October 10, 2008

La fine del 'secolo americano'

Con la consueta (e implacabile) lucidità, Angelo Panebianco ha disegnato sul Corriere di oggi uno scenario più che plausibile per i prossimi anni, cioè la nuova era post-crisi del 2008: non la fine del capitalismo, bensì quella del «secolo americano», un mondo multipolare che sarà “più pericoloso ancora di quello che abbiamo conosciuto e nel quale, inoltre, le prospettive della libertà (per milioni di persone) si faranno ancor più precarie di oggi. Infatti ... [continua a leggere]

Is it really over for McCain?

While watching the latest Obama-McCain debate I had the same feeling as FT journalist Gideon Rachman, that is to say that “McCain was a slightly odd mix of avuncular and aggressive. […] I thought he looked a little old.” I was a little bored, for instance, by his repeated “My friends” trope as well as by what I could only describe as a certain condescending attitude towards Obama, and what is worst, the voters.

But, apart from personal feelings, the fact is that John McCain’s campaign—even according to his supporters—is lurching badly. The polls say that Obama is ahead by significant margins. But is it really over for McCain? That is the question the Guardian asked nine prominent US commentators. And their answers are not that obvious, even though, as Elaine C. Kamarck of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University puts it, “we know historically that when people are concerned about their pocket books they turn to the Democratic party.” And though, in addition to this, according to Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution, if McCain were to win this election “it would truly be the biggest upset in American political history.” That is to say that you cannot “have an economic situation this bad, and not expect to throw out the in party.”

Yet, it is still doable for McCain. According to political columnist David Yepsen, for instance,

there are also two wild cards. One is race: how many people can’t vote for Obamabecause of his race. We know it’s out there, but people don’t like to talk about it and it’s difficult to measure. The other wild card is voters under 25, the millennials. There are huge registration numbers out there. The challenge will be to produce those young people. It’s one thing to sign them up. It’s another to turn them out.

A very interesting reading, indeed. Read also what Norman Geras has to say on the topic. He is very pessimistic about MacCain: “Yes, it's over for McCain. The reason is the economic crisis. There is no way McCain can evade the evident fact that this matured during Bush's presidency.”