Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Obama-wagon...quick, jump!

Firstly, and probably most importantly, congratulations to Senator Obama on his resounding victory Tuesday evening. Secondly, congratulations America!

It was quite a surreal evening for me. I attended my first ever 'Election Party' (I'm not sure what it says about me that it was for an American Election rather than a British one, but...). Throughout the evening there was a lot of talk about how, if Obama got in, people would feel 'proud to be American again', which says a lot for the damage our friend George W. has done to international relations on all levels. However, the best comment of the evening, I think, came when someone said:

'We've really dodged a bullet by avoiding electing Palin as Vice President.'

I couldn't agree more, it's hard to imagine what could be worse that having the gun-toting creationist loitering in the wings, just in case something happened to McCain. I have to admit, though, there is a part of me that feels sorry for Senator McCain. The guy is not a bad politician, and probably wouldn't have made a particularly bad President, but suffered because somehow his party decided Sarah Palin would make a great running-mate!

However, what has grabbed my attention most about the immediate outfall from the election result, is the level of childishly cynical hero worship that has swept around the political world. Nothing describes this better than the pitiful exchange between Gordon Brown and David Cameron in the House of Commons yesterday.

What is more pathetic than two grown men fighting it out to be associated with Senator Obama's victory? Why is it necessary - is the result of the US election really going to influence British voters in their choice of who they will vote for in our forthcoming election? Had the elections happened the other way around (which they might well have), do they really think that Obama and McCain would have reciprocated and been fighting tooth and nail as to whose campaign closest resembled that of the British PM? I think not!

After all the comments on the blog-o-sphere and articles in newspapers and news websites in the UK criticizing American politics over last few years, on the evidence of this we should perhaps be looking a little closer to home!


pacalaga said...

Anything to turn attention to new exciting soundbites rather than the actual work of governing, right?
I don't think McCain would have made a great president, but I think he couldn't have been worse than Bush, truly. And the idea of Palin in any sort of powerful position is just terrifying. We would have been turning back to Britain and asking y'all to come back, that revolution thing was just a little joke...

Mark said...

Lol! Exactly, anything to divert the public's attention from what they're doing. First rule of politics I believe.

As for McCain, true he probably wouldn't have made a great President. But, he can, at least, formulate a sentence and think cognitively about policies rather than simply listening to what his aids say, which would have been improvement! Besides, will Obama be a great President? Who knows!

To a certain extent it's got to depend upon the political environment at the time. Kennedy is considered one of America's greatest Presidents, but would he be thought of in the same light if he hadn't lived in a time where the USSR and the West were at loggerheads and driving a massive technological revolution? I love these 'what if' concepts, they make for really interesting arguments!