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Speaker: Two Ticks

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  • InternationalObserver,

    My first thought when I heard the result was wildly different from the pre-vote polls was: "Were they using Diebold voting machines?"

    That said, I think the Dems will have the luxury of having their cake and eating it too. I think the Reps will be out of power for awhile this time round. 8 years of HRC as pres with Obama as VP then 8 years of him as Pres. If he would make a good pres now he'll make a great one after 8 years as VP. Sound good.

    Yes, take a seat at the back of the bus Mr Obama, it's not your turn yet. I think Peter Costello serves as a good example of why anyone with leadership aspirations shouldn't politely wait their turn. It's a lesson John McCAin is about to learn too.

    Anyway, my main objection to Clinton is that surely in a country of 300million the USA can do better than continually handing the presidency to the same friggin families. If Neil's prediction is correct then that country will have been ruled by two families for 32 years.

    I hear you, brother. And despite so many saying it will never happen, I'm worried Jeb might make a run next time too. I think he's deliberately taken himself off the radar so he can make a 'fresh' run in 2012. Remember, if the Dems win this year they will inherit the shit avalanche that's about to drop on the US, and in 2012 the Repubs will spin it as 'what you get when you elect a Democrat to the Whitehouse'

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Remember, if the Dems win this year they will inherit the shit avalanche that's about to drop on the US, and in 2012 the Repubs will spin it as 'what you get when you elect a Democrat to the Whitehouse'

    And I've never heard a politician stand up and say the rat-bastards on the other side deserve any credit for the golden weather. But you're adroit enough, they can carry the can for everything for years. Never mind that the reality is a little more complex, especially when economic cycles are disobligingly reluctant to follow electoral timetables.

    I guess the karmic scales balance out eventually.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If Neil's prediction is correct then that country will have been ruled by two families for 32 years.

    28 - Bush senior only had 4 + Mr Clinton's 8, Bush junior's 8, plus a possible Mrs Clinton 8 = 28.

    But yes to your overall point. Particularly given that if you look at the four of them, you couldn't exactly say all four of them were stunning leaders. Bush Junior seems to be well down in the depths of the gene pool in particular.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Yes, take a seat at the back of the bus Mr Obama, it's not your turn yet. I think Peter Costello serves as a good example of why anyone with leadership aspirations shouldn't politely wait their turn.

    Well, IO, I'm a little short of sympathy for folks like Costello or Gordon Brown who do back room deals where they expected the highest political office to be handed over like a toy truck in a sandpit. Yes, I know there was no legal or constitutional obstacle to Blair and Howard quitting whenever they damn please, for whatever reason, without calling a general election. But it still gets my fur up.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    If Neil's prediction is correct then that country will have been ruled by two families for 32 years.

    28 - Bush senior only had 4 + Mr Clinton's 8, Bush junior's 8, plus a possible Mrs Clinton 8 = 28.

    But yes to your overall point.

    Heh heh -- but haven't the Illuminati been running the place for a 100+ years anyway?

    And I take your point too Craig, but is it really a 'back room deal' when everyone seemingly knows about it and is resigned to it?

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And I take your point too Craig, but is it really a 'back room deal' when everyone seemingly knows about it and is resigned to it?

    Well, I/O, I think Blair and Brown will go to their graves saying the 'Granita Pact' never happened, and they sure didn't go to the hustings in 1997 with their little time-share arrangement attached to the manifesto.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Well, I/O, I think Blair and Brown will go to their graves saying the 'Granita Pact' never happened, and they sure didn't go to the hustings in 1997 with their little time-share arrangement attached to the manifesto.

    I don't recall it being common knowledge before the 1997 election, it came out in a book published about Brown in the early 2000s I think?

    Anyway, my main objection to Clinton is that surely in a country of 300million the USA can do better than continually handing the presidency to the same friggin families.

    Perhaps Clinton's team thinks the same thing. They seem to say some really dumb things at times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3187389.ece

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    This looks good:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/audio_video/podcasts/the_bugle/

    John Oliver of Daily Show.

    "The caucus is like selecting your leader with a tea party, amazing it hasn't caught on"

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps Clinton's team thinks the same thing. They seem to say some really dumb things at time

    Oy, talk about good Kiwi understatement... I know this comparison really upsets some folks, but Carl Rove really should start invoicing the Clinton campaign. Seriously, why doesn't someone just come out of the closet and say "If you want to see this flaky coke-head become Mitt Romney's bitch come November, go ahead."

    "The caucus is like selecting your leader with a tea party, amazing it hasn't caught on"

    Personally, I find the whole primary process hella-weird, but perhaps the British media shouldn't get their sneer on too loudly while they're living in a country with an unelected upper house, the peculiar distortions of an FPP electoral system and a hereditary head of state.

    I also think it's fair comment to point out that the only mandate Gordon Brown currently has to occupy Number Ten is... well, basically a caucus process that saw him effectively appointed leader of the Labour Party.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    perhaps the British media shouldn't get their sneer on too loudly while they're living in a country with an unelected upper house, the peculiar distortions of an FPP electoral system and a hereditary head of state.

    I'm not sure if the Bugle counts as media. In fact, I just listened to episode 11, and it's the opposite end of the scale from serious.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm not sure if the Bugle counts as media. In fact, I just listened to episode 11, and it's the opposite end of the scale from serious.

    Indeed, and I thought it was mildly funny (though The Daily Show is obviously getting John Oliver's best work). I just think, with all due respect, the Brits don't really have the moral high ground when it comes to gonzo politics - least of all when Peter Hain is dragging the Government even deeper into the kind of funny money 'sleaze' allegations Brown needs like a spare arsehole in the middle of his forehead.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    recent poling -

    Hillary and McCain in the lead nationally. On the surface of things Hillary appears to be benefiting the most from Edwards' decline.

    In Nevada it's a 3 horserace with

    Barack Obama: 32 percent
    Hillary Clinton: 30 percent
    John Edwards: 27 percent

    And in South Corolina things are looking interesting. Obama still in the lead but this has narrowed and he leads amongst African-American voters while she leads with women.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Since Nov 2006 • 785 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    WH:

    With all due respect to Mr. Califano, I don't think he's caught the central fatuity in HIlary Clinton's 'it takes a President' comments.

    Well, yes, Hilary you do actually have to be President to sign bills into law. Nice to see you stayed awake during grade school civics.

    Lyndon Baynes Johnson was not only a senator, but the youngest caucus leader ever on Capitol Hill. And how did he do that? Well, if you've got a lot of time to spare I'd pick up Robert Caro's three volume (with a fourth to come) biography of the man -- and he was someone who (to put it mildly) was pragmatic to a fault and to put it politely did not like to lose.

    I don't think it's a put down to say LBJ supported the Civil Rights Act as much out of a recognition that civil rights had a broader constituency than Jew York intellectuals and uppity niggers, as high principle. And, yes, I don't think that would have happened - or LBJ would have been interested in expending a penny of political capital -- if it wasn't for folks like Dr. King and so many others keeping the heat on for many years, often at considerable risk. (If you have even more time to spare, check out Taylor Branch's equally stout trilogy 'America in the King Years'.)

    And Senator Clinton might actually like to dial the hubris back a little. One significant difference between her and LBJ. He was actually on a winning ticket in a general election (and became President under the most tragic of circumstances) before he was in a position to sign any civil rights legislation. Someone's getting a little ahead of herself, isn't she?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It's not exactly good campaigning advice is it. When running against a significant candidate of part-African descent, running down MLK's achievements, and running up the flag for the crusty white guy who agreed to sign the actual laws, ain't the best plan.

    On the list of international figures from which little good comes of talking down, Martin Luther King is up there with Ghandi, Nelson Mandela etc. Doing it when standing as a white candidate for President? Duh.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It's not exactly good campaigning advice is it. When running against a significant candidate of part-African descent, running down MLK's achievements, and running up the flag for the crusty white guy who agreed to sign the actual laws, ain't the best plan.

    To be fair to Johnson, 'the crusty white guy' does deserve full credit for playing the biggest game of political chicken in his career - and that's saying quite a lot. But yes, I sure think there were less loaded ways to for Clinton to play the 'experience' card which, IMO, is problematic enough for her without stumbling into that minefield.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    With all due respect to Mr. Califano, I don't think he's caught the central fatuity in HIlary Clinton's 'it takes a President' comments.

    LBJ had to do more than just sign the Bill into law, he had to ensure that it had the numbers in the House & in the Senate. Not a foregone conclusion apparently, esp when reading the description of the passing of the Housing law after MLK's death.

    With the Whip being less important in American politics than it is in the Westminster system, I would have thought LBJ's moral authority was as essential in mobilising the political apparatus as MLK's was in mobilising the grassroots. GWB used his moral authority to do some abhorrent things to his country, I'd hope that future presidents don't follow his path [circuitous route back to your links to the Roosevelts, Craig].

    O/T I really like the American tradition of referring to presidents by their initials :)

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    With the Whip being less important in American politics than it is in the Westminster system, I would have thought LBJ's moral authority was as essential in mobilising the political apparatus as MLK's was in mobilising the grassroots.

    I can't buy that. The significance of LBJ in advancing civil rights in America is dwarfed by MLK. By the time the legislation went through the house, its time had come across most public opinion, driven by MLK and many other people.

    Yes LBJ pushed it through, and yes it was incredibly significant. But most competent (Democratic) presidents could, and would have, done the same, just as successfully. You can't say the same about MLK's influence. MLK played a big role in changing the way Americans saw each other, and creating the environment in which the legislation became viable. If you took MLK out of the picture, the changes might have taken several more years at least, and looked different. If you took LBJ out of the picture (ie, Kennedy not shot), the result probably isn't much different at all.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    I think that's a fair point Kyle, but if you add (say) Nixon into the mix you couldn't say the same thing (I know you specifically point to Democrat presidents, fair play).

    King is clearly the catalyst, and I don't mean to imply that LBJ is a colossus on the same level, he clearly isn't, merely that to say presidential power rests solely with the veto is incorrect.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    And, come to think of it, why would we absolve a Republican president? The Republicans didn't have the South to lose (as LBJ put it) and it may have shored their support in the liberal eastern states.

    Just conjecture, but fascinating.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes (indeed Eisenhower took steps along the path when he was President, albeit reluctantly I think), but given that the alternative to Kennedy was Nixon... I don't think he would have taken it very far if he'd been in the top job.

    The alternative to LBJ in '64 was Goldwater, and he certainly would have picked up the torch, but he got his ass handed to him and didn't even come close in the election (he won 6 states).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    LBJ's Great Society/War on Poverty acts were also, in a broader sense, civil rights laws: food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, help with higher education costs... it wasn't as though he treated civil rights as an afterthought. Dude seemed seriously committed to allowing poor and disadvantaged people (who often happened to be African-American) a fair shot. (I think this goes all the way back to his work for the Rural Electrification Administration, right?)

    (I'm not a huge expert on presidential politics though.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    And a win in Michigan for Romney...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    LBJ's Great Society/War on Poverty acts were also, in a broader sense, civil rights laws

    While he did stuff that was disproportionately helpful for African Americans, those things that you've listed aren't civil rights in a broad sense Danielle. Civil rights are legal rights - right to vote, redress, right to pursue legal action, freedom from discrimination.

    I think his Great Society plan could have been incredibly significant for America, but it got bogged down in Vietnam - he often cursed that damned war for taking his Great Society away from him. He didn't have the money, the public support, or time to create it in any substantial way. It's now a bit of an introductory chapter to the significance of Reagan and the 80s.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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