June 12, 2008
The media coverage of the secret Obama-Clinton meeting and the concession speech of Hillary Clinton was all-consuming. There are many programmes on why the next US President may be black and why a woman could have been president. And there are still over four months to go to the Election with the real campaign only just beginning.
We are seeing the United States at its best and worst. Best because there is real public participation in the race (contrast the forthcoming election of the European Council President). Best because a ‘black’ candidate may inhabit the White House (I say ‘black’ because Barack Obama is only half-black, with the exceptional experience of the difficulties which face a black man in a white family and a white man in a black family).
Worst because of the frightening relevance of funding and the extent to which candidates must woo special interest groups. But then, it can be argued that US government policy is dictated by interest groups.
Philip Stephens wrote in the Financial Times that “The gifted Mr Obama is a once-in-a-generation politician; Mr McCain a worthy opponent.” and “The world would dearly love a vote in this, yes, epic contest…”Author : Stanley Crossick