Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Obama fever

The emergence of Barack Hussein Obama brings hope to those depressed by American politics. This from the nation that gave the world George Bush.

The decline of American influence and prestige around the world is not ultiamately to the world's benefit, however much it has been abused by the current President. There are precious few world problems that America is not critical to help solve. I have monitored two elections in Kosovo (raw, inspirational, hectic affairs for ultimately disappointing electoral results); a province that Europe was not willing or able to intervene in alone. And the powers seeking to fill America's place in the world rarely inspire great confidence.

Bush's misguided pursuit of American unilateralism has simply revealed its inherent futility. America was key to the creation of the post-war multi-lateral UN for good reason. Now the US military has learnt the hard way that their overwhelming power, once used, is spent. And America's enemies have learnt to go nuclear as fst as they can - it is no accident that it is on Bush's watch that the number of nuclear nations has practically doubled.

And at home America is more divided than ever. The incompetence and indifference revealed during Hurricane Katrina was simply the thin end of the Bush wedge: massive tax cuts for the rich, a grotesquely unblanced budget and widespread corporate favouratism.

And lets not get started on his environmental record.

Obama might just be an over-hyped media flash-in-the-pan. But wouldn't it be nice if he wasn't?

PS Although the idea of a female President is incredibly attractive it is not clear that Hilary Clinton's current favourite status will carry her through. Besides a Presidential line up that has gone Bush - Clinton - Clinton - Bush - Bush and then Clinton - Clinton (by when George's brother Jeb will ready for another Bush - Bush?) has a certain nepotism to it. How grateful must we be that neither Carol Thatcher or James Major looks set to take up politics....


Tristan said...

Hilary Clinton is deeply unpopular amongst enough people (within and without the Democrats) that she won't win an election, her selection is also doubtful.

My bet for winner of the election would be McCain or Guiliani... McCain is making a bit of a pillock of himself at the moment, but that may be trying to win back the conservative Republican vote, Guiliani will have an advantage in the NE, so may trump him.
Of course, if Condi runs she could take it.

Obama has in the past said he won't be running this time round. I'd expect him to raise his profile more and take on the next president. Although perhaps he thinks a Democrat stands a chance in 2008, which would mean he'd have to wait until 2016.

Clinton, McCain and Obama are all at a disadvantage though, they've served in Congress. Very few congressmen get elected, probably in part due to them having a voting record to be exploited by the opposition...

Tim Gordon said...

Good point about Congress, although as Obama will have only been there for 3 years when the primaries start (and has made sure that he has focused on doing bi-partisan deals) this may matter less than his relative inexperience.

Will he run? Sure he will - these things tend to acquire a momentum of their own.