Thursday, May 08, 2008

Presidential nominees

The image of the United States is in dire need of repair according to Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. It is now possible to imagine Obama at a cocktail party with Kerry, Al Gore and Michael Dukakis, sharing a laugh about gun-toting, Bible-thumping, flag-pin-wearing, small-town Americans.

Hillary's friends think she'd take the vice-presidential slot, and given the pressure on Obama to close the schism she opened with all the nuanced race-baiting and attack ads, he may have to hold his nose and make the offer.

IMO: I do think that it is much more than image that needs improvement, it is facts as well. The recent catastrophe in Burma, and the behaviour of the Burmese authorities, seems to weirdly echo the Bush position over the New Orleans floods, and indeed the general purblindness of the US citizenry to the importance of events abroad and even long range domestic events. The US itself now appears as a victim, as much as the usual overseas victims of the current rather obsolete US capitalist oppression. The US situation has been mentioned to me also by established US residents, and whilst in the mid 1950s the position could be rationalised, a proper updating of US horizons has to be of long term benefit to the US. We can hope that Obama may grow into possessing into the qualities of a 21st Century Truman, to oversimplify the complex situation.

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