Tuesday, November 04, 2008

UK press mostly cheering for Obama

The lead in the Times says the campaign has been dignified "This is a contest that could so easily have featured distasteful hints about race or nasty gibes about age. It could have centred on the outlandish remarks of Obama's pastor the Rev Wright or his occasional meeting with the terrorist William Ayers. Instead Senator McCain has shown admirable restraint, Senator Obama admirable dignity."

The Times also notes the worst endorsements
the candidates ever got. McCain's must be the KKK, whereas Obama's would be Hamas.

Mick Brown in the Daily Telegraph talks of how Obama won so many over.

Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph warns that McCain is the safer option regarding foreign policy. "Mr Obama is a confection; he is an image, a brand, a lifestyle. He has the talents of the thespian, less obviously those of the executive." "Mr McCain, who understands well how foreign powers and military operations work, would have a much more informed discussion with his advisers. Mr Obama would be starting from a position of near total ignorance, and on a matter of life and death."

The lead in the Daily Telegraph
is concerned about Obama "What we do know of his policies is not encouraging - higher taxes, protectionism, a bigger role for the state, particularly in health-care. For those who believe that the United States' greatest strength - from which the whole world benefits - is the can-do individualism that fuels its boisterous free market economy, Mr Obama presents a worrying prospect." and McCain has blundered badly "this time round he has allowed himself to be diverted into a negative game-plan that combines ugly ad hominem attacks on Mr Obama with the specious claim that only the Republicans represent "real America". So on balance prefers McCain "His ill-considered choice of running mate appeared not only wilful but also defeatist because it seemed designed simply to shore up the Republican base, rather than reach out to a wider electorate. Yet on the big issues, Mr McCain is by far the sounder candidate. He is a tax cutter, a believer in small government, a zealot for free trade. He may have made something of a fool of himself with his grandstanding during the banking crisis, but he was not alone in that (though Mr Obama wisely kept his counsel)."

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian has been seduced by the star "If voters reject McCain today they will also be rejecting that McCarthyite brand of politics, embracing Obama's insistence that, at a time when the problems facing America are so big, it makes no sense that its politics are so small"

Clintonite Sydney Blumenthal in the Guardian
talks about the end of the Republican era, though says next to nothing about Obama, and talks utter nonsense about the US economy.

Johann Hari in the Independent says this is about transformation. Transcendence of race (true), the end of passive government (it never existed), the end of the culture war of the conservatives vs everyone else (perhaps), the end of US unilateralism (probably not). Again another Obama fan.

The lead in the Independent fawns over Obama. "Indisputably, he has also had a gentler ride from the media than Mr McCain. But gifted politicians make their own success. Over the past two gruelling years, we have learnt a great deal about Mr Obama. He is formidably intelligent."

The Daily Mail bemoans the BBC sending 175 people to the USA to cover the election, although I wonder how much coverage the BBC is onselling at a profit.

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