Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thoughts on the US midterms

I'm currently watching as the results of the US midterms come in. Given some of the exchanges between commentators and bitter concession speeches I feel ever more proud of UK politics.

As I write this the results are looking exciting. It seems likely the Democrats will gain control of the House of Representatives and finally put a brake on the excesses of the Bush Republicans. The Senate is looking tighter and could come down to a handful of precincts that have still to declare.

Amongst the individual results of note:

*Sadly Hilary Clinton has been re-elected in New York. Unlike many of my readers, I don't rate her highly at all and feel another Clinton in the White House would just be a disaster. Why anyone thinks she is an electable Presidential candidate is beyond me - the Democrats tried a New England liberal in 2004 and lost. Hilary Clinton is hardly the politician to make gains in the South (she didn't exactly hang around there to launch her own political career) or the mountains or other Red States. She may go down well on the coasts, but those are reliable Democrat bankers anyway.

*I think Bill Nelson has been re-elected in Florida. My former flatmate is over there and has an invitation to the party for Katherine Harris. It's probably the least wanted party invitation in the country - even the Bush brothers didn't want Harris on the Republican slate.

*Joseph Lieberman has won re-elected in Connecticut as an Independent, despite previously losing the Democratic primary. However I doubt this represents the beginning of a significant third party movement - this is really an opening up of the Democratic primary.

*Hilary Clinton has just started her speech. She thinks "democracy is great" - perhaps she could encourage the US to curb its anti-democratic gerrymanders and other restrictive practices. Otherwise it's a rather rambling "new beginning" style speech, trying to avoid her image as a staunch liberal. If she's not going to run for President I'll eat my socks.

I look forward to 2008 and hope we'll see a New Yorker elected President.

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