Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Obama to Clinton to Obama- settling on the world's candidate

So she won West Virginia, her call to the angry white man met with a response from thousands of duelling banjos. A step forward for team Hillary, but a plus for the Republicans if Obama ends up the final Democratic candidate.

I started out wanting Obama to win. Then I fell across towards Clinton after my readings led me to the impression that she may have better capacity to lead development of effective policy, and is at heart a genuine social liberal.

Race and gender almost balance for me, I want the best candidate. Although for striking symbolism I think a black male leading a largely-white western democracy has far less precedents.

But I don't like where Clinton has gone. I think it's clear she's played the harder ball against the person in this process. But worse, by doing so much damage to Obama amongst the equivalent of Australia's 'Howard battlers' (but less educated and better armed) she may have left a poison pill with her party.

This is to a fair extent a consequence of the primary system, and having 2 very strong candidates staying, if not neck-and-neck, at least neck-and-shoulder. But so much more rides on the outcome of the real election than individual career aspirations.

Others are saying this already, but I have a further concern.

We, the rest of the world, are desperately waiting for a different US foreign policy to unfold. And I'm not convinced Clinton will deliver, even if she comes good on the domestic front.

We don't want palpably ill-conceived invasions like the one she supported in Iraq. We don't want the US contemplating genocide as it tussles with Iran. We do need a US that offers wise counsel to its close ally Israel, as opposed to the chirpy backing Clinton gave their last venture into Lebanon. We need some notional adherence to international law from the country that co-wrote most of it.

We don't want more of the same. I don't know how much of her chest-beating is rhetoric, but I am genuinely concerned that more of the same is what she'll give us.

Of the 3 contenders, only Obama has actively demonstrated a commitment to do things differently.

He's the world candidate, and once again he's got this irrelevant alien in his corner. Sorry Hillary, respect you a lot, but I think it's time to do a deal.

2 comments:

Splatters said...

Sounds like you can't make up your mind!

Obama is the better candidate because he has a coherent message, he is logical in the way he presents it and he is not a Klintoon.

It may turn out he is just another ineffectual leftist as Carter was, but given the limited choice of candidates he should be given a chance. A lot of the criticism of him seems to be overwrought. I doubt he will be the extreme leftist as the conservatives make out.

Armagnac Esq. said...

Nah, definitely not an extreme leftist, quite centrist really.