In the first day wives' battle of the US national party conventions, victory went to the First Lady, Michelle Obama, whose charisma and class topped the Republican challenger, Ann Romney, by a margin fashioned from four years of White House experience and a lifetime of honesty. Like Ann Romney, Michelle Obama gave a speech that was both … Continue reading The delegates go wild over Michelle Obama
As a Democrat Abroad, I’m worried about the US presidential election. I still think Barack Obama will be re-elected president, but the Republicans have finally started running a smart campaign. The Republican National Convention in Tampa last week developed a strategy that might work. First of all, the Republican hierarchy proved that Mitt Romney was … Continue reading Clint Eastwood chairs the Republican convention
I’m having a severe case of déjà vu all over again. My original vu was Thursday, September 1, 2005, and the news about a hurricane called Katrina heading for New Orleans was all over the US bulletins coming in via satellite to Sydney that night. I was preparing the rundown for the Sunday Program on … Continue reading The Republicans may have built it, but will the voters come?
“Once there were two brothers. One ran away to sea, the other was elected Vice-President, and nothing was ever heard of either of them again.” That witty quote came from Thomas R. Marshall, who just happened to be US Vice-President for two terms (1913-1921) under Woodrow Wilson. In his early years, he took to drink, … Continue reading Paul Ryan: The deer hunter who would be president
You’d think a US Republican presidential candidate would be aware of one of the tenets of good speech-making: Know your audience. Mitt Romney’s audience in Houston was the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), one of America’s oldest and most respected civil rights organisations, established in 1910 to … Continue reading Mitt Romney: Who am I talking to?
“I was very involved in the McCain campaign, and I love McCain a lot. But I never felt this good about our chances four years ago.” That was Brian Ballard, a co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s finance team, talking to the New York Times about the Republican candidate’s chances of beating Barack Obama in the November … Continue reading Let the Political Games begin
The ghost of US President Sarah Palin was stalking the streets of Sydney this week. Okay, you say, she hasn’t died, and she hasn’t become president so please explain (that was the famous expression of the politician who’s come closest to replicating Sarah Palin in Australia). The spirit of Sarah the Future President came courtesy … Continue reading A scary search for the Real Sarah Palin
“The dive bombers and the zeros came so low, you could see the pilots’ faces as they dropped their bombs.” Reporter: “You can remember seeing their faces?” “Yes, I can still see it, yes. I didn’t recognise any of them. It was the same mob that did over Pearl Harbor, the same Japanese fleet.” That … Continue reading The Diggers’ light shines in the darkness
“The fat lady’s singing. No matter how you put it, it’s over. There’s no way he’s going to be able to stop Romney at this point.” That’s Howard Dean’s former campaign manager, Joe Trippi, talking about Republican candidate Rick Santorum after the front-runner, Mitt Romney, won primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia … Continue reading Pundits declare: The party’s over
Super Tuesday became Mediocre Tuesday, or Predictable Tuesday, according to US pundits this week. Mitt Romney won six states, including the bellwether, Ohio, but impressed nobody, except himself. Rick Santorum took Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota, and came close in Ohio, blessed by evangelical voters, but is nowhere near the Holy Grail. Newt Gingrich easily … Continue reading A Super Tuesday with Jimmy Breslin