Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Because They Could

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    The campaign knows for a fact that when Obama said those lines during the debate, it had the highest response of the entire debate from voters hooked up to dial groups.

    And what gets me, over and over again, is that it's a sentiment that is conservative in the very best sense. And it's the 'socialist' in this race who sounds like he means it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    The Listener recently ran a story speculating on the role of Blue State Digital -- one of two key companies behind Obama 08's joined-up digital media strategy -- in the New Zealand Labour campaign. T'would have been a fine thing, but I gather Blue State would have cost roughly the entire campaign budget. That might have been a trifle risky.

    Call me old fashioned, but while a joined-up digital media strategy would be a fine thing I prefer a campaign from all parties that has a) more detail on policy and b) some vision or something I could get enthused about.
    I find myself both hoping it will all be over soon and dreading what will come in the aftermath.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Evan Yates,

    I took Pundit's Election Quiz (perfect for lazy people with short attention spans and no desire to wade through thousands of pages of policy) and apparently I have the most in common with the Green Party.

    However, the percentages were within a few points of the match to the two major parties. Does this mean that they are all basically selling the same message to voters like me? Probably.

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 197 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Craig, the Political Compass might help you work that out. As the author observes, the US doesn't do proper liberals, they only do varying shades of conservative. Palin's scarily authoritarian, though.
    The NZ 2008 compass is interesting. Labour's getting kinda far to the right, but for a "Nanny State" they're distinctly middle-of-the-line as far as authoritarian tendencies go. Your favourite right-wing parties actually look to disinterested outsiders to be far more interested in asserting the state's dominance, it seems.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Kung-Fu Monkey had a nice take on the Obama infomercial and it's relationship to what McCain had been saying about Obama:

    Chris and I were talking in the writer's room the other day, about the 30 minute ad buy that aired tonight. Chris was wondering what it was supposed to accomplish.

    "Nothing," I said. "In the best possible scenario, it's so boring that people turn it off halfway through. He's already got the people he inspired. What he has to do now is get people who used to be uncomfortable with the idea of a black president, and make them so comfortable that they're even bored with the idea."

    " 'Obama's not like those other black people.' He's like Rob down in Accounting.' "

    "Precisely."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    You do have to wonder at the US electorate

    Republican President, unpopular, bumbling idiot or worse, financial world down toilet,deaths in foreign war, clutzy vicepresident hopeful etc etc

    Democrates with new, young , powerfully charismatic hopeful with heaps of money for advertising

    Result; apperently remarkably close, although surely it will be a landslide

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Result; apperently remarkably close, although surely it will be a landslide

    It will be a landslide... so what's your point? :-)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    My American colleagues are not so sure, Giovanni. In fact, those that are voting Democratic (which I believe is all of them) are almost certain Obama will lose -- that America is too racist, that the Republicans will steal it again, or something. Honestly, they're like Black Cap supporters expecting another batting collapse.

    For a campaign based around hope, there sure is a lot of despair in the air.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Honestly, they're like Black Cap supporters expecting another batting collapse.

    Heh. Except they don't seem to have realised that Ponting is playing for our team this time. (Or should I say Laxman?).

    This thing's in the bag, has been for weeks.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    You do have to wonder at the US electorate

    Republican President, unpopular, bumbling idiot or worse, financial world down toilet...

    Democrat Congress, unpopular, bumbling idiots or worse, financial world down the toilet...

    Obama will win because he is young enough and clean enough to be the least tainted particpant in the Republocrat duopoly of incompetence. And because he has more money.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E,

    For a campaign based around hope, there sure is a lot of despair in the air.

    Yeah, I'm not convinced it is a done deal either. But I'm a born pessimist.

    I also think there should be a good deal of lowering expectations as to what an Obama presidency would actually do as opposed to what the rest of the world and maybe even the American public would like him to do. I'm not a great fan of Simon Jenkins, but this piece isn't bad.

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Democrat Congress, unpopular, bumbling idiots or worse, financial world down the toilet...

    Heh. There was a great thing on the Daily Show a while back, which summarised goes like this:

    Take 10+ years of GOP Congress dominance and 8 years of incompetent GOP president. Add 2 years of Democrat Congress dominance and 2 years of same Republican lame-duck bill-vetoing president. And somehow you then get "Dems suck", and the House Republicans' new slogan: "the change you deserve".

    What?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I took that test... apparently NZ First is my party with their and my views in 78% alignment! AAARRGGHHH!!!!

    Then, next, Greens and Labour were neck-n-neck at 73 + 71 and National was way down at 63%....

    If we eliminate Winny as a no-go area (it certainly is for me), thats a pretty fair reflection.... I've been confused and tossing up between the Greens and Labour, but recognizing that neither is my perfect fit... and while I wont be voting blue, I had considered it. A National win is not my preference, but I wont see it as the end of the world...

    It's somewhat gratifying to find some numerical/statistical alignment that confirms the gut-feel conclusions I'd already come to... (apart from Winston- ech)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Apologies if this has already been posted, but US celebs are doing funny about voting.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Honestly, they're like Black Cap supporters expecting another batting collapse.

    I reckon a slightly better sporting analogy would be a Wellington rugby fan.

    All season you’re following the best team in the competition, but you just know things will be different in the Final.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I'm not a great fan of Simon Jenkins, but this piece isn't bad.

    Ehhh. You know what I find kind of irritating? This assumption that because people are excited that they are also totally unreasonable. I'm really quite thrilled (I keep reading these utterly poignant stories about elderly African-Americans voting for Obama - the one about the 109-year-old daughter of a slave exercising her right to vote just about caused me to implode), but I'm not an idiot: he's not likely to 'change everything', or even most things. It's exciting right now, but what I'm looking forward to (hopefully, hopefully, fingers crossed) is a US president who isn't utterly mean-spirited, stupid, and despicable. Simon Jenkins and his ilk have to give me *that*, at least.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Danielle: Agreed.

    I'm too old and far too cynical to think that there will be some sort of magic wand waved.

    But assuming he gets in, there will be a generation of children growing up, who in 15-20 years time will be thinking 'we've had a black president. It's not a big deal. Why are these old white crazies frothing at the mouth?'.

    Or even, 'I could do that one day'.

    Baby steps, baby steps.....'Progress' is a long game.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Murphy,

    Sorry, Russell. That was a crap joke.

    Albert Street • Since Oct 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I took that test... apparently NZ First is my party with their and my views in 78% alignment! AAARRGGHHH!!!!

    apologies, but that did make me laugh.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I support or oppose either outlawing gangs or making membership of gangs an aggravating factor in sentencing

    ARGH! I fucking hate questions like that. I'm strongly opposed to outlawing gangs, being something of an absolutist on the whole freedom of association thing, but quite like the idea of membership being an aggravating factor. Am I allowed to wish a slow, painful death on the fuckwit who drafted that question?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    This assumption that because people are excited that they are also totally unreasonable.

    Nicely put. I am still a little frustrated by people who ignore the constraints of politics because they believe in an individual but not since Lange have I been as inspired by a politician as I am by Obama. I don't doubt he's got a lot to learn, which makes Biden such a good choice, but I completely agree; it'll be great to be relieved from the dread Bush provokes.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I'm 79% in alignment with Labour, 75% in alignment with the Greens and NZ First. Which feels about right, in terms of my politics, but I do feel rather dirty about the NZ First thing. Thankfully I have no alignment with them on immigration :)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I took that test... apparently NZ First is my party with their and my views in 78% alignment! AAARRGGHHH!!!

    I was a stinking communist hippy with 83% Green alignment, followed by Labour and the Progressives, but I *did* manage to get 68% NZF, which blew my mind a little. Other friends had similar NZF results. What's going on there?

    (I don't get why I agree 30% with ACT, either. Drug policy, I assume.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    I thought I would add that this evening, before I pick up some takeaways, I will be withdrawing money from the very ATM where Ashley Todd wasn't mugged by an overenthusiastic Obama supporter.

    I feel like I'm living in history.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    but I'm not an idiot: he's not likely to 'change everything', or even most things.

    He's already changed campaigning quite a bit, and the things that should and shouldn't be said, that do and do not work, much as he was helped by the great bumbling clownshow that was the McCain campaign, and by the cellar-dwelling popularity numbers of the incumbent. (Although, let's not forget he beat Hillary - as in The Wire, the fight for the democratic nomination was always going to be the thing this year, and she was a pretty awesome foe).

    So, cynical as I may be and far further to the left ideologically than Obama... let's wait and see. We might find that with a broad mandate - Tuesday will tell us what that map looks like - with more democrats than ever in Congress, with a crisis on his hands, he might manage in fact to transform the country and the conventional wisdom regaring politics (from the local level up) quite a bit. I'd argue he's well on his way already. But it will be interesting, oh yes. Like watching the West Wing, but without the bloody soundtrack.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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