Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obama versus McCain and Then Canada...

So I return to the question of Obama-Biden versus John McCain and as yet unknown VP nominee. While I have little time for McCain, I suspect he will win in November.

Why? Four reasons. First, Obama is sounding “empty” – gone are the focused, intelligent, imaginative speeches and they have been replaced with rambles. Less is more. Second, not only is the speechifying weaker, the content now needs to be more specific – not just why we need change but what specifically the changes will be and what is different about them from what McCain will propose. Third, I think Biden is a poor choice and will be outmatched by McCain’s choice next week. Finally, I genuinely doubt whether America is ready for a black President.

So this is McCain’s race to lose. And he might just do that. There is a Bob Dole quality about him – genuine sort of guy who has worked hard for years in the Senate and done good things, war hero and all that, but, well dull. No big communicator – not like the “Gipper”. Plus he is disconnected from the challenges facing “ordinary” people, as became clear last week. He has to be careful he doesn’t go over board with the strategy that Obama isn’t really an American or that Obama and Osama are, well, related! His biggest threat is whatever George Bush does between now and the election.

Speaking of elections, it will be interesting to see what happens here in Canada. Our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is touting the idea of an election in September and the press have taken the bait big time. He is trying to ensure that he can in fact manage the agenda in the House for at least 6-9 months – so I (and colleagues with connections) don’t think there will be an election in Canada in September. That’s not to say it isn’t time for one – it probably is – just that one is unlikely. Read the current activity as a way to make the Liberal Leader Mr Dion look, well, as he is, a dithering load of puff.

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