Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Exclusive: what the primaries REALLY mean

  • Candidate who was doomed last week now triumphant
  • Candidate who was reshaping politics last week now flash in pan
  • Opinion polls fallible
  • Other 87 candidates still confident, forgettable, insincere, gesticulating, weird, grumpy, dopey and sleepy

I’m going to hold off blogging about the US elections until they actually have a pair of candidates. Then I’m going to hope the Democrat wins. That may be quite a short blog post.

In the meantime, there seems to be a laughably high ratio of interpretation to information.

It’s like the first hour or so of the BBC election specials, where Dimbleby, Paxman, Snow, Curtice and assorted party hacks analyse polls, rumours, other media reports, each other and thin air. Only it lasts weeks.


Matt M said...

There's a line in 'The West Wing' about economists only existing "to make astrologers look good" - it works quite well with political pundits too.

Liam Murray said...


It's been going on in one form or another since this point last year...

Tom Freeman said...

I know, I know, it's been going on in one form or another for ages - I recall Obama getting the 'ooh, future president' treatment for a really good speech in support of John Kerry back in 2004 - but I'm talking about the part where actual real electoral things are happening, even if sporadically.

I think Olly has a nice take: "Pundits furious as US voters get it wrong again".

Andre said...

Will you give us a clue who you'll be rooting for?

Tom Freeman said...

Well, now, I wouldn't want to destabilise the political betting markets by declaring my hand. Besides, I'm still waiting to see whether Matt Santos will make a late entrance!

Seriously: I domn;t actually know enough about Obama's politics to know whether I prefer him to Clinton. I want a Dem who'll win in November, and I gather he's ahead of her in those stakes. But on the other hand, all the reasons to dislike her are already well known, and he may have weaknesses yet to come out fully.

Not following the Republican side that closely either. Huckabee seems awful, Giuliani slimy, Romney I have no idea and McCain I have a reasonable respect for, though I don't know his domestic politics that well. I'd like them to pick a candidate who'll lose but without dragging the political culture even further to the right.

Andre said...

Obama said we should reach out to evangelicals... that already made me worry a bit. A religious right is extremely bad... but it would be extremely more worrying if future elections would be Religious Right vs. Christian Left.

Re Republicans - I have a HUGE respect for McCain and I think he would prove to be quite a headache for the Democrats.