Barack Obama – Der Kennedy unserer Tage

Gute Kolumne von William Rees-Mogg (Times, London)

It is hard to see who can stop Senator Barack Obama becoming the next President of the United States.

He has built up an excitement such as no candidate has created since President Kennedy in 1960. He is, in my view, a better speaker than Kennedy. Like Kennedy, he combines personal magnetism with a strong appeal to American idealism. […]

Senator Obama has captured the public’s imagination,

and gone ahead in the polls, but he also has more money, a better organisation and valuable endorsements from all sectors of the Democratic spectrum. He is now ahead in delegates.

Theoretically, Hillary Clinton could still finesse the nomination, possibly by holding on to the “super delegates” (senior party members appointed to the Convention), though they are free to switch to Obama whenever they wish; some have already done so. […]

If Senator Clinton takes the nomination away from the presumptive “first black President of the United States” by playing games with the delegates, she will alienate the electorate. Her image would be that of the Wicked Witch of the West – she would become unelectable.

One has to remember that there is already a deep undertow of Clintonphobia among American voters, not only among Republicans. A divided Democratic Convention, with Hillary emerging as the nominee as a result of challenged votes from Florida or from super delegates, would virtually guarantee a Republican victory.

This means that the Democrats will have to ensure that the candidate who is nominated is the one who gets the most delegates from the primaries and the caucuses. […]

Anything that emphasises global threats to the United States would focus attention on Senator McCain’s strengths.

Yet the core argument of the Obama campaign is both powerful and timely. In American politics each generation looks for a renewal. That may come from either party; it is not simply a matter of a swing from the right to the left. In the first half of the past century it came from Theodore Roosevelt as a Republican and from Franklin Roosevelt as a Democrat.

— Mark

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