Obamalanche?

Well after what seems like several millennia of campaigning and what must have amounted to countless of billions of dollars spent, the winner of the race for the White House will likely be known in less than twenty-four hours. The polls are looking very good for Barack Obama, with the Democrat ahead in most of the battleground states. Although it is undoubtedly a mistake of statistically extreme proportions to do so, it is very tempting to consider what events we may all witness in the coming hours if these early results are anything to go by:

Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location have just 115 residents between them and kept up their tradition of being the first to cast their votes on election day.

The usually Republican strongholds went for the Democratic candidate by a big margin.

In Dixville Notch, Obama notched up 15 votes to McCain’s six. In Hart’s Location they voted 17 to 10 in Obama’s favour, with two voters going for the libertarian candidate, Ron Paul. The Independent candidate, Ralph Nader, got no votes in either village.

I for one will be following the election coverage with avid interest over the course of the next day, and keeping my fingers crossed for a Democrat victory. My tip, and probably just about everyone else’s, is that Barack Obama is teetering on the brink of making history – and that tomorrow he will decisively defeat a Republican team that is tired and has provided only lacklustre competition. John McCain is not offering anything new to the American people for the future and quite frankly, is too old and jaded for the considerable tasks at hand. Sarah Palin, as John Cleese so wonderfully puts it, has done a magnificent job of dethroning Michael Palin as the world’s funniest Palin, but is not up to the job she has been nominated for.

The United States is on the verge of something wonderful – an opportunity for resounding change that only comes along once or twice in a generation. Will they now carry it through and signal the start of a bold new political era for their nation and indeed the world at large?

All eyes on the Super Tuesday prize

The presidential race in the United States has quickly boiled down to a couple of candidates for each party: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democrats, and John McCain and Mitt Romney for the Republicans. For the Republicans it would seem that the outcome is a foregone conclusion, with McCain running with far greater momentum with Romney through recent state ballots. Contrastingly, I don’t think any of us watching is too keen to put their neck out in relation to predicting the Democratic nomination. From all reports, the margins are tight, and recent results which have run massively contrary to prior polling (e.g. New Hampshire) make one pretty sceptical of market research just at the moment.

For my money’s worth (and I have an extremely dubious track record on such matters), I am tipping Hillary Clinton to do better out of Super Tuesday for the Democrats than Obama. My preferred choice is of course the latter, but I just have a funny feeling that while Obama is pulling in young voters left, right and centre, he is not doing quite so well with the older, establishment set within the Democratic party. The recent comparisons of Obama to JFK and his endorsement by Teddy Kennedy seem at first glance to be real coups for the Obama campaign, but we mustn’t forget that Kennedy no longer represents what we might call the mainstream Democratic establishment. One imagines that a decent number of hard-nosed Democrat voters would have sensed alarm bells going off when Kennedy, with his controversial take on modern politics and his high profile, backed Obama, who has less political experience and less global political connections than his counterpart. The Obama campaign team have attempted to turn this inexperience into a positive by taking an anti-establishment, anti-insider approach to the media markets, but this may ultimately prove hurtful to the campaign, as it appeared to be in some respects for John Edwards who was even more aggressive on this line.

I guess we’ll find out one way or another soon enough. If we do eventually end up with a third Clinton Administration – my one frivolous hope is that Clinton hires Obama and his team for writing and delivering her speeches. If we are talking about the craft of language and the ability to inspire people with words, I don’t think there is any doubt that Obama knocks Clinton, her husband, and the entire bevy of Republican candidates right out of the park.