oddly enough, US Politics

Now go and play with your “Joe The Plumber” action figure.

From The Times, via Crooked Timber, a first class example of real life political satire.

The Republicans have made a last-minute attempt to prevent Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House by trying to recruit an Oxford academic to “prove” that his autobiography was ghostwritten by a former terrorist.

With two days before the election, Obama is poised to become America’s first black president, according to polls showing he has an average six-point lead over John McCain, his Republican opponent.

Dr Peter Millican, a philosophy don at Hertford College, Oxford, has devised a computer software program that can detect when works are by the same author by comparing favourite words and phrases.

US Politics, USA

Hillary Clinton’s math problem seems controllable.

This is probably what Obama’s campaign will focus on next – if Hillary Clinton doesn’t win pretty much all of the upcoming primaries, and the bigger ones with a, say, 60-40 ratio, she will not be able to get more pledged delegates at the Democratic convention than Barack Obama. Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter draws the conclusion that this means that winning Texas and Ohio by only rather small margins actually dealt her campaign a technical K.O.

“Hillary would then have to convince the uncommitted superdelegates to reverse the will of the people.”

Sure, in that case, everything would depend on the votes of the unpledged superdelegates, and I think it is fair to assume that most of them would not want to risk alienating “the will of the people”. Alas, or fortunately, that’s not as easily done as it seems, simply because “the will of the people” cannot be as evident to a party official from, say, California, as it appears to a journalist looking at the nation-wide delegate count. What’s more important to said superdelegate? Supporting the candidate chosen by the voters in his or her home state? Or the one with the higher total number of pledged delegates (assuming they are not the same)? As superdelegates do not appear to be representing states proportional to the number of superdelegates, I’d suggest that the nomination is indeed still an open race, and possibly will be even at the Convention should both campaigns still have the same “momentum.”

Maybe it’s deal time now that John McCain is officially the Republican nominee. Why not have an “unbeatable democratic ticket” by guaranteeing Obama an active vice presidency to get the experience he still needs (at least for the campaign) and let the two agree that Hillary Clinton will not run for a second term… we’ll see.

battleofthesexes, quicklink, US Politics, USA

Estrogene Overload.

The NYT’s Maureen Dowd comes up with a rather counter-intuitive explanation for Obama’s recent success in the Democratic primaries: voters aren’t tired of feminity or scared of estrogene in their commander in chief, they seem to want more. But they just don’t believe they can’t get enough of it from Hillary…