Archive for September, 2008

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Obama leads by 4.91%

September 30, 2008

Good news for Obama

My latest projections have

Barack Obama 50.10
John McCain 45.19

This is good news for Obama, but given that his lead over McCain is less than 5% despite the farce of the Paulson “plan”, he still has work to do. For McCain’s part the fact that he has been trending downwards since September 6th, suggests that he needs to do something radical.

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My take on the debate

September 28, 2008

An Obama victory

I finally watched the full debate last night when it was shown on British TV I believe that Obama dominated the segment devoted to the economy. Obama looked more Presidential and explained his views in a sober, serious way, without pandering or resorting to cliche. In contrast, McCain did little to distinguish himself from the generic Republican tax cutting position and kept going on about earmarks – which has become the equivalent of his POW record. This is not to say that either his heroism or his opposition to earmarks are unimportant as a lead into a general debate about waste or character, but on their own they are the equivalent of Giuliani’s ability to bring 9/11 into everything.

Although I agree with McCain on foreign policy, I think Obama performed much better up until the bracelet moment. McCain seemed unable to put forward a rationale for staying in Iraq and seemed too focused on specific details rather than the broader picture. I think for the first half hour McCain seemed to be still suffering the consequences of the crowded Republican primary field which meant that he hadn’t experienced any genuine two-way debates. In contrast, as has been mentioned elsewhere, Obama has been clearly reaping the benefits of having to debate against Hillary Clinton.

McCain’s best moment of the night was the bracelet moment – though at one point in the story he seemed close to tears. In it he finally outlined a rationale for staying in Iraq and characterised himself as part of the wider US Army in Vietnam rather than as an individual hero. Obama’s “I have a bracelet too” retort seemed cheap and unpresidential. From then on McCain started to regain confidence and finally began to outperform Obama. If this had been a purely foreign policy debate then McCain would have won on points – although he should have made his key arguments (such as the link between Iraq and Afghanistan) earlier.

However, the polls suggest that most people in the audience were focused on the economy segment, which was created in response to McCain’s stunt. So, I’m going to say that Obama carried the night overall (though not by much).

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What could have been (and could still be?)

September 26, 2008

Doesn’t the above make one feel more secure than McCain/Palin ?

I should probably give up about the whole idea of Palin being booted from the ticket (but then again many people felt the same about McCain this time last year) but I feel the circumstances are so strange and the sense of crisis (although overhyped) is so pervasive that McCain could actually help his campaign by selecting Lieberman, Giuliani, Condi Rice or anyone whose last name is not Palin. My prediction is that McCain wins the debate tonight; he is definitely the better debater (as Saddleback proved) and he is on firm territory (foreign policy). In any case expectations are so low that he could not fail to get better press coverage than he has got in the last twenty-four hours.

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NRO gets it

September 26, 2008

‘PDS’ speads to the right

I was horrified by the Palin selection from the moment that I heard that she was going to be McCain’s running mate. Part of this was disappointment that McCain had not chosen Lieberman. However, most of my discontent was shock that someone with her inexperience was chosen in time of crisis, and by a candidate who had pitched his entire campaign on his preparedness for a ‘3am moment’. However, even after the initial shock had worn off I was further taken aback by the constant stream of skeletons that had been tumbling out of her closet.

Now, I am not American and the primary rationale of this website is to provide betting advice. However, it is patently obvious that as well as being unqualified and with a lot of scandals, Palin is also rabidly right-wing to an extent not seen since the third party candidacy of George Wallace in 1968. For the record, I don’t particularly care about her stance on abortion, and I think it is like the European Union in British politics, a topic that is of interest to fewer people than is popularly perceived. However, I still don’t understand how McCain can put a Buchananite, Bircher and all round paleo-conservative a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

It is one thing to support Bush’s tax cuts when they are going to pass anyway and last year’s immigration bill was so watered down that it probably wasn’t worth sacrificing a campaign for. However, like the Iraq War, bailout bill, the appointment of Palin to the vice-presidency will have long term consequences for both America and the world. While McCain was correct on Iraq, he has spectacularly failed on his running mate and on the bailout bill (although his posturing may have actually have ensured that it is delayed). Therefore, McCain needs to take advantage of this crisis to ensure that Palin either retires from the ticket, or is dropped from the ticket. Frankly, at this stage anyone would be preferable to her.

In that respect I think Kathleen Parker is correct to call for her resignation. I think we are going to see a few more calls for her resignation in the next few days

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Obama leads by 2.17%

September 25, 2008

The Bailout seems to be having little impact in the polls

My new projections are:

Barack Obama 46.38
John McCain 44.21

My view is that Obama has missed several open goals over the past fortnight. However, the Palin pick (as opposed to anything else) seems to be the big driving force at the moment, as McCain’s lead peaked in the first week on September and has been consistently (but slowly) declining. My guess is that McCain will find a way to oppose the bailout – doing the right thing for the wrong reason. I’m also going to predict that he’ll do well from tomorrow’s debate since expectations are now rock bottom and – as Saddleback proved – he is quite a good debater.

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Obama leads by 2.06

September 24, 2008

My views on the McCain stunt

My new projections are:

Barack Obama 49.01
John McCain 46.95

McCain’s gambit is obviously an utter stunt. However (and I am neutral due to the Palin pick) it is important to understand how this plays with the wider population. Granted this could explode in McCain’s face but it is difficult to argue that McCain is doing something fundamentally wrong by putting his duties as a Senator over those as a candidate. Indeed, he would have been well advised to spent a week in the Senate in July having Congress shoot his legislation down. Also, Obama made a massive mistake by not trying to appear ‘above the fray’, it made him look aloof and meant that some of populist anger at the bailout will now be attached to him. This is like Labour’s decision not to make the ERM a campaign issue in 1992 even though the exchange rate was clearly set too high.

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(Nearly) Closing down my Obama short

September 23, 2008

I bought back 5 Obama contracts leaving me only short 5. I have $575.50 in cash.