Notwithstanding the results from New Hampshire, I guess the man of the moment is Irish-American candidate Barack O’Bama. I hate to be cynical – all right, I don’t – but I have to ask this. Is it just me, or does Barack bear a remarkable resemblance to Chauncey Gardiner in Being There? Except that he might actually be blander.
It seems extraordinary to me that you can get this far by just saying “change” a lot. On the other hand, lots of American punters seem to like that kind of thing. Remember that Arnold got to be Governor of California by waving a broom around and declaiming “I vill clean haus”.
It helps, of course, that O’Bama’s family background (barring the obligatory Irish link) isn’t African-American but African, and his links to the ghetto are tenuous to say the least. He doesn’t have that anger that suburbanites seem to find so offputting. In fact, he appears to be joining Will Smith and Tiger Woods in that select category of black men who don’t scare white Americans.
No, he doesn’t really inspire me, although he is performing a service by putting the skids under the Holy Clintons.
Meanwhile on the Republican side, it’s not surprising that religion is looming large. You have Mitt Romney, a competent administrator and a centrist Republican with a record of appealing to Democrats. Yet the man is hobbled by his faith, which involves believing that the angel Moroni helped Joseph Smith write the Book of Mormon. To much of the Republican base, that seems downright weird, and they prefer the surer ground of Mike Huckabee, who just believes that God created the world in seven days.
I can almost hear Dawkins tearing his hair out.