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Mick Temple’s Blog

PRIMARY SCHOOL

05-01-2008

Barack Obama

It was first blood to Barack Obama in opening Democratic primary, with Hillary Clinton trailing a poor third. Professor Mick Temple assesses the runners and riders in the US election.

Whichever religious zealot, token ethnic minority representative or former first lady wins this year, the impact on Britain will be, as always, immense. America may not be the undisputed top dog any more – India and China are poised to overtake it as economic powerhouses – but these are the people that could take ‘our boys’ to war again, whose economic decision-making could force another run on one of our banks and whose verbal gaffes are an essential source of amusement to us all – especially our topical gag writers.

So – to get to the important question - who will give us the best opportunity to take the piss out of the Americans?

Hillary offers a range of comic possibilities - not least, what are they going to call her consort? Acknowledging the rumours about her sexuality for the moment, First and Last Man perhaps?

But to be fair to Hillary, as Jay Leno pointed out she’s never had sex with a woman, no matter how many times Bill begged her to. And given the American custom of referring to all former leaders as ‘President’ one can foresee many comical misunderstandings among the White House interns. Jon Stewart’s scriptwriters (in between strikes) are already working on these …

Mike Huckabee sounds like a Mark Twain character, but make no mistake this man is dangerous. Think George Dubya with a brain – oh my God, Armageddon out of here.

John McCain has had his chips (sorry) so we won’t waste any more time with him.

In the event of another Gulf War, Mitt Romney offers the tabloid press some great opportunities – the Stormin’ Mormon, perhaps.

Rudy Giuliani resembles a Transylvanian Count – no madam, that’s Count – and has, like Michael Howard, something of the night about him. But with only 3.5 per cent of the Iowa vote (although he didn’t come out of his coffin to campaign) it looks like we won’t have to break out the garlic, crosses and wooden stakes just yet.

Barack Obama’s name offers many possibilities – but he may suffer at the polls from confused rednecks who declare ‘I ain’t voting for that son-of-a-bitch Osama’. His lack of experience frightens me … but then Dubya’s still does and it didn’t stop him being elected twice.

Still, no matter how much we take the piss out of our American cousins at least their citizens have the grass-roots power to select a party’s presidential candidate. We, on the other hand have our choice confined to Blair Deputy, Blair Lite and Blair Even Liter.

So who has the last laugh?

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