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Key and McCain: underdogs rising

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, August 19th, 2008 - 6 comments
Categories: election 2008 - Tags: , , ,

The US presidential race in the States took a new direction with the McCain and Obama both appearing at a Forum on faith, held over the weekend, moderatorated by pastor and author Rick Warren.

Commentators and opinion leaders are now disecting the event, offering their views. For example in the Washington Post Michael Gerson wrote:

It is now clear why Barack Obama has refused John McCain’s offer of joint town hall appearances during the fall campaign. McCain is obviously better at them.

The suggestion that it’s McCain who has the edge will be surprising to many in NZ, who assume that Obama was a sure thing. It got me thinking about our domestic version of the presidential race between Key and Clark. A recent comment in the ODT indicates that Key has been working hard, and has lifted his performance out on the campaign trail, with Dene MacKenzie saying:

An assured National Party leader John Key kept to the party message during a visit to Dunedin yesterday. He showed no signs of any nervousness about the forthcoming election campaign.

Certainly the verbal stumbling and hesitation has been disappearing from Key’s appearances. The coaching and media training seems to be paying off. It looks like he will be able to step into the campaign proper with a justified sense of confidence. The challenge for Helen Clark is whether she will be able to take the fight to him – the Labour leader has not encountered such territory since the 1996 election against Jim Bolger.

6 comments on “Key and McCain: underdogs rising ”

  1. Janet 1

    There are very few similarities between the US and our election except that the right seem to be using bullet points or cliches for policies and the left are trying to give nuance and context to complex policy issues. The US is a large and deeply racially divided country with centuries of hurt, discrimination, and power imbalance to address. Obama is one of those rare people who comes along occasionally in history who may just be able to contribute to healing the hurt. But he knows there are no simple cliched solutions so doesn’t give glib answers. But some white commentators see this honesty as a negative.
    I suggest anyone wanting to know more about Obama, his search for identity as a person with a white mother and a black father, and the complexity of race (and religion) in America reads his 1995 biography Dreams from my father.

  2. mike 2

    A sensible and well balanced post. Is SP away?

    Keys job has been made easier as he has been allowed to take the moral high ground in the early stages due to the lefts play the man game.
    It will get a lot harder for him if and when Helen gets everyone on message and starts talking about Labour instead of National.

  3. I don’t see McCain winning the USA election, despite help from their version of the standard (Faux News) as I siad before they are to the right, what you guys are to the left, they made fun of Joh Edward’s house, you make fun of John key’s house, they make out Bush to be the saviour of the average American from the elite, and you guys do the same with Aunty Helen.

    Obama will win easy, Old man McCain cant even finish a sentence without the help of Sean Hannity.

  4. Kadin 4

    Janet: how can you say that the election strategies of the left in New Zealand and America are comparable? America doesn’t have a left.

    The way I like to explain the American parties to people is: the Democrats correspond to the left wing of our National Party, and the Republicans are some bizarre mixture of ACT, the Fascistmily Party, and the National Front.

  5. lprent 5

    That was a bit unpleasant. I ran into some American left attack on Sarah Palin‘s family. She is McCains running mate. It showed up as a hot topic on the dashboard.

    That is going right over the top. Mind you after witnessing the attacks on Peter Davis for years by the jerk-offs of the right, I can understand the temptations.

  6. higherstandard 6

    Lynn

    There is abundant filth published on all sides of the political spectrum – fortunately most of it is produced by only a small number of persons.

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