The rise and rise of Obama: Camelot or Bust?

February 23, 2008

Rajeev Srinivasan on the Obama candidacy

There certainly is a buzz around Barack Obama. His string of ten straight victories over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries has startled both pundits and average voters. I am yet to be bewitched by Obama’s oratorical flourishes, but those who have heard him appear to be enraptured. The extravagant comparisons to John Kennedy’s fabled Camelot, the enthusiastic youngsters who mob him everywhere, the immense fund-raising he has managed – all this suggests that Obama’s momentum is unstoppable.

That would lead to an interesting outcome: a telegenic and charismatic, younger, black man selected as the candidate of the Democratic Party. It was not so long ago that Democratic presidential hopeful George Wallace of Alabama swore something about “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”. Indeed, the South of racism and the good ol’ boy and Mississippi Burning (the story of two Jewish and a black civil rights workers murdered by whites) was solidly Democratic a generation ago.

It is also worth considering that Kennedy’s was a different era, one when America, post-war, bestrode the world like a colossus. 2008 is very different from 1962; America is weakened. Besides, Camelot arouses such nostalgia because Kennedy was assassinated. Its actual accomplishments were mixed: the Space Race, yes, but also Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the near-triggering of nuclear war. Invoking Kennedy is a double-edged sword.

 

This may be reflected in the significant generation gap among voters: those who remember Camelot and those who read about it later. It appears that the older generation is much more willing to accept Clinton’s record of experience and maturity. The young are swept away by the promise of change and the idealism that are the cornerstones of the Obama campaign.

 

So Obama has, as they say, the “Big Mo’”, momentum. He has certainly captured the attention of the American voter, and in fact of the entire world. A lot of it, of course, is the curiosity factor: most people find it remarkable that a black man is now offering a credible challenge for the US presidency. After all, the brutal racism known as Jim Crow, the segregation overturned by the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education, and Rosa Parks’s refusal to yield a seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, are all within living memory.

 

There certainly has been considerable progress in the ability of individual blacks to rise to the top in the US: General Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice serving as Secretary of State is evidence enough of that; so are icons like Eddie Murphy, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan. Whether this has extended to the black population at large is an open question; the statistics are grim: it is believed that a third of young black men are in jail on petty or major crimes. The status of other non-whites has also improved in the US, especially that of Asians and to a lesser extent Hispanics.

 

Yet, it is questionable whether America is ready to accept a non-white as the Commander-in-Chief. The president is almost deified in the US, his (yes, his, as there has never been a woman in the position) every move and every word is analyzed with great interest, he becomes the role model for youngsters. The very self-image of the average American is tied up with the President (with a capital P). And America still thinks of itself as largely white, in fact WASP, white anglo-saxon protestant. This leads to some cognitive dissonance in Obama’s case.

 

As a result, it is unclear whether the enthusiasm shown by the crowds today will translate into a winning coalition come November. Here is an unusually articulate and charismatic black candidate with few ties to the establishment; and he is only 47. This certainly appeals to the young who are inherently anti-establishment and also more open-minded. But will he be able to rope in enough special interest groups?

 

In opinion polls conducted today pitting Obama against the putative Republican candidate, John McCain, Obama ends up winning by a margin of 7 per cent, I was informed recently by a partisan email correspondent. Whereas Clinton would lose in a head-to-head contest by McCain, he added. This is intriguing: after all, the Democrats want someone to head their ticket who will actually win. And after eight years of Bush II, this is the best chance in years for Democrats to win big.

 

But do these opinion polls mean that much? The prejudices of the pollsters enter into the picture, as has been seen often in the disastrous predictions of so-called psephologists in India. Besides, it is likely that many people will appear more liberal in a poll than they really are. They may not reveal their true sentiments to a random stranger. This may well mean that some of Obama’s perceived support will vanish at the polling booth.

 

There is another serious issue with the candidate: that he is all sizzle and no steak. That is, he is full of nice-sounding, high-minded, but impractical rhetoric. After all, he really has no track record, and therefore has not had to make any tough decisions that a president will have to make. His oratory is nice; but, as the little old lady said, “Hey, where’s the beef?” Yes, we all want world peace and want to stop global warming, but vague talk, however inspirational, isn’t going to get us there.

 

Obama’s watchword is change; he turns necessity into a virtue by suggesting that he, not being beholden to the dreaded vested interests, will run an untainted, virtuous administration that pays attention to the real problems. All very nice, but exactly what is he going to change?

 

Is Obama going to immediately pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan? That would be disastrous, conceding victory to the fundamentalists. Is Obama going to bring in universal health care? His proposals are impractical: Clinton’s plan is much more sensible. Is Obama going to single-handedly rescue the recession-bound American economy? Unlikely, given the structural damage of the housing bubble, the excesses of the banking industry and years of over-consumption and under-saving.

 

Is Obama going to change American foreign policy so that the US stops supporting dictators like Pakistan’s Musharraf? Unlikely, as the status quo ante helps certain American interests. Is Obama going to immediately reverse the decline in American education and competitiveness? It would be very interesting to hear how he will do that, other than through rhetoric. Is Obama going to move away from depending on Saudi petro-dollars? Perhaps he won’t be so craven as Bush, but the co-dependency cannot be reversed overnight.

 

Is Obama going to make the plight of oppressed racial minorities in America much better? He has carefully avoided making his campaign black-centric, and sensibly so; if he were elected, he’d still have to tread carefully to avoid being seen as biased. How is Obama going to rein in rampaging China and resurgent Russia? It is not clear he has the means, or indeed, much of a clue about the state of global realpolitik. Is Obama going to reduce global warming by America dramatically? It would be miraculous if he manages to do so.

 

It is, therefore, not entirely clear exactly what Obama is going to change. Creating high expectations without much of a plan behind it may or may not work. Obama may be able to beat Clinton based on all this, but McCain may not be quite so easy.

 

Hillary Clinton suffers from some disadvantages: one, that she has been over-exposed, and the public is tired of her, and of her spouse. Two, it may well be that Americans are more sexist than racist. But there is no question about her competence or her experience; she may have fallen out of favor with the opinion-leaders, but in terms of ability to get things done, she is better than Obama. Besides, Bill Clinton was the famous “comeback kid”, so it may well be that Hillary will do the same in the home stretch.

 

There are also some issues about Obama’s faith that will undoubtedly be put under a microscope in the rough-and-tumble of a campaign against McCain. Apparently Obama’s personal pastor is an Afro-centrist to the extent that staffers had to overrule Obama’s desire to have him participate in the campaign, worried that he would annoy whites: divisive rather than inclusive.

 

And indeed, there is some murky stuff about Obama’s religion. He wears his Christian faith on his sleeve, loudly proclaiming all the right Jesus-saves stuff for all to hear. But is it that “milady doth protest too much”? It is a fact that Obama was born a Mohammedan, to a Mohammedan father (a Kenyan) and a converted-Mohammedan (white) mother. He spent some years of his childhood with his Mohammedan step-father in Indonesia. All this makes him, forever, a Mohammedan in the eyes of, say, Saudi Arabia. Is that why Obama emphasizes his Christian-ness so loudly?

 

This has also led to persistent rumors that Obama is a Manchurian Candidate, someone whose loyalties lie elsewhere, and someone who is being bank-rolled by them, specifically by oil-rich Arabs. Whether or not this is true, there will be a determined smear-campaign to this effect. In an America that feels embattled both by terrorism and by the influx of foreign money, this may well resonate.

 

At the end of the day, it is quite likely that Obama will not be a winning candidate against McCain. The Republicans, even though they are on the ropes now, may yet make a comeback against Obama. It is not clear whether Clinton would make a better candidate in a one-on-one battle. The story of the only previous female candidate, Geraldine Ferraro, is salutary – perhaps it is not yet time for a woman to become president or even vice-president.

 

There is an intriguing possibility, though. The Democrats really want to win the White House; being in the political wilderness for the last eight years has whetted their appetite for office and the spoils that go with it. Besides, with a deeply unpopular incumbent, and many Republican politicians looking weak, this is their best chance to gain a sweeping victory. They are not going to sacrifice that at the altar of Obama-worship.

Therefore, one of the possibilities that may emerge from the Democractic Convention is as follows: they will draft Al Gore. After all, Gore actually did win the presidency some years ago, only to be cheated out of it on technicalities. And since then, he has burnished his credentials, winning not only a Nobel Prize but also an Oscar, sort of the ultimate expression of popular-culture demi-god stature in America. So Gore may well be persuaded to be on top of the ticket.

It is extremely unlikely that Gore would want to have Clinton as his running mate. His experiences with Hillary and Bill in the White House for some years would have cured him of any such desire. This leads to the possibility of a Gore-Obama ticket; which could well be a winner. Gore’s southern roots may win them votes there, otherwise the Bubbas would vote en-masse against the black man. In the West, Northeast and MidWest, both of them have enough charisma. Gore’s stolid earnestness combined with Obama’s oratorical flourishes may be just the ticket. It is likely that that’s about as close as Obama is going to get to being President of the US. “Impeachment insurance for Gore”, did I hear someone say, as in the case of Dan Quayle?

Comments welcome at my blog at https://rajeev2007.wordpress.com

1900 words, February 23rd, 2008

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26 Responses to “The rise and rise of Obama: Camelot or Bust?”


  1. […] Capitol Hill Blue | Because nobody’s life, liberty or property are safe while Congress is in s… wrote an interesting post today on The rise and rise of Obama: Camelot or Bust?Here’s a quick excerptObama’s Rise and Rise: Camelot or Bust? Rajeev Srinivasan on the Obama candidacy There certainly is a buzz around Barack Obama. […]

  2. onederyears Says:

    Interesting perspective.Being in US for past 6 months have had a chance to follow the Presidential Candidate Elections closely, especially the Clinton-Obama contest.Its as interesting as it gets.The debate last night again brought forth the point that Obama is a better orator and has way with words and definately the charisma, but Hillary has more content..you pick up a topic and she can confidently and intelligently go deep into it and blast you off your chair, whereas Obama seems just to have a superflous knowledge of things which he puts forth in a very likeable manner.
    At the moment the Democrats seem to be swayed with the Obama charisma , however hard Hillary tries to prove her credentials/experince which seems awesome in comparison.
    Interesting anecdote: On a flight recently was in company of an intelligent american gentleman next to me and inspite of being a democrat, on the topic of Hillary-Obama contest, his interest was dampener: he said that its all a hogwash,many more deserving candidates have been left out in the race.
    That had me stumped..coming from India where we have a scarcity of leaders who had to prov their credentials to lead a country but the fact that they belonged to the right caste or had the right surname, here in US I can see 2 decently eligible people(by Indian standards) in the race to become president and the citizens still aren’t satisfied.Pretty Ironical!

  3. srivy Says:

    Dear srinivasan, you might want to see the comments left on rediff.com by readers.
    U obviously look like someone from the clinton campaign. u have no idea what is going on here in the US. u are biased to clinton just based on what u think is right.im an obama supporter and i think he makes a great leader. he doesnt need experience for that. not all people who run for presidency are experienced.u should be bale to inspire people. need to have that personality. its no use if u have experience but peopel dont like u as a person.i was hurt by your article because it was not fair.authors writing articles need to be fair to both the parties. u have given some sick points which we americans dont even care about. im an indian american and a supporter of obama. i want him to be president and it would make me sad to see that old white bitch to become our next president. im 31 yrs old, so i know what im saying.

  4. rajeev2007 Says:

    I am amused by the cult of Obama. What shall we call them, “Obamoonies?” They have lost the power of discrimination in the blind adulation of this man. I am reminded of the Jim Jones tragedy in Guyana, the Branch Davidians in Waco, etc. There too, there was a great deal of demagoguery, and blind faith, leading to tragedy.

    And it is particularly amusing to see these Indian-origin people jumping on the Obama bandwagon. As though there is some great fellow feeling between blacks and Indians in general, or from Obama and his crew for Indians. On the contrary, blacks who think about things can legitimately feel that Indians (and Hispanics, and Chinese) have taken the jobs that they shed their blood for in the Civil Rights movement. Thus a priori black politicians are likely to be hostile to Indians. Democrats, being non-proliferation ayatollahs and protectionists, are markedly hostile to India and Indians. I bet it is the same people who are now running after Obama who were running after Bobby Jindal.

    And it’s tragi-comic when these people claim to be “we Americans”. Having spent decades in the US, let me be the first of inform you FOBs (fresh off the boat) who are the most enthusiastic supporters of FOIL, AIDS, ASHA and now Obama of the sad facts of life. You are not considered “Americans” by anybody. You are “Indians”. And even if you have green cards or US passports, nobody thinks you are an “American”. (Maybe some ABCDs are in fact “American”, but certainly no FOB, such as this person writing above, is.)

  5. snafday Says:

    I have been a US citizen for some time now and I think, what Rajeev said is mostly true. However, he does not realize the ground realities in USA. There is a huge element of antagonism to Clintons in USA. Hillary is talented and smart but he is perceived as some one, who is not true about what she says. I would hate to use a harsh word such as liar, but the Clintons are close to that. Obama sounds true to what he he says, even though that may truly be naive. We want an honest person now. Enough of people who promise, but ultimately succumb to the money lobby. People in India were charmed by Bill Clinton, hence they have a soft corner for Hillary. However, it is not going to be translated in to a pro-India policy. Politicians in USA only believe in pro-USA policy, whether democrats or republicans.

  6. rajeev2007 Says:

    I am amazed and disappointed that you think I don’t know the ground realities in the US. I don’t know what you base this assertion on, given that I have been observing America closely for several decades, and have been writing about America for over 15 years. And I am pretty certain that I have lived in America for longer than you.

    I’m concerned because I think Obama is a Pied Piper, leading the country down the garden path. I am not enamored of Hillary either, or for that matter McCain. But I think they are less dangerous than Obama.

    When I look at things from an American perspective, I think Obama is the perfect exemplar of the adage “the known devil is better than… etc.” Obama is an unknown, and therefore dangerous. In a recession-bound economy caught in an unpopular war, it is tempting to look for a Messiah who will wave his magic wand and make everything ok. Unfortunately, we are fresh out of Messiahs. Obama is cynically taking advantage of this Messiah Syndrome. This is equivalent to the Moonie cult or the Scientology cult.

    If I look at it from an Indian perspective, it’s actually immaterial who wins, McCain or Clinton or Obama. I have said ad nauseam that that Americans always look out for their own interests, and none of them — correctly so — is worried about India’s interests.

  7. provocateur Says:

    hi rajeev
    this is an e-mail which basically reflects your total ignorance about the electoral process in the USA.Aside from the pro-Clinton bias that you have (which is still okk), to suggest that a person not in the democratic electoral process(Al Gore)will be chosen in the democratic convention is at the least , laughable.What abt the ppl that voted or the ppl in the running(clinton and obama)or the fact that what you are suggesting has never ever happened before.I do not want to point the other mistakes/percedptions in the article, but please do research in the future before you place some shit like this in a site like rediff.

  8. provocateur Says:

    sorry …ignore the e-mail bit at the top of the comment..it was abt the article u wrote for rediff.

  9. rajeev2007 Says:

    Another “Obamoonie” with a tenuous grip on the facts, I see. Completely wrong on all points, too, I believe. It would be much better if you didn’t display your ignorance so publicly, but instead did some reading. Even more so, I wish people who are ignorant aren’t also so arrogant.

    The words you’re searching for are “brokered convention”. Google for this, will you? It has been done before, and many times: if there is no clear front-runner, the Convention will choose a candidate. The last time this happened with the Democrats was with Adlai Stevenson in 1952; the last person who won after being chosen in a brokered convention was Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. (Perhaps you have heard of FDR?) This time there are good chances that there will be a deadlock between Clinton and Obama, and the bosses may decide that neither is a winning candidate against McCain. Hence, the “draft xyz” argument, possibly Gore.

    The delegates are not legally obliged to stick with the candidate they endorsed in the primaries. You will also notice that, so far as I know, Gore has not endorsed either Obama or Clinton. Why do you think this is? Yes, the magic words, “brokered convention”. There is a related term, “Tammany Hall”, and there are all these deals made in smoke-filled back rooms.

    And if you were not caught up in “Obamadness”, you’d see that I am neutral, and in fact I am not supporting Obama, or Clinton, or McCain. I am a disinterested observer. I am appalled that people of Indian origin are getting so caught up in the Obama kool-aid. What has he done for you? What will he do for you? Answer: Nothing! Think, people. But I guess the Indian education system has taught you to just regurgitate what you are told, sigh.

  10. provocateur Says:

    oh!rajeev…i tht you wld do your searches better…
    first of all…you do not hv to go that far…having gore in the ticket is more like the hubert humphrey case of 1968(he did not even contest the primaries but was the nominee…like gore in ur case) and u know the result( and if not ..hubert lost it .).
    also gore is no more popular as he’s out of politics..period..in america u know how
    they see the noble.. even arafat won it…tht doesnt make a diff ..i will go even as far as to say it’s a negative.
    with the amount of money being spent now a days the days of a brokered convention is a dream(except for a clintonite like you…and u clearly support clinton’;s health care proposal ..dont u..as for me i hv not written anything abt being a obama supporter).

    but objectively speaking…with the amount of independents supporting obama only a clintonite would still hope for her or gore after 11 straight primary losses..

  11. provocateur Says:

    oh i forgot…
    abt me being ignorant/arrogant..i still stick towhat i said/…the examples you hv cited were ppl who CONTESTED(except hubert humphrey which I cite in the previous post )and did not get the majority…the scenario with gore is unprecedented..a guy who has been actively keeping away from politics and also does not hold any post as hubert H did…perhaps you need to learn to read first before you sit down to write a response!

  12. catchharish Says:

    Hmm.. let me take a stab at why Indians are so full of ‘it’ (a.k.a Obamania)…
    I guess as Indians we are so carried by words..Look at the history of the kind of people we vote in an election in our country. It’s generally in waves and for candidates who throw the loudest and emptiest rhetoric (most recently Sonia gandhi!). And when this FOB’s go to US they carry the same genes with them..We fawned at Bill Clinton when he came to India.. and now we are all over ourselves falling head over heels over Obama..because he “inspires”,is “vaporous” and gives u a lot of “promises”.. Wait..isnt that what we look for in our candidates in India..It does not make any sense, but that how Indians or Indian Americans (a.k.a “Americans”!!!) are…
    If a candidate can give them rhetoric, they will gladly follow the person around irrespective of the person’s track record !!..

  13. rajeev2007 Says:

    Harish, the Obamoonies have quietened down a little after the man got whacked in Texas and Ohio. It showed the limits of Pied Piper mania; it was especially interesting to see one of his top aides (Pulitzer Prize winner) getting flustered and then getting fired for calling Clinton a “monster”. It shows the Obamoonie frustration that people are wising up to their hoax. The same woman, Susan somebody, also told the London Times that you cannot expect Obama to pull out of Iraq in real life as he claims in his campaign rhetoric! Talk of lies and hypocrisy!

    You will also remember that no Obama staffer was disciplined for anti-India remarks a few months ago. Obama is by no means pro-India, and the Indians who are caught up in his Kool-Aid will realize soon that he is a protectionist, and in general, a fraud: “sizzle, but no steak”. Not that Clinton is any better on protectionism.

    As for this person “provocateur”, he is a sad example of the poor “education” in Indian schools. Nobody is taught the fundamentals of logic or rhetoric (tarka). Note what this person did here. First, he claimed that there has been no situation where a candidate was drafted at the convention. Fact: There have been many; so it showed his ignorance, and the way he phrased it showed his arrogance (it’s perhaps acceptable when a smart person is arrogant, eg. Christopher Hitchens — he says rude things but he’s very knowledgeable and witty.)

    Second, when I educated him on the idea of a brokered convention, provocateur went and read up about it, came back and started talking about Hubert Humphrey. Logical error: this is known as setting up a convenient strawman and then demolishing it. I had never talked about HHH, and so for this person to carry on as though HHH was what I based my logic on is ridiculous. I mentioned Adlai Stevenson, and indeed Stevenson’s role in 1952 is almost identical to the Gore scenario I outlined. Stevenson was not a declared candidate (he was standing on the sidelines); when the Democratic convention decided the existing candidates were not likely to win, they “drafted” Stevenson. It is entirely possible that Gore can be drafted the same way.

    I wonder why I waste time trying to educate people who are untouched by logic and probably have poor reading comprehension as well. This is my last comment on the topic of brokered conventions. If you need more, you should do a few Google searches.

  14. zen4it Says:

    Hi Rajeev

    Don’t know what your problem in life is. Your articles are sensationalist, badly written and seem to have some misplaced arrogance that you are right. Check your facts before jumping on others ignorance (?). Obama’s step-father in Indonesia was a Hindu from Vietnam and hence his step sister is called Maya. Also there must be something to a person who was an editor for the Harvard Law Review or did you miss all that in your bring it on, bash those stupid Indians and their education writeup!!

  15. rajeev2007 Says:

    Yet another Obamoonie with a tenuous grip of the facts. I cannot comment on your opinion of my writing, as you are entitled to it.

    But I do object to urban legends being paraded as fact. Do you perhaps get your facts from the supermarket tabloids? Kindly do not display your ignorance about geography, and do not make wild extrapolations (eg. Maya == Hindu woman. Have you heard of Maya Angelou, a black American? Maya is also quite a popular name in I think Ukraine or some other parts of the old Soviet Union).

    Obama’s stepfather was an Indonesian Mohammedan named Soetaro or Soetoro. There is no particular doubt about this fact. See for instance the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3936013.stm or do a little googling.

    Your problem stems from your ignorance of Indonesian society. I have been there several times, and know first hand that many Indonesians have Hindu/Buddhist-derived names because they were originally Hindu/Buddhist before they got converted to Mohammedanism. The guy who used to guide me was named Iravan, and I knew others with Sanskritic names. Other examples include Sukarno (Sukarna), Suharto (Suhrdaya), Megawati Sukarnoputri etc. The fact that these Mohammedans have Sanskrit names cannot be extrapolated to suggest they are “Hindus from Vietnam”. By the way, there are almost no Hindus in Vietnam either. The Chams were Hindus, but converted to Mohammedanism some 5-6 centuries ago.

    As to Harvard Law School, so what? I never said anything about Obama’s capabilities as a lawyer; he’s probably a good lawyer. You are making a logical error known as a ‘non sequitur’ since it has nothing to do with what I said. Again an example of a poor education. Lots of unethical shysters do graduate from Harvard Law, and I know some of them personally. Kindly stop making the error, common among Indians, to think that all people from Harvard are somehow intellectual or moral giants. It’s just another university.

  16. zen4it Says:

    And where does it say in your article that his mom was a converted-Mohammedan.

  17. zen4it Says:

    correction – And where did you get the info that his mom was a converted-Mohammedan.

  18. rajeev2007 Says:

    It’s not clear to me why you expect me to educate you. But I will. It has to do with your ignorance about Mohammedan societies.

    In a Mohammedan society, a marriage (or sex) between a Mohammedan man and a non-Mohammedan woman is not recognized as lawful. It would be considered fornication/adultery and the individuals (especially the woman) are liable to be stoned to death for it.

    Soetaro and Obama’s mother married and lived in a Mohammedan society, Indonesia. The fact that this marriage was recognized as legal implies that Obama’s mother had converted.

    Since nobody has said that Obama’s mother was not legally married to Soetaro (or Obama senior) then it follows that she must have been properly married (nikah’d) as a Mohammedan. Therefore she must have converted to Mohammedanism legally.

    Of course, you are free to prove the alternative, that Obama’s parents (or his mother and her second husband) were not legally married, and all the implications thereof.

    I am not going to waste any more time on this topic as the comments are getting increasingly vacuous.

  19. zen4it Says:

    I did go looking for the article in the Times which mentioned his step-father being a Hindu and they married in Hawaii not Indonesia but before the discussion veers of into your favorite & stupid rants and raves – all I was saying was – come on give credit to a guy who grows up in a dysfunctional family without a proper father and is now a step away from being the President of US, surely must be something to him or is that also an urban legend like all others – Rajeev knows best, Hinduism is at peril!!

  20. rajeev2007 Says:

    Since you have felt free to provide your opinion here, I will provide my opinion on you, zen4. You are an idiot.

    Why?

    1. Each one of your claims has been comprehensively rebutted above as logical fallacies or the result of ignorance. Yet you persist.

    2. Now you come up yet another logical fallacy: that of appealing to someone’s sympathy. Sympathy is not a good reason to elect anybody as President. I may be sympathetic to Obama for having overcome prejudice as a black. There are plenty of good people who have had hard lives and overcome them. That does not mean they must be elected President. But by your logic, physicist Stephen Hawking, who has had a tough life indeed as a paraplegic, would be the best candidate for US President. This is patently absurd. Obama must be considered on his merits.

    You really are an idiot and an Obama-moonie. Unfortunately you can write syntactically correct sentences, which exposes your lousy semantics. You are vastly ignorant yet arrogant and full of yourself. You must be a pseudo-secular JNU-type who confuses semi-literacy with an education and slogans with reality. Alas, India is full of people like you.

    You have provided me with some entertainment, but alas, the time is over for that, you twerp. Goodbye.

  21. bzbody Says:

    As far as having a passion for change, John Edwards was probably the best candidate, but there was no way for him to win for that very reason. Which is why we have the two shadow puppets in the shape of Hillary and Obama.

    As the newspapers revealed a day or so ago, it’s not just the Saudis but also the Han “how dare you barbarians interfere in our internal affairs” Chinese who are involved in the US elections, funding candidates and so on. I suppose, given their strategic compulsions and drives, they’d be silly not to procure and maintain influence and control any which way they can.

    Sadly, all three candidates–Hillary, Obama and McCain look like borderline nitwits when it comes to foreign policy or economic policy. Neither of them has any fresh ideas to offer on Israel and the middle East (or the near West if you are viewing from India), and both Obama and Hillary had the appalling bad manners to gratuitously insult and badmouth Mr. Medvedev the putative heir to Mr. Putin in the Ohio debate. And McCain is nearly as ignorant as Bush on Iraqi or middle eastern politics.

    It is also clear that none of them has the slightest clue on how to deal with the economic crisis, which fundamentally has its genesis in American indolence and self-indulgence that allowed their country to get in deep hock with China. (And who’s going to talk straight to the American public?) At least, McCain is forthright enough to say he has no grasp of economics.

    Hillary’s unattractive personal and political qualities have been well-documented elsewhere. As for Obama, his alleged truth-telling also has its rather stringent limits. I don’t share rajeev2007’s preoccupation about Obama’s religion or his mother’s religion and so forth; a more pertinent point is that there would be actual limits to what the US system, along with the Saudis and the Chinese, and the Israelis will let any US president accomplish. But you won’t be hearing that from Mr. Honest.

    I personally prefer to see a Democrat in the White House since that’d mean a slowdown in the pace of degeneration of health care, public services, social security and so forth. However, I predict that McCain will win in November. I watched his speech a couple of weeks ago to the VFW, and was impressed with his presence, despite being a Democratic partisan. He conveys the simple dignity and integrity of a military man who has put his life on the line for his country, and if he’s able to somehow tell the story to Americans that he can do with the economy what he did with his campaign–get an amazing level of ROI–he’d be home free.

    All other things aside, an Obama candidacy will face the “Tom Bradley factor” in the privacy of the electoral booth. It isn’t a coincidence that most of Obama’s celebrated wins have been in caucus states, which aren’t secret ballots unlike primaries.

  22. provocateur Says:

    A Pathetic ‘analyst’ ..wonder what Mr. Know-it-all will say now…BOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  23. rajeev2007 Says:

    You truly are an idiot. Just wait until McCain crushes Obama, as half the Democrats vote for McCain. Then you’ll see who has the last laugh. In any case, Obama isn’t your father-in-law, is he? Him winning is going to do squat for you and people like you, as he is a protectionist, and will do things to kick out people like you from the US, Subbu.

  24. provocateur Says:

    who is the idiot now?..and who has the last laugh..
    bye

  25. rajeev2007 Says:

    do send me a note, kasubbu1@yahoo.com, when you get the pink slip and are deported from the us by homeland security under the general umbrella of “american jobs for americans”.

    welcome to the law of unintended consequences. i hope you and obama live happily ever after.


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