Election ’08: The view from abroad


I feel like I should preface this with some remarks about Mark Steel. But then I realize that it doesn’t matter either way.

Barack Obama, apparently, has been the symbol of hope. But that could be quite distressing, because his entire campaign has revolved around the slogan “Yes we can.” I’m all for keeping political ideas simple, but he’s reduced them to Bob the bloody Builder. Maybe he’s planning to steal other catchphrases from children’s TV characters, so his next campaign adverts will go “Barack Obama – flobalob lob obalob weed.”

In truth Obama is even more vacuous than Bob, because he doesn’t even say what it is we can, whereas Bob is unequivocal that it’s the issue of whether we can fix it. But they’re all as ridiculous. A typical John McCain speech went, “I promise I will always put America first – her ideals and her future, before any other consideration.” Then his fans all cheered. Because that should trump the candidates who disagree, saying, “Well I won’t. I’ll put the interests of Austria first. I’m sick of America.”

Obama now has a video, in which a variety of celebrities sing the words “vote, change and hope” It would be worth trying to confuse one of his canvassers by saying, “Oh no, I’d rather support someone who’s against hope. It only brings trouble, hope does.” But perhaps he’ll get more ambitious and make whole speeches full of random words, telling the people of Montana, “Brothers and sisters, buttercup Barcelona laminated frog radish but not and never hedgehog.”

Just read the damn article.

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