Politics and International Affairs and the quest for the ulterior motive.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

US Presidential Elections Update

New York Times endorsements

The influential New York Times newspaper has endorsed
Hillary Clinton from the Democratic Party and John McCain from the Republican Party as their preferred candidates from the primary race. The endorsement marks a clearing of the race, which though, is far from over, as Clinton and McCain have shown an upward trend in their national appeal to voters, which ultimately will decide the final showdown between the two parties. Although, the New York Times can sway many undecided voters, the 2008 elections are an internet event. With most candidates taking their campaign to the World Wide Web and the explosion of online news media, blogs and think tanks, the undecided voters may just make up their minds on the internet rather than from what the traditional media tells them. That said, it does not take anything away from the importance the endorsements gives to the two candidates. The endorsement will be a body blow for Barack Obama, who after a string of editorial and celebrity endorsements would have got a definite fillip if the New York Times had helped him. But as most political analysts argue, the world will be a precarious place after the Bush administration leaves office. Externally, terrorism, the war in Iraq, North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear talks, relations with Russia, the Middle East peace process and the record oil prices will all need political acumen, experience and leadership that only McCain and Clinton seem to offer given the current fray of candidates.

The Obama “hit job”

Former US president Bill Clinton is currently campaigning for his wife, Hillary in the politically sensitive state of South Carolina that will hold its primaries this weekend. The former president has been in the news more often than his wife and that too for all the wrong reasons. First, it was Clinton taking on Obama’s record and rhetoric regarding the war in Iraq, where he called the idea that Obama was consistently against the war in Iraq as a “fairytale”. The Obama camp latched on to this comment and highlighted that Clinton had brought race into the campaign, by calling the Obama candidacy a “fairytale”. Following a vitriolic to and fro between Hill-Bill and Obama, Democratic leaders had to step in to tone down the temperature a few notches. Ultimately, the fight is between Democrats and the Republicans and not between two candidates of the Democratic Party. The fear is that the Democratic frontrunners have got so embroiled in a verbal barrage that who ever wins will find it difficult to expect the losing camps’ supporters to vote for him or her. Then again, Obama is breaking new ground by appealing to fence sitters and some centrist-Republicans. A feat few Democrats can boast of. If these new supporters see the manner in which the Clinton camp decimates Obama’s message for “change” and bipartisanship, they might just go back to their traditional party and vote Republican.

As if the tone of the verbal duel between the two Democratic front runners was not bad enough, Bill Clinton launched a fresh salvo at the Obama camp. He accused the Obama camp of plotting a “political hit job” against him and his wife and twisting facts to sensationalize the media. He accused the media of highlighting the fight between the two candidates as the main election issue, when actually the people of his country were more concerned about the war in Iraq and the economy. While Clinton’s message has resonance, once again the media picked up on the “hit job” part of the statement rather than what he said after that! So much for tutoring the media!

Thompson and Kucinich drop out

Republican candidate Fred Thompson and Democratic contender Dennis Kucinich announced the end of their quest for the White House. Thompson, the former movie and television star, was touted by many Republicans and conservative media houses as a potential winner. But his lackluster campaign proved to inspire no one and his relative laid back style of campaigning saw little interest from voters. Thompson vowed to run a different type of campaign. He did live up to that promise but in a way that his campaign managers did not foresee.

Dennis Kucinich was always a long shot in these elections, and he failed to get into double digits in any of the primaries that voted for a candidate. He was recently in the news for asking for a recounting of votes in New Hampshire, which unfortunately for him, became the butt of jokes in the late night comedy shows in the US.

Dates for the Race


South Carolina primaries – January 26th
Watch out for who takes the honors between Obama and Hillary in state with 50% African American voters and a traditional Clinton vote bank.


Florida – January 29th
This primary will decide the fate of former New York Governor Rudy Giuliani who has put all hopes in the Sunshine State. He chose to ignore the primaries in all other states to concentrate on this state which if he could win will help him gain momentum for Super Tuesday on February 5th. If he loses, he can count himself as a has been for all practical purposes. Latest polls show him trailing in third place behind McCain and Romney.

Maine – February 1st


Post a Comment

<< Home