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  • My early predictions for the US elections


    by Sunny
    6th January, 2008 at 1:13 am    

    I’m not predicting right now who will become President or even be the nominee for each of the parties: Democrat or Republican. But I think this is what will happen over the next few weeks.

    [For the uninitiated: Right now each party is picking its nominee, with elections in each state (to attract a number of delegates). The party nominee who attracts the magic number of delegates becomes their presidential nominee... and then the fight for that begins]

    On the Democrat side:
    I think Obama may come second in New Hampshire but will win in South Carolina. After these three elections comes Super-Duper-Tuesday, when 27 states will hold elections. During that, I think Obama will attract slightly more delegates than Hilary Clinton but not be able to knock her out. To really do that, he will have to enlist John edwards as his running Vice-President mate (not sure if he can do that though yet).

    Edwards will be pretty much out of steam after South Carolina, where he will come third…. unless he comes first or second in New Hampshire.

    Clinton is probably plotting some serious mud she can sling at Obama in time for Super-Duper-Tuesday.

    Republicans
    Fred Thompson will be out before SDT. After that big 27-state election in early Feb, I suspect John McCain and Rudy Giuliani will show poor ratings but Giuliani will probably refuse to drop out then, believing he can still milk the terrorism angle to make a comeback. Eventually he will have to drop out. This will leave Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul as still the candidates with the strongest bases or momentum or cash to carry on.


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    1. douglas clark — on 6th January, 2008 at 2:34 am  

      Sunny, I have an internet bet on at some ridiculous odds - I took it out long ago - that Barak Obamah will be the next President of the United States of America.

      My reason for placing that bet - so long ago, I hope I can find it - was pretty damn simple - we are at a ‘new generation’ tipping point. And Barak encapsulates that.

      Some American blogger said something quite interesting:

      that the American people do not want to be alternately ruled by Bush or Clinton scions.

      That is not what American politics were supposed to be about.

      It was supposed to be about breaking free from daft European notions of ‘our betters’. Frankly, they have steered quite close to that wind, rejecting it would be a renewal.

      And it seems the younger folk, at least, are rejecting the dynastic, almost monarchic assumptions of the likes of Hilary.

      At a considered guess, where my money is, if Barak Obama wins New Hampshire, and subject to him not doing anything stupid in the meantime, he will be the next President of the United States of America.

      It’s what we call a tipping point. One generation passing on to another, the old being kicked up the bum.

      Wanna bet?

    2. leon — on 6th January, 2008 at 3:34 am  

      I read somewhere that if Hilary wins and serves two terms the US would’ve been effectively run by two families for 28 years straight…that possibility if anything should give people supporting the new Clinton candidacy pause for thought.

      Doug, no chance! I think you may be on to something with that (you should write a guest post on the topic)…

    3. douglas clark — on 6th January, 2008 at 8:46 am  

      Leon,

      Cheers, there is something in the mail for you.

      Just to say that latest polls show New Hampshire getting a lot more competitive than Sunny allows. A week ago Barak Obama trailed Clinton by around ten points, now it’s down to two.

      Oops, the latest I can find is this, which suggests the boy is in the lead!

      http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/01/rash-of-new-n-1.html

      And the Clinton camp asks, “where’s the bounce”? It is staring them in the face.

      Leon, you are a bit of a film buff, if I remember correctly. Would you think that Hollywood has, maybe, helped this happen? I’m no expert, but I seem to remember lots of movies, or TV stuff, with Black Presidents in them. Y’know, what folk see as OK on TV becomes acceptable, almost inevitable, in reality?

      Although I happen to think Barak Obama is an exceptional politician. Which, maybe, makes it easier.

      It was quite amusing that folk criticised him for sounding like Martin Luther King. That is criticism?

    4. Sunny — on 6th January, 2008 at 11:08 am  

      Douglas - that much everyone knows too.

      If Obama wins New Hampshire then Hilary is fux0red because he will take South Carolina anyway. After that, Edwards will only bother playing as a potential Vice Prez, which I think Obama should take him on as…. and its game over for Clinton.

    5. douglas clark — on 6th January, 2008 at 11:46 am  

      Sunny,

      Well, four, post Iowa, polls in New Hampshire suggest that Obama is moving in for the kill. Interesting times indeed.

    6. Jai — on 6th January, 2008 at 1:54 pm  

      Would you think that Hollywood has, maybe, helped this happen? I’m no expert, but I seem to remember lots of movies, or TV stuff, with Black Presidents in them.

      “24″ and “Deep Impact” come to mind.

      Y’know, what folk see as OK on TV becomes acceptable, almost inevitable, in reality?

      It probably makes the concept more palatable and easier to accept in the minds of the audience, if the show is popular enough and the Presidents depicted are sufficiently “positive” and charismatic.

      I have to say that I’m really enjoying following the US elections, not just because of the “winds of change” factor but also because I was a huge fan of “The West Wing”. It’s fascinating how much you pick up about the American political & election process from that show, especially the nailbiting election campaign in the last season. And of course there are currently some significant parallels in relation to the eventual winner being the young(ish), idealistic, non-white guy with a young family.

      Barack Obama = Matt Santos, anyone ? ;)

    7. Shariq — on 6th January, 2008 at 2:57 pm  

      I have to disagree about the Republican Elections.

      I reckon McCain will take New Hampshire effectively knocking Romney out. Huckabee will take South Carolina and so it will be a straight McCain - Huckabee fight.

      I think the key will be whether Giuliani and Romney decide to stay in the race or not. If they do, they could split the vote and allow Huckabee to sneak through on Super Tuesday.

      Otherwise, McCain should take the big states and Huckabee will take the South leading to a McCain-Huckabee ticket.

    8. Ravi Naik — on 6th January, 2008 at 4:11 pm  

      My predictions (I am braver than Hundal :) - so I will go all the way):

      1) Obama will win NH by a small margin, and win the democratic nomination.
      2) McCain will win the Republican nomination.
      3) Obama will not invite Edwards to be the next VP. He will choose a moderate to center-right figure, who is perhaps older. How about General Wesley Clark? He would seal the deal.
      4) Obama will be the next US president.

      There. I said it. :)

    9. leon — on 6th January, 2008 at 4:17 pm  

      Would you think that Hollywood has, maybe, helped this happen? I’m no expert, but I seem to remember lots of movies, or TV stuff, with Black Presidents in them. Y’know, what folk see as OK on TV becomes acceptable, almost inevitable, in reality?

      Although I happen to think Barak Obama is an exceptional politician. Which, maybe, makes it easier.

      James Cleverly put forward the similar theory, tbh I’m not convinced it was a major factor. I think it’s more likely to be something like what you’ve touched on about tipping points between generations etc. Those shows (I think 24 has far more recent cultural relevance than Deep Impact which was nearly ten years ago) are more the cherry on the cake. I’m yet to be convinced they prepared the public mind for the possibility of a black president.

      Couldn’t it be just as easily argued that the change was already happening and these films and shows simply picked up on it and tried to exploit it for profit?

      It was quite amusing that folk criticised him for sounding like Martin Luther King. That is criticism?

      Yeah that made me laugh, I watched his speech last night properly and besides thinking it wasn’t actually that great, a bit too long and ponderous, he did have the MLK tone, that part was quite striking. I wonder how conscience that was?

      Anyway back to the race…

      Something that really struck me is how f’ckyed Clinton is! I’m not talking about the loss I’m talking about Edwards! She losing ground to Obama but can’t deal with him in debates properly because Edwards is all over her. Obama doesn’t have to go negative, he can just look holy and pure while Edwards does his dirty work and lays into Clinton.

      My gut feeling: it’s going to be Obama/Edwards being sworn in this time next year as President and Vice.

    10. indianoguy — on 6th January, 2008 at 4:49 pm  

      Obama indeed has very good chance of winning this time, but he also has more chances of being assassinated among all the presidential candidates. Here is an interesting take on that.

    11. FUNKG — on 6th January, 2008 at 4:54 pm  

      i visited my bother in greensboro NC in 2004, and putting aside the novelty of hearing a black man with an english accent spoke to a lot of carolinians about the election of that year. one southern gent summed up george bush, ‘he may be a SOB but he’s our SOB, he ai’nt gonna have one hand in ya pocket’. It was a matter of trust, they felt he was one of them not like that ‘fancy european’ kerry. even i as a sceptical and hostile european was somehow intoxicated by watching G.W.B on US TV who came across as likeable, warm and funny an all round ‘good ole boy’. adding to this i went to an episcopal church with my mum. 4 potential congressmen came up to do hustings, asking for support. can you imagine an english MP doing that in the Church of England? somehow i don’t think hilary clinton will convince the south that she is of the ‘good book’

    12. FUNKG — on 6th January, 2008 at 4:57 pm  

      hang on we keep forgetting obama is mixed race, just like colin powell, lewis hamilton et al.

    13. douglas clark — on 6th January, 2008 at 10:32 pm  

      FUNKG,

      I’d have thought that being ‘mixed race’, openly and honestly about it, plays in his favour. There are very few folk, these days, that are not ‘mixed race’. Even the isolated folk of the Western Isles of Scotland have traces of Spanish blood.

      (Challenge for Rumbold, why? Or is that too easy?)

      Indianoguy,

      I recognise the concerns over at:

      http://www.groupnewsblog.net/2008/01/pride-and-palpitations.html

      And I’d hope the hell the Secret Service were taking those worries seriously. If Barak Obama were to be assassinated all hell would break loose.

      But then, some Yanks believe in guns, not debate. It has always struck me as unbelievable that Reagan took a bullet and then stood with the NRA. Such is the insanity that passes for politics in the USA.

    14. Refresh — on 6th January, 2008 at 11:12 pm  

      Here is a piece on the transition to Hi Definition television, if you want to know what pressures people put news readers (and similarly size-zero models) under :

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/dec/12/television.digitaltvradio

      …..Of course, there’s another sad truth at the heart of Keysgate and the switch to high definition - if HDTV shows up all the little differences we have, it will inevitably, given the world we live in, encourage a move to bland uniformity. “I’ve got freckles and I could spend hours disguising them, but I don’t want to,” says Frostrup. “However, it’s the opposite attitude that is now rife throughout HD. That airbrush guarantees a flawless American news-anchor face on every single presenter. But I don’t want everyone on my TV to look like a flawless American news anchor.”

    15. Refresh — on 6th January, 2008 at 11:13 pm  

      oops sorry - can someone delete this and the above post. Wrong thread.

    16. funkg — on 7th January, 2008 at 10:05 am  

      Douglas: Your talking to the converted, I was merely pointing out baracks dual heritage, and how people we see as black are in fact mixed race such as bob marley malcom x and mary seacole. growing up in my circle and from my own observations many black people claim mixed race people as their own kin, new nation newspaper has a list of greatest black briton, a lot of them seemed to be mixed race. i doubt if white people claim mixed race people as their kin. any thoughts anyone?

    17. soru — on 7th January, 2008 at 11:13 am  

      i doubt if white people claim mixed race people as their kin

      The way it usually works is if you like someone, you stress the identities you have in common, if you dislike them, you focus on the others.

      So somone voting for Alesha on Stictly Come Dancing could identify her as black, British, English, working class, a Londoner, whichever.

      Someone voting against Obama in the US elections would tend to regard him as Kenyan, an academic, a politician, or whatever else they were not.

      If you have enough identities available to you, you can can do something almost indistinguishable from making your own mind up.

    18. Ravi Naik — on 7th January, 2008 at 11:20 am  

      Douglas: Your talking to the converted, I was merely pointing out baracks dual heritage, and how people we see as black are in fact mixed race

      This has to do with the one-drop rule in the US and UK: if you have black blood, then you are black. In Brazil, it is the opposite: if you have white blood and light skin, you are white, no matter if you share other features with black people.

      What is new? I am not convinced that TV shows and movies had an impact on accepting a “black” man. Obama is very different from other black candidates in the past: Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Both of which have been unable to operate outside ‘black’ and ‘race’ politics.

    19. El Cid — on 7th January, 2008 at 11:42 am  

      I dunno funkg. I only bring up the mixed-race angle when one of my black mates, say, is banging on about Lewis Hamilton and how he’s mashing up Alonso, etc, to steal some of their thunder. So yeah, I’ll claim him, if it shuts my mate up (unlikely).
      But in general — and seriously — it’s complicated.
      And I guess my experience is typical in a modern, multicultural, urban setting.
      Perhaps someone more eloquent than me (as long as it’s not the patronising and pontificating one) can boil it down into a clear definition if I give a few examples.
      I don’t identify with my race. Most white people i know don’t either.
      It’s more of a mixed bag when it comes to the black people in my life.
      E.g, the night before Hatton-Mayweather fight: “Yeah, I hope Hatton does it but he’ll have to work him hard on the inside and I’m not sure he can”
      The morning after: “I see your man lost last night.”
      So, for e.g., I initially supported Hamilton and Alonso because they were british/spanish, then backed Hamilton solely because of Alonso’s treachery and the racist dirt dished out to Hamilton on the comments pages of the Spanish sports press, then slowly got sick of him because of the racial marketing bandwagon that built up around him and his dumb driving errors at key moments. By the time of the BBC personality of the year I hated him and screamed with joy when Calzaghe, the Welsh Italian won.

      Obama is an interesting case because not only is he mixed-race, he also isn’t the offspring of imported African slaves and so isn’t even representative of the main black american tribe. I’m warming to him and I recognise the significance of his skin colour. It would be a powerful and positive message in the war against terror and religious fanaticism if the leader of the free world was demonstrably not white. But I look forward to the day when people can look back on it with the same indifference as we do Mrs Thatcher — Britain’s first female PM.
      I also find constant references to his skin colour irrelevent, tiresome and ultimately unhelpful. Don’t turn this into a dumb race vote. Gary Younge, I’m talking to you.
      News that Obama IS America’s first black US president would be a lot more interesting than news he COULD become America’s first US president.

    20. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2008 at 11:50 am  

      Ravi,

      Thanks for the reply, although you do seem embraced with the culture wars, so you do.

      But that is a shite idea, is it not?

      What is perhaps reasonably new is that Barak Obama might, just might, be a healer in the culture game?

    21. Ravi Naik — on 7th January, 2008 at 12:01 pm  

      “Thanks for the reply, although you do seem embraced with the culture wars, so you do.”

      That is really news to me, douglas. Why do you say that?

      “What is perhaps reasonably new is that Barak Obama might, just might, be a healer in the culture game?”

      I thought that was my point in #18 in the second paragraph. You know, where I start with “What is new?”. ;)

    22. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2008 at 12:52 pm  

      Ravi,

      Dunno. Maybe you could explain this.

      This has to do with the one-drop rule in the US and UK: if you have black blood, then you are black. In Brazil, it is the opposite: if you have white blood and light skin, you are white, no matter if you share other features with black people.

      I am arguing that that is untrue. In the UK at least. We are, frankly a mixed up genotype, least that is what I think I know from the evidence. I’d imagine the USA was even more of a mixture.

      Thank God someone else sees Barak Obama as a positive force. Whatever our differences, I’d like you and me to ‘hing together’ on our common cause.

      Go, Barak, go!

    23. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2008 at 1:10 pm  

      El Cid,

      You said this:

      Obama is an interesting case because not only is he mixed-race, he also isn’t the offspring of imported African slaves and so isn’t even representative of the main black american tribe. I’m warming to him and I recognise the significance of his skin colour. It would be a powerful and positive message in the war against terror and religious fanaticism if the leader of the free world was demonstrably not white. But I look forward to the day when people can look back on it with the same indifference as we do Mrs Thatcher — Britain’s first female PM.
      I also find constant references to his skin colour irrelevent, tiresome and ultimately unhelpful. Don’t turn this into a dumb race vote. Gary Younge, I’m talking to you.
      News that Obama IS America’s first black US president would be a lot more interesting than news he COULD become America’s first US president.

      Whilst I agree with you that electing a person due to their sex or colour is a piece of shit, it is perhaps worthwhile electing someone independent of their race or sex? Obama seems to pass that test, whereas Thatcher never did.

    24. Ravi Naik — on 7th January, 2008 at 1:25 pm  

      “I am arguing that that is untrue.”

      Douglas: I was not giving you my opinion, but a fact. The reason why Obama is considered black in the US is because historically that is the way people assume their racial identity: the one-drop rule. Have you actually read the article? I have said before that I find such classifications to be simplistic, specially when it comes to Obama who has a white mother and a black father.

      Explaining you why he has assumed an identity within a historical context, does not mean I condone it - and certainly does not mean I support culture wars, or whatever you meant by that.

    25. El Cid — on 7th January, 2008 at 1:31 pm  

      Whilst I agree with you that electing a person due to their sex or colour is a piece of shit, it is perhaps worthwhile electing someone independent of their race or sex? Obama seems to pass that test, whereas Thatcher never did.

      I don’t understand what you are saying Douglas.
      It’s obviously a matter of opinion. She got lucky with the Falklands but she was clearly liked by a lot of people and undeniably changed the country (and arguably arrested 50 years of decline).
      I hated Mrs T when she was in power, but history will judge her to be one of the greatest PMs ever. She was certainly a woman. We’re just going to have to accept that Douglas. But I digress.

    26. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2008 at 1:42 pm  

      Ravi,

      I feel you and I could stand side to side on a Democratic forum, and the bad folk could not tell us apart.

      I do not think your true fact, is, in fact a true fact.

      Douglas: I was not giving you my opinion, but a fact. The reason why Obama is considered black in the US is because historically that is the way people assume their racial identity: the one-drop rule. Have you actually read the article? I have said before that I find such classifications to be simplistic, specially when it comes to Obama who has a white mother and a black father.

      And. one of the whitest states in the Union thought otherwise? Frankly, this is a defining moment. This is the fucking point. You may think that politics could or should be defined by skin colour or religion, or race. The boy says otherwise.

    27. Ravi Naik — on 7th January, 2008 at 2:21 pm  

      “And. one of the whitest states in the Union thought otherwise?”

      Thought he wasn’t black, or that being black does not matter? We are talking about different things, douglas. I am talking about why Obama being of mixed-race is considered black in the US (#16), and you are talking about culture, race and politics wars. We agree that Obama is above that, and that is why he is doing much better than previous black candidates.

      “The boy says otherwise.”

      Before you get in trouble when you start debating in US forums, you should know that ‘boy’ was used as a slur to blacks in the South.

    28. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2008 at 8:13 pm  

      Ravi,

      The boy says otherwise.

      Oops! I take your point. I trust you know me well enough to realise that that was not intentionally racist. Still, thanks for the heads up. :-(

    29. virtuelles spielbank — on 31st March, 2008 at 5:08 am  

      Nice page. It’s good to have kids who can use this medium to find you

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