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Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Saturday - August 30, 2008

Obama has left the US election wide open.  A Brit reports from the USA.


Barack Obama has left the US election wide open
By Simon Heffer
Last Updated: 1:01pm BST 29/08/2008Page 1 of 2

At different times over the last few days in Denver I have wondered whether, instead of watching a crucial meeting of the main opposition party of the world’s leading power, I had wandered in on a soap opera, a poor Hollywood film, or a dire reality TV show. It is still hard to decide. Indeed, after Barack Obama’s rally in front of 85,000 people on Thursday it might also have been classed as an extended rock concert. No-one can dispute that the finale was a spectacle: but, as such, it symbolised a triumph of style over substance that had been apparent during every session of the convention during the week and, indeed, in the whole 19 months of the Obama presidential campaign. This said a lot about Sen Obama’s abilities, or those of his speechwriters and spin doctors, to play an already compliant audience like the proverbial violin. It said little or nothing about his fitness to govern, or to attract the support of the so-far non-compliant.

The event in the Broncos’ stadium was certainly an apotheosis of display, theatre and at times unrestrained and self-indulgent emotion. It seemed to have only a passing connection with politics. Mr Obama’s speech was a masterpiece of manipulation: it added precious few clues about how he would restore the fortunes of a country that is very much not at ease with itself. Worse, in an uncertain world, it offered little evidence of why he is equipped to deal with some of the lethal challenges that could at any time confront America. The candidate’s combination of old-fashioned oratorical skill, film-star looks, and determination to put his personality and “story” at the front of his approach to politics certainly seems to appeal to his party: but it is entirely shallow, and typical of the American left’s confusion, or conflation, of stature with celebrity.

As the near hysteria in the stadium suggested, this hardly mattered to the Democratic faithful. All week at their convention they have sat and listened to one pile of flannel after another about “change”, which can mean whatever it wants to the person who utters the word and to anyone hearing it. The real question is whether America’s tens of millions of undecided voters will have been swayed by anything they might have seen, heard or read from Denver this week. It seems, it must be said, pretty unlikely.As Mr Obama came out to speak on Thursday night a poll gave him a sudden six-point lead over his Republican rival, John McCain. This “convention bounce” is a long-recognised phenomenon of election politics in America; Sen McCain may well get his own this time next week. If so, it would suggest that the last eight weeks of the campaign will settle it, rather than anything that might happen at either convention. The three televised debates between the two candidates could be crucial in this regard, not least because Mr Obama will find it hard to come through even one of them without giving his electorate a clear idea of his policies.

image

The city of Denver had an unequivocally good convention. While the Democratic party exhibited its usual organisational chaos – at times people had to queue in 90 degree heat for 90 minutes to get through security – the rest of Denver worked brilliantly. In contrast to some towns that host our own party conferences, where businesses like to be as disobliging as possible to visiting delegates and media, the people of Denver couldn’t have been more helpful and welcoming. The city apparently made $200m out of the event, and frankly it deserved every cent. Americans are paranoid about their image abroad, but when it comes to service they still lead the world.

The most disgusting aspect of the last week’s events was the spectacle of the Clintons making elaborate speeches of admiration about Candidate Obama, a man they were both abusing and attacking a matter of a few weeks ago. The cameras filmed Bill saying “that was smart” as Mr Obama, during his surprise appearance after Joe Biden’s speech on Wednesday night, heaped praise on the Clintons. The truce is plainly shaky, and exists only to try to prevent Bill and Hillary taking any blame for an Obama defeat – which is essential if Hillary is to run again in 2012. Meanwhile, the Democratic establishment appears rapidly to have airbrushed from history the notion that Mrs Clinton ever was a candidate. At the request of a colleague I combed Denver for some Hillary campaign memorabilia: but I couldn’t find so much as a little badge, let alone a pair of the legendary nutcrackers.

lots more here. => http://tinyurl.com/594egu


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/30/2008 at 03:36 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsEditorialsPolitics •  
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