politics, US Politics

America Votes. I Watch.

No live blogging tonight, as I’ll be attending an election night party organised by the American studies department at Johannes-Gutenberg Universität. My personal guess is that Obama will win, but not by a margin as big as predicted lately. In the end, I suppose John McCain will be happy it’s over and he’ll once again be allowed to speak freely. After all, he’s a bit of a tragic figure whose campaign demonstrated that someone who, in a long political career, has made a lot of bold choices, has to fight more to keep his part of the electorate together than to reach out to the marginal voters. And he was continually fighting against the sitting President.

I’m happy that it seems likely Senator Obama will be the next President. But I would have liked to see a better campaign, one that would have not only pitted “the same” against “change” but actually defined those concepts with a little more detail. It’s now up to the next President elect to do that.

Political Theory, politics, US Politics

Is there a versioning effect in elections?

Over at Crooked Timber, Henry Farrell is wondering why Obama’s lead over McCain is bigger in polls where more left-wing Presidential candidates are included – A puzzle about the polls. Comment #1 by a certain Cryptic Ned is proposing an interesting theory: versioning also works in elections. Weiterlesen

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.

oddly enough, US Politics, USA

Sarah Palin is simply scary.

You know, back in 2000, I said that Americans were so confident in their way of doing things that they actually believed they could afford someone like the current President to be in charge. Now, a couple of years later, they may no longer be too confident about the situation they find themselves in, militarily, diplmatically, economically, and politically. But in a move that illustrates to a scary degree the extent of polarisation of the American electorate, John McCain picked his Vice Presidential candidate according to the simple rules of electoral maths, and we’re now facing the possibility of a President Sarah Palin. And that would probably be when we’d all begin to fondly remember the days of President Bush. If there’s anything the choice of Mrs Palin, just as the Congressional hearings regarding the imminent 700bn bank-bailout, indicate, it is that US politics seems to have become completely dysfunctional now.

Here’s Sarah Palin making that point to CBS news anchor Katie Couric. It would funny, if weren’t so sad and scary.