colour and gender.

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  32. Ross Miller (1,706 comments) says:

    My predictions stand.

    For the Republicans its a McCain-Huckabee ticket. McCain, middle of the road, experienced, cross-party appeal and significant support from registered independents. Huckabee, shoring up the evangelical right (they’re the ones who get out and actually vote).

    For the Democrats, Edwards and Obama. Edwards with strong Labour (AFL) suppoprt and Obama for obivious reasons.

    Why not Obama-Edwards? Because the reality is that the US is not yet ready to take that ‘large’ step.

    A black in the number 1 slot is guaranteed to loose that party the election.

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  33. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Hard to believe that foreign policy wasn’t an issue in the US in 2000 when their power stretches right around the globe…jeez.

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  34. PaulL (6,040 comments) says:

    The point of course being that any American president that knew where Osama was would send a force to apprehend him if the country he was in couldn’t do it. Of course, if Pakistan had evidence that the Americans knew where he was they would allow the Americans to do it. So Obama was entirely correct in his statement, it was just that it was something that didn’t need to be said, and that his posturing at home caused problems overseas. Nothing new in that for American politics.

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  35. PaulL (6,040 comments) says:

    Ross: disagree, America is more ready than some give them credit for. The question is the right candidate, not whether he is black or she is a woman.

    Stephen: just because America’s power stretches around the globe doesn’t mean that American voters care. They only care this time because they are involved in wars and feel threatened by people overseas.

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  36. dime (10,095 comments) says:

    i havent watched a lot of the race until recently.. but one thing that sticks out – obama really is a charasmatic guy. hes the sorta candidate you want to like. like bill clinton back in the day..

    on one hand i want him to defeat hillary – cause i cant stand her and think shes dangerous.

    on the other – obama might be good enough to beat a republican!! shock horror.

    then again – when being polled, its probably cool to say OBAMA.. but is america ready to accept a black guy? i suspect theyre not.

    as for the republican side.. romney seems like a good fella.. the bastard looks like a cartoon president though..

    mccains too old now.

    rudy – would be happy with him as president.

    huckabee – im liking this guy so far! although i havent full researched him. not sure if hes a religious nutjob deep down.

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  37. Tina (687 comments) says:

    Working out nicely so far……Hillary camp in disarray……talk on Drudge that she may drop out before she gets to a big state.

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  38. Matthew (163 comments) says:

    Francis,

    “We’re not talking about a baby in normal condition, Matthew.”

    I never said I was…. in fact that is self evident that the baby has potentially life threatening issues. Babies turn up in Starship Hospital with serious life threatening injuries (a baby not in a normal condition) (look at the latest on Christmas day I think). What do you want to hospital to do? “Recognise reality” or try and do something?

    Barack Obama does favour infanticide exactly because he was in a tiny minotirity who voted against doctors being required to try and save a baby’s life. That is an extreme, non-mainstream position to take. If liberal America votes to outlaw such a practice, then I think we know exactly here Obama sits on this issue – somewhere out in an extreme position. I repeat, he is not a candidate who shares the majority of American’s values on infanticide.

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  39. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    I truly believe Hillary and Helen have been in if not fevered, simmering correspondence. With Winston and Dr Rice so buddy buddy and the secretary of state expected here shortly we seem to be having CER with the US more than Aussy.

    In reality that CER is with China, yet the US is warming to us. A peculiar phenomenon.

    Helen won’t say “bugger the polls” but her attitude says it all.
    Hillary is virtually trying to blind the people from the polls.

    The reality is statistics are condemning. The winners of NH and Iowa don’t win the presidency. Obama see’s it in his grasp and the dream has certaily morphed into the real world, but along with my fellow bloggers here, I believe the older soldierly McCain will win the field.

    That is if it turns into an McCain/Obama tie off.
    If Obama goes right to November against any other opponent he will win.
    A great healing process has begun in the US. Blacks see the promised land and that promised land so far is being endorsed by a flood of white voters. In fact some one said on You Tube he knew the white voters turning up at Iowa to hear Obama. He was persuaded 100% they wouldn’t vote for him. He now understands fully how times have changed.

    This healing I speak of faces the symptons of a class conscience, racial conscience nation that has entered the 21st century in a new paradigm.
    The social issues and confidences that will emerge from this campaign if Obama just gets to November will be manifold. A thresh hold of trust and development will ensue that will bury the old guard and take the teeth from their grizzled gray features reducing the modern Bull Connors of the White House to anonimity. if this Obama Barrack campaign is about anything it’s about that. If justice in the White House equates to justice in their nation sincere Americans will vote Obama and give him four years for much needed change.

    After all, they let George Bush steal 8 yrs off them!

    Obama 08

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  40. Nick C (336 comments) says:

    Barrak Hussein Obama. Yep his middle name is Hussein, not that the media is allowed to report that for fear of being seen as biased. How can one stand for free speech when you wont even let the media use your middle name?

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  41. radvad (772 comments) says:

    All the talk of Obama not being electable because of racism is ironic. The only signs of racism I see in the campaign so far are the expectations that black Americans will vote for him.

    Why? Because of his race. That’s racism.

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  42. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    the times..they are a changing ..david..

    the reign of your lot..(and the baby boomers..)..is well and truly..over..

    we are seeing seachanges in both the ideological..and the inter-generational

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  43. Fletch (6,486 comments) says:

    Nick C, that may be why when I was on a blog the other day, people were referring to Barrak Osama.

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  44. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i too believed race would stop obama..

    i am proven to be wrong..

    iowa is perhaps the most whitebread state in the union..

    how does it go.?

    “if he can win there….”

    obama will be the next american president..

    (someone pass tina some smelling salts..!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  45. go NZ (59 comments) says:

    Funny how HuckB and McC havent got anything like Mitt and BoB funds to campaign but are doing very well.A lady named Miss Helen Clark,allegedly the PM of NZ has tried to sell us the line that Big Money wins elections !
    If I was Mr Romney I would be complaining to HC that he spent 20 times more money than HuckB and still didnt win.
    Have the American EBs been blamed for Mitts loss yet- I mean dont they do scapegoats over there?

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  46. vto (1,131 comments) says:

    its all very interesting. and proof again that if you put the power in the hands of the people things will generally run in the right direction. take note clark. give the power to the people.

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  47. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    NickC im sure the media HAS reported on his middle name, owing to the ‘outing’ of Obama on right/republican-leaning blogs as secretly beingeducated in a radical Muslim school. wotta joke

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  48. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Yup, things are changing. With the baby boomers gone, the next generation will be free to make the same fucking mistakes that have made in the past but without the hinderance of the consequences of the mistakes being within “living memory”.

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  49. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Hussein is a common name that has been tainted.

    Think: what if Adolph Hitler was named Joseph Smith.

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  50. PaulL (6,040 comments) says:

    Phil – which david were you referring to? I wouldn’t have thought that DPF was a boomer. Or is “your lot” referring to something I missed?

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  51. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    A black in the number 1 slot is guaranteed to loose that party the election.

    Yes, Ross, and eight years ago the commentariat were all a twitter that if Gore put a Christ-Killing Joo at Number Two he was toast; and when the Dems went mad and nominated a Papist in 1960, Nixon was guaranteed the White House.

    And how soon we forget the CW that Maragret Thatcher wouldn’t last a year as leader of the opposition, because the Tories would come to their senses and realise that the Tories would never let a daughter of trade enter Number Ten unless she was cleaning the toilets or pushing the tea trolley.

    Funny how often conventional wisdom turns out to be neither.

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  52. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Yep his middle name is Hussein, not that the media is allowed to report that for fear of being seen as biased. How can one stand for free speech when you wont even let the media use your middle name?

    WTF, Nick? You don’t really expect a serious to that, do you? There’s been reams of media coverage of people blowing that particular dog-whistle, and you know something – it appears to be rejected because of the pathetic and nasty dog whistle it is.

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  53. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    While all eyes are on the candidates the most astonishing sideshow is being staged by the U.S. Media.

    Every candidate but two have made the pilgrimage to AIPAC and pledged obeisance to Israel and accepted their reward – even Obama:

    http://www.cjnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13849&Itemid=86

    As a result there is very little difference between the frontrunners of either party on the major issues – Iraq, Iran, torture, Habeus Corpus and the power of lobbies.
    The two standouts are Kucinich and Paul.

    Despite Paul’s astonishing feat of twice breaking all records for fundraising, his consistent, overwhelming victories in online polls and his respectable 10% polling in the Iowa Primary (compared with Giuliani’s 3%) the major networks have excluded him from debates and there is a virtual boycott of him in the press. Watch the others gang up on him when he has the audacity to suggest that American foreign policy might have something to do with attacks on the U.S.:
    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/01/05/gop-new-hampshire-debate-ron-paul-battles-fellow-gop-candidates-on-iraq-terrorism/

    Mitt Romney’s Islamophobic rant is particularly nauseating when he exhorts Paul to read what the “Jihaadists” write, demonstrating that he (Romney) has certainly not done so.

    Similarly with Kucinich who is taking legal action:

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/01/06/dennis-kucinich-slams-abc-for-exclusion-from-debate/

    Both of these candidates favour cessation of U.S. foreign adventures.

    Yesterday the British Sunday Times became the first major newspaper to carry the story of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. This story is bigger than Ben Hur – Edmonds has been gagged for five years and the crimes she alleges reach into the heart of the Bush administration and are substantiated by many of her former colleagues.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3137695.ece

    Today there is nothing whatsoever in the American press about this story. The silence is deafening. It is as if the Sydney Morning Herald broke a story alleging corruption in the highest echelons of our Government and the NZ Herald simply ignored it.

    Larisa Alexandrovna has the names:

    http://www.atlargely.com/2008/01/sibel-speaks-pa.html

    More here:

    http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/2008/01/sibel-names-names-in-pictures.html

    …and here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/1/6/112413/4231/854/431373

    Given the media’s treatment of these stories is it any wonder that America elects governments that work against it’s own best interests? Kucinich and Paul have little hope of making it to the White House but minor parties can often have a big influence as the majors pick up on their policies in an effort to win the swinging voter. In this case however, the media blackout serves to obliterate the message, effectively disenfranchising a large chunk of the electorate.
    Perhaps the upside is that America has been largely unsuccessful in bringing this form of “democracy” to those countries it has invaded.

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  54. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    As to his middle name. Obama’s father was Muslim I beleive. Could you think of a better american leader to engage with the muslim world?

    This would be one american president who could never be accused of being anti-muslim. I understand that he is not muslim himself, but is a product of that world. There is however a great deal of anti muslim sentiment in the US and it would not suprise me to see opposing candidates tap into that. (but if hillary does that, she’s toast.)

    [DPF: One of the pluses for Obama is that a black President with a Muslim father or step-father, and who was educated for a while in Pakistan as a Muslim school would be a lot harder for radicals to demonise as the Great Satan than would be the case otherwise. That’s not to say he is silver bullet wich will magically cure things, and also not to say that is reason enough to vote for him, but it is something I see as beneficial]

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  55. NeilM (370 comments) says:

    Benazir Bhutto was a Muslim. It’s not actually a great advantage when dealing with extremists.

    The idea that extremists are going to like the US more because of Obama’s backround is just the It’s All America’s Fault argument. 9/11 was afterall planned when Bill Clinton was in office – the US president who rescued Muslims from Christians in Bosnia. Extremists are by definition extreme, not rational.

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  56. Tina (687 comments) says:

    Hillary now looks like staying…. at least to super tuesday.

    Go Oby.

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  57. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    This would be one american president who could never be accused of being anti-muslim. I understand that he is not muslim himself, but is a product of that world.

    Yup – Hawaii, hot bed of Islamo-fascism. And, DPF, when exactly was Obama “educated for a while in Pakistan as a Muslim school”? Thought the little smear that he’d spent time at a madrassa had been pretty comprehensively debunked. I actually think you’re literate enough to realise Indonesia and Pakistan are two different countries.

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  58. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    When did Super Tuesday become Super Duper Tuesday?

    I want Hillary to win because I have a photograph of her and Bill, signed by them both, on my office wall and if she makes history I’ll likely be able to make big bucks on ebay.

    The fate of the Free World, you say? Uhh, yes, of course… and for that :-D

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  59. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Oh, did Clinton just compare herself to Margaret Thatcher?

    Apparently so: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0108/The_Thatcher_parallel.html

    OMG, I suggest anyone who has some spare time pick up the first volume of the excellent biography of Thatcher by John Campbell (not that one), and see how absurd that invocation is. Girlfriend, ten out of ten for chutzpah, but you’re not fit to carry Lady T’s handbag.

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  60. baxter (893 comments) says:

    Seems to me the tide went out for Hilary and rushed in for Obama from the moment that Oprah endorsed him and condemned her. Maybe Oprah should have stood for the Dems in the first place.

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  61. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Obama’s or any other candidates’ bloodlines and religious affiliations will have no bearing on America’s image in the Islamic world so long as the U.S. continues to sanction the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

    It is astonishing that the message of Osama Bin Laden:

    “All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.”

    http://www.public-action.com/911/oblintrv.html

    and Ahmadinejad:

    “A regime has been established which does not show mercy even to kids, destroys houses while the occupants are still in them, announces beforehand its list and plans to assassinate Palestinian figures and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison. Such a phenomenon is unique – or at the very least extremely rare – in recent memory.
    …….. why is this regime being supported?”

    and W. Scott Thompson (Adjunct Professor of International Politics. The Fletcher School, Tufts University, Former White House Fellow and Assistant to the Secretary of Defense )

    “The real reason why America can’t get support for its war can be summed up in one word, Palestine…On a broader front the creation of a Palestinian state would remove the sting that young Arabs have felt so poignantly. And then, instead of seeing the West’s inevitable victory over Saddam Hussein in Iraq as yet another humiliation, they could look to the building of new foundations of – we hope – democratic Arab states throughout the Middle East.”
    “Iraq – It’s the Right War, But at the Wrong Time”
    The Nation (Thailand)March 18, 2003

    ….has not been mentioned by any of the mainstream candidates. Could it be the power of “the lobby”?

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  62. francis (712 comments) says:

    Could it be you’re nuts?

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  63. Tina (687 comments) says:

    Indeed…..I’m guessing it’s early onset BSE.

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  64. Ryan Sproull (7,259 comments) says:

    Could it be the power of “the lobby”?

    Chomsky reckons the power of the “Israeli lobby” is very exaggerated, and would be inconsequential if it wasn’t for Israel’s placement in the most strategically important area of the world and its place in high-tech military R&D and consumption. If Israel were allowed to integrate peacefully into the region (still possible, but it would require the recognition of Palestinians as human beings, for a start), Israel’s dependence on the US would diminish and it would cease to be the strategic and economic asset it is today.

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  65. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “Maybe Oprah should have stood for the Dems in the first place.”

    I don’t believe Oprah is truly a political person.

    I’m sure she well understands she can do far more out of office without the political advisors councilling her and also being stymied by congress.

    She simply doesn’t need to run. she has the candidate to endorse and can do far more supporting him than trying to garner support.

    Having access to the ear of the president of the United States will make her complete. No door will be closed to her. Those implications are mind boggling.

    The coming months will show if OprahObamamania will storm America.
    It seems America is not intimidated by it. Surely by now its reality is manifest. Will NH bring home reality to many.
    NH indeed will be the making or breaking of Obama. If it makes him this presidential campaign will be the most compelling, entertaining and charismatic since the days Kennedy and King.

    America is seeing a revival that may well equal the Great Awakening of the 18th century under Whitefield and Wesley. The power and dynamics will be irrepressible. After NH, the closer the months get to November the greater the momentum of the ground swell will be seen.
    The big ‘mo’ The big momentum will come for one reason. The wrong choice of Leadership for the Republicans. There are only two Republicans that can halt the onslught that will be Obama. Huckabee and McCain.

    The first doesn’t have the financial capability of staying in the game (unfortunately)

    The second does, is a viable contender and has historical respect and maturity (perhaps too much maturity) The only way he will lose is if America wants to punish the Republicans and truly want a change.
    If America is seeking change, we will feel those ripples very shortly.

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  66. Spoff (275 comments) says:

    Whilst I admire Chomsky on several levels, I think he plays both ends against the middle in his pronouncements on Israel

    Uri Avnery, former member of Israel’s Knesset, in writing about Walt and Mearsheimer’s “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy” states:

    “The two professors take the bull by the horns. They deal with a subject which is absolutely taboo in the United States, a subject nobody in his right mind would even mention: the enormous influence of the pro-Israel lobby on American foreign policy.

    In a remorselessly systematical way, the book analyzes the Lobby, takes it apart, describes its modus operandi, discloses its financial sources and lays bare its relations with the White House, the two houses of Congress, the leaders of the two major parties and leading media people…..
    ………………… It has unparalleled political power. It can silence all criticism of Israel in Congress and the media, bring about the political demise of anyone who dares to break the taboo, prevent any action that does not conform to the will of the Israeli government.

    In its second part, the book shows how the Lobby uses its tremendous power in practice: how it has prevented the exertion of any pressure on Israel to for peace with the Palestinians, how it pushed the US into the invasion of Iraq, how it is now pushing for wars with Iran and Syria, how it supported the Israeli leadership in the recent war in Lebanon and blocked calls for a ceasefire when it didn’t want it.

    Each of these assertions is backed up by so much undeniable evidence and quotations from written material (mainly from Israeli sources) that they cannot be ignored.

    MOST OF these disclosures are nothing new for those in Israel who deal with these matters.

    I myself could add to the book a whole chapter from personal experience.”

    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1191620414

    What I find interesting is that there seems to be a media boycott against the only two candidates who dare to question the very basis of U.S. foreign policy.

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  67. tim barclay (886 comments) says:

    Obama’s message of change is proving to be lethal to Clinton, because for the last 20 years we have had the Bush-Clinton axis and Hillary is promising another 4 of that lot. Obama is offering a complete break with that and that message is resonating especially with younger voters. BUT who will the Republicans pick aginst this backdrop. There are democrats who could vote for McCain IF National security issues become important. A meltdown in Pakistan could run the race very tight indeed.

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  68. Richard (130 comments) says:

    The more I see of McCain the more disappointed I am that he didn’t get the nomination in 2000.

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  69. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “There are democrats who could vote for McCain IF National security issues become important. A meltdown in Pakistan could run the race very tight indeed.”

    Thats the nail on the head.

    If security becomes a vital issue by November and McCain is picked to lead the Republicans, then security and McCain go hand in hand.

    Hillary will have no chance what so ever against McCain.
    Obama will still have a fight, but when you’re talking nations with nuclear strike capacity…….

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  70. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    If you want to understand the candidates you might want to research their advisors. Obama’s are especially interesting.

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  71. tim barclay (886 comments) says:

    Tell us more reid. The blow tourch will go on Obama now that he is being seen as serious.

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  72. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    My interest is mainly in US foreign policy so I’ve only talked about that although I recognise the US is currently facing critical issues in the economic arena. Here and here is a brief rundown on Obama’s advisors. For Susan Rice, Obama’s chief FP advisor, see here and here.

    The point of difference between Obama and Clinton is a generational change vs the establishment view. This is illustrated by their differing approach to Pakistan and Iran.

    Interestingly, by appointing Zbigniew Brzeznski as one of his FP advisors, Obama has drawn a line between the neocons and the neolibs. Brzeznski’s views on the ME are quite different to those of Obama’s chief ME Advisor, Dennis Ross. Also see here. In fact, Obama has been criticized for taking on Brzeznski as someone not sufficiently subservient to the Israel lobby (see Spoff’s comments above) and that may be one reason why he annointed Ross.

    “Neocon prescriptions, of which Israel has its equivalents, are fatal for America and ultimately for Israel,” Brzezinski told Nathan Gardels. “They will totally turn the overwhelming majority of the Middle East’s population against the United States. The lessons of Iraq speak for themselves. Eventually, if neo-con policies continue to be pursued, the United States will be expelled from the region and that will be the beginning of the end for Israel as well.” Unlike the neocons, neolibs like Brzezinski don’t allow the designs of Israel to figure directly into the plan.

    While I approve of that aspect however, those who remember history know Brzeznski’s attitude toward Russia – he initiated Operation Cyclone for example, after provoking Russia to invade, and was almost certainly involved in architecting the Orange revolution in the Ukraine. Even though the world’s focus is currently directed toward the ME, my reading of the tea leaves indicate a possible Russian showdown with America within the next 5 years. In such event, it would be very dangerous for the US and the world to have his influence at the table.

    Here’s a link to clips of an Obama FP forum.

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  73. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    Just to correct a link: last sentence 3rd para: …one reason why

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