Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The American primary elections are at the center of international news in Spain. The Hillary-Obama race has caught everyone's attention, to the point that the media's been paying too little attention to the Republicans, who have an excellent chance to win in November.

To recap: It seems that Hillary has support among white women, lower-income voters, and Hispanics, while Obama has support among white men, middle-income voters, younger voters, and blacks.

The Democratic race is nowhere near over; Obama should win today's primaries in Maryland, Virginia, and DC, but Hillary's not out of it even though she's fired her campaign manager and "lent" her own campaign $5 million, both of which are bad signs. The Ohio and Texas primaries on March 4 ought to be decisive, and if Obama wins both of those states it's all over. If not, Pennsylvania on April 22 may be the decider. Of course, this is great for the Republicans, with the Dems shooting themselves in the foot by attacking one another.

Andy Robinson gets a page 4 story in La Vanguardia to inform us that if Europeans are anti-American, then it's the Americans' own fault and especially George W. Bush's. Andy says that the United States's "brand equity" is declining, and adds in a snotty aside, "Although consumers from Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, and other countries might disagree, the United States had accumulated a considerable quantity of brand equity." I was actually under the impression that the United States had a comparatively good reputation in those places, since folks there have actually seen what the alternative is.

Meanhile, Pilar Rahola has a pro-Hillary screed in which she calls Obama empty and idea-less, which is true. She takes a shot at Euro Yankee-bashers, though:

We Europeans are experts at the art of getting the wrong candidate in the US elections. We massively applauded the candidacy of Senator John Kerry, despite the evidence of his probable failure. For Europeans, he represented the acceptable American, more cultured, better-mannered, better-read, more fashion (sic) than that Texan Bush, and therefore one of us. Besides, the Hollywood actors and the rock stars backed him, and that was enough to raise our silliness several levels.

...Nevertheless, fooled by Michael Moore's tendentious propaganda (the one who flies to anti-system conferences in his private plane), we decided that the electoral result had no contextual explanation, but rather that the Americans were very, very bad people and they had all become religious fanatics. And so we were happy in our contempt, since we all know that our conceited European superiority complex regarding the Yankees soothes our unconfessable inferiority complex. In reality, we are dying with envy, and that is why we need to point the finger at them in order to maintain our injured dignity.

Now it is happening again, this time in its flower (sic) version. Every self-respecting European is thrilled with Barack Obama, considers that Hillary Clinton is a genuine product of the system (as if Obama were not also part of it), and drools at the thought of his entering the White House.

A lot of people around here who I've talked to actually think that Obama is some kind of radical candidate. I had some guy tell me yesterday evening that Obama was going to reduce the power of the big corporations. I have no idea which idiot media outlet he got that from.

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