everything and nothing. not really sure yet.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

South Carolina

It's been a while since my last post on the Presidential elections, and, I haven't really gotten anything right since the Democrats in Iowa. However, here are my South Carolina predictions:
1) Obama 39%
2) Clinton 30%
3) Edwards 30%
then 1% to 'others'. Clinton will get more votes than Edwards - just - but statistically and in delegate terms they will tie.
If I am wrong and Clinton wins (maybe 35% to 34%), what will it mean for Obama? Conventional wisdom says that it will hurt him, maybe to the point of knocking him out altogether, but I'm not so sure. Clinton cannot win SC on the white vote alone, she will need a very sizeable portion of the Black vote. With race suddenly being an issue, Obama has recently been erroneously perceived in some circles as the 'black candidate' a la Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton, when in reality the base of his support across the country has always been educated whites. If Clinton wins, or comes close to winning, the black vote in SC, then it might help shake the perception of Obama as the 'black candidate' and allow him to once again be the candidate who happens to be black, but is not running to represent the African-American people alone.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hip Hop Violin

I wish I was as good as this guy:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I didn't know the BBC website was SO broad

Ok then

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Going ... Going ... Gone!

Good news out of Jerusalem (for once), Avigdor Lieberman has taken his Yisrael Beiteinu party out of the governing coalition. I wrote a post lamenting the Labor Party (particularly Amir Peretz)'s complicity in bringing the hard-line nationalist and racist into the government, and his having left the coalition - predictably over negotiations with the Palestinians - can only be cause for celebration. Will it weaken the government, not significantly. Even if Shas leaves too, bringing Meretz into the fold would bring a coalition of sixty, and perhaps some sort of working arrangement could be made with some of the Arab parties to support the government - particularly over negotiations. Of course, if Olmert decides to go the other route, and appease the right - where his political roots lie - by bringing in another rightist party like UTJ (a possibility according to some - although highly unlikely in my opinion: why would UTJ tread where Shas refuses to) he will be weakened, as a divided government will hurt negotiations and increase the likelihood of Labor pulling out over Winograd. If Olmert is sincere over his desire for peace, he must press ahead with negotiations, and work on bringing Meretz, and maybe some of the Arab parties, into the fold. Without such a divisive, destructive force as Lieberman and his party in the cabinet, progress can surely be made, if Olmert and his Kadima colleagues are willing to take risks for it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ron Paul

An interesting piece from the New Republic on the enigma that is Ron Paul.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa and beyond

It's been a while since my last post, and a lot of stuff has happened which I might get into at a later date, but it seems like time to give trilby hats and coffee's official Iowa caucus predictions:

Barack Obama first by 2 percentage points over John Edwards. Hillary Clinton a disappointing third, a further two points down. Jo Biden will come best of the rest, then Richardson, Dodd, Kucinich and finally Gravel will come dead bottom.

Mitt Romney then Mike Huckabee, about three points between them. Romney will be relieved, and Huckabee a little disappointed. Ron Paul will come a shock third, followed by John McCain (who will survive to New Hampshire but will fall apart after losing to the vampire again) and then Thompson, Rudy (who will scrape through to Feb 5th), Alan Keyes (some people like crazy) and finally Duncan Hunter.

I predict the following people will drop out after the caucus:
*Chris Dodd (who's earnest campaign never really picked up any steam - maybe it's just too late for him? He will have wanted to stay on to New Hampshire, but he will be advised not to waste the money. He will endorse Obama, and return to Senate life, maybe making a run against Harry Reid for Majority Leader.)
*Mike Gravel - not much to say, who was he kidding?
*Very possibly Kucinich (but that's not really his style) - he will endorse Obama (he's already de facto endorsed Obama by calling on his supporters to make him their second choice in Iowa).
*Fred Thompson, stopped as soon as he started, a return to Law and Order, maybe he'll play the President in another film.
*Duncan Hunter - see Gravel, Mike.

Longer term predictions:

Ron Paul and Jo Biden will both get boosts from their 'best of the rest' finishes. Hillary will see a drop in New Hampshire as Obama and Edwards both rise. Bill Richardson will drop out after February 5th (more on that closer to the time), as will whoever is in the worst position of Obama, Edwards and Hillary. Alan Keyes will stick at it, and will be roundly ignored (thankfully - too many crazy people these days). On February 5th the following will be left in the race:

Obama, Edwards, Clinton, Biden, Richardson, Kucinich (of which all but the leading 2 and maybe Kucinich will be left on Feb 6th).

Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani (if he's lucky), Paul and Keyes (of which Huckabee and either Paul or Giuliani will drop out afterwards - depending on who does best: if all goes well for Giuliani he could be winning by Feb 6th).

Final Nominees (from what can be discerned at this stage):
Dems - Whoever is winning out of Obama, Edwards and Clinton on February 6th: my current bet is Obama.

Republic*nts - Romney, unless things go particularly well for Giuliani in February.