Open Thread

Obama in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel

In a matter of days Obama will be heading off to Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, a meeting with Palestinian leaders and a stopover in Europe including Germany, France and Britain. According to Rachel Maddow this trip is risky but brilliant.

Obama’s mission is to broadcast a message back home. At the same time there are a million and one local interest groups keen to leverage a moment in the sunshine, and therein lies part of the risk. For Europeans – Obama represent a historic moment in American history, and, the end of George W. Bush. It’s a feel good moment and Americans will enjoy feeling the love. Perhaps also, this is the moment where anti-American sentiment could turn in favor of the cousins.

18-JUL-08 Kuwait.
19-JUL-08 Kabul, Afghanistan.
21-JUL-08 Iraq.
22-JUL-08 Jordan.
23-JUL-08 Israel.
24-JUL-08 Berlin, Germany.
25-JUL-08 Paris, France.
26-JUL-08 London, England.

541 replies on “Obama in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel”

I am sure that there is a cultural shift occuring. But a small, incremental one that will, because of the way things work in a democracy, see some dramatic changes. A small shift in voter sentiment moves one party out of power and another into power. That is how the game has always worked. This is the usual politicking; it is the very definition of the usual politicking.


It would not be a comfortable win unless you are talking about including Virginia and Missouri. If Obama gets Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Montana and New Mexico then Ohio is the swing state – whoever wins Ohio wins the presidency.

Basically, on electoral votes it is always tighter than it looks, because a 39 point lead dissappears if one large state – such as Ohio – changes hands.

489 David Gould Have a look at the demographics for Latino and black voters. Then use the 2006 as a starting point. Take into account the MASSIVE amount of money that Obama has. Which already includes $5 million worth of national advertising during the Olympics. The huge amount of volunteers, and the press is being behind Obama. The almost 2 million difference in new voters/drop out voters. The fact that Obama has 8 out of 10 top issues. Such as the most important one, economy is falling apart. (remember Bill Clinton won well on that issue alone). McCain is OLD and not very fit/healthy, McCain is tied very closely to President sh*t for brains. Not my words. TV commentater, Bill Maher:
The Repugs a computer illiterate. The Democrats have one of the best Internet campaigns ever run. They are using top silicon valley people to run his campaign, thats why he beat Hillary. I have just touched the tip of the iceberg. The Repugs cannot compete.


At this point. It is competitive, but I would like to see some more polling. And I will add that if McCain loses Florida, he is not completely out of the race but as near as dammit.

Obama beat Hillary by only a very small margin, Chris B.

I would also add: if the republicans cannot compete, how come McCain is looking so competitive? Are you suggesting that the polling is really, really wrong?

For the record, which states outside the ones that we are already discussing will Obama win?

I should add that all of those factors (apart from the money spend, which is, I agree, significant) are already taken into account in polling. In other words, voters already know the economy is tanking, they already know that McCain is old, they already know that McCain is tied very closely to Bush. So: why are the polls as close as they are?

Intelligence is not a factor that postively influences how people vote. Further, as I said above, all of those positives for Obama are already factored into the polling.


I think we’re both thinking roughly the same. The problem is that Obi’s brought so many states into play that the possible permutations are nearly endless.

There’s just too many tipping points.

I dearly hope for a landslide but I’m not banking on it.

510 David Gould
Intelligence is not a factor that postively influences how people vote.

Far from it. The repugs dirt machine works very hard to equate ‘smart’ with ‘elitist’.

507 David Gould The same ones the Democrats are targeting plus more. I formed my opinion before The Votemaster suggest about 20 seats in the senate, I thought about 14. All the light states in the senate. Did you look at the demographics? There are two maps up the top R/H side.

And look how well Bush did. He made not being intelligent his greatest virtue. πŸ˜‰

Chris B,

Are you talking about the senate or the presidential race? I thought that we were talking about the presidential race. Which states are the Democrats targetting in the presidential race? (I do not have access to their inside planning). Which other states? Put your picks on the table, please.

The Democrats will do very well in the Senate. They will not reach 60, but 56 or 57 is my pick. However, that is not the same race as the one that we are discussing – the presidential race.

514 David Gould America and the world has woken up to him since then, and why do you think he is so unpopular? As well as being called sh*t for brains?

Chris B,

All races are not tied together. See Bill Clinton; see Ronald Reagan. People vote differently for Congress than they do for the presidency – as they do here in state and federal elections.

And you are still not naming any states.

Where on the electoral-vote site does it lay out the Democratic strategy for the presidential race?

Sorry for the pessimism, I guess that Ohio poll spooked me!
David, you’re on the money, I agree with you that Obama will win this, but it’ll be close, perhaps he at best gets a tick over 300 electoral college votes.
And Chris: thanks again for all your contributions to this forum, you are a mine of interesting information!
Finally, I was thinking how nice it is without the constant crap from Ron, GG and a few others.

Let me guess Obama’s strategy:
Hold every state Kerry won in 2004, and take off the Republicans 2 or 3 of the following: Ohio, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Iowa.
Colorado, North Carolina, Nevada are outside possibilities
I don’t believe the hype about Georgia and Mississippi, they will stay in Republican hands.

David: Hillary would have made Ohio more secure for the Demcrats in November, Obama perhaps still has problems winning over working class white voters?

As a Hillary supporter, it has of course always been my contention that she would have had an easier time of it than Obama is going to. But I never got much support on this issue from the Pollbludgers; hence the tease.

Clinton for VP! πŸ™‚

I doubt Hillary will be VP, the latest rumor on the web is Obama will choose Evan Bayr of Indiana.

Hi Progressive – you’re not kidding!
I just copped another spray from GG. It is much nicer here, but I am interested in the discussion re the Oz Climate Change politics so I shall persevere a little longer.

GG and Ron are pissed off they didn’t get invited over here, what a pair of cry babies!
David: there’s a new rumour on the VP every day, it never stops.
I would have been happy with Hillary as the nominee, I hope Obama gives her a prominent job in an administration, she’s got a lot to offer!

David @528-
I feel your pain fellow bludger, however are you reconciled to the Obama for POTUS reality yet or do you need some more help?
We’re a compassionate lot on this site…

The similarities between Steve Brack’s 2nd election and this one are very close. You just have to multiply the issues by ten. Then I had a lot of trouble convincing people, in the upper house I was out by 1 seat. All the previous by elections gave the indications. The polls gave a bit of an indication, but they were more accurate towards the end.

By the way David I was a Hillary supporter too. It wasn’t till afterwords that I found out how they ran their campaign that I realised Hillary was lucky to get close. In particular their Internet campaign. Having quite an understanding of the Internet I was suitably impressed.

Chris B,

Given those similarities, what is your prediction here? How many electoral votes will Obama get, and in what states will he get them?

re the closeness of the Polls- is the fact neither party has actually formally endorsed their candidtae a fcator? I imagine once the campaign proper begins the gap may widen, or am I off the mark?


Given that that is a formality – everyone knows who the candidates will be – I do not think that that will be much of a factor.

What will be a factor is the campaigns themselves. Obama has a lot of money to spend, which is excellent. We will really have to wait and see whether the gap widens or narrows, though.

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