Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Preliminary US elections post-mortem

Five years after taking down the Iraqi one, America got a president Hussein of it's own. Carma is a bitch, eh?

Joking aside, Barack Hussein Obama won an electoral college landslide with 349 to 127 EVs but not so much in the popular vore (52%-47%). He won in all of the swing states as well as some traditionally Republican ones such as Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana(which, to me at least, is the biggest surprise of the night). The great paradox is, considering the large margin of vistory, the decisive factors that determined these elections had less to do with what Obama did and more to do with the actions of the Republicans and John McCain, or lack thereof. Here are some of the most important reasons why America will, as of January 20th, have it's first black president:

1) John McCain. As Don Feder wrote: "It was said of Bob Dole, another war hero, that he couldn't sell beer on a troop ship. McCain couldn't give it away". McCain looks artificial, stiff, gloomy, speaks monotonously and is inarticulate at times, has no sense of what the crowd feels or personal charm. Add to that the history of mental instability, intolerance to the point of verbal and physical abuse towards people who have different opinions then he does and that he spent the good part of the last decade warring against his own party and it's base and you could see why he was propably the worst possible candidate.

2) General situation. People seldom give three consecutive terms to a party in the US. Bearing in mind that the past 4 years brought a lot of problems for the USA, it was clear that this would be an uphill battle for the republicans, regardless of the candidate.

3) The McCain campaign. The first time that something was wrong were seen at spring when McCain secured the nomination whereas Obama and Hillary Clinton will still battling it out in quite a nasty campaign. Istead of using the democratic entaglement in the primaries to build McCain's image as a candidate and take a swipe at the other two using nothing more then what they were saying about each other, the McCain campaign went into hibernation, waking up only after Obama had sewed up his nomination in July. Even then, it's actions were lukewarm, devoid of energy and real arguments, mirroring McCain's personality. Nobody was ready to call Obama on his associations with Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko or Louis Farakhan, even some controversial Obama statements were off-limits for reasons known only to John McCain. The nomination of Sarah Palin for VP spiked things up a little, and the Alaska governor brought the much needed charisma, charm and optimism. McCain even took a lead in most of the polls. Then came the stock market meltdown, which would have damaged McCain anyway, but his response to it was an epitome of incompetence and clumsuness. First he completely needlessly suspended his campaign to go to Washington in order to arrange a deal on the measures that need to be taken, then he voted for the bailout which was staunchly opposed by the republican base anbd thus reignited an old conflict. Eventually, he went on with the campaign the same way as it was before the Republican convention , without a clear message or a strategy and seemingly without the real desire to win...People were under the impression that he was just doing a job, that there was no passion in his actions.

4) The media. Mainstream papers and TV networks ususally favour democrats. This year, however, it was in an unprescedented scale. The dissection of Sarah Palin often transcended the limits of good taste. On the other hand, all (potential) Obama scandals were swept under the rug. It has reached a point where even some liberal commentators were uneasy with the apparent bias.

Well, now that it is all over, we can watch Obama change exactly nothing.

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