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Friday, August 29, 2008


Obama has certainly played the race card.

In choosing Biden as his running mate he has gone for an out & out Nazi. Anybody who told the Senate “all Serbs should be placed in Nazi-style concentration camps” is clearly not fit for government in any civilised nation. Even the Klan never said anything as extreme as that.

Does Obama simply not care about racism if it doesn't impinge on the race which he has decided to make part of his self image. (He is after all only half way to being black & none of the way to being ghetto black).

It will be interesting to see if the American media, who were all over Clinton for the alleged racism of referring to a "fairy tale" will have anything to say about the overwhelming & undeniable racism of putting an entire people in concentration camps. My suspicion is that the "liberalism" of the media is a pose but we will see.

McCain's choice, Sarah Palin, on the other hand is one I had never heard of & I suspect most Americans are pretty much the same. Looking her up on the net I found this which I suspect has had more hits in the last few hours than in all the time since 26th Feb when it went up.

She was certainly energetic and young, having become governor at only 42 years of age. Watching her speeches and campaign ads, I discovered that she was definitely a new kid of leader, coming off more as a spunky soccer-mom than a stuffy career politician. As for abortion, she was staunchly pro-life; and as a lifetime NRA member she was the most pro-gun candidate in the country. Furthermore, her experiences in rural Alaska provided a perfect complement to the big-city credentials of candidates like Giuliani. Her moderately libertarian positions on most other issues also match up perfectly to Giuliani.

There was thing about Palin that initially worried me - "lack of experience". She had only been elected governor in 2006, and her only previous experience was as a two terms as a city councilwoman and two more as mayor in Wasilla, AK (population 8,471 in 2005) followed up by a failed campaign for lieutenant governor and a brief stint on Alaska's Oil and Natural Gas Conservation Commission. This didn't seem very appealing at first, but then I took the time to look closer at Palin's history. What I had failed to realize was that she had habitually knocked of powerful incumbent opponents and was a quick learner on the job. In the 2006 gubernatorial election, she rolled over scandal-prone incumbent Frank Murkowski in the GOP primary, then went on to defeat former governor Tony Knowles in the general election - pretty impressive. Further back, she had knocked off an entrenched incumbent to become mayor of Wasilla, then developed a reputation as a hard-nosed, effective mayor. Her performance in Wasilla got her elected president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors and earned her the nickname "Sarah Barracuda".

Seems to me she will be the sort of rightwinger that McCain needs to satisfy the Republicans, but female enough to lance the question of people who feel they really ought to vote for a minority candidate (OK women aren't a minority but they are a "minority"). And a Washington outsider. And "moderately libertarian " which will suit me. And experienced in the complexities of oil drilling while satisfying genuine environmental concerns - something on which the Democrats are easy meat since the overwhelming majority of Americans know that if you don't want an oil shortage you have to drill for it & the Democrats vested interests won't let them even discuss that.

McCain has also taken a daring choice here which is a sign of character in him. Lets see if (A) she produces the bounce in McCain's polls that Biden so clearly failed to give Obama & (B) she talks & after November is, as good as her resume sounds. Difficult to forget Dan Quayle but this could be the moment when McCain seizes the initiative & never loses it.

Also of note - the lady has done more for gay rights in her two years as governor in Alaska than the other three guys have.

Which isn't particularly a hobby horse of mine, but still. She's signed a law allowing same-sex benefits and vetoed a bill from her legislature barring that would have barred the state from denying those benefits to state employees.

I think this says that whatever her personal beliefs, she's willing to do the right thing.

Which is refreshing in a pol.
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