Friday, October 10, 2008

Off the Fence: Why I Am Declaring for Obama



In my Telegraph column today I look at why so many Conservatives have decided to support Barack Obama rather than John McCain, and I briefly explain my decision to come off the fence and join them.

I never thought the day would come when I would not support a Republican candidate. Ronald Reagan is one of my political inspirations, but he is probably turning in his grave when he sees what has happened to the party he led with so much distinction. It has turned from the Grand Old Party into a narrow religious sect. It has lost its compassion in a desperate rush towards social fundamentalism at the same time as losing all sense of fiscal responsibility.

I had hoped that a Giuliani candidacy would shake the Republican Party out of its trance, but it was not to be. I had then hoped that John McCain might show a vision for America and the world which could stand the test of a presidential campaign. I had hoped his experience and tenacity would provide a launchpad for four years of a very different kind of Republican administration. But McCain has failed in every conceivable way. He has performed poorly in the debates, he is an uninspiring speaker and his vision is as non existent as Gordon Brown's. His policy platform simply doesn't add up and his foreign policy ideas are as unappealing as many of George Bush's. On 30 January I wrote this about the Super Tuesday Republican primaries...
I will support John McCain, albeit incredibly reluctantly. I just don't see the ideas, the optimism, the can-do attitude that I think such a candidate needs.

Nothing has since changed my mind.

And then there is Sarah Palin. As regular readers know, when she was chosen I said she would prove to be an inspired choice or a car crash. The initial evidence leant towards the former. Latterly, though, we have all seen too much evidence of the latter. I defended her against the appalling media onslaught against her, which I found sexist, insulting and worse. I simply could not bring myself to believe that a Republican presidential candidate could have chosen someone so ill-equipped for the job. But I was wrong, and I now accept that. McCain has not been a well man. He is 72 years old and has had cancer four times. His whole demeanour indicates that he might well not live through a whole four year term. Yet despite the intensity of the vetting process, he still chose Sarah Palin, a woman whose charisma temporarily masked her complete unsuitability to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency. And so to Obama. This is what I wrote on 30 January, just before Super Tuesday...

And so we come to Barack Obama. At the risk of being called a 'traitor' by Donal Blaney, I like what I see. He certainly talks the talk, but I still have doubts about his judgement. He's made several errors so far in taking bad policy positions, but he seems to have this Reaganesque ability to shake them off as if he were made of Teflon. Hillary doesn't seem to be able to land a punch. Whenever she starts having a go, he smiles as if he is almost taking pity on her. Maybe he is.
So for me, it's Obama v McCain. My tribal instincts will no doubt win in the end and I'll reluctantly support McCain, but if Obama starts coming out with a more sensible policy platform, you never know.

I have doubts about Obama's Iraq policy, I have doubts about his big government agenda but I have come to believe that he is what America needs if it is to restore its reputation in the world. He radiates optimism. He has the zeitgeist in a way that McCain doesn't even know what the word means. I am not going to pretend I am totally in tune with Obama, because I am not, but on balance I think he would be a better President than McCain, both for America and for the rest of the world.

Last night I emailed my best friend Daniel Forrester, an American who lives in Washington. He's a staunch Republican but I know he shares my doubts about McCain. I told him what I had written in the Telegraph. This is what he replied...
I can see why you would vote for Obama. The Republican party has disintegrated to the point of being meaningless. Bush and Cheney dismantled all that conservatives believe in and in their wake is a confused party with a million followers pulling each other in two million directions. Like the economy of the US in the post credit crisis, it will take years for the Republicans to rebuild and have their words mean something.
I then asked him if he too would vote for Obama. "I cant do it", he said. "My heart says Obama my mind says no. I will stand at the ballot box and write my name in. Obama has one thing that I do like above others. He has the capacity to listen and take in diverse points of view. Our country needs that more now than ever."

I am sure many Conservatives friends of mine will be both surprised and horrified that I could bring myself to support someone who many on the right see as a man of the left. I don't see him that way at all. But my support will be more tacit than active. I'm not going to suddenly turn into an Obama cheerleader. If I like something McCain or Palin say or do, I shall say so.

Anyway, do please go and read my Telegraph column and let me know what you think. I'm putting on my body armour...

UPDATE: Donal Blaney thinks I have lost my marbles.

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
dick the moose said...

Yup - me too. How long before he's out of his depth though? Bless. Iain - what has happened to our government? They're really bad at democracy. Got a job interview tmrw morning - hmm.

Tony Sharp said...

It is your choice Iain and everyone should respect that. But I still see McCain as the least worst of the two candidates, even though I say that through gritted teeth.

Given the unanswered questions about Obama, who his mentors are and who he has aligned with over the years - particularly in the Chicago machine - I could never support him.

mirtha tidville said...

Why the need for the body armour Iain..Like you I would normally support the Republicans but from the off I have supported Obama, because he was different. He talked about change, he offers the best hope of America being able to lift its head high once again.He offers the best hope of healing wounds and offers the best hope for the future for all of us who depend on a strong, vibrant and sucessful America.

Bush and Cheney will go down as 2 of the most vile men in modern political history and be remembered for the near destruction of a once proud and sucessful party. I share your political views Iain just glad you support mine...Good luck to Obama

Anonymous said...

Have you seen that clip where Obama talks about how he's visited 57 states, 2 he's not going to visit and 1 more he has yet to..........you can hear people laughing in the background when he's saying that.

Something not quite right with him.

Benedict White said...

Iain, you are wrong. For example Obama has said he will attack Pakistan and has outlined an Israeli/Palestinian peace deal that will not be acceptable.

Part of the problem of course is the audience they are playing too, and it is true that Obama is one hell of a speaker, but he just has no idea when to keep his mouth shut.

DJEC said...

Everyone's entitled to their opinion but I'm afraid I just don't buy the arguments from "Conservatives" on this side of the pond that Obama is the voice of change that will, apparently, make America great again and restore it to the Reaganite principles which they all, supposedly, admire.

Think back to 11 years ago in this country when a smooth talking, bright young thing by the name of Anthony Blair promised us all "change" and a new way of doing politics. A third way... Where did that get us?

McCain has run a poor campaign and, at times, his stump speeches have been less than inspiring. But the life that has been lead by John McCain has been nothing short of inspiring. Have we really reached the point where smooth talking and use of big words, rather than experience and demonstration of sacrifice and character and determination should be the key factors affecting political decision making?

Let's look at Obama's economic policies, let's look at his foreign policies, let's look at his lack of concrete experience (and before people point to Sarah Palin's - she's not got the top spot on the ticket). Let's look at the fact that 100 economists (including Nobel laureates Gary Becker and Robert Mundell) have criticised Obama's economic plan as classic tax and spend liberalism.

I'm sorry, Iain, but I can't believe that any real "Conservative" believes that Obama is the heir to Thatcher and Reagan. McCain might not be either but at least McCain hasn't made speeches implying he'd rip up free trade agreements...

I'd be more willing to accept your arguments if you looked at Obama's policy promises (not that there are many beyond the completely vague) or pointed to his executive experience or the legislation which he sponsored in the Senate or the Illinois State Senate (not that he has authored any major legislation) to make your case. Sadly, all I see is yet another case of wanting to jump on the Oba-mania bandwagon.

If I want to read opinion supporting left of centre politicians, I'll read the stuff that's written by people who aren't afraid to call themselves that.

dick the prick said...

Kids have woken up. I like a joke as much as the next guy but it's exactly the same vote we have here - the same or not. Bush has been a poor administrator. The day when politicians realize that philosophy has sod all to do with good government will cheer me up.

Tom Carder said...

HI GUISE

THE BLACKANWHITECAT HAS BEEN DRINKING THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS SO FAR

HE IS READY FOR SUPERSIZING

Michael Heaver said...

I prefer Obama over McCain too Iain - have you checked out Bob Barr, the third Party Libertarian candidate whose Party, along with the likes of Ron Paul, correctly predicted the financial mess we are now in? Small-c conservatism without the religious mumbo jumbo.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the fuss in you supporting Obama tbf Iain.

I once heard this "joke", and it's actually more than valid = "America has 2 main political parties. One is a right wing organisation, and the other is the Republicans"

In any other country in the world the Democrats would be considered a right wing organisation.

Therefore the way I see it, you can support either candidate and still live up to your Tory ideals.

danny said...

Nicely put Iain. I shall certainly read your Telegraph column.

Forgive the gushing compliments, but I have been reading your blog for a little while now (and made the odd comment), and I find your more serious pieces considered and well thought out (I like the gossip too, though!).

I am not a Conservative, I am probably an old-fashioned Labour right-winger (of the type that stayed in and fought the Bennites), but you represent the kind of C/conservativism that I feel people on my side of the fence can engage with. If that makes sense.

To the point: as a long interested observer of US Presidential elections (with a Democratic leaning, of course!), I also had doubts about Obama. I was convinced Hillary was the one for the job.

But, as you suggest, as time went on, I began to think that he was the potentially the right person as far as US standing in the world, and relations with the world was concerned. He looks to Europeans, I think, like someone who might at least acknowledge that we have an opinion. That, I am sure, will help bind Europe and America together more willingly, and in a world in which the balances of power are becoming that much more uncertain, that has to be more important than ever.

McCain will not (cannot?) offer that. Sarah Palin, who has to be seen as more likely than Biden to eventually assume the leadership of the Western World, CERTAINLY will not offer that. I don't necessarily approve of the judgements that are being made about her intelligence, but I do question her ability for good political judgement.

Anyone who is (in that old fashioned term) an Atlanticist, will want Obama to win if for no other reason than that McCain and Palin will make the rumoured decline of American global influence that much more real.

Dual Citizen said...

As a first time voter I deliberately sat on the fence for as long as it took to give both candidates the opportunity to earn my vote. That turned out to be last week and I came to the same conclusion as you.

McCain's response to the credit crisis has been shambolic, and Sarah Palin is proving a disaster. Now they're going negative.

I'm not in tune with all of Obama's policies. But I hope that the presidency will temper those. And it's the congress that passes he laws and budgets, and I'll be counting particularly on the Senate to keep him in check. Which is why I'll be voting for Republican Gordon Smith in the Oregon senate election. The worrying thing here is that if McCain carries on the way he has recently, he'll take down Smith and a few other good Republican senators with him.

Anonymous said...

Like I said before it is a no brainer give it to Obama if he can turn USA plc around then he will be the new Jesus.

The USA is up the creek and he wants to spend more money but guess what Iain they dont have any money.

In around nine months to one year after he has been elected as President the USA will be in a shambles and Obama will be the fall guy he will be supporting minority programmes and the majority community will not take it lighlty, the Republicans will sweep in and stay in for many terms.

How come you can't see this?

Laurence Boyce said...

Well said Iain – a sound choice! I think Obama will win from here without breaking sweat, but I’m not going to promise to kiss anyone’s a*** this time. Donal is best left to his distinctive but utterly irrelevant parish of one. He would support the GOP with a rubber duck in charge. Oh, and don’t forget – it’s Barack Hussein Obama. Makes all the difference. Apparently.

Anonymous said...

mirtha tidville said...Bush and Cheney will go down as 2 of the most vile men in modern political history!

So where will that place Tony Blair and Gordon Brown then in another solar system!

Before you point the finger at the USA look to your own country mate it is involved in two wars is bankrupt crime ridden full of illegal immigrants dirty and broken but hey Bush and Cheny they are bad guys SHEESH WAKE UP FOR CHRIST SAKE ENGLAND YOU ARE SUCH DOCILE PEOPLE you are all being shafted and you sit and postulate!!

ak23566 said...

I "fell in love" with John McCain when I heard his speech "Duty, Honour, Country" at the 1988 Republican Party Convention, and have supported him ever since. If any of you don't know the speech, I suggest you read it:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Remarks_by_John_McCain_at_the_1988_Republican_National_Convention

I worked for him via Republican's Abroad in 2000. Out of loyalty, I backed him again in 2008.

Sadly, Iain, like you I have struggled with his performance and lack of direction since the GOP convention. If I was an American, would I vote for him ? Yes, I would. Out of loyalty and respect I could do nothing else.

Senator McCain is a hero and a decent man. Had he won in 2000 I believe America and the world would have been a far better place than it is today. Sadly, I suspect Sen McCain will be one of the finest Presidents America never had.

Bill Quango MP said...

Can only agree with you. the Republicans have only done over there what NuLabour have done here.
Severley damaged the economy, possibly fatally. Fought pointless wars without end. Preached at everyone. Wasted the Boom money, saved nothing, prepared for nothing, offered nothing but promises and talk of how wonderful everything is and how evil their enemies are.

I'm as Tory as anyone but does anyone thinks that the last two terms have been an American success let alone a world success??

Like you Mr Dale, Palin was just the icing on the cake. Like Gordon's Mandelson appointment. Flash and manipulative but not very wise long term.

Obama / Cameron. Inexperienced,flash, no ideas...
We need experienced leaders.

Well the last decade of great ideas and great leaders hasn't got us very far on either side of the pond has it?

Anonymous said...

Erm you are backing obama because he is young and going to win

electro-kevin said...

What WE think in Britain doesn't matter.

And it's about time our jumped-up politicos started realising it.

Diablo said...

I haven't got a vote in the USA but if I had I would put my X against Obama's name for no other reason than McCain has been less than convincing. And that's probably what most of the US electorate will do - "hanging chavs" in Florida excepted!

If there is to be a President Obama it will probably not take more than a year or so before he has become as unpopular as George Bush is now. He ain't got much leeway to do anything very radical - a bit like Cameron if he becomes Prime Minister?

Anonymous said...

Comrade Dale,

I am very pleased you have seen the light.

In solidarity, etc.

Dave J. said...

Deeply disappointing doesn't begin to describe my reaction, Iain. Obama is an empty suit, a paper messiah behind whom stand exactly the legions of fraud and corruption one would expect of a Chicago machine pol. Thank God I have a vote in this race (in Florida) and you don't.

"He ain't got much leeway to do anything very radical..."

On the contrary, he will be a rubber stamp for anything Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want.

Anonymous said...

It's McCain all the way.

Now who did we get when everyone voted for a pretty, young, inspiring leader who knew which buttons to press and spoke well.....why Mr Blair!

Iain why make the same mistake?

The man is a inexperienced buffoon who talks well.

Grow up.

Martin Day said...

Iain, Don't miss the opportunity to do a Guardian style write in to key swing states!


Obama is doomed to fail if elected, McCain is equally doomed. The US is unique in offering since 2000 - two very poor choices for POTUS in each election.

Obama's problem will be his race after 6-12 months I am afraid. THere will be a real backlash and if elected he will be a one term president.

People who say that candidates are headed for greatness are severly misguided. The whole US economy could fall apart in the next presidential term - the US has run deficiets for too long and is going to be extremley humbled imo.

Martin Shwartz said...

I do agree with you Iain. Even as a conservative, I can't see any other choice right now. I have thought this since the primaries began earlier this year, and it seems as every week passes I become ever more sure I am right.

For any concerns on policy differences I may have, I believe that Obama's Democrats are more closely aligned to Cameron's Conservatives than the Republican Party right now. The choice in the US does seem to be Democratic social democracy or Republican Christian conservatism...and I would always choose social democracy.

I know they're cliches but America does need hope and inspiration now. Not so much for domestic politics, but so that America can regain some respect back internationally from those of us who have looked on with despair at the legacy being created by the neo-conservatives.

Obama is a symbol of change, even if in practice he will be severely limited in the change he can bring about. But, if I can borrow a line from 'V for Vendetta', although a symbol in and of itself is powerless, with enough people behind it can change the world. He won't change the world, but he will have an positive impact.

McCain has no consistent narrative to offer and seems now to only have personal attacks on Obama's character left in the arsenal. Even worse, the most bitter and stupid attacks are coming from Sarah Palin in the hope that people will listen to a 'hockey mum'. And there is were you are most accurate in your analysis, Iain. America can not risk having someone as ill-prepared and ill-informed as Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Presidency...

John said...

Iain, as a long time reader, this is the most upsetting and depressing thing I've read on this usually excellent blog.

I get not liking McCain. Personally, I was for Huckabee or Thompson, but I do not know of any question to which Obama is the answer. We live in a dangerous and changing world, Iain, and we need a pair of hands we can trust at the wheel. I trust McCain. I will never trust Obama.

Andrew Sullivan broke my conservative heart, Iain. Do not take his path. Much pain lies that way.

Respectfully yours.

rightwingliberal said...

Iain,

Just remember this column when Obama (should he win) stabs your troops in the back and pulls out of Afghanistan (which he will).

The Pakistan invasion is just dodge; the Pakistan problem will be an excuse to declare Afghanistan "unwinnable" and pull out. If you're lucky, there will be a fig-leaf UN peacekeeping force, like the one that stood by and let the Taliban take over the country in 1996.

He couldn't even bring himself to promise to come to Israel's defense against an Iranian attack without going to the UN.

The "rest of the world" (read Europe) will certainly be happy with Obama. But Japan and South Korea sure won't, and how do you think India will react when the BJP comes back in April?

In fact, that's the real choice here. With McCain, you will have an assertive (some would say agressive) superpower named the United States of America. With Obama you will have an assertive (some would say agressive) superpower named India.

You've made your choice.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear Iain seems you are behind the curve on the breaking stories of massive voter fraud being uncovered in several states now.

Voting forms already filled in for Obama have been discovered oh dear you are supporting a fraud!

What next from this blog Brown is doing a good job?

Anonymous said...

Democratic party fraud unravelling here Iain:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/10092008/news/politics/nuts__132771.htm

and now here Iain:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081009/ap_on_el_ge/voter_fraud

and also here Iain - the credibility of this election is already in question Dems are so desperate to get power!

http://www.lvrj.com/news/30613864.html

ross said...

Iain, my respect for you has increased tenfold and I applaud and admire you for taking this position.

Someone prepared to go against the grain. Someone prepared to admit they got it wrong. Those someones are men in my eyes, and this is a time for men more than any time we've known.

Hear bloody hear.

ross said...

And I'm very, very pleased you've had the cojones to reject the "advice" of the extremist doctrinaire Blaney. Iain: finks I loves ya :)

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Anonymous said...

Is Obama cheating his way to victory?
It looks as if consorting with domestic terrorists is the least of Barack Hussein Obama's problems. It transpires that ACORN - a non-profit organisation that registers the poor to vote and to whom Obama had paid $800,000 - has been registering fake names (Obama had failed to report this donation, disguising it initially as a payment to a front group so as to conceal who he'd really donated money to - for reasons that are now clear). Obama cannot claim he's never worked with ACORN either: he has acted for them as their attorney, worked as its executive director and trained their staff. His grubby little paws are all over this. But why should this surprise anyone - he cut his teeth in Chicago politics, the city that gave us Mayor Daley and, in 1960, corruptly delivered Chicago to Kennedy.


ACORN is under investigation in a dozen states and in Ohio, the Democrats' Secretary of State has been injuncted because she has broken electoral law. People can register multiple times and vote that same day. Astonishing. Ohio is a key battleground state - and Obama has paid ACORN to help him cheat his way to victory. Hundreds of thousands of voters have been added to the electoral roll. And this is a man who people think will bring integrity back to the White House and who will restore America's reputation in the world? Instead he's importing Kenyan politics to America.


UPDATE (6.45am): Jackson County, Missouri is reporting up to 1,000 false voter registrations lodged by, yup you guessed it, ACORN. The FBI has raided ACORN's offices in Nevada and North Carolina where more bogus voters were registered by ACORN.

Paul Pinfield said...

Iain, looks like you are getting a lot of flack, but I share your concerns about McCain. There is something very wrong with his campaign which is typified by the choice of Palin as his running mate.

It may be that Obama turns out not to be the man for the job, but in the current political climate, people want to hear about a vision, and Obama is sketching out that vision, whereas McCain is not.

McCain is a poor candidate and anyone with any faculty should be able to see that. So, to all those who are shouting 'traitor', just remember this. It was McCain Wot Won it (For Obama).

george bush said...

Everyone commits voter fraud - everyone. How do ya thnk I got this gig - cheers Jeb.

Lola said...

Iain you are falling into the same logic trap that got us Blair/Brown. Even though McCain/Palin look pretty dire the Obama/Biden alternative is worse. Obama is Blair US. We will end up with more of the same policies that have got us into this mess we are now in born of excessive and innefficient and spendthrift government spending funded by overtaxation.

We are at a moment in history that leads to a choice. One is Big Government high intervention overweening bureaucracy. The other is the opposite. I prefer the opposite and the reason I prefer it as it is freedom and free market and gets out of the way of wealth creation and leaves money in citizens pockets who will spend it more wisely that the State. Obama offers only less freedom and more control.

McCain is no good. He was once the man, but now he is to old and to ill and does not possess enough presence to carry the presidency. Palin is untested. However I am not as convinced as you that she is inadequate. She may well turn out to be a success, but she needs time to develop, which she is not getting in the white heat of campaigning. The elephant in the room is the GOP itself. It has lost its way under the effect of its own fiscal failings under Bush/Bush and an ill informed assault on the principles of the free market by an ignorant media. McCain seems not have the strength of chracter to sort this out and Palin will be outmanoeuvered by incumbent and experienced politicos.

But even given all of this the choice of the republicans is still the right one, on the two bases that the Obama democrats are dire and the Republicans have the capacity to reform. The question is, will they?

Rush-is-Right said...

I am a long way from being an admirer of John McCain. His career has been marked by egregious errors and some very foolish legislation. And let's not forget that the mainstream media gave him a very easy time during the primary season, to the extent that you could almost say that the New York Times and its co-conspirators chose the Republican Party candidate for it.

But compared with Obama the man is pure gold. Obama has been given a pass from the get-go. That man is a machine politician from Chicago who is masquerading as an agent of change. He spent his formative years absorbing the race-hatred of his 'Pastor' Jeremiah Wright. He benefited financially from his association with convicted slum-landlord and fraudster Tony Rezko. Worst of all, he is a close friend of terrorist William Ayers.

Pointing any of this out is criticised as negative campaigning, but in the absence of any media scrutiny of Obama's background what else is McCain supposed to do?

The worst US President in my lifetime has been Jimmy Carter. The damage he did lives with us still in the middle-East. An Obama Presidency threatens to be more damaging than this, foisting half-baked socialism on the United States, unchecked by Congress or the Judiciary. I can't believe that that is about to happen. But if it does, head for the hills.

Joe said...

It is sad that the USA can't come up with 2 better candidates- and much the same could be said basically ever since Reagan.

Obama is very good at presentation but his policies are potentially VERY dangerous, especially now.

In particular he has talked a very potectionist cause= "fair trade" as per what unions ask for. Just remember protectionism was one of the 2 basic policy failures (the other was not deficit financing) that led to a recession becoming the great depression in the 30s.

He may of course just be flanneling to win the election. We should all hope so.

McCain is a very serious candidate but really too old and of another time- would probably have been a great president 20/30 years ago.

Cranmer said...

His Grace is now praying for both you and Mr Hannan.

The prodigals will return.

LOND said...

Iain,

I find it hard to believe that a lot of your reasons for supporting Obama over McCain relate to McCain's age and health. If that's the case, it's a good thing you and so many people like you weren't in a position to decide who was in charge in the past. If age were a criteria, we'd probably never have had Reagan or Churchill in power (69 and 65 respectively when they reached the top of their careers). If being in perfect health were the issue, there goes Franklin Roosevelt and Jack Kennedy.

That's right - let's rely on young career politicians to get us through this mess. People like Blair and Brown and Milliband and Darling...oops, I'm seeing a trend developing here.

Vienna Woods said...

Iain, I've also come to the opinion that Obama is the lesser of two evils. One can never judge anything too clearly due, not only to the policies, but the mud-slinging and quite serious allegations being made by both sides. It does appear that McCain is now doing most of the slinging and the events in Alaska surrounding Mrs Palin will probably explode later today!

John Pickworth said...

Iain, while I can understand your reasoning, it is never the less wrong headed.

McCain has certainly appeared less than dazzling but perhaps that's what we need right now? He may well not be the man to heal America's soul but a standy conservative hand at the tiller would surely benefit us all?

Obama meanwhile could very well get elected on a raft of promises that American (and by definition us too) simply cannot afford. These aren't the times for social reforms or 'third way' experiementation or whatever else he feels will mend the world.

Obama reminds me so much of Clinton. Remember him? He arrived on the world stage with the nicname (or dare I say 'monika'?) of 'slick willy'... an apt name if any (quite literally). I'm sorry, I just don't trust him, my gut is sounding the alarm just as it did with Clinton.

McCain has his faults but they are all there to be examined. Obama though is untested, unknown and seems to be a man who will not readily shoulder blame. Given we currently have a Prime minister with that particular fault, it suprises me you'd support another Iain?

JuliaM said...

"He radiates optimism."

So did the cold-caller trying to sell me house insurance last night.

Andrew Efiong said...

I'm with you Iain. I too liked the maverick McCain and even thought Palin could be good.

You're right that the Republicans are now Christian fundamentalists, increasingly dominated by clerics hellbent on creating a theocratic state.

But the clincher is that if McCain falls ill, Palin is in charge. She knows nothing on foreign policy and is a total lightweight. She's a reformer yes, but a cheap one.

Sadly though, Obama is a great speaker but we don't know if he'll make a great President but because of Palin, I'd vote Obama. But I can't vote in the US, so good luck to all our US voters.

Andy D said...

I thought you might Iain. Your path of decision has followed the same as mine. Traditionally with the Republicans, then wooed by Obama. A flirtation with Palin, only to realise that she is unsuitable on many levels.

So, you've only done what any sensible voter (or in this case non-voter) would. Start from a position based on your core beleifs, but then look at both canditates based on what they say, and in the end go for one.

I would make the same choice, being like you a natural tory voter.

Anonymous said...

I hope Derek Draper's not reading this, because he'd be in awe at the neocon trolls!

Voter fraud is a problem here. And that's because the law allows organizations to pay people to file registrations (yes this is stupid). The ACORN irregularities are mainly due to people filing false registrations to get money. Hence the Dallas Cowboys football team have been "registered" in Las Vegas. If Acorn were really conspiring to fix the election, would they really be that stupid?

But another problem is voter intimidation. Perhaps the trolls would like to listen to NPR's Fresh Air from Wednesday and then comment.

http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=10-8-2008

"Fliers warning that people with outstanding warrants or unpaid parking tickets could be arrested if they show up at the polls on election day appeared recently in predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Zach Stalberg, the president of the nonpartisan watchdog group Committee of Seventy, suggests that a Republican Party supporter may have posted the fliers in an effort discourage voters.

A native Philadelphian, Stalberg was the editor of the Philadelphia Daily News for 20 years. In 2005, he became president of the Committee of Seventy, a group founded in 1904 with a mission to improve the Philadelphia region by fighting corruption and demanding ethical conduct of public officials."

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=6428634

Anonymous said...

I disagree with most of this article, but must say ignore Blaney's slingshots. He has this appalling supercilious manner and puts it across that anyone who doesn't agree with his YBF American-conservative way of looking at British politics is "unconservative" or "unprincipled".

Thankfully, our politics are far removed from that of the States.

Anonymous said...

Why do you feel the need to choose, Ian?

To hell with them both.

There is no opposition in the USA or Britain.
Just two parties saying the same things with imperceptible or irrelevant differences.

And, my god, there is a need and opportunity for some new thinking.

Even Olmert has changed his tune, and that I thought I'd never see.

But not our bozos, and not you.

Disappointing.

Tony

Richard S said...

sometimes its just right for an individual

its Obamba time.

If there were such things as blogs in the 70's,there would of been plenty of left leaners advocating Thatcher. They eventually came to loathe her in much the same way that any republican who votes for Barak now will loathe him before the end of his 1st term

G Eagle Esq said...

7:54am Cranmer "His Grace is now praying for both you and Mr Hannan. The prodigals will return"

Your Grace

As Mr Darcy so sagaciously observed, upon hearing that Lydia had eloped with Mr Wickham :

"I'm schocked, grieved ... grieved indeed"

This is very trubbling - isn't the problem with repentance, that it generally comes so late, AFTER the wheel has fallen off and disaster has struck

Your Grace's obedient servant etc

G E

Dave (up North) said...

Iain, you are spot on and I reached this decision months ago. The religious freakery of today's Republicans is a terrifing propspect and the Republican fervour for Palin, one of the most unappealling politicians in years, confirms the view that to secure some degree of sanity in the White House we need Obama/Biden. And yet we know teir election holds risks...but the election of all politicians does!

sarah palin said...

I ain't no thickie.

Why is McCain saying 'my friends' all the time? It's a bit creepy.

Doug said...

Welcome to the club Iain. There are many conservatives who prefer Obama. By no means are you alone.

Anonymous said...

An excellent piece, Iain, by far your best on the US elections.

I really thought - and hoped - that this exceptional race would go to the wire, but it does appear that the Republican campaign has faltered in the last few weeks. Obama has been lucky now, as McCain was ten months ago, but his calm and poise has been extraordinarily impressive.

Obama is a risk, and may be bad change or good change, but no change is not an option.

norman said...

Iain
I was mildly interested as an outsider what Obama was saying and did not think of him much. But after listening to McCain rambling, like Gordo he has all the solutions, I feel that he is like Gordo too much into the system that he can't be the 'change'. Like Gordo, he never says that he was wrong on any aspect. Like Gordo again, he keeps on repeating his experience which makes no sense.
I was first studying and later working in the USA in the thick of Vietnam war. All the macho talk about war and new beginning for Vietnam came to nothing when Americans retreated. Similarly, much as I disliked the thug who was ruling Iraq, I could see 3 countries there, in a few years time. What Blair and Bush did was to make this easier to come about and making Iran the most powerful
Islamic nation in the Middle East.
Finally, the soldiers will come home and their sacrifice, I hope will amount to something.
The irony in all this is that by diverting attention to Iraq, Bush and Blair let Bin Laden to wriggle out and now even the British Commander there says that Talibans
cannot be defeated.
I remember a breakfast programme in the then TV AM when the talk about Russian occupation of Afghanistan came, the old saint MacMillan, the grand old ex-PM sitting with Peter Ustinov who was supporting Russia, looked at him and said 'we had so many Afghan wars, we never won any'. That is exactly what Obama thinks as he intends to retreat from Iraq. That was what Nixon did in 1975 in Vietnam

canvas said...

Iain, I think you're finally seeing sense. It's not about the 'left' or the 'right'. It's about integrity and common sense.

Barack Obama is clearly the right man, in the right place, at the right time. The world needs a US President like Barack Obama to help restore balance and peace.

We all know that the Republican Party spread nothing but fear and hate. It's time for hope and change - it's time for Obama.

I know this has been a difficult journey for you intellectually - but you've been brave by admitting your initial instincts were wrong. Good on you.

Anonymous said...

Senator Obama is many things but left-wing is not one of them. He is further to the right than Heath, Home, MacMillan or Eden. If he lived here he would fit very easily in as a senior member of Mr. Camerons first cabinet. Look at his FEC and Illinois state campaign finance reports for his various runs for state level and then federal ofices. No left-winger would get support from the type of donors he does. Senator Obama is a modern "One Nation Tory".

Marquee Mark said...

I've long been a supporter of Obama. I got a lot of flak a year back when I suggested he should have been invited to the Tory Conference instead of McCain.

I'm not sure how good a President he will be allowed to be - world economies are wretched, and there will be many trying to ensure he fails. But I still think the best of Obama has yet to be seen. He has been walking on eggshells before getting elected. I think he will roll up his sleeves and really get down to work. You won't want to get in his way...

Andrew Kitching said...

MacMillan was a big fan of the Kennedys. Churchill of Roosevelt. The Republican thing only goes back to Ronnie and Maggie

Victor, NW Kent said...

Some months ago there was a quiz which would allow you to see which of the then 8 or 9 candidates you were most closely aligned to. I assumed that I would come out as a Republican but my answers placed me closest to Obama with Clinton next. I realised that the Republican Party is far, far to the right of our Conservative Party and is over-run by religious fundamentalists - danger signs.

McCain is younger than me but looks 10 years older. There are good reasons for it but he is a man in poor health and with the somewhat weird Palin as his running mate he must surely be defeated.

I am, as usual, puzzled as to why these are the best that 300-million people can throw up.

Anonymous said...

Again Iain, why the body armour? It's completely academic what you think - unless you're secretly an Amerkin and can vote there? Even then you have absolutely no influence over the other voters who will have no idea even of your existence on this planet. Most Republicans will abhor your chosen lifestyle which they consider to be an abomination before God.
PS Top marks though for the choice of photo for you Telegraph article though. McCain looks extremely sick.

anonymous and dangerous said...

No mention that Obama supports West Ham.

Mind you, there's no reason why somebody like Iain SHOULDN'T endorse somebody like him

The GOP has become like the DUP in NI - just look at some Youtube clips of McCain/Palin rallies, and you can easily see those attendees in bowler hats throwing bricks at Catholic schoolchildren.

That said, Obama will disappoint many if not most of the US population. If he does go "liberal-left" (whatever that means) he'll just damage the Dems in the same way Bush damaged the GOP.

Michael J said...

Nice debate - varied comments
But so many of you are just being partisan for partisans sake. Well done Iain for opening up the debate we need board shouldered people now.

Why not think about how to improve the situation and move on for the benefit of all.

Yes Both Obama and Cameron are likely to win at the moment....

They both will inherit a monumental mess and may never be able to solve the problem in the time they have.

I am sure the crunch /crisis was going to come any way but it came at a time when the incumbents in the UK and the USA are both as lame duck as you can get.

Gordon brown should never have been allowed to inherit without an election.

The US situation gives the same result. An election process that is far too long and to boot When elected in November the new president will have to wait until January to do anything worthwhile. Stagnant Govt for well over a year. My US friends always say well, it is in the constitution.... When it was written they used horses to get to Washington so needed 3 months to get there. I think even the USA has moved on a bit since then!!

The result of both these situations is that Government as a whole is unable to work let alone a couple of Ducks with no legs in the top positions.

So let us see some the new guys change things so we can have continuous and joined up government.

Letters From A Tory said...

Right there with you, Iain. McCain has not done anything to deserve the support of Conservatives in the UK and while I have serious reservations about Obama in terms of his domestic policies, he has shown himself to made of far more presidential material than McCain.

Unlike some Conservatives, I totally refuse to blindly vote on the basis of party allegiance and I'm glad that you have the same approach.

Arkangel said...

I've no liking for Obama whatsoever. He is a devious, mendacious man.
I'd trust him as far as I can spit through a brick wall.

Paul Burgin said...

I am probably not helping here, but its good to see you are on the same side on this election campaign with some of us on the left who see Obama as a natural candidate to support

Lady Finchley said...

I am afraid that this will be the first time, since I first voted for George McGovern in 1972 that I will not be voting in a US election.

I agree with Iain's views on McCain and although I admire Palin for being one feisty broad, this does not a vice-president make. Nevertheless I cannot in good conscience vote for Obama - perhaps if he had, like David Cameron, 4 years in Opposition to mature, I'd be more comfortable but of course the US system does not work like that.

Obama's judgement as far as his associates leaves a lot to be desired and it troubles me that 'celebrities' like Oprah Winfrey were able to use their massive influence to get him the nomination and to inevitably get him elected. I am appalled by the 'new messiah' vibe and it brings to mind one Tony Blair. While his message of hope does appeal to me I have too many niggling doubts.

Roger Thornhill said...

Iain,

Either way it will be Jimmy Carter.

To those who support "Change", I say go learn critical reasoning! Change could be everyone catches ebola. Yup, that is change, alright. Change sounds good but it is meaningless. It basically panders to low attention spans and boredom. Not the best inputs to good decision-making.

We need IMPROVEMENT. Not even "progress", which is a fatuous word if ever there was one.

Cath said...

agree with you Iain. But then I have never understood why Conservatives in this country see themselves as Republicans, unless they do happen to be religious zealots of course.

Obama worries me, and as I said yesterday I'm in the odd situation of wishing that Hillary was on the ticket. At the moment though, Obama is the least worst option.

GM said...

We are obviously in thrall to the US election - this post has already spawned 66 comments - and rightly so.

Andrew Sullivan on Daily Dish remarked that if nothing else, McCain's choice of the woefully inadequate, even reprehensible, Palin should disqualify him from winning.

I liked Obama's book. I like the fact that he is new. I like the fact that he offers a genuinely different approach from his predecessors. I like and respect his extraordinary cool under fire. I like his willingness to listen and adjust. I think you are right to support him, and I think many other conservatives would be right to do so as well. Republicanism does not necessarily equate to British conservatism, and this is certainly the case with McCain/Palin.

Cheers for a provocative post!

London Tory said...

Iain

As a right wing Tory, I totally agree with your views on McCain. I too started off wanting him to win. He simply lacks the ideas, vision and energy to lead America at this time. He looks like he is about to fall over at any moment. His fatal moment was choosing Palin, sadly the type of person who gives Conservatives a bad name. The word vacuous does not do her justice.

With hindsight, the GOP should have gone for Romney or Guiliani, or even Fred Thompson.

McCain and Palin are about to go down to a very heavy defeat, and it will be deserved for reasons not all to do with Bush.

Anonymous said...

Narrow religious sect?

You have lost the plot big time Ian.

Anonymous said...

And he's prettier Iain isn't he?

Dave H. said...

Like Ming, it's appearing frail rather than just being elderly that's so damaging.

McCain shuffles round a stage like a confused elderly patient, while Obama confidently works it like a pro.

Though, as with Boris v Ken, I can't help thinking: are these really the best candidates they have to offer?

scott redding said...

If you want to read why Obama's going to win. And another if you want to read why McCain's a fake.

BrianSJ said...

Iain
This vicarious democracy and getting excited about US candidates does in part distract us from our own lack of democracy.
The key thing about the US election is to realise that both candidates are very poor, and how do we deal with whatever rubbish we get.
Agree (as nearly always) with Lola.
Anon who asks why McCain says 'my friends' all the time - it worked for Reagan. Agree it doesn't work for me, but I am not in a flyover state.

Anonymous said...

Blaney - with his constant "Barack Hussein Obama" innuendo - is a hateful little man who makes me ashamed to be a Conservative member.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Iain, I sent your article to my colleague in the States. He suggested, at the very least,
that you read this

Anonymous said...

why would you even mention Blaney? Who cares what he thinks? His views are toxic waste.

p smith said...

Iain, the reason that your blog has a wide readership is because you have the ability to take positions at odds with the cookie cutter right wing Tory standpoint. I salute your courage and open mindedness, two qualities sadly lacking in commentators across the political spectrum.

As for Donal, I shouldn't lose any sleep over it. There's a reason why he averages 0.7 responses per blog post even if I'm sure he is excellent and entertaining company.

As a Labour member, I can fully understand why an independent minded person would vote Conservative in the current climate. Indeed many of the reasons for attacking Brown and Labour can be laid just as easily at the door of the GOP. That you have the courage and foresight to recognise this and think beyond the small minded confines of bloviated attack blogging is a testament to your sincerity and integrity.

Cassilis said...

This piece will flush the tribalists who do politics like football - it all depends on the colour of the shirt.

Remember the Danny Finkelstein piece a couple of months ago when he suggested that for the last 80 years the right party has won all UK general elections (right in the sense of the group of people best placed to run the country and least likely to f*** things up)? Well that same issue is at heart here - there comes a time when the only possible excuse for putting the 'x' in one box is that silly, tribal view of the world which anyone with half a brain should resist.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised that you say in secret a lot of Tory MPs support Obama.

Most of Dave's mates are just like him, a Socialist pretending to be Conservative.

trevorsden said...

"Bush and Cheney will go down as 2 of the most vile men in modern political history"

An absurd parody of how to read political history.

Where does Osama bin Ladin come or Saddam Hussein? But for the attack on the twin towers there would have been nom invasion of Afghanistan and no atack on Iraq.

Bush should be criticised for his economic policy not foreign policy -- but even here the present lending crisis has its source in Bill Clintons laws forcing banks to lend mortgages to people who could not afford them.

Anonymous said...

Iain is obviously right, but another scary thought is that the Republican machine is now so well funded by the extremist (and effectively neo-faschist, at least in the US) Christian right that it has effectively developed a life of it's own. A good example is the huge level of election rigging taking place across the US in Republican controlled areas, where poor voters are being systematically disenfranchised, as shown by Greg Palast on the BBC the other night. The result may well be a McCain win even though Obama was well ahead in the polls, since many democrat voters are barred from voting in Republican areas now.

Man in a Shed said...

Obama is unproven and untested, as far as I can see.

We just don't know what his real motivations and objectives are.

Making him President of the US is one hell of a way of finding out.

I would vote for McCain for that reason.

( Lets face it the Obama - Tory thing is really about triangulation and spin, and the public is about to run out of sympathy with that form of politics.)

Ross said...

Nice one Iain. I work for a Conservative MP and have always leaned to the right. But the world needs an America led by Obama. If you ever get the opportunity, give Obama's 'Audacity of Hope' - it's really something. Plus, in my humble opinion, Obama's speech on race relations is the greatest of the 21st Century (so far), and history will see it as a real milestone in race relations. I will also point out that I spent an evening at Conference with some delegates from the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. All of them were adamant that the West underestimates how important a black President would be.

Ralph said...

Iain,

What do you think are Obama's top three accomplishments?

DiscoveredJoys said...

I'm unimpressed by Obama/Biden - but frightened by McCain/Palin.

Bobsheadrevisited said...

Obama will win - just.

After the honeymoon period he'll begin to say and do things that will will make even the keenest Obama fans go, "Ay?"

Then pretty soon everyone will start going, "Oh shit!"

Once his single term is over the Republicans will be back in and Palin will be president.

Blimey.

Mark Fulford said...

I'm with you, Iain.

McCain is not only too old and frail, by choosing Sarah Palin he showed that he's completely lacking in the skill he needs most -- good judgement.

I think an Obama Presidency will be quite similar to Bill Clinton's: he'll make big mistakes but, compared to Bush and McCain, he'll do much better on the international stage and benefit America that way.

Lady Finchley said...

'I will also point out that I spent an evening at Conference with some delegates from the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. All of them were adamant that the West underestimates how important a black President would be.'

What a great reason for voting for Obama THAT is - not! That kind of nonsense is exactly the thing that puts me off. Can you imagine voting for Hilary so that we can please all the feminists in the world? Yeah, right, I'm gonna vote for Obama just to please Muslim African States.

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha

OFF the fence..

Dont you mean jumped fences

Flip flop flip flop.


How funny it would be if McCain now went on to win

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...


I'm not surprised that you say in secret a lot of Tory MPs support Obama.

Most of Dave's mates are just like him, a Socialist pretending to be Conservative.

October 10, 2008 10:28 AM

******

errrrrr didnt you lot all go mental when Brown backed Obama...oh dear

flip flop flip

Torygirl said...

I completely agree, Iain. Here was me feeling quietly guilty about leaning rather heavily towards Obama, but now I feel completely vindicated!

As you say, a McCain/Palin win would be uninspiring at best and catastrophic at worst. A well-said blog post, Iain!

canvas said...

I think Iain is right about Ronald Reagan turning in his grave. Clinton was right when he said the 'largest' candidate always wins, the one with the most hopeful, optimistic and positive message.

McCain is an angry old man. When was the last time an angry politician won an election?

Sarah Palin is out there inciting hate and spreading fear. Her negative hateful message only makes people more likely to vote for Obama.

Barack Obama restores my faith in humanity.

anonymous and dangerous said...

Idle thought : McCain picked Palin as a final FU to the GOP wingnut wing who cost him 2000 and almost made him join the Kerry ticket in 2004.

Palin will now be the poster girl of the fundamentalist sect. She presses all the right buttons.

She'll be lauded and revered by the likes of Coulter, Hannity and Limbaugh. Any mistakes made won't be her fault.

And she's proved to be totally unelectable. So the GOP are effectively stuck with her, although they don't know it yet.

This could be a painful few years for the Reps, and the worst hasn't even started

Anonymous said...

well done Iain, come off the fence once the decision is in no doubt.

James Higham said...

Not much of a choice, eh?

Iain Dale said...

I said many weeks ago on this blog I would wait until the debates were over until I made my decision. And I don't accept that Obama is a shoe in by any means.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Iain. I read your article. I too thought that the choice of Palin would boost McCain's chances. For a short time it did. Serves me right for assuming that the man had made an informed, responsible choice, taking the US national interest into account, bearing in mind that she might well have to take over given his age and health.

I don't know long it's going to take me finally to believe what I merely know - that 95% of politicians never look beyond the next tactical advantage, however much else might be at stake for their country. That's why Churchill was great, why Thatcher was great, they were in the 5%, and why Brown - oh, we know all about him.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale said...

I said many weeks ago on this blog I would wait until the debates were over until I made my decision. And I don't accept that Obama is a shoe in by any means.

October 10, 2008 11:20 AM

*****

Oh Iain listen to yourself. Yourre not fooling anyone.

Anonymous said...

Iain, are you going to demand Ladbrokes take your bet for £10,000on a yeserdays 3:15 winner ( 50/1 )at Docaster.

You probably will still place it E/W

So much flipping, your spinning like a top

Iain Dale said...

Like I care what anonymous trolls think.

Anonymous said...

Katie Couric: "With less than a month left, this presidential campaign has taken a decidedly ugly turn.

At Republican rallies, some over heated supporters have started to yell things like "terrorist" and "treason" when Barack Obama's name is mentioned. This is depressing and unacceptable.

Freedom of speech is one of our most cherished rights, but words that incite violence should be seriously condemned by all the candidates.

It's no surprise that "civil discourse" is such an oxymoron these days. When I sometimes peruse comments on the Internet, they are loaded with vitriol and profanity. I'm embarrassed for the authors of those comments, and for the readers who stumble upon them.

Words are like weapons – they can damage who we are. This is an important time to remind ourselves that even when passions are high, we can agree to disagree. And we can do so with reason – and respect."

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right Iain and I think that you are right for all the right reasons.

If you watched McCain in the debate this week he was shaky and unsteady on his feet. He looked doddery and old. Obviously the campaign is taking its toll ....but that is as nothing compared to the pressure a Presidential schedule would impose, especially at time of crisis. Age aside, I really doubt that he is physically up to it.

That then brings us to the Palin Problem. All of this is clouded in US style gender politics and the GOPs desire to appeal to redneck voters in key states, but God she was an awful choice as VP. She has no understanding of very complex political and economic issues and no wider world view. I also see no sign that she has the intellectual capacity to develop these.

Sure, there have been lots of vox pops in the mid states where people say they can relate to her and trust her and feel she is "one of us." But can I let you into a secret, when it comes to running the economy of the USA and the finger on a nuclear trigger at a time of rising world tension, even if I am Joe Six Pack or a Hockey Mom, I dont want "someone like me" doing that. I want someone better than me. Someone with a cool head who understands all the issues and whom I can trust to provide leadership. Sorry but that ain't Sarah Palin - or, for that matter, John McCain.

Then there is the issue of policy itself. We are entering new economic and political times. McCain has two feet planted firmly in the past. Heaven knows where Palin's stilettos or hiking boots (depending upon whom she is talking to) are stuck. He presents no vision other than that he has been a maverick. Really? Who noticed? Who cares? Its all past, past, past and it's nota substitute for a new view on the way forward.

As for Obama, I dont think that he is the finished deal yet - but when it comes to the President's job, who would be? He's intelligent, energetic and committed. He can communicate and enthuse. He will learn and develop in the role and his committment to economic reforms is probably just what the USA (and by proxy all the rest of us) need at the moment.

Anonymous said...

As long as Sarah Palin is VP candidate, I could never support McCain.

The idea of him keeling over and Palin taking charge is really too scary.

Jaz said...

Oh dear Iain, jumping on the bandwagon? Nothing like an opportunist. I

have to say I usually agree with you, I look at the things when judging a politician;

1) The character of an politician.
2) The party and policies.
3) Policy

Obama's character is shady, the democrats are complete idiots and policy wise both are terrible with respect to the economy.

I get flashbacks of Blair when watching Obama

haddock said...

"it is a no brainer give it to Obama if he can turn USA plc around then he will be the new Jesus."

funny choice of prophet there.

No comment on here about the list posted over at Theo's place ?
1. Occidental College records — Not released
2. Columbia College records — Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper — ‘not available’
4. Harvard College records — Not released
5. Selective Service Registration — Not released
6. Medical records — Not released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule — ‘not available’
8. Law practice client list — Not released
9. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate — Not released
10. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth — Not released
11. Harvard Law Review articles published — None
12. University of Chicago scholarly articles — None
13.Your Record of baptism — Not released or ‘not available’
14. Your Illinois State Senate records — ‘not available’

He strikes me as a grinning jackanape with no substance, Blair anyone ?

Anonymous said...

I believe that McCain will decide to place PALIN as the Presidential candidate and himself as Vice Presidential candidate -with ths backing of the Republican party!

She will win because America always chooses the oddball!

There are far too many unaswered questions on Obama. I was watching a report on the ACORN set up - allegedly a non partisan group (or groups)- which has placed in more that one of the important states thousands upon thousands of new 'registered voters'!!! they are Obama supporters all!!!!

The whole system stinks.

canvas said...

Haddock, Obama wouldn't have been elected President of the Harvard Law Review if he was a person of 'no substance' as you say. He is an intellectual giant.

Please let's have a proper and serious discussion.

africanmum said...

I should support your choice for sentimental reasons, in view of my family's background but I'm afraid I don't. There's an organisation called ACORN, for starters, then there's the college records, etc that someone mentioned. With the end of the west economically I suppose he's going to win. But it doesn't look good for the future. Who's funding Obama? What are their plans for America? Why did Rev Wright really turn against him? Etc, etc... I wish the West and America luck. They're gonna need it.

Anonymous said...

"Who's funding Obama?"

The American people.

scott redding said...

For the last four weeks, it's all about the 40/20 and 40/30/20.

Zeddy said...

McCain cannot be the least worst or two candidates. he can only be the less worse.

What I think people too often confuse when looking at US politics is this assumption that the Left in US politics is equivalent to the Left in UK politics. It isn't. The political centre in the US is some way to the right of the politcal centre in the UK.

So someone thought a left winger in the US is really just a moderate centrist in the UK.

With all the debt and the economy f***** up, Obama's room for manoeuvre should he win is very limited. As they say about the markets, the thing that is desperately needed these days is confidence and a feelgood factor. Obama brings those, McCain doesn't.

Jonathan said...

I'm sure he'll be delighted!

Obama's got a better plan, more knowledge of the issues, a better connection with the public, the moral high ground, the judgement...oh, and he hasn't got Palin.

The republicans represent the dark side of politics, self serving ambition, success at all costs even if it means telling lies, assassinating the characters of good people and scaring ordinary people

Zeddy said...

Also, I suspect that the vital thing these days for Western security is not whether we "win" or not in Iran and Afghanistan, but for the rest of the West to stop hating America. The best hope for that seems to be Obama from the choices we're presented with.

Anonymous said...

So the UK Conservative party want to see a socialist Government in the States.

Why am not surprised?


At least I now know where to place my X, UKIP it is.

Kevin Davis said...

is that neither are appropriate. They are both car crashes and the world is going to be a very worrying time over the next eight years.

At least we could laugh at Bush!

strapworld said...

Sorry to bring matters of our own politics to the story, iain, but do you know the wheareabouts of one DAVID CAMERON? The Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition?

Why is he letting Brown go round with that gormless smile and say the most idiotic things - such as claiming the credit for the price of oil coming down -?

I have questioned Cameron's leadership abilities before but I must ask, in all seriousness, is Cameron a Coward?

I also believe Ken Clarke should be brought back into the front line alongwith Micheal Howard and John Redwood. We need fighters who can put the boot in now!

Please advise us all just where is David Cameron?

Jilted John said...

A brave - and right - choice. Not because Obama is brilliant, or even good. Because McCain is insipid and old, and Palin is an anti-intellectual wingnut who has you marked down for a place in hades and has tried to threaten women who don't vote for her with the same.

Roger360 said...

When Obama first surfaces, I thought he was the right man for the job as he had charisma and that goes a long way in the leadership stakes. The real world functions well when people are confident and the leader does not have to be superman - just give people a sense of self-worth. Reagan and Clinton had it - Bush snr and Bush jnr don't. Afterwards I felt Obama was an empty suit and that McCain might be the solid man for a crisis. Now I reckon the crisis is so bad that a bit of religious fervour and belief might be just what's needed over the next few years - and Obama is your man for that. Four years on - who knows. My prognosis is that he will fall second time round but that a fresh new face will have emerged on the Republican side to take over.

Anyway, we're all going to hell in a handbasket!

Anonymous said...

I am truly sickened by the ageist comments on this thread.

Being Black does not affect Obama's ability to be President just as being older does not affect McCain's ability.

Quite rightly comments putting down Obama because of colour would not be tolerated, yet why are vindictive comments about McCain's age tolerated?

Your Blog has hit new lows Mr dale.

ada wong said...

canvas said
Please let's have a proper and serious discussion.

October 10, 2008 11:51 AM


hmmm in your words i quote.
'We all know that the Republican Party spread nothing but fear and hate'.

thats your idea of a proper and serious discussion is it.

Anonymous said...

"Latterly, though, we have all seen too much evidence of the latter."

What a horrible sentence.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale said...
Like I care what anonymous trolls think.

October 10, 2008 11:35 AM

You should be concerned, in the past week the Tories have gone from Pro buisness, pro bonuses, pro Republican, pro non interventionalist, pro city slickers, pro bankers, to the exact opposite position on all.

Niccolo Machiavelli said...

Welcome aboard!

And great news about Gio. Hope he's completely well soon.

M

haddock said...

ha ha ha canvas,

"He is an intellectual giant."

you are a one ! The debate needs a bit of humour now and again.

time will tell if he is, or as I think another devious s**t like blair.
I work on the theory of taking an instant dislike of a person.... it saves time.

Anonymous said...

Idiot. You're utterly transparent. You're the kind of guy who waits until two games before the end of the season before announcing themselves Man United fans.

The Tories must be denied any claim they wish to stake to Obama's glitterdust.

Jack Ladd said...

Obama is a showman (and a good one at that) - has no experience of running a burgher bar let alone the USA - heaven help us, its another Tony Blair and we all know what he did to Great Britain - Shame on you Iain

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that the UK Conservative party wish to see a Democrat in the Whitehouse Ian?

Perhaps you should get the official line and add it as an update to your post.

If you are correct then I am gobsmacked!!!!!!

Random said...

A couple of thoughts about this. Firstly, can anybody who says Palin's lack of experience is a reason to endorse Obama please provide a list of Obama's key legislative or administrative achievements (Palin has a genuinely impressive track record in Alaska - governors do not get 83% approval ratings by being clueless bimbos.

Secondly, I used to like Obama too. I thought he was a bit green for this time round, but a genuinely exciting prospect for the future (I still think Obama's original plan was simply to do well enough to make him the obvious choice as VP to Hillary, but he succeeded beyond his wildest expectations). However I then read about his associations with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, and particularly the extent to which he has lied about these connections (Obama's autobiography was recommended upthread, it's interesting to ask why neither Ayers nor the Chicago Annenberg Challenge are mentioned even once in either book), and came to the conclusion that as a British conservative I could never support a politician who not only owes the start of his political career to unrepentant terrorists, but who does not see this as anything he needs to apologise for. It simply comes down to a question of character, a man whose happy to associate with somebody who once planted bombs in the Pentagon and tried to murder hundreds of american troops (google on the attempted Fort Dix bombings) is simply not fit to be Commander in Chief. And yet Iain is not only prepared to endorse such a man, but does it only two days before the anniversary of the Brighton bombings. Shame on you.

David from Ealing said...

On the news last night several people queuing up to attend a McCain rally were interviewed. If McCain wins and these people have any sway over him (or his half-term successor) then heaven help the world.

Mind you, some of Obama's foreign policy statements don't exactly thrill me.

Anonymous said...

Obama has nothing to do with ACORN. - ACORN rumour
Also ACORN is required by law in most states to submit all voter registration forms to the relevant authorities even if they are filled out by Donald Duck. ACORN are not allowed to remove the false and nuisance forms because the law makes it illegal due to the possibility of groups simply binning forms that are from people who have certain political affiliations or selection based on race and other social factors. Only state officials are allowed to remove nuisance and false registrations forms. It is unsurprising to learn that these were common tactics of right-wing voter registration groups in the past.

Lady Finchley said...

Ada Wong

You will have to forgive Canvas' incoherence when it comes to Obama. The poor thing wets its knickers at the mention of his name.

Anonymous said...

Obama's legislative accomplishments.

HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE

andy c said...

Good for you Iain, although I suspected all along you were impressed with Obama.

The conservatives on here who are decrying you - oh grow up. You'd vote for a chimp if you dressed it in red.

McCain is the worst candidate the GOP have ever produced - and I include Bush in that.

He knows f-all about the biggest crisis the president is going to have to deal with, has shown questionable judgement with his choice of that clown in lipstick as his running mate, and is arguably showing signs of senility.

There is no inconsistency with being a Conservative and a Democrat. Get over yourselves.

OBAMA - BIDEN '08.

Anonymous said...

I am truly sickened by the ageist comments on this thread.

Being Black does not affect Obama's ability to be President just as being older does not affect McCain's ability.

Quite rightly comments putting down Obama because of colour would not be tolerated, yet why are vindictive comments about McCain's age tolerated?


Nice try. I know there is a lobby of people who would just love 'asgeism' to be bracketed next to racism so that they can have even more finger-wagging control over what people say (they tried it briefly with 'fattism', until it was evident to everyone how bloody idiotic that was), but there is a reason that it is a term used of McCain. Matthew Norman summarises it neatly in today's Indy:

If the repeated use of "old" appears ageist, so be it. Everything about McCain's dismissive attitude to Obama is geriatric. In fact he is only 72, which these days is anything but old. My father is McCain's senior by a year or two, and could pass for his son. I have friends in their mid-80s whom I think of as contemporaries because there is nothing remotely retrograde about their perspective on life.

For all his energy, on the other hand, McCain could pass for 92 because he radiates the sourness of the crotchety Meldrovian grump, slumped in a high-backed, plastic chair snarling "dunno they're born" whenever a middle-aged politician appears on the telly. Everything about his debate demeanour bespeaks a man struggling mightily to subjugate his rage that, after all he gave up in the Hanoi Hilton – his freedom, health and, as seems increasingly evident, a portion of his sanity – this smartarse liberal from Chicago swans along, not yet out of his congressional diapers, to steal the prize to which he believes his sacrifice entitles him.

andy c said...

He's seventy f**king two!!

And having 'Nam flashbacks!

At 72 he should be winding now. Not running the biggest most complex country in the world.

The retirement age is 65 for a reason.

Anonymous said...

haddock - jackanape also means ape or monkey. Macaca anyone?

Lady Finchley said...

Anon 3:02

So now McCain's sanity is up for question?

Ageism is as pernicious as racism and sexism - people can't help being old just as they can't help being white or black or male or female, gay or straight. I agree that the ageist rants on this thread are vile and unpleasant. Ageism, as well as anti-Americanism seem to be absolutely acceptable in this country.

lady finchley said...

Really Andy C? What might that reason be? How old are you anyway - you sound as if you are 10years old.

Albert M. Bankment said...

Oh look, an unknown candidate has appeared. The election suddenly looks interesting:

www.tsgnet.com/pres.php?id=46832&altf=Jbjo13ns1sfbtpobcmf3&altl=Ebmf

jeremiah wright's moustache said...

You can be a Christian libertarian (as I am) and still think that McCain/Palin would be a disaster. Were I an American voter, I think I'd either go third party, or spoil my ballot. Both the Republicans and Democrats are promoting welfare/warfare-ism in 2008; that the Democrats would probably be more competent in executing such abhorrent policies is no great argument in their favour.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Iain, Iain, Iain. One more time: Iain. This would mean the most socialist candidate in modern US history, with a lifetime of special interest spending itching to burst out, becomes President with a Democratic House and Senate. We all know how socialist governments end in bankruptcy. They are not exactly starting from a high point right now, but you watch those printing presses go into superdrive. Old Mac is not exactly inspiring but he gets the economy. Beggaring the US, which is what Obama and his thousands of PC cronies will do, is the surest way of increasing the risk of major conflict. I suspect Obama will win, but a weak US more keen on bringing the boys back home than standing up to bullies has always resulted in chaos and I am sorry to say a lot of bodies.

Dave Up North said...

Iain, you are spot on; however, you have come to the party a little later than I would have thought. As a big Reagan fan, and a Christian I might add, it appalls me how the Republicans have become dependent upon an ugly and crazed Christian right. Palin epitomises all that is wrong with the Republican Party today. Yes, Obama presents risks, don't all politicians(!); however, he is the best option by far. Today's Conservtaives should run a mile from the bigoted and erratic pair that is McCain/Palin.

anon 3.02 said...

Anon 3:02

So now McCain's sanity is up for question?


as far as I'm concerned the sanity of anyone who thinks Palin is eligible to be VP of a developed nation is in question. (And no, thanks, it has nothing to do with her gender. I agree that some - and I do mean some - of the comments directed at her have been unpleasantly sexist. But many of her supporters have simply cried 'sexism!' when what is being attacked is her woeful public performances and lack of knowledge).

'Ageism' is not the same as racism, nor the same as sexism, which in turn is not the same as racism. Gender, purely in biological terms, can have an effect on the way people live their lives, and their abilities. For this reason people who believe in 'substantive equality' do not necessarily support a simplistic 'equality' where everyone receives exactly the same treatment. Likewise age.

There are, doubtless, cases of people being treated unfairly because of their age. There is no doubt also that modern culture - westernised culture that is - fetishises youth. But to scream 'ageism' every time someone refers to another's age is no more valid than the oft-repeated accusation that something is 'offensive'. Both are, in short, slightly childish.

andy c said...

"We all know how socialist governments end in bankruptcy."

Yeah because free markets are really working out right now huh?

I'd rather have someone who understands the damned economy in the White House.



Lady Finchley - get over the age thing. Of course it's relevant. Especially when you've had the health issues McCain has.

David Lindsay said...

I initially thought that McCain might be like the decorated Chirac, leaving the warmongering to draft dodgers like Bill Clinton and George W Bush.

But then I saw that he wanted Robert Kagan for Secretary of State.

Nuff said.

It has to be Obama.

Lady Finchley said...

Oh yeah, Andy C - what about JFK's health? Crippling back ailment from his war injuries and Addison's disease? It didn't stop him from being a good president as well as bonking his way thru the presidency.

Grow up, will you?

Lady Finchley said...

Anon 4:47 - his age is being brought up as if somehow is impinges on his ability - that is what is offensive. You simply cannot cite a person's age, race or gender in relation to their ability to work, govern or enjoy the rights that everyone else has.

I am so glad that age discrimination is against the law.

Lord Asda said...

All this talk that he is like Blair?

It doesn't matter. Blair 1st term was a limited success! Minimum wage/Bank of England/ modernisation of parliament..

Let Obama have the 1st term.. THEN you all get to see on the 2nd term if he's earned the right to have 2 terms.
By any reasonable method of evaluation the Republican party has not earned the right to govern this time.

Blair..If he had been booted out after 1 term he would still be considered a good if unspectacular Pm

Anonymous said...

A heartbeat away and fingers on buttons - Iain are you SERIOUSLY suggesting Biden would be better? The guys an idiot , his foot permanently stuck in his mouth I shudder to think what he would be like as president - Palin is light years ahead of the daft idiot. Shame on you Iain looks like you should get off the drink its not doing you any good!

Ian Thorpe said...

Today was the day it all started to go pear shaped for Obama, Iain. After months of control freakery and media manipulation (including playing the race card constantly) the extent of his association with unrepentat terrorist Bill Ayres, his political links with Kenya and his involvement with Tony Rezko are strting to hit the mainstream media.
Bill Ayres and Barak Obama
Obama's ties to Kenya
Obama elegibility court case

Iain Dale said...

Shame I am teetotal, eh?

Anonymous said...

You're just a media whore. This is yet another of example of you trying to get noticed. This blog has destroyed you. Everybody - esp. at CCHQ - now regards you as a joke. Why do you think you never got Maidstone?

I know I'm coming across as personal here, but it is the IAIN DALE blog. If you can't stand the heat...

Iain Dale said...

Whatever.

andy c said...

Lady F - ave male life expectancy at birth in the US is 75.15 years. That's 3 years for McCain - if he was of average health, which given his cancer scares etc he isn't.

The fact is, McCain's age is of no interest to me. If he was clear and coherent I couldn't care less about how old he is. But when you started talking about fellow prisoners instead of fellow Americans, you're in trouble.

I suspect he also forget Barack Obama's name during the last debate, hence called him 'that one'.

canvas said...

to anon at 8:01> Can't you disagree without being disagreeable? Your hate and anger voids your opinion.

Cinnamon said...

If you declare for a left-winger, then I'm afraid you've changed sides, even if you think you haven't -- you're what you do, not what you say.

I actually think the entire Tory 2.0 party has changed away from conservatism and moved towards the centre-left, most of the policies (when there are some to show off) are actually social-democratic ones, whilst you still have the conservative brand you no longer uphold the philosophy. That's OK, times and people change and maybe the time for conservatism is over and we're back to the one person cult -- Obama featuring the Democrats amongst others is the new format of the show.

Cinnamon walks off into the sunset, whistling (somewhat out of tune): 'Losing My Political Conviction' to a well-known composition by a band called R.E.M

Anonymous said...

So according to Mr Dale, UK Conservatives would rather have a Socialist, vacuous and inexperienced US president than a wise old fellow who believes in God.

This will end in tears.

PS Mr Dale should provide proof that this is Mr Cameron's stand.

Paul Linford said...

For what it's worth, Iain isn't the only blogger who has changed "sides." Though I am apparently too left-wing to be classified as a "non-aligned blogger" in Iain's annual poll, I am backing McCain. This is not an election about vice-presidential candidates - everyone knows the vice-presidency is not worth a pint of cold piss or whatever it was that Lyndon Johnson said about it - it's about who has the experience to run the world's biggest superpower. McCain does, Obama doesn't. End of story.

Iain Dale said...

Paul, I haven't changed sides, I have come off the fence. I never hitched myself to McCain.

Your experience point is interesting. FDR would never have become president , nor would JFK under your rule.

Paul Linford said...

Yes, and we all know why the Tories want to downplay the importance of experience, Iain.

Iain Dale said...

Far from it, Paul. I'll take Cameron's judgement over Brown's experience any day. You reckon his experience of creating our current failed tri-partite regulatory system is worth any votes do you? !

canvas said...

Taylor Kessinger says experience is an overrated quality.

"there is no form of experience that prepares a person to be president.

No matter who is elected on Nov. 4, they will need on-the-job training, because there is no other form of presidential training.

This doesn't mean that we should randomly pick people to govern our country; it's a suggestion that other aspects of a candidate should be more important in our decision-making."

..."it should be noted that both Obama and McCain have been executives of large organizations since 2007 - they've been running the unprecedentedly large national campaigns which modern politics demands.

The best predictors of presidential success are probably the obvious ones: good judgment, devotion to American principles, solid ideas and strong advisers - all of which are, regrettably, difficult to quantify. ... don't be suckered into thinking that experience is a good determinant of presidential success. "

cookie said...

I will delete this blog from my Bookmarks Toolbar upon posting this comment.
This post is the final straw. Along with the recent economically illiterate comments from the Conservative Shadow Chancellor re: the current financial crisis that I had the misfortune to hear and my long-standing concern regarding what Cameron really stands for, I can no longer pledge myself to vote for the Conservative party. I shall 'waste' my vote on whichever party is more classicaly liberal that happens to be standing in my area, or if no such party is available I'll not vote at all.

workrobotwork said...

You haven't lost your marbles Iain.

But you are slavishly sticking to what the polls tell you. When Palin entered the fray, and the polls for the Republicans went up, you went back to their camp.

Now Obama has got a lead, you jump over to his side.

I'm backing McCain but I don't think he'll win.

Anonymous said...

I take it by your comments to Paul linford that you stand by your assertion that Cameron favours Obama above McCain.

It's time you showed your hand Ian.

Put up or shut up.

andy c said...

please all of you cut the crap about socialism. We're all f**king socialists now, government intervention is the order of the day, free markets have failed.

And VP choice does matter. It shows what bad judgement one of our potential Presidential candidates has.

(And Iain, you do need a slap for the Palin flirtation, but glad to see that common sense has prevailed).

Anonymous said...

TIME MAGAZINE: "grassroots Tories tend to favor Barack Obama because of British disenchantment with the Bush administration. "If you want a candidate who symbolizes change, Obama is the natural choice," he says. "


http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1846069,00.html

Lady Finchley said...

Yeah right Andy C, you've NEVER, had a slip of the tongue. What a facile argument. What a wipe.

Dream on.

Oh and see ya Cookie - don't let the door slam your ass on the way out. I'm sure Iain is just beside himself that you're leaving.
Boo hoo.

Anonymous said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/2675952/David-Cameron-rejects-neo-conservative-foreign-policy.html

"The Tory leader used a speech in Pakistan to shift Conservative foreign policy away from the "neo-conservative" ideology that informed the invasion of Iraq."

"Speaking in Islamabad, Mr Cameron, who backed the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, appeared to distance his party's foreign policy from the ideas promoted by leading members of the Bush administration in Washington.

"We should accept that we cannot impose democracy at the barrel of a gun; that we cannot drop democracy from 10,000 feet - and we shouldn't try," Mr Cameron said.

"Put crudely, that was what was wrong with the 'neo-con' approach, and why I am a liberal Conservative, not a neo Conservative."

Fannie Mae said...

Hey Anon 8:01

If you had any cojones you'd say who you are. CCHQ indeed. More than likely one of Dolly's trolls.

Come on, say who you are and come and have a go then - if you think that you're tough enough.

Mr Jabberwock said...

I am not yet settled on this - but as I don't have a vote on the matter my restlessness is limited.

However to contra-phrase Bill Byrson when he said "Blackpool, which is nothing if not magestic; is not magestic" with the statement that "America, which is nothing if it is not aspirational; must remain aspirational".

This is what makes our US cousins both so refreshing and so, well sometimes, nauseating at the same time.

However I can't believe that it can be in my personal interest for that aspiration to fade and maybe, just maybe, Barak Obama has the better chance to rekindle that momentarily faltering flame than John McCain.

It might just matter.

Lady Finchley said...

Well, Canvas if what Taylor Kessinger says is true than the argument that Sarah Palin has no experience is shot to shit really. She can get on the job training just as much as your boy Obama.

What's good for the goose...

canvas said...

The Palin problem doesn't revolve around the argument of 'experience'.
It's an intellectual problem.

canvas said...

or rather anti-intellectual problem.

Paul Linford said...

Coming back to the "experience" point, it's astonishing* that the mainstream media did not do more to challenge Cameron's hubristic assertion during his conference speech when he compared himself to Thatcher circa '79 and Brown to Callaghan.

As I pointed out on my blog last Saturday, the facts are that when she entered No 10, Thatcher had been an MP for 20 years and had served in Heath's Cabinet for four of them. Cameron has been an MP for seven years and has never held ministerial office of any description.

People ridicule Sarah Palin, but she has made the most telling point of the US election campaign so far: that Sen Obama has not only never held executive office, he has never even been responsible for passing any significant legislation.

* Actually, it isn't really.

Lady Finchley said...

Canvas - I remember people maligning Ronald Reagan for his lack of intellect but he wound up being one of the best presidents we ever had. While I am not putting Sarah Palin in Reagan's class you would do well to remember that the intellectual snobs on the East and West coasts do not make up America.

Your mania for Obama borders on the obsessive.

canvas said...

lady finchley>> Perhaps you should take the time to read this interesting article 'The Class War Before Palin'.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/opinion/10brooks.html

..." Ronald Reagan was no intellectual, but he had an earnest faith in ideas and he spent decades working through them. He was rooted in the Midwest, but he also loved Hollywood. And for a time, it seemed the Republican Party would be a broad coalition — small-town values with coastal reach."

..."But over the past few decades, the Republican Party has driven away people who live in cities, in highly educated regions and on the coasts. This expulsion has had many causes. But the big one is this: Republican political tacticians decided to mobilize their coalition with a form of social class warfare."

..."What had been a disdain for liberal intellectuals slipped into a disdain for the educated class as a whole. The liberals had coastal condescension, so the conservatives developed their own anti-elitism, with mirror-image categories and mirror-image resentments, but with the same corrosive effect."

..." The political effects of this trend have been obvious. Republicans have alienated the highly educated regions — Silicon Valley, northern Virginia, the suburbs outside of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Raleigh-Durham. The West Coast and the Northeast are mostly gone.

The Republicans have alienated whole professions. Lawyers now donate to the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at 4-to-1 rates. With doctors, it’s 2-to-1. With tech executives, it’s 5-to-1. "

..." Conservatives are as rare in elite universities and the mainstream media as they were 30 years ago. The smartest young Americans are now educated in an overwhelmingly liberal environment.

This year could have changed things. The G.O.P. had three urbane presidential candidates. But the class-warfare clich├ęs took control. Rudy Giuliani disdained cosmopolitans at the Republican convention. Mitt Romney gave a speech attacking “eastern elites.” (Mitt Romney!) John McCain picked Sarah Palin.

Palin is smart, politically skilled, courageous and likable. Her convention and debate performances were impressive. But no American politician plays the class-warfare card as constantly as Palin. Nobody so relentlessly divides the world between the “normal Joe Sixpack American” and the coastal elite.

She is another step in the Republican change of personality. Once conservatives admired Churchill and Lincoln above all — men from wildly different backgrounds who prepared for leadership through constant reading, historical understanding and sophisticated thinking. Now those attributes bow down before the common touch.

And so, politically, the G.O.P. is squeezed at both ends. The party is losing the working class by sins of omission — because it has not developed policies to address economic anxiety. It has lost the educated class by sins of commission — by telling members of that class to go away. "


.

Anonymous said...

This endorsement of Obama is why many of us real conservatives think that you, Dave and the Conservative Party, are the heirs to Blair. Conservative you are not you are just a COIN - Conservative Only In Name.

Anonymous said...

" older does not affect McCain's ability."

I agree that you cannot just assume that being older affects his ability .... but just watch him. He has a very odd stance, as though suffering from back pain a lot of the time.

Also watch the video of the last debate. As he walks around the stage he is very unsteady on his feet. He visibly staggers at times and his entire delivery is slow and ponderous.

Sorry...but he looks and acts like a man whose facilities just aren't what they once were. No assumptions. Observations.

andy c said...

anon - the discomfort McCain shows is the result of his war injuries, let's not be contentious about that. If you notice, he can't move his arms above his head and can't shake hands properly. He also has to have someone comb his hair for him.

Just want to be fair to him.

andy c said...

anon above - you "real" conservatives are the reasons we lost election after election.

Unhealthy obsessions about loss of sovereignty, Europe and save the pound while we we ignored what really mattered to people.

That's why Obama's going to win - it's the economy, stupid. No wonder "real" conservatives are backing McCain - just like they backed Hague, IDS.....

Iain Dale said...

Cookie at 9.34. That really is pathetic.

Anonymous 9.38. I posed a question, I did not make a statement of fact. Do you actually know the distinction?

Anonymous 10.59, I presume you think Dan Hannan and Douglas Carswell aren't Conservatives either them. Muppet.

andy c said...

Sarah Palin has been found guilty of abusing her powers as Alaska Governor!

Can it get any worse for McCain???

Wow. Huge story. Possible criminal or civil charges to follow.

Incredible.

Rebel Saint said...

I just don't get a lot of the outright hypocrisy that surrounds the debate about Palin.

We like Obama because he's young & fresh. We don't like Palin coz she's young and fresh.

We don't like Palin's inexperience(?!!) [possibly the most experienced of the 4!]. We don't mind Obama's inexperience.

We don't mind Obama's black supremacist churchmanship. We don't like Palin's orthodox evangelical churchmanship.

If you want change, then you can't possibly get a bigger change than Palin. If you want change that you can believe in then I think Palin has least believable background.

She is the best reason to vote for McCain. Several years as VP would give her enough on the job training to make her the most exciting, dynamic, progressive president yet. A sexy Thatcher!

Rebel Saint said...

Oops .. deliberate mistake! It should have of course said "Obama has the least believable background".

As for the breaking Palin news ... that's the sound of barrels scraping and mud being tossed? It'll be interesting to see how much space the Beeb give to this story compared to the dodgy Obama associations

Anonymous said...

"I agree that you cannot just assume that being older affects his ability .... but just watch him. He has a very odd stance, as though suffering from back pain a lot of the time.

Also watch the video of the last debate. As he walks around the stage he is very unsteady on his feet. He visibly staggers at times and his entire delivery is slow and ponderous."


These have nothing to do with his age, they are physical coditions brought back from Vietnam where he was tortured as a POW. He has not been able to walk properly or been out of pain since that time.

dickthe prick said...

Iain - I know you predicted a storm of criticism but some of the vitriol thrown at you must kinda make you think that your blog attracts nutters, nutters I tell you man, utter loons!

Must dash, have the plumber round to fix my chickens.

Anonymous said...

So which country will Obama bomb first when he becomes president??

Every tin pot terorist and dictator wants him to win. so they think Obama is sucker tucker. There`s going to be trouble one way or another.

wellPlayed said...

Iain! You have let the German language down. I know you used to teach English in Deutschland, but you should know your German.

In German, 'Zeitgeist' can only be used with the past tense. This is because one can only view Zeitgeist for past events.
I can look back at yesterday's Zeitgeist, but I can't see today's.

'He has the zeitgeist in a way that McCain doesn't even know what the word means.'

Finally, McCain has advisors who know all his policy, so who cares? :D

wellPlayed

wellPlayed said...

Iain! You have let the German language down. I know you used to teach English in Deutschland, but you should know your German.

In German, 'Zeitgeist' can only be used with the past tense. This is because one can only view Zeitgeist for past events.
I can look back at yesterday's Zeitgeist, but I can't see today's.

'He has the zeitgeist in a way that McCain doesn't even know what the word means.'

Finally, McCain has advisors who know all his policy, so who cares? :D

wellPlayed

javelin said...

Great line on Chris Rock's new comedy video - Why you can't have a black first lady (nothing wrong with a black lady president) - and he won't be voting for Obama.

The reason is that when Obama wakes up and turns to Michelle and says "I'm the President," she will turn to him and say "No we the President."

ha, ha. ALl the black girls in the audience looks like they had been caught with their pants down.

P.S. Get the video - but don't show the wife/girlfriend.

Lady Finchley said...

Canvas

Don't quote the New York Times at me - it is the Democrats' mouthpiece of choice. I am a New Yorker and have mostly voted Democrat so I know.

You'll have to try harder.

neil craig said...

Don't agree wit6h you Iain. McCain hasn't got the killer instinct & while that is a liability in getting elected I don't think it makes you a worse President - quite the contrary.

In what way has Palin failed? As you point out she has been subject to a vitrioic media attack, whereas Biden "all Serbs should be put in Nazi style conentration camps" has been given a totally free ride, but just because the media hate her doesn't say anything about her fitness for the job.

On the other hand Obama's tax, spend & regulate policies should be anathema to you. They are to me & would solve none of the economic problems Bush created & load them down with more. If Obama wins it will be because of the media.

Dave J. said...

"He has the capacity to listen and take in diverse points of view."

No. Anyone who says that has been had. What Obama has in lieu of that is the ability to LOOK he's doing that, and then do exactly what he would've done anyway. Obama has never once challenged his own party or any of the conventional wisdom of the Left. For anyone calling themself a conservative to buy his act is quite simply embarrassing.

David Lindsay said...

Has Palin been stitched up?

A Religious Right nominee with this waiting to come out. And now it has. So McCain can drop her for someone like Lieberman instead.

Just a thought...

canvas said...

Lady Finch - I am from Philadelphia so I know too.

"You'll have to try harder"

No. I am not in denial.
The facts are the facts.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin is simple minded, a reactionary, ill-informed, impatient with complexity and utterly shallow.

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