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Speaker: Two Ticks

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  • Neil Morrison,

    Hillary is definitely beatable as she has shown herself to be lousy on the campaign trail...

    Down but not out.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Obama is an amazing guy, very charismatic and honest and decent as far as I know, but he just doesn't anything in the way of experience to prepare him for the worst, most brutal job in the world. I am no fan of Hillary, but I would prefer her to Obama, she is a nasty bitch, which is not a bad thing in government (i.e. Helen Clark) and definitely not a bad thing in foreign policy.

    Yeah, cause being a 'nasty bitch' really gotthis puppy on the statute books on her watch, didn't it? And I thought the one thing the whole Democrat field agreed on was that alpha bitch approach to foreign affairs (particularly in the Middle East) doesn't really work. Then again, who the hell knows what Clinton really believes? She certainly learned how to triangulate and fudge from a master.

    Yes, I agree with you that it would be foolish to assume the formidable organisation and fundraising machine Clinton has behind her is just going to curl up and die.

    As for your assertion that "Putin, Armadinijad (sp?) etc. would just laugh at a President Obama. They wouldn't laugh at a President Hillary." I've remarkably little evidence that Putin has a grain of respect for anyone, or anything, that doesn't directly serve his self-interest. Ditto for Armadinijad.

    Seriously, I think you're being more than a little naive if you think anyone is going to suddenly play nice with the Great Satan because the President is a woman who had a problem keeping her dog of a husband on the porch.

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

  • James Bremner,

    Also, the foreign policy teams of both Hillary and Obama are full of people who worked for Bill Clinton so both candidates will have a very sound base in this area.

    Maybe I am placing too much on Obama's "I'll meet with anyone no preconditions" statement in a debate, but that is just not how things are done, or ought to be done, that is just naive, like the kind of answer you would expect at a High School UN project. Regardless of who is on the foreign policy team, the President is elected to make the final decision, and Obama makes me queasy on that count.

    A few short years ago Obama was in the state legislature of Illinois. I am sorry, but that just doesn't count for much.


    Seriously, I think you're being more than a little naive if you think anyone is going to suddenly play nice with the Great Satan because the President is a woman who had a problem keeping her dog of a husband on the porch

    Hillary has more gravitas that Obama, and gravitas counts in foreign policy. That is simply the point I was making, and one I think most people and commentators agree with.

    Obama is new and fresh and exciting and does promise more "change" that Hillary, which is what Dem primary voters want. But now they will start looking at Obama in a different light, like they did with Howard Dean 4 years ago. They might find him wanting, or not.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    8 years watching Bill deal with the world has to count for something.

    Gee, I'd love to see John McCain remind folks of his twenty years in the Senate - which might just count for a little more. Seriously, if Clinton wants to play the gender card she would be wise to position herself as more Angela Merkel than Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    This is weird -- election year 2008, and the Federal Election Commission has shut down as a result of a Senate stalemate on appointments:

    The FEC's shutdown could affect the election in a number of ways. The first and most obvious is the oversight role it plays with third party groups, such as 527s and nonprofits that spend tens of millions of dollars each election. But there are other -- probably greater -- ramifications.

    For instance, the FEC disburses public matching funds for candidates. Since its shutdown, it's prevented from doing that. And since John Edwards is the highest profile candidate to participate in that system, it might become a problem for him.

    The assumption is that Edwards can borrow money until the FEC comes back. But, wow ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Hillary has more gravitas that Obama, and gravitas counts in foreign policy. That is simply the point I was making, and one I think most people and commentators agree with.

    Morgan Freeman has gravitas. I'll respectfully agree to disagree whether Clinton has anything of the kind. Personally, and I may be wrong, but I think the novelty value of Senator Clinton's vagina and who her husband is is past its use-by. In the end, if she can't mount a straightforward and consistent defence of her own voting record on Iraq in the primaries, then I don't think Obama's the only one with a credibility deficit on foreign policy.

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

  • James Bremner,

    . .. the novelty value of Senator Clinton's vagina ..

    A subject I do my very best never to think about. Nearly as scary as the hair on her scrotum.

    if she can't mount a straightforward and consistent defence of her own voting record on Iraq in the primaries,

    She can't be consistent, she has moved from support to deceived to oppose to "suspension of disbelief", just as the surge started producing results, and now she will probably start moving back as things continue to improve in Iraq.

    McCain is starting to get a lot of kudos because of his opposiiton to Rumsfeld's post invasion strategy and his support of Petreas' COIN strategy, when plenty of experts and all Dems (except Lieberman) said that it would never work and the US should run away and leave the Iraqis to a genocide.

    I think foreign leaders will feel comfortable trying to push Obama around, but not trying to push Hillary around. This matters a lot.

    Kruschev thought Kennedy was weak and could be pushed around, which led him to believe he could get away with putting nukes in Cuba, leading to Cuban missile crisis, the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war.

    It is important the the US President has a bit of crusty "don't fuck with me" about him or her. Huckabee is every bit as bad as Obama in this regard.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    ...but I think the novelty value of Senator Clinton's vagina and who her husband is is past its use-by. In the end, if she can't mount a straightforward and consistent defence of her own voting record on Iraq in the primaries, then I don't think Obama's the only one with a credibility deficit on foreign policy.

    Spending 8 years being privy to the inner workings of a presidency that dealt with (or tried) with various amounts of success with Rawanda, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, North Korea etc is not something that can be so easily dismissed. It is experience and given the state of things experience that could be vitally important.

    I can't see what the problem is with Clinton's voting on the war - her explanation is quite straight forward.

    I don't have a problem with Obama though, as long as he has the substance behind the rhetoric. Youngish, good looking, charismatic, gift of the gab, rhetoric flavoured with a touch of the Bible, a sense of Mission - sounds a lot like Tony Blair.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I love how 'concerned' Republicans are about Obama's foreign policy experience. You see, seven years ago George W. had, uh, been to Mexico for a visit and governed Texas, so he was clearly the ultimate Citizen of the World. No one on the Democratic side this go-round could possibly match him! Feh.

    Incidentally, James, the implication you made in your last post with the scrotum/vagina remark - that Clinton is not appropriately feminine and you do not consider her hot enough to be a sexual object? - well, that's reeeeeeeally sexist. Awesome.

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

  • James Bremner,

    Neil,
    Hillary was not the key player in her husband's presidency that she is trying to make out, except for 2 occasions. The healthcare debacle in 93 which was either the or a major factor in the Repubs landslide win in 94, after which she was pushed out, and only came back in 1998 to run the damage control and fight back to the Lewinsky scandal.

    Her claim of great experience is a fraud, and the mismatch between her claims and the facts is definitely a factor in her not doing so well Having said that, she has more experience that Obama. Edwards has no experience worth a damn either. The Dem side is very weak on experience.

    I really hope Obama has the substance to back up the rhetoric, but he hasn’t shown it so far. One of his other brilliant ideas was to invade Pakistan. Great. Gee thanks Barrack. Good idea. The US really needs that right now, and it would be great for Pakistan too!! Not.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    I love how 'concerned' Republicans are about Obama's foreign policy experience. You see, seven years ago George W. had, uh, been to Mexico for a visit and governed Texas, so he was clearly the ultimate Citizen of the World.

    In both 1992 and 2000, foreign policy was not the big issue that it was in say 1980 or is now in 2008. Bush would not have won in 2000 if foreign policy was a key issue, the 2000 campaign was all about domestic issues, prescription drug coverage, education (no child left behind) tax cuts and cleaning up the White House after the years of Clinton scandals.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Hillary was not the key player in her husband's presidency that she is trying to make out...

    I agree she was not a key player in foreign affairs, but she would have seen Bill's thinking and decision making process, well, intimately. What he got right and wrong on foreign policy and why.

    That's not necessarily a make or break issue on which candidate to support but it is a relevant fact.

    But my pick is that there will be Clinton/Obama ticket of what ever permutation so it's not an issue I'll lose sleep over.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    And he used a lot of repeated sentences components ("Hope is..; hope is...") which intensified with repetition. It's a MLK trademark, but it's also pretty common nowadays. Of course, MLK was a *lot* more intense, but he had the voice and the power for it.

    Yep. And King got it from the King James Bible - esp Paul's Letters to the Romans and Corinthians. (which reminds me of an Eddie Izzard skit about the Corinthians writing back, but that's way off topic...)

    Closest we've had to that style in NZ is Lange, who of course had been a lay preacher. He mixed it brilliantly with a Kiwi informality - his speech at the end of the economic summit in '84 was this style at its best.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I read this post yesterday and it seemed a bit confusing and it made my brain hurt, but I stuck with it. Then later I was reading about a Jezebel reader who went to an Iowa caucus and she was talking about standing in the groups on the floor of the town hall and I knew exactly what that all meant. So thank you, Graeme.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Obama and Clinton on foreign policy. I can't see much subsantive difference but maybe my comb hasn't got fine enough teeth.

    And Martin Kettle gives a plug to that rather bizarre argument that HRC is "too divisive". There's a strand of support for Obama which is based purely on him being The Not Hillary candidate and which is usually accompanied by an inflated sense of Obama being a Great Uniter.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Wow. TV advertising for Iowa caucus by leading three democrats was approximately $170 million dollars, covering 600,000 registered democrats ($280 per head), only 40% of whom turned out ($700 per head for them).

    Proportion of votes came within 10% of the proportion of advertising, with Clinton behind in votes to dollar ratio, but Edwards fairly close to Obama.

    Just, wow. Those guys need some advertising limits. That shit's crazy.

    Since Nov 2006 • 608 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Oops, ignore that, they're $'s, not 5's. Damn lossy compression.

    Obama, $117 per vote.
    Edwards, $48 per vote.
    Clinton, $113 per vote.

    And yes, they're not really votes, I know. Still, I need a measure I can understand, and that's close enough. Edwards has far more support than donors, perhaps he used more than TV advertsiing? Full figures anywhere?

    Huckabee, $29 per vote.
    Romney, $200 per vote.

    Huckabee's got it going on. I mean, he surely couldn't win. But then, neither could George W. Bush both times. <shrug>

    Near 30 million between those that matter, which is a little less crazy. More or less ten times what would be spent here on an entire year's electoral advertising for the whole country, which is not much bigger than Iowa.

    Since Nov 2006 • 608 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I'm not completely clear on [Obama's] policies, but my god he has charisma ....

    I'm also an Obama fan, purely on the basis of his charisma - but I do worry that what people like me see when they look at Obama is what people on the right saw in George W - someone who is inexperienced and vague on details but is attractive as hell and says all the right things.

    And I have doubts about Obama's endless rhetoric about 'a big table' and healing the rift with the republicans. The GOP is sailing towards the borders of clinical insanity (I cite the Iowa caucus nomination of Huckabee as evidence) - I really don't see the point of healing the gaps with a party that is praying itself into electoral annihilation.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    George W ... attractive as hell and says all the right things.

    Yeah. Yeah, now I see. :o<

    I wonder if the George W malapropism countdown calendar comes with pictures...

    :o<

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    it seemed a bit confusing and it made my brain hurt

    Yeah, sorry 'bout that. It's a topic that could perhaps best be split into several posts. One on the process, another on Iowa, and it might all have been a little less headache-inducing :-)

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

  • InternationalObserver,

    And I have doubts about Obama's endless rhetoric about 'a big table' and healing the rift with the republicans.

    It's just Political BS, the equivalent of saying "I'm against clubbing baby seals". Who's in favour of clubbing baby seals? No-one. Who wishes the politicians on both sides could all work together? Everyone.

    Bush went into the 2000 election saying "I'm a Uniter not a Divider" and promised to bring everyone together. And then as soon as he was elected he and his neo-con buddies did as they bloody well pleased. It's politics.

    Obama is promising to bring people together because that's what the voters want to hear. It's politics.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The GOP is sailing towards the borders of clinical insanity (I cite the Iowa caucus nomination of Huckabee as evidence) - I really don't see the point of healing the gaps with a party that is praying itself into electoral annihilation.

    Well, Danyl, I don't really see the point of a political culture where demented fucktards like Ann Coulter and Michael Moore are what passes for public intellectuals. But, hey, Clinton's new line is that she's the only one who can "stand up to the Republican attack machine" - and it looks like she's going to do it by out-Roving Rove. You're either with us, or against us; and if you dare have a different point of view, you're not only wrong but EVIL.

    If that's the kind of politics you want to see, I hope you choke on it this year. Because I'm pretty sure our election season is going to make the last go round look like a Devonshire tea on the Rectory lawn.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And here's another thought, Danyl: While folks on both sides are (quite understandably) focused on the primaries, they don't elect presidents. That happens in a general election where independents and ideological sluts (sorry, 'swing voters') are allowed to vote too. Turning up the partisan volume might play well to the nutroots, and get the media hard, but I can't see any scenario where the same old, same old is going to deliver anyone a credible victory. Treating citizens like grown ups might.

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

  • Neil Morrison,

    Obama is promising to bring people together because that's what the voters want to hear. It's politics.

    very standard politics. Obama can position himself as an outsider, as some one who will go to Washington untainted by the Beltway. And so can promise reconcilliation and bipartisan etc etc. Nice fantasy. Reagan, Clinton and GWB all did the same. It's a very standard strategy.

    I find it extremely shallow. But it works.

    But the reality is always the prosaic business of getting legislation passed.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But the reality is always the prosaic business of getting legislation passed.

    Yes, and I'd respectfully suggest you don't get much of that done if you treat half the electorate - and the people they elect - like malicious fuckwits. Don't know about you, Neil, but if was a Congressional leader on either side of the aisle I'd be having a good hard think about job approval ratings like this. When Dubya is pulling better job approval numbers than you, don't tell me the status quo is working.

    I guess that kind of disdain is useful to a certain type of politician, because when citizens are disengaged from politics and regard all politicians as compulsive liars... well, they don't ask too many inconvenient questions, or expect much at all. And if we just oh so glibly shrug our shoulders and say 'that's just the way it is', we don't deserve any better.

    To paraphrase Blake, perhaps Obama won't build Jerusalem on the Potomac's green and pleasant banks but there's a line between a healthy scepticism and a corrosive and cancerous cynicism towards government. Sorry if this sounds pompous, but I think Obama just gets that that cynicism is real and 'change' is more than a bumper sticker slogan.

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

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