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Some people are easily impressed. Listen carefully to Obama's speeches, better still read them in print, there is nothing there, certainly no original thinking. Obama is all blag, all packaging and no product. Bill Clinton may be biased but what he said about Obama yesterday was very accurate. As for a good name for Conservative followers of Obama, how about 'Obamaoptics' they are just being impressed by the visual image side of Obama. Look beyond that and there is a whole lot of nothing.

Tories that support Obama. What should they be called?

I suggest "gullible" or "liberals".

He speaks well and is idealistic. He gives an impression of hope when we know with Hillary Clinton there is no hope. And of course he's 100% right on the Iraq war when sadly most of the Republicans are wrong.
Having said that I would prefer McCain and maybe Guliani to win so can't be classed as an Obamacon. If he's up against Romney I would prefer Obama no question.

He seems a genuinely nice guy but I think the lack of experience is a big weakness.

I'm a liberal; that's why I've voted for the Conservatives.

Why does one have to call Obama supporters anything?

Should McCain or Gulliani get the nod, I'd probably support them for the Presidency over Obama, but certainly not if it were Huckabee or Romney.

"He speaks well and is idealistic."

He's very much next in the line of JFK and Reagan.

If I were American, Giuliani and McCain would be my first choices for president, but I would support Obama (and even Hillary) against someone like Huckabee that has a track record of higher taxes garnished with a bit of creationism...

'ConservativeHome is glad Obama got beaten yesterday' - Editor

'Got beaten'? I know you are discussing American politics but do you need to use their ridiculous phraseology too?

It is very worrying that so many senior Conservatives are supporting Barack Obama. Listening to him speak recently all he did was chant words such as "change" over and over again. Continually repeating the word change doesn't actually mean anything.

As an English person, I can't really understand what's so wonderful about Barack Obama. His speeches seem to consist of repeating mantras along the lines of: "They told us we couldn't do it, but we can show them they're wrong." For some reason, that sort of thing seems to impress Americans enormously.

I would like to believe in Obama, and I can see why he appeals to many people under the age of twenty-five or so, but not being twenty-five anymore, I think the huge responsibility of running the US needs someone with more political experience, and probably, political stamina. If I were an American I would also probably vote for McCain, or maybe Giuliani, except I don't feel entirely sure about the latter. Hillary Clinton seems to want to tell people how hard she is working on the campaign trail, its as if she wants to be reassured of her value. I think she would find the brickbats that she would inevitably get as President, quite difficult to cope with!

I'm an 'Obamacon', if nothing else because I'm also 'Anyone but Hillary' and feel everyone in the Republican race has at least one major flaw of some kind: Apart from McCain, they're all intellectual dwarves.

Tories that support Obama. What should they be called? Obamacons?
Either crazy or closet Liberal Democrats - or maybe the 2 things are one and the same?!

I'm backing John McCain and he's got off to a brilliant start, though still a long way to go! It's still possible that the Democrat nominee will be John Edwards, I don't think though that any of the Democrat candidates would beat John McCain, Barak Obama could be President after John McCain in 8 years or so, there are substantial numbers especially in the Mid-West and South who are very suspicious of a woman candidate or a man with African roots. John McCain and a Democrat Senate could agree to have Barak Obama as Vice President as a sort of compromise, both to emphasise John McCain's inclusiveness and to ease communication between White House and Congress.

Given the Republican candidates' generally conservative (small c) stances on issues like abortion, gun control and particularly the bidding war on how hawkish they can be it's not surprising that Obama is attractive. On a "which Presidential candidate are you closest to" test I got to from Iain Dale's blog Obama was the closest realistic contender to me.

In a choice between Obama and Huckabee it's a no-brainer...

What should Tories be called who support Wham Bam it's OBama maam?:Heirs to Blair.
I think Melanie Phillips writes an interesting piece on Wham Bam Obama maam.
If Clinton refers to another man with golden
tonsils as being a "fairy tale" then he should know - he could really tell 'em.

"In a choice between Obama and Huckabee it's a no-brainer..."

Yes, a definite abstention.

Don't understand why any Tory would back any of the Democrats personally. Obviously someone like Huckabee (although despite his daft policies it is easy to see his personal appeal) would put many, including myself off I don't see any reason to back the Obama.

That said Obama is a compelling speaker, but sooner or later he is actually going to have to find something to say...

I think it's fine to enjoy ourselves like this, but I have a feeling that it's simply not possible for British Conservatives to translate ourselves into fictitious Americans and "know" how we would vote. Honestly: I don't have a clue. I can tell you how the candidates make me feel as a Briton - but that's not quite the same thing, is it, as knowing how an American-Graeme would want to vote.

I wouldn't support a creationist regardless of the circumstances, so if Huckabee wins the Republican nomination I would vote for whoever would most likely defeat him (I do not imagine that would be difficult) ... even if it was a Clinton? Not sure. Spoiled ballot paper probably. Alternatively, if the Republican candidate was Guiliani or McCain, and the Democrat was a Clinton, then you would not be able to pay me enough to support the Democrat.

People who pooh-pooh voters who get excited about a youthful, fresh change candidate - who affect a world-weary cynicism about anyone with a vision, unless that vision is (not actually a vision but) a set of specific policy objectives, is sort of maybe missing the point too, I think. The Americans are not voting for their legislature in these primaries, they are voting to select candidates to stand for election as their commander in chief and head of state. I think *I* would find someone who can command the nation's attention more compelling than someone with a dog-eared book marked "ideology to be applied to every legislative problem", and who droned on about it at every interview, whether they were of the left or the right, and I don't think that makes me some sort of brainless Blairite-lite.

Is this right - not sure - but don't Democrat primaries result in *proportional* allocation of representatives to the national convention? So although she gets the big mo and must have regained the pole poll (fnarr) position, last night gives Hillary 39% of New Hampshire's delegates to 37% for Obama, so not (arithmetically) over yet (though I fear, psephologically, it is).

The allocation of delegates from Iowa and NH is so small that it is almost irrelevant (I believe the GOP have halved the number from NH and a few other states due to not complying with the schedule) compared with Super Tueday and FL

It is all about the 'big mo'

Just to add to that - for the Dems, Iowa and NH are worth 67 pledged delegates out of a total of 3000 + superdelegates etc.

Over 1500 are decided on Super Tuesday alone. (some winner takes all states, some proportional). I believe the DNC have stripped FL of it delegates due to the scheduling issues.

"Tories that support Obama. What should they be called? Obamacons?"

Or why not use a term from the 80s, namely "wets" ?

"they are voting to select candidates to stand for election as their commander in chief and head of state"

Graeme Archer, a very important point. Thats why I'd back Edwards out of the three Democratic candidates. If you read through Edwards position on foreign policy it is very level-headed and has a diplomatic air. I must say that I worry about Jon McCain's foreign policy perspective. He seems very bellicose, not much room for diplomacy. Obama plays to the grandstand and his comments on Pakistan tell us a lot about his temperament. The last thing the world needs is a president who over-reacts rather than trying to diffuse a given situation and looking to resolve it through diplomatic channels.

they are voting to select candidates to stand for election as their commander in chief and head of state
They are voting to select nominees, the actual election itself in October elects delegates who send recommendations for the position of President and Vice President. The delegates are only limited by those eligible to be US President. The President of the Senate (The Vice President opens the recomendation - in 2000 it was Al Gore who was President of the Senate, in 2004 it was Dick Cheney who is likely still to be Vice President and President of the Senate) reads out the recommendations.

The Senate can accept or amend the recommendations of the Electoral College, and even completely ignore them. In the event that the Senate is tied on a vote on the issue the incumbent President of the Senate has a casting vote.

Within Parliament, George Osborne's 'economic advisers' (as his reseachers style themselves) are renowned for their lack of capacity for detail and depth. They have a reputation for misunderstanding rather simple things and having to get researchers in other offices to sort things out for them.

It doesn't surprise me that they're supporting the on-the-somewhat-vacuous-side Obama.

To be honest, just as with UK elections, when it comes to US elections I'd be backing whichever candidate offers the maximum amount of:

Tax-cuts/hard reduction-of-government-programs. Support of overall National Security, Business Freedom/Deregulation, Individual/Personal Freedom.

Clinton worries me; 'Hillarycare' was the nearest the US got to their implementation of a version of the failed NHS.

Huckabee and Romney worry me too; their religious credentials are a hardcore turnoff. I want someone who listens to their electorate rather than some imaginary 'higher power'.

McCain is 'interesting' but somehow I don't think he has the deep-down strength to achieve much.

There's an interesting quiz at:

http://www.gotoquiz.com/candidates/2008-quiz.html

that you might like to try. I come out as 93% Mitt Romney.

"I'd be backing whichever candidate offers the maximum amount of:

Tax-cuts/hard reduction-of-government-programs. Support of overall National Security, Business Freedom/Deregulation, Individual/Personal Freedom"

Ron Paul would probably be your man, if it weren't for his isolationist foreign policy. Giuliani would probanly be my choice - a good combination of small government, tough on crime, firm on national security and moderate/liberal on homosexuality abortion and gun control.


"Huckabee and Romney worry me too; their religious credentials are a hardcore turnoff."

Not sure that's fair on Romney, though he has been positioning himself as the 'conservative' choice. His mormonism has probably been a turn off for the religious right 'so-cons' itself.

Rich@18:39 - Ron Paul seems a no-hoper to me. Giuliani's got business-positive cred but my big worry is his lack-of-worldly-experience. New York is not the world.

Romney's mormonism is a visceral turnoff for me; anyone who flaunts their 'faith' just rubs me up the wrong way, specially if they ally themselves with the anti-Choice, anti-capital-punishment sector.

[call me 'pro-death' if you want - but I 101% support the right to abort, the death penalty, and the right to use lethal force in the defence of property/family].

"The Senate can accept or amend the recommendations of the Electoral College, and even completely ignore them. In the event that the Senate is tied on a vote on the issue the incumbent President of the Senate has a casting vote."

They aren't 'recommendations' they are votes. The candidate that gets the majority of the electoral vote from the electors (though 'faithless' electors can change their mind before the vote) wins outright. The Senates role is to select the vice-president in the event of no candidate getting enough electoral votes. The House selects the President in such circumstances.

Tanuki- Ron Paul is indeed a no-hoper, but hopefully he will make people think about the role of the state.

As for Romney, I don't think that's entirely fair - he has trying to downplay is Mormonism for much of the campaign, to reassure the social-cons (some of which regard Mormonism as a sect and are quite hostile.) He has been talking up his conservative credentials.

If he hadn't pandered so much to the religious cons, he would have made a good candidate IMO. His grasp of the fact in debates was far superior to many of the other candidates and his previous experience is impressive.

and Giuliani - New York is not the world, but as far as executive experience goes it is pretty demanding. None of the Dems have any executive experience, or McCain (who I like) and Thomson for that matter... altough GWB's exec experience as a governor of a state as big as Tx suggests it's not all it's cracked up to be...)

I'm backing Hillary, for a republican would be idiotic for America.

Obama has no substance, people said Cameron had no substance, Obama EVEN less. He is charismatic, but I firmly believe Hillary will push america forward.

For me, and I think many younger folks, supporting Obama is as much a generation thing as anything.

At the same time politics in the US is in a very bad fix and changing that is more about character, leadership, and perspective than anything else and on that basis Obama is the stand out candidate.

I’m not sure what recommends Hillary, beyond a life time’s ambition to be president, she encapsulates the adversarial and calculating nature of US politics at it’s worst and offers little more than a continuation of the same partisan wrangling for the next four years!

Frankly I cant see that doing anything for the US or the world, at the very least Obama provides the new generation of leadership that from a global and domestic vantage point America needs.

In the Democrat field, while Clinton and Edwards trade the ‘boiler plate’ language of cultural warfare and anti-corporatism, Obama is the only candidate to present a mature program – Daring in a Party primary!

To characterise a candidate simply based on his youth and lack of top tier experience is pretty rich (especially considering the assault that DC has had to endure)… the race remains wide open, but to dismiss Obama (a genuinely exciting candidate) in favour of a more stayed, left-winger and divisive candidate like Hillary is pretty short-sighted.


As for the race as a whole, McCain is perhaps the best qualified if your looking for a candidate who combines experience with Obama’s promise for real change… beyond that the field is uninspiring; Clinton and Romney are partisan, machine politicians, creations of their party establishments, Huckabee brings a whole lot of good intentions and heart (but I wonder if he brings much head – essentially being another “big government conservative”), Giuliani’s time as Major of New York was productive but his campaign has been poor offering little in the way of broad policy insights and instead running almost entirely on his experience with 9/11 (faintly pathetic at best!)… finally Edwards is a typical pitchfork populist with nothing new to add to the kind of platform William Jennings Bryan would adopt, meanwhile Thompson and Richardson have long been relegated to ‘also-rans’ with neither compelling personalities nor arresting policy.

In short… McCain or Obama… any other candidate is at best a vote for more of the same and at worst a vote for the continuing degeneration of American politics at home and the imperilment of American prestige abroad.

Ron Paul has some interesting theories on the creation of money but when he speaks on that subject I always feel as if he is one sentence away from a conspiracy theory. There is no doubt that money is created out of nothing and that the banking community do act in unison out of mutual self-interest, but that is still a long way away from being a concerted conspiracy to defraud the nation. Does anyone know Ron Paul's position on social credit? I imagine he would probably support it as a concept.

Ben Surtees.

The problem is people have a lack of confidence in Obama. If you listen rally after rally he is using the same thing "change". It's a bandwagon kind of thing, the problem with Obama is how to survive and keep momentum.

Sure his new $$$ will help, but you cannot win elections on rhetoric and money at all. He abstains in congress elections by a huge, huge amount.

He is sounding a little hollow at the minute... he has to change tact, or face coming 2nd.

I agree with Graeme that while this is interesting and I'm enjoying following the Amercian process I've no idea how I'd vote if I was an American! I don't think that any Tory who supports the Democrats is 'wet' or 'gullible'...

They aren't 'recommendations' they are votes. The candidate that gets the majority of the electoral vote from the electors (though 'faithless' electors can change their mind before the vote) wins outright.
Actually the Electoral College consists of people, they aren't statistics for candidates to trade - to swing the Electoral College votes relies on the elected delegates changing their minds.

Certainly they take a decision who they think should be President and Vice President, but the Senate still has to decide on it - it isn't like the French Presidential election where votes are cast directly for candidates.

And not only that, but actually sometimes none of the parties get 50% - in 1992 the Democrats got a majority in the Electoral College on 42% of the Popular Vote and if I recall correctly with 48% in 1996. In 2000 the Democrats got slightly more votes in the Presidential Election, but the Republicans won a majority on the electoral college - again no party reached 50% of the vote. 2004 was the first Presidential election in which any party won more than 50% of the Popular Vote nationally since 1988.

Jaz
To be honest I think the ‘kick in the teeth’ from NH could be a good thing, in much the same way that the ‘Brown Bounce’ was a good thing for DC… Obama will have to change tack, he doesn’t need to compromise his position as the “change candidate” but he needs to dispel the perception (false IMHO) that he’s ‘policy lite’… the good news for him today was that he picked up the two key union endorsements in NV, he also has plenty of time to regroup and retool (time for those nice “key-note” speeches).

In an ideal world Ron Paul, but realistically I'd go for anyone but Clinton or someone who wasn't a neo-con. If it had to be Obama so be it.

"For me, and I think many younger folks, supporting Obama is as much a generation thing as anything"

I 100% agree with this. When was the last time someone inspired hope in us. I know this is shallow, and I'm sure in two months I will have seen sense. But in post 9/11 times I forgot what it is like to be inspired by a politician. No fear, just hope!

However, its also ANYONE but that awful Clinton woman!

Also, I'm a Conservative, but I'd never vote Republican. I see Cameron much more aligned to the Democrats. The Republicans are still debating gay Civil Partnerships (how very last century). An judging by Bush's huge spending we can hardly say that the Republicans believe in 'fiscal conservatism' anymore!

I'm an Obama supporter and I'm a Conservative Party member. Indeed, if I recall, something like 54% of Conservative voters in the UK preferred John Kerry offger Bush in '04. The dichotomy in the US is very different to that here. The only Republican I could conceivably support is John McCain.

Obama is straight out of an Aaron Sorkin script. He may have charisma and televisual appeal but anyone who thinks thats where it ends is just plain naive.

If Obama was a Brit he'd be a Labour member and there would not be any of this nonsense.

The Democrats are a left wing outfit, replete with trade union connections and beardy sandal types.

So is it anything other than just plain ignorant to support Obama?

Old Hack

I think your making the mistake of seeking to draw direct parallels between domestic politics in the US and UK, which you really cant do… to be sure the Dems are the broadly the party of the left and the Reps the party of the right but at the same time there is significant overlap (witness the likes of Breaux and Chafe).

Back on the topic of Obama, he defies the traditional leftwing/liberal tag which is part of the reason why he’s a good deal more electable than a conventional liberal like Clinton or a populist like Edwards.

I think the appeal of Obama (the reason why he scores so well with indies and republicans in the states) is precisely because he defies easy characterisation while at the same time offering the kind of break with the divisive politics of the last generation that has turned such vast numbers of Americans off from politics.

"Back on the topic of Obama, he defies the traditional leftwing/liberal tag which is part of the reason why he’s a good deal more electable than a conventional liberal like Clinton or a populist like Edwards. "

I am not so sure that is right.
Of course he talks a whole lot about co-operating across the partisan divide. But if you look at Obama's voting record in the Senate, he is basically your typical liberal Democrat, a bit to the left of Hillary Clinton.

Obama might talk like a centrist, but he is a typcal Liberal.

Old Hack, it is certainly true that there is a hard core of leftists in the Democratic party. Most of these have their roots in the Communist party dating back to the Gus Hall era. These are the type that we see on street demonstrations engaging in conflict with the police. They are seasoned agitators, although today more given to organization and telling the kids how to 'protest'. They are also very active in the eco-left and in anarcho-syndicalist groupings. The progressive movement in America is a very broad church and unites spare-rib type feminists with well intentioned democratic polticians. The GOP is much more homogenous in terms of its core beliefs.

I was talking to a colleague in Philadelphia this afternoon and of course we ended up talking about new Hampshire! Patrick wants to vote for obama, despite previously being a solid republican voter. I'm not extrapolating from an n of 1 - this isn't a CH opinion poll discussion, ha ha - but I thought it interesting that we both agreed that the most interesting election, if we can be forgiven a tiny bit of psycho-babble, would be between obama and McCain. Patrick thought any other candidates would lead to 'typical' party affiliation voting.

Yet Another Anon-

You are wrong, the Senate does not decide the president, the Electoral College does. When I said Electors I am refering to the people on the ballot elected to the electoral college as opposed to the the electorate.

On an American ballot you vote for 'Electors for Candidate X'. These electors can then change their mind (though some states I believe have legislation against this). These electors (typically party officials or the like) make the decision. The ONLY role of the Senate is to decide the VP if no candidate gets the required EC votes (as opposed to national votes, Bill Clinton got a comfortable majority in 1992).

The Morton's Fork of Obama or Clinton is the Republicans' best weapon.

What should Tories be called who support Wham Bam it's OBama maam?:Heirs to Blair.
" I think Melanie Phillips writes an interesting piece on Wham Bam Obama maam.
If Clinton refers to another man with golden
tonsils as being a "fairy tale" then he should know - he could really tell 'em.

Posted by: Dontmakemelaugh | January 09, 2008 at 16:04 "

I have to say that really is quite funny, for once from "Dontmakemelaugh".

But seriously, Obama could win the election. I suspect Hilary Clinton would lose to a Republican - maybe lead in the polls but lose the election circa Kinnock in Britain 1992.
McCain and Guilliani are the credible Republicans. The others are a motley crew - people with no profile on clapped out ego trips.


I see it as this at the moment -

Obama v McCain is very close. McCain beats the rest of the Dems, Obama beats the rest of the Republicans. Giuliani beats Hillary. Hillary beats all but McCain and Giuliani.

Of course it's early days and anything can happen. It's easy to see Obama's initial popularity waning over the course of the next 9 months or any candidate making a major gaffe.

Firstly, I don't affiliate myself to either American Party but.....

Obama is fantastic. Listening to what he talks about in his speeches.... hope and change in Washington etc is something that really appeals to me. Bush launched a disastrous war (although I don't think it was an inevitable disaster) in iraq after what initially seemed a good response to 9/11 in the shape of Afganistan. I challenge anyone to deny that Anti-Americanism has increased under Bush and I really believe it's going to take a new type of Preident (Obama) to restore the reputation of America globally. I'm 100% pro-America and can see through one Presidency of crazy neo-conservatism but I don't think the rest of the world can.

If I was able to vote he would also be the closest candidate to me domestically. Pro-Choice, Secular, Pro-Gun control, Pro-state run healthcare.

Also, if Clinton wins the nomination and then the Presidency, the list of the four previous Presidents would go Clinton-Bush-Clinton-Bush.

Goodness, well it is a good you Brits don't have a vote in our elections!

Where to start.

Hmm, why not with Ben.

Look here, St. Obama may be a great orator who speaks about bringing people together, but were he to win the nomination he would be the most left wing Democrat candidate since George McGovern......he is far to the left of the Clintons on issue after issue.

Second, I find it odd that so many Tories support St. Obama, as he is, esentially, a US version of Tony Blair circa 1996-1997.

Think about it.

The same smug arrogance, the same dangerous "I will bring everyone together and transcend all divisions", the same "whiter than white" claim on ethics....the same rhetorical flights of fancy that reveal an empty suit.

Really, I can understand that many Tories are well to the left of US Republicans- hence I somewhat understood why some Tories supported Kerry over Bush, but to support Tony Blair II (aka St. Obama).

Really, I would have thought that would be a bridge too far.

Word up, GOPinSingapore. I think you're spot on. To suggest Hillary (who is pretty damn left wing) is to the left of Obama is crazy. Rest assured, enough of us Tories are sticking with the GOP and I'd love to see Giuliani-McCain sort out the Dems again in November.

"at the very least Obama provides the new generation of leadership that from a global and domestic vantage point America needs."

Totally agree Ben. Looking at this presidential race from across the water, America needs this kind of change rather than a continuation of the Bush/Clinton cycle or the tired Republican regime under a new face.

Obama is vacuous. Clinton v McCain would yield the best result for us in the UK.

We need strong international security and a US President who will exercise their powers responsibly. I don't care what the candidates' respective domestic policies are.

Quite what our frontbench is doing talking up Obama is beyond me. We're meant to be a government-in-waiting so should shut up about the elections.

Scotty,

Please list any policies of Obama that represents a "change" from any standard left Dem platform.

Or is the idea of "change" just for you rhetorical?

The ONLY role of the Senate is to decide the VP if no candidate gets the required EC votes (as opposed to national votes, Bill Clinton got a comfortable majority in 1992).
In 2000 there were attempts to appeal to the Senate to reject George W. Bush and make Al Gore President, unlikely as the balance was swayed towards the Republicans, but the results of the vote of the Electoral College still have to be opened by The President of the Senate and the Senate has to vote on it.

Obviously though the decision of the Senate generally is to uphold the results of the vote in the Electoral College.

In 2000 actually even if the courts had awarded Florida to the Democrats in the Electoral College there still would have been a Republican majority voting because of a protest by Democrat delegates in Wshington State over some localised dispute in the Democratic Party which resulted in those delegates abstaining.

I am reminded of the immortal words of Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind, "Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn!"

As if we care what you Brits think!

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