Wednesday 5 November 2008

Obama hype

You may have heard that there has been a US presidential election and a Senator Obama has won. I think:

a) the UK media, especially the BBC, over-reacted. I wonder just how much their coverage cost? I wonder if they work in "Ross" units; I would guess the coverage cost many Rosses. And it needn't have done. They were also too pro Obama in their coverage and analysis. A lovely excerpt where Dimbelby could not cope with this being pointed out is in this link

b) this was the right result. McCain showed his class in his concession speech. But his choice of Sarah Palin was a disaster. And Obama has shown inspirational qualities, and can reposition America.

c) I am worried about the hype. Could he be another vacuous flake like Tony Blair? I don't think so, but expectations are probably too great and therefore disappointment could follow. A lot will depend on his choice of advisors and key aides. And we must remember he is not a character in a TV series who thanks to the writers can always show good judgement, but a (relatively) normal human being.

d) Voter turnout at 64% was larger than usual, 140m+ was a record, people queued for hours. Yet Obama only got 52% of the popular vote. This doesn't seem to me to suggest a revolution in America's thinking. Don't get me wrong: I think Obama is very good news. But clearly he also enthused a lot of people to vote against him.


Troy said...

I can easily get as gooey as the next person with the Rosa-Martin-Barack concept and we are certainly living through a historic moment. Yet I feel considerable disquiet as I see so many similarities between the 2008 US situation and the UK situation in 1997. The lawyer and the lawyer wife; the young kids living in the seat of power; the age of the leader; the regular guy image; may be little items in themselves. However this widespread belief that things are going to change considerably - the almost messianic terms in which both members of the public and broadcasters have spoken on TV suggest to me that it will all be an anticlimax and ultimately a disappointment in the same way as New Labour.
And this 52%:46% voting pattern can hardly be described as a landslide even if the voting is normally closer.
As for the BBC's coverage - totally overboard and totally biased.
Finally I couldn't help noticing how graciously the Right admitted defeat. They do losing so much classier than the Left are ever able. I think that says a lot.

Stinking Billy said...

Have we got an Election coming up, John? ;-) If so, I would just like to confirm that I am still apolitical and quite apathetic - or should that just be pathetic? I appreciate being on your list of links, and will stick you on mine. Well, we live in the same village, so why not?