Posted by: twobigyellowcranes | 2 February 08

Vote Bill Richardson! Oh…

Why are American presidential elections so fascinating? Obviously they decide who will be the most important person in the world, but even take that importance away and they just seem so much… sexier than anything over here (in Norn Iron or the UK as a whole). I mean, come on – they have a “Super Tuesday”!!! The fact that the whole primaries/electoral colleges/chads system is unintelligible (and I studied politics at A-level) means we should all be switching off in numbers rather than on, but even friends of mine who have no interests in politics are talking about this.

Despite the fact that I suspect that whoever wins the Republican race for nomination will win the ultimate race for the presidency, the Clinton/Barack Obama battle for the Democratic nomination is grabbing all the headlines. Two big personalities with two big campaigns behind them, it really is a hard one to call and will probably go down to the wire. Who would you vote for? Who would I vote for?

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Both candidates excite me, and yet I trust neither. Hilary has been planning for this since she was First Lady (if not before) and whilst long-term planning is necessary for any successful career, that smacks of ambition rather than a desire to serve. If her tears were genuine, then surely they were for herself and her (then) failing campaign rather than for the US of A. Bill Clinton was a good president despite his (many) personal failings and to see him now as some sort of chief cheerleader/enforcer/fundraiser for Hilary when and where needed just seems an unfair advantage. What has Hilary achieved in her own right to set her for the calling she seeks?

As for Barack Obama, he certainly holds people in his spell, but how often can you just keep promising change without really saying what to? People may be looking for an alternative agenda, but is to just say you know this enough? Where is this agenda? I enjoyed ‘The West Wing’ (not as much as some I know…), but it was fiction. Incredibly clever, yes – but fiction nonetheless. Jed Bartlett would never, repeat never, be elected in real life. Why? Because people would not have known what they were getting. With Bush, warts and all, they knew.

A friend of mine sent me a link to an American web-site at the start of the New Year where you gave a number of your personal views on issues ranging from abortion and gay marriage to healthcare, immigration and national security. It then located you on the American electoral compass and told you what candidate you should vote for (leaving issues such as residency aside). I was just left of centre (this is American politics remember) and was matched with the most right-wing of the Democratic candidates, who was called Bill Richardson. I’d never heard of him so I goggled him and thought out he was the Hispanic governor of New Mexico and had pulled out of the race about 4 hours beforehand due to a lack of support. So what do I know?

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Responses

  1. i did the test – and im closest to Obama… and furthest from Huckabee.

    i think my view is that a major part of being pres is to be able to communicate and inspire. As far as driving policy, congress plays a big part in that – as does the team around the pres. So i think a possitive, global thinking, future looking person like Obama is the way forward. I like Hillary too.. but hate the idea of dynastical politics in the worlds largest democracy (india?).

    Quite like McCain too, if im honest.

  2. When I did it, I was furtherest away from Fred Thompson, but he has now dropped out. How right wing do you have to be to be right wing in American politics? I have a friend who would be to the right of Genghis Kahn on most things, and he was closest to Ron Paul!

    Obama could be good in diffusing the hatred to America in the short term, but the few firm policies he has (instant troop withdrawal from Iraq) worry me. I am so sick of soundbites. Substance over style everytime please (I still maintain William Hague would have been a good PM if hadn’t squeaked in a Yorkshire accent and been prematurely bald).

  3. Hague will be PM by 2018 🙂 get down to to the bookies!

    there’s a fine line between sound bites and inspirational words. but there is a line. Churchill was very much about the sound bites and a master of spin.

  4. I think that what may have inspired from the mouths of Churchill or JFK in their respective decades would struggle to inspire in these cynical times, regardless of which politican said them.


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