Monday, June 9, 2008

London Columnist Predicts McCain Victory

Has Obama peaked? Janet Daley of the Daily Telegraph thinks so. She believes that McCain will win the general election. Daley's analysis deserves close attention, given that she was practically the only pundit who predicted at the beginning of the campaign that Obama and McCain would be the two left standing to face off in November.

Daley writes:

[Obama] has shown himself to be profoundly unable to communicate with the little guys. The blue-collar workers who normally look to the Democrats for succour see him not only as a member of a privileged elite who has little understanding of their problems and who may actually despise their attitudes and assumptions, but as a man who has alarmingly little experience of government and leadership.

Obama's brilliantly effective strategy for winning the nomination involved effectively writing off many of the big states with large working-class populations and, so far, he has offered almost nothing by way of practical remedies to the country's economic problems: his oratory may lift the heart as Franklin Roosevelt's did ("we have nothing to fear but fear itself") but it is singularly lacking in the sort of substantive programmes that gave substance to Roosevelt's inspirational message.

But it is also true that John McCain is not a market leader on economics. He, too, is from a privileged background. Interestingly, however, he seems more able to relate comfortably to ordinary working people than Obama.
. . . .
To European eyes (and to some American ones, too) this is an election to determine how America sees itself: can it elect its first black president? Can it present itself to the world in an entirely new guise - as a member of the modern European club of social democratic societies?

But to most Americans - the ones who are less beguiled by rhetoric and more concerned with financial survival, and those who need practical reassurance more than inspiration - this election will be about proven character and tested judgment.

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