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The Forum > Article Comments > The Obama landslide > Comments

The Obama landslide : Comments

By Philip Machanick, published 31/10/2008

The US now needs a leader with the mass appeal of a JFK, the long-range vision of an FDR, and the unifying skills of a Nelson Mandela.

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I'm not at all sure that the winner next week really matters. There are times when leadership can determine events and times when events control the leaders. The next few years will be a period where it will matter not who is in power because the reactive options are so limited that Obama/McCain Red/Blue would end up doing the same things anyway. The differences will be at the (inconsequential) margins. Much like Rudd/Swan are doing pretty much what Howard/Costello would have done, so Obama will do what McCain would have done and vis a versa.
Posted by mhaze, Friday, 31 October 2008 9:50:06 AM
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But I'm interested in the leadership qualities the author lists...
The mass appeal of JFK? Kennedy won in 1960 in one of the closest elections of all time and only with the help of the mafia. And the next election wasn't a done deal either, which is why he was in Texas campaigning. He only gained mass appeal after his assassination. I'm not sure this is the type of mass appeal the author advocates.
Posted by mhaze, Friday, 31 October 2008 9:55:00 AM
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The author seems to have forgotten Obama and McCain were pretty well level in the polls up till the financial collapse.

McCain has run a remarkable campaign saddled with Bush, the financial crisis, being hugely outspent and facing a media championing Obama, which is constantly excusing and overlooking his and Biden's blunders, shifting policies and is completely lacking in any scrutiny of them.

Astonishing that McCain is still so close.
Posted by keith, Friday, 31 October 2008 10:40:45 AM
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McCainís campaign has indeed been remarkable for the rat-a-tat-tat of aspersion, character assassination and whipping up of base emotion among his supporters, many of whom now believe Obama is (i) Muslim (ii) a closet terrorist (iii) anti-American (iv) part of an African oligarchy (v) a friend of the PLO (vi) communist (vii) not an American citizen (viii) child killer ... plus anything else to engage the fearful minds of the republican base.

Iím assuming Obamaís got it in the bag. The falloutís going to be fun to watch
Posted by bennie, Friday, 31 October 2008 10:52:41 AM
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Keith, why is McCain so short of money compared with Obama? This didn't happen by itself. His campaign has been most remarkable for the fact that he appears to have been given a makeover by the people who put Bush in office. Had he run as himself, I (and most non-core Republican supporters) would have found him a lot more appealing. It is particularly bizarre that he has done this when being different from Bush is a big plus this time around. If you actually look at the historical trend (towards the bottom of http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Pres/Maps/Oct30.html) you will see that McCain has only been ahead for very brief periods since Obama emerged as the most likely Democrat contender (particularly after the Republican convention; candidates almost always get a boost from their convention).

As for JFK's mass appeal, I didn't mean while campaigning. I was thinking more of his "Ich bin ein Berliner" moments. RFK's campaign is more similar in terms of excitement though I didn't want to raise that campaign because of the way it ended.
Posted by PhilipM, Friday, 31 October 2008 11:18:26 AM
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PhillipM,

Where ever did you get the idea McCain is short of money? I only said he's been outspent. Obama has raised and spent more than any other candidate in US history. McCain stuck by his pledge of running on public funding. Obama pledged the same but reneged on that written undertaking. Over to you to make a judgement and comment on Obama's deceipt on that issue rather than making a snide slur on the McCain Campaign's fundraising ability. It will be interesting after the election when analysis of donations takes place and Obama cannot identify the source of most of his small anonymous donations made via the internet. Anonymous donations are supposed to be returned.

I never said McCain was consistantly ahead of Obama ... read what I said again...sigh...

US voters seem to be much more decerning than you over trying to tie McCain to Bush.

There is absolutely no doubt McCain has always been his own man. You're being snide to try to paint him as a toady. Who's man is Obama is an intriguing question which few democrats or media freaks seem to want to ask.

Seen the latest mid week traditional polls? I'd tend to disregard those tracking and weekend polls.

Roll on Tuesday.
Posted by keith, Friday, 31 October 2008 2:42:22 PM
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