Thursday, April 24, 2008

The presidential cliffhanger intensifies

From The Australian, Greg Sheridan Blog April 24, 2008:

THE exquisite choreography of the US Democratic presidential primary was maintained at a magnificent pitch in Pennsylvania, with Hillary Clinton beating Barack Obama by the magical 10 percentage points....It’s a cliffhanger moment in a cliffhanger narrative.

... Obama can’t ...carry working-class whites or churchgoers or seniors or gun owners.

Obama wins huge among latte-sipping urban liberals and among African-Americans. Indeed, the Pennsylvania race breaks up revealingly along racial, religious, urban/rural and age lines. A staggering 92 per cent of blacks who voted, voted for Obama. Some 69 per cent of Catholics voted for Clinton, as did a smaller majority of Jewish voters.

Some 61 per cent of seniors were for Clinton, as were 59 per cent of weekly church goers and 58 per cent of gun owners. Clinton also won the rural areas overwhelmingly....

...The other intriguing aspect of Pennsylvania, however, is that it showed the limit of the influence of both the media and paid advertising. Obama outspent Clinton three to one - some $US12 million ($12.7 million) - on TV and radio ads in Pennsylvania. He campaigned in the state full-time for six weeks and continues to get adulatory press coverage. The media has decided that he is their candidate. ....

...When the media treats Obama this way, they are treating him as a celebrity whose manifest kindness, sweetness and lovableness ought not to be contested by any right-thinking person.
There are lots of reasons to be worried about an Obama presidency which have nothing to do with race.

...Obama is the most left-wing member of the US Senate. He has had a long association with, and for many years attended every week, the services of a wildly extreme preacher extolling the most insane and racist conspiracy theories (that the US Government invented AIDS to kill black people).

Obama has a long association with a violent radical of the 1960s. He has a long financial association with a Chicago slumlord now under indictment over racketeering. He deals with racial issues in a fundamentally dishonest way - equating the hate-filled sermons of his preacher with his (white) grandmother’s alleged racial stereotyping. He is the most inexperienced person to have a serious shot at the presidency in many decades.

None of this proves Obama would be a bad president. But they are all issues on which Obama deserves the same brutal scrutiny that any other presidential candidate would get....

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