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Friday 5 September 2008 11.59am
I find Obama's cadour in saying things were better than were expected quite refreshing and reflects a certain humility. It's better than all the flagrant contortions of the likes of Ms. Palin of facts.
Friday 5 September 2008 1.14pm
markadams99 wrote:
the electoral consequence, if any, of Obama's admission of error on such a signature issue for both Obama and McCain.

I don't think there will be much of an electoral consequence from his statement. The war remains incredibly unpopular despite the recent improvements in security in Iraq. I don't see that changing as I think most Americans are tired of the war, the cost of the war and the number of dead, especially of their own dead. They want an end to it - the surge has given them hope that it can end without further humiliation but that doesn't mean that they want any result other than bringing their folks home as soon as they reasonably can.
Friday 5 September 2008 2.24pm
The contempt directed at Palin is reminiscent of the contempt poured on Margaret Thatcher while she was making history. The comparison is already prominent in America. Obviously conservatives like me project our hopes onto Palin as the Obamans do on their hero. The difference is the realism or otherwise of those hopes. Gerard Baker in The Times:

"It never ceases to amaze me how the Left falls again and again into the old trap of underestimating politicians whom they don't understand. From Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to George Bush and Mrs Palin, they do it every time. Because these characters talk a bit funny and have ridiculously antiquated views about faith, family and nation, because they haven't spent time bending the knee to the intellectual metropolitan elites, they can't be taken seriously.....The contrast with Mr Obama is especially powerful. The very fact that Mrs Palin didn't go to elite schools but succeeded nonetheless - the very ordinariness with which she so piquantly jabbed Mr Obama on Wednesday - is what will make her so appealing to Americans. And as a pro-life conservative she debunks in one swoop the enduring myth that all women subscribe to the obligatory nostrums of radical feminism."
Friday 5 September 2008 2.49pm
I find the comparison with Thatcher amazing simply because Palin has only been in the public eye at a national level for a matter of days. Love her or loathe her, Mrs Thatcher's persona only really developed fully when she was in power, negotiating with the Europeans for example over the EU rebate, and her leadership during the Falklands War. When she first came to prominence as Education Minister in the Heath Govt she didn't really blaze a trail. She failed to halt the tide of grammar school closures for example.

Palin has made one major speech and is suddenly being compared to someone who was Prime Minister for 10 years ! The comparison is only being made because they're both women.
Friday 5 September 2008 3.16pm
Actually I have a very general question. Does anyone know - has the choice of vice president ever had an impact on a presidential race - either positively or negatively ? Has it ever influenced the final result ?
Friday 5 September 2008 3.37pm
It's quite outrageous to suggest that any intelligent person disses anyone because she is a female. So is Madelene Albright, so is Condoleeza Rice, what IS all this nonsense? I dont care if Sarah Palin is male,female or something in the middle. She has by the way a most irritating voice. But worst of all she is a quite shocking choice to be placed in a position of the one who may have to take on the most important job in the world - she doesnt even have a PASSPORT for heaven's sake. She may be gutsy, feisty, gun toting, Annie Oakley. But Annie Oakley wasnt running for President. She was a great sharp shooter. Mrs. Palin may have dozens of qualities - so do thousands of other women (and men) but who says she's the right person for this particular job? Not I, not I.
Friday 5 September 2008 3.46pm
Katia wrote:
I still haven't seen Bidden speak. Was he a good choice for Obama?

I have seen him yesterday in an interview. I can't say I am impressed: his answers were hardly substantiated and, to be honest, I found him a bit smug. I am sure the media trainers will be on top of him before going into debate with (the increasingly annoying) Palin.

I saw the McCain speech. First thing that comes to mind: how sweet. Jacob Heilbrunn of the Huffington Post describes him as follows:"Most of McCain's speech was a snooze, delivered in a tone of a kindly old uncle reminiscing about World War II before fretting about how those pesky Russians are stirring up trouble again"

That's exactly how it felt.
Friday 5 September 2008 3.52pm
I saw the Mc Cain speech, too. Very wooden and all about being a veteran and not much else.

Although his fiscal policies are interesting, he's promising about 400 billion worth of changes. Is he going to double the deficit inherited from Bush? Increasing defence spending to 4.5% of GDP isn't what I would do, either...looking forward to the debates now.
Friday 5 September 2008 4.18pm
Oh, and please, markadams, don't call everyone an Obaman. I do prefer Obama to McCain, but that does not make me an Obaman. Stick to Katia.
Friday 5 September 2008 4.47pm
martinr wrote:
has the choice of vice president ever had an impact on a presidential race - either positively or negatively ? Has it ever influenced the final result ?

Interesting question. Was there a candidate who tried with on VP, failed, came back with another, succeeded? No idea how else to find out.
Current: 9 of 34

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