Friday, July 18, 2008

Foreign Influence

Barack Obama is busy going abroad this week, taking a page from the McCain playbook that says a foreign trip will help you while your opponent has a free hand to run around the country without having to worry about contending with you. It was a rather silly mentality for the John McCain camp to have, and Barack Obama might have learned something from it. Instead, Obama is running around Europe (to be fair, he is , and will even hold a massive campaign rally in Berlin:

How vulnerable is Obama on this idea that he's campaigning overseas?
Will the Berlin event backfire? Will some be offended by the idea of holding a
campaign rally in a foreign country?

How does Obama walk this fine line of appealing to the rest of the world
without turning off American voters and appearing that he’s already won the

It could be argued that America has attempted to influence the elections of other nations (which we have), so why shouldn't foreign nations play their hand at influencing Americas elections? It is a fair question to ask, but the answer is not likely to please our friends on the other side of the world. If either the American government or an American political configuration (key Democrats working for the Labour Party in Britain in 1997 or Republicans for the Tories in 1983 and 1987 are two examples) sometimes it works and sometimes it will flop. If Americans find out that foreigners are trying to influence our election process, the American instinct is to tell them to go to Hell.

Americans generally do not care what the rest of the world thinks, because-so goes the rationale-they do not live here. Whether that is a correct mentality to have is not a matter of discussion here, but the reality is that foreign powers or groups trying to influence our election process really does tend to bite the candidates who allow for it in their political rear. Barack Obama had best tread carefully, because if Americans think that he is the candidate of foreign interests he will lose in November-regardless of what the current national polls may say.

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At Friday, July 18, 2008 1:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only people that will be upset by Obama's visits, his reception and so on will be the loonie toonies on your end of the political spectrum (yes, I know my end has them too, but ...).
As things are onh that fringe Obama faced/faces three outcomes:
1.) Don't go - and be blamed for having no foriegn policy experience and no willingness to get any.
2.) Go - and be blamed for having to take McCain's advice and then be blamed as stubborn for coming back still opposed to McCain's foreign policy positions.
3.) Go - and be blamed for having to take McCain's advice and then be blamed for flip-flopping if he changes his position.
So the right-wing loonie toonies (of which I DO NOT count you a member of) are going to bag on Obama regardless - so ignore them on that point, it all spin and posturing.
THE BIG POINT, though, is that while Obama is making his trip he is going to be DRIVING the news. McCain has no chance of being anything but second fiddle on the news cycle. That's gotta hurt!



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