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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 5, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

    Confined to Baracks

    Harry McGee

    I’m not going to write anything about Obama because there’s nothing I can add to the daily avalanche of prose and wisdom and observation (and dross and saccharine sentiment and bilge). For a good cross-representation (if you can take any more!) go to www.realclearpolitics.com or read Andrew Sullivan’s exceptional piece in the Sunday Times last Sunday.

    Anyway, he’s the reason there’s been little blogging activity this week. I’ve spend all my down time swotting up on the US elections for various panel discussions, including the smashingly good Leviathan last night. It’s helped by David McWilliams who might have trained as an economist but whose true vocation is as a star of vaudeville.

    Stayability isn’t what it use to be with a lot of people. A lot of the gigs last night were emptied of atmosphere (and of people) as the night wore on. In the end I couldn’t hack it. We got home from the Button Factory at two and I managed to stay up until 3, an hour before it was called for Obama, but already patently obvious that he would win. I missed his acceptance speech which was – as you’d expect – mesmeric (so was McCain’s… gracious and dignified). Hope Obama can rule as well as he speaks!

    Once Pennsylvania went with him, there was no going back. But much earlier on, the vote distribution in Red States like Indiana and Kentucky showed a very different picture from when Bush  easily brushed off Kerry in 2001.

    It’s been a strange political week back here. A non-week. Because of the massive distraction of the US elections. Which is overweaning actually. And because of a certain amount of battle fatigue after two hard weeks of bombardment. There were a couple of skirmishes over the weekend but it was uneventful around here this week (to put it at its mildest). Somebody suggested this week that it would be a good week for the Government to slip in an unpopular measure (a la Jo Moore in the UK after 9-11). But there was evidence that I could see.

    I have already confessed publicly (tarred and feathered myself actually) about my brilliant powers of prediction. Bertie giving Hillary the Shamrock in the White House next year etc. was definitely the career highlight in that regard.

    My confidence has been restored by a good run of late. So, as a publci service, I’ll predict the following:

    If the PDs (mainly the Limerick ones) decide they have a future next Saturday they will find out soon enough that that future is actually behind them.

    Fianna Fail had a chronic local  election in 2004. The worst ever. It will be worse in 2009.

    The Government will last. The Greens can’t pull out with any credibiliyt in the next year. The only conceivable pull-out is if they don’t get a carbon tax/levy in next year’s Budget. Otherwise, the resignation will happen in the same period of the election cycle as Labour’s withdrawal happened in 1982-1987 (ie right at the very end as  a face-saving exercise).

    Enda Kenny’s position is secure now, especially after THAT poll. But will that last indefinitely during his second term in opposition. The precedence from the past in Fine Gael is NOT good.

    And while I’m at it:

    Galway to win the All-Ireland next year in hurling. After winning Leinster of course.

    • Major Alfonso says:

      Galway to win? You crazy man, I only hope you’re right. Pity they weren’t just subbed into Munster in place of Cork.

      I’m glad I didn’t go to Leviathan now I know it didn’t go on all night. We ate burgers and drank beer well into the morning, balloons up, MSNBC, CNN, NYT, BBC all running. What a nerdathon.

      Can’t see us electing a “post-ethnic” leader…

    • john says:

      Barack Obama had the support of 70% of the media.
      CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC,MSNBC favoured Obama/Biden.
      As president he will be forced to make actual choices. Change will soon be a distant memory. Most information disseminated here came from pro-Obama media. Obama’s tax proposals pose a serious threat to our economy John McCain hardly got a look-in, in the Irish media. The outrageous PERSONAL treatment of Sarah Palin scarcely got a mention in the Irish media. The liberal media tore the candidate and her family to shreds from day one of her selection.
      We heard about negative advertising of the Republican campaign. Yet there was no mention of negative advertising by the Democrats.
      Particularly nasty ads ridiculed McCain’s problems with the computer. This was the product of war injuries. Also there was an ad geared towards the Hispanic community which completely distorted McCain’s position on immigration.

      Gaffe-a-Day Joe Biden was rarely mentioned.

      Galway may blunt Kilkenny’s ambitions. However I would not bet on it. Cody is a wily old fox.
      In Munster Tipperary could emerge as champions once more. Waterford must rebuild whilst the infighting in Cork bodes ill for the team’s prospects in 2009.
      Justin McCarthy may improve Limerick’s prospects whilst Clare has begun to emerge once more as a force to be reckoned with. Munster will be very competitive.


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