Friday, August 29, 2008

People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power. - Bill Clinton's DNC speech, 2008

It's amazing how interested the British media, and indeed its people, are in US politics. I lived in Slovenia during the '04 election, and basically was immune to the circus that surrounded the Kerry v Bush race. In Britain, I may as well be in America - especially this week. It's dominated the headlines of many a newspaper, and radio shows bring up the presidential race often and with vigor. I'm not certain where the motivation lies. Perhaps it's a response to the Bush buffoonery, perhaps a curiosity about the extravagance surrounding US campaigns, or perhaps a genuine interest. And I've been fielding many an email and question about the Biden decision from people I don't usually associate as political junkies.

I caught many of the DNC speeches on YouTube, and the convention was also televised on the BBC Parliament channel. Impressive talks from Gore and both Clintons, and the Obama speech even convinced my cousin, who hadn't yet fallen for his charms. I can understand the annoyance that some might feel towards Obama - his life story has been shoved in everyone's faces so much that it now seems cliche, his rock-star reverence could be taken for arrogance, and his eloquence may seem plastic after dozens upon dozens of speeches. His capacity to infuriate people is as strong as his capacity to inspire. But the buzz is there, and as a bleeding-heart liberal NPR-loving female pro-choice pro-gay pro-peace pro-tax the rich corporate bastards environmentalist teacher, I have a feeling that, as Bill Clinton put it, Barack is on the right side of history.

On a completely unrelated note: Things I Learned This Week. Edinburgh is still one of my favorite cities, especially when exploring new neighborhoods with old friends. Dental hygenists clean your teeth the same way no matter what country you're in (I've had my teeth cleaned in six countries). Some people have too much time on their hands. Red front doors can be seen from two blocks away. And there's nothing quite like walking along the river, staring at the Highlands and hearing bagpipes in the distance.

1 comment:

sarah said...

LOL! The things people think of?! 'Weird converter'..lots of useless information :-) Worse again, is that it is probably successful! There isn't really all that much hype in Thailand about the US elections - the political problems here overshadow any other world news at the moment...