Trying to get a handle on Barack

A quick taste of recent Australian bloggers comments on things US. There has been more interest in Barack Obama but then he is new on the scene unlike the old warrior John McCain. Many find it hard to separate the personality from the policies.

Mark Bahnisch, a very active member of the blogosphere, coordinates Larvatus Prodeo. It is “an Australian group blog which discusses politics, sociology, culture, life, religion and science from a left of centre perspective”. Typical of recent analysis was Mark's comment last month:

There’s no question that the economy is the central issue in this year’s race. The Iraq War and foreign policy aren’t unimportant, but they’re far more important to the relatively upscale voters Obama already has in his tent than the ones he needs to bring in – some of whom will be actively hostile to him on cultural and nationalist grounds unless he sells them on the hip pocket. Whatever happens, and my bet at this stage would be a narrow win for Obama and a rather disappointing start in office, this will be an interesting election. (Beyond the red state-blue state dichotomy)

The American election 2008 category has covered a wide range of topics. I suggest browsing for yourself. Kim, who lives in Brisbane, is a regular contributor about the US which is not surprising given her American background:

One thing that’s certain – despite the overtures from John McCain for joint “town hall” style meetings – the GOP will be out to prove their kitchen sink politics is even murkier than Hillary’s marathon efforts. The Economist reports that 11% of voters surveyed think Obama is a Muslim, and we all know where those “rumours” are coming from. The GOP need some meat to throw to their “base”, in an election where their candidate is hardly the right wing’s usual fare. And the great noise machine is joining in – focusing on Michelle Obama. (Watching the US election)

Duckpond blogs frequently about international affairs and US politics. She wonders how the George W. Bush phenomenon has come about:

The question that does not go away for me is: How did G W Bush become President of the United States, and be charged with making the final decisions he has made, in particular the invasion and occupation of Iraq following the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001? The answer to the simpler question is clearer, and that is: Why did a significant number of Americans believe that Iraq was in some way related to the events of 911? The most obvious answer to that question is that the American Mass Media allowed such a misperception to have currency, and in a First Amendment sense they failed to perform their duty as a watchdog of democracy. (MEDIA POLITICS)

Finally Austrolabe is a blog serving Australia’s Muslim community. One of its contributors, Amal, is far from impressed with Barack Obama:

I’m loathe to even consider him as the lesser of two evils though. Obama is weak. I was disgusted, although I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, by his feeble position on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. I don’t think he really offers much by way of actual solutions (economy, etc). His weakness is also very evident in the way he panders to the redneck demographic. (Obama: I’m not Muslim. No, really.)

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