Sunday 21 September 2008

'Sarah Palin bubble has burst'

‘The Sarah Palin bubble has burst – and it was burst by the economics of the last few days’, Stryker McGuire, London Bureau Chief of Newsweek told the Fabian fringe debate on Can Hope Win? Lessons from America in his analysis of the US campaign.

"In the last week, McCain stumbled rather badly on the economy, while Obama played the steady if quite cautious statesman", he said.

Obama was now back ahead not just in the polls and in the projected electoral college but also in the political futures and political insiders markets. "Both Republican and Democrat insiders believe that, on November 4th, Obama will win", he said.

But McGuire was sceptical of the ability to translate many lessons from the US to Britain.

‘Labour and the Conservatives are ideologically miles away from the US parties. The Conservatives are to the left of the Democratic Party of the United States on many matters. If you take the question of universal healthcare, the plans in the US look nothing like the NHS which the Conservative Party has agreed to safeguard’

‘In terms of tactics and strategy, British politicians wander across the Atlantic looking for clues, which is perfectly understandable when the business of politics is so huge in the United States. I think more money was spent on the security for the Democratic Convention than in the whole of a British election campaign. And a huge amount of that is spent on television and radio campaigning which is not a lesson that is transferable'

‘In political terms, America and Britain share the same language but they don’t share much else', he said.

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