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Posts Tagged ‘McCain’

The champagne is running!

Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Mexico in the bag, likely to be followed by Indiana, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada. Hats off to Plouffe and Axelrod, great strategy on the key battlegrounds. McCain is delivering its concession speech outside to freezing supporters rather than in the fancy ballroom they had set up for victory… let’s celebrate!

election-outcomeHat tip: Daily Kos

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The show of shows

You don’t get a political night bigger than this. It’s not just an Americn election, it’s not just the American election that will end the disastrous Bush presidency, it’s the American election that will end the disastrous Bush presidency and be starting (fingers crossed) the Obama presidency, a black man with a completely un-American approach to politics, more European if you like.

Tonight half of the world will be glued to a TV to follow this election coverage, you know the famous ‘and CNN is now ready to call the state of ???? for Senator/Congressman/Governor ???’.

In proper American style, I have got myself plenty of beers, potato skins, hotdogs and doritos with tomato salsa to get through the night. Also bought a nice bottle of champagne to celebrate a historic moment (if it is to be).

I will not be blogging tonight because American elections, like Hollywood, is a show to be enjoyed free of distractions. Iain Dale is doing a live chat in his blog if you are feeling active tonight. On this side of London I will be watching CNN and BBC simultaneously with a beer in my hand waiting for the numbers to come in. And by the way if you are a numbers-geek or simply want some great quality polling commentary go over to this great great site.

Now sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

I leave you with two videos one with Obama working as an intern for Zapatero (with this second time, do you reckon Zapatero is the most mentioned foreign leader in this election?) and a hilarious one, an American introduction to football on Phoenix from the Flames, bless them! (Mark this one is for you mate!)

Enjoy!

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The last days of a losing campaign…

No words, just pathetic…

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The White House today announced the celebration of the economic summit in New York in mid-November. The G-20 countries are meeting up to design a new structure for capitalism. It definitely sounds glamorous, it sounds like a 21st century Bretton Woods.

But there are two key reasons  why this economic summit is complete rubbish.

The first reason is because by the time the summit kicks off on 13th of November the US electorate will have elected a new President. By that time the host of the summit, the man speaking on behalf the most powerful economy in the world, will officially be a lame duck, even if in practice he already is. Who is going to be seriously negotiating with a man who his own fellow countrymen believe to be an utter disgrace in economic affairs? specially knowing he is gone and a new, definitely more protectionist President whether Obama or McCain, could easily roll back any agreement they might have hammered down in this summit.

The second reason is the exclusion of Spain from the negotiating table. Now, I know most of you are going to roll your eyes and think this is just a bitter comment with a bit of a nationalist flair to it. And partly it is, that sentiment was what initially made me think about writing this post. But please bear with me, because I think I do have a point.

Brown, Sarkozy and Barroso have said they wanted Spain to attend the summit. The Bush administration has declined inviting Zapatero on the grounds that only the G-20 countries should attend. Now, I have no problem with the developing countries attending. But I do have it with the developed ones. Out of the G-7 countries (US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan), five have had to save several of their national banks (US, UK, France and Germany), one is in a deep economic stagnation coupled with a serious leadership crisis (Italy), Japan which is ok and Canada which is pretty irrelevant in this case. Now, on the other hand you have Spain, which despite finding itself in a deep housing crisis and having been exposed to the credit crunch as much as the G-7 countries, has a banking sector that has not just weathered the storm but gone on the offensive buying banks abroad. Santander has bought three UK banks in as many years, Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley and across the Atlantic it has bought Sovereign. BBVA has entered China through Citic Group and has become one of the most important banking entities in America through its BBVA USA network.

The reason for this is the regulatory system set up in Spain by both the government and the central bank. Weekly risk assessment committees asses Spanish banks investment decisions to guarantee their soundness. The level of savings guaranteeing liabilities are the highest (without being excessive or burdensome to business) in the Western financial system. Good regulation not excessive regulation, exactly what is expected of this summit. You don’t believe me? Read this and this.

Now, if the Spanish banking sector is done much better than its counterparts and this is certainly due to a better regulatory system. Why shouldn’t the country responsible for this system be invited to provide that experience to a summit on world financial regulation?

These are my two reasons why next month’s summit in New York will either be not more than a photo-op for world leaders (Gleneagles style) or a total shambles of inefficient regulation which will not stand for long and certainly not help reassure markets in the tough year to come.

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Biden v Palin: an analysis

I managed tos stay up for this debate as well, probably because is the first time in history in which the Veep debate was more awaited than that of the main candidates to the Presidency.

I have to admit I was watching while doing other stuff because Palin’s performance was just appalling (no pun intended). I know a lot of people will say she beat expectations, but frankly they were so low and she beat them by so little that it was quite hard to keep focus on what she was saying. Palin was so scripted it was hard not to think of her as a robot just repeating talking points one after another. Iain Dale notices that Biden refered to McCain quite often, there’s a reason for that. Because Palin couldn’t get off her script, for fear of making too many gaffes, Biden used that handicap of hers and kept hammering McCain and Palin left most of his attacks unanswered. Palin continuously went back to everyday issues whenever she got trapped in areas she didn’t understand or couldn’t articulate herself properly. Probably the most awful moment of the night is when she said that teachers’ reward will be in heaven. I mean, come on! is that even an argument worthy of a serious presidential campaign? (Obama is offering a pay rise to public school teachers) And on and on she went. Palin just looked like she was in Disneyland,¬† she seemed overwhelmed by how lucky she’s been to be in a ticket she’s not even close to be qualified for.

On the other hand, for me the key to this debate was to see what Joe Biden was all about. I didn’t know much about him beforehand so wanted to see how he carried himself on stage. I think he did well. Some people think he didn’t finish her off, but the reality is that exposing her weaknesses rather than trying to humiliate her was a safer choice for the Obama campaign. Biden used the debate to put out there his political experience. As he didn’t have much of an opponent in Palin he just focus on showing off his qualifications for the post, to place some campaign messages out there and throw some punches at McCain. He also showed to be quick on his feet, when Palin used her emotional ‘working mother sending her kids to college’ that so well has worked for her before, Biden neutralised it with a reminder of his own family’s misfortunes to make sure the electorate understands he knows what challenges middle America faces.

Most polls and focus groups are giving Biden a win. A well deserved one I might add. The Palin effect is now completely neutralised. And with the McCain campaign announcing that they’re pulling out of Michigan, a key swing state, things are looking up for Obama. Two more debates and the unexpected might change it, but Obama, thanks to Joe Biden’s performance yesterday, is a bit closer to victory in November.

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Obama v McCain debate: an analysis

Yesterday I struggled to stay up to watch the first US presidential debate on CNN (unlike in 2004 BBC 1 wasn’t showing it) but I managed to watch it all and certainly wasn’t too impressed. Both candidates stuck to their messages and there was little interaction between them, more than a dialogue it was a series of independent statements from both of them.

Having said that I think Obama’s team did better at crafting what messages they wanted out there (middle class tax cuts, Iraq, Afghanistan and Russia). He did have an awful moment when he called McCain first Jim, then Tom and then claimed he was in Congress not in the Senate. But overall he came out much better than McCain who was certainly quite nervous despite being a seasoned (I would say over-seasoned) politician.

A couple of times I saw a chance for Obama to make a little fun of McCain but he made a pass which I though it was a shame. Happy to have seen Zapatero mentioned in the debate by Obama (he won me over with that one : )

Anyways, there is a great analysis on why polls give Obama a victory in the debate over at my favourite polling site, FiveThirtyEight, not to be missed!

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Best of Denver

Things are looking up for Barack Obama to become the next President in November. Although there is still a long way to go, including the presidential debates, it seems like the Democrats’ Convention served its purpose of reuniting and reenergising a campaign that was losing some steam in the past few weeks. On the other hand McCain has had to cut short his show due to Hurricane Gustav and his running mate, Sarah Palin, seems to have not been vetted properly by the campaign team (whatever McCain spinners say). So all in all Obama is up 8 points with 50% to McCain’s 42% and we are in the middle of the Republican Convention.

I leave you here with my two favourite speeches from Denver, those of John Kerry and Dennis Kucinich:

And finally…if Pat Buchanan likes it something spells trouble for McCain:

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