Sunday, May 11, 2008


Note: On my new -- and, amazingly, popular -- blog: (, I have a piece today by a superb political analyst, Jean Avery. It's called "The Agonies of Hillary Clinton." Yesterday's piece on the same blog is titled "Hatchets Hacking Away at Hillary." On my Pennsylvania blog, I have a piece about two congressional candidates whom I'm urging to link themselves closely to John McCain's presidential bid. It's a strategy I believe is applicable to most Republican congressional candidates across the nation. If you agree, please forward it to your own favorite congressional candidate. Thanks.

I hope you'll read both and comment if you wish.In recent months, The (London) Economist has written about the fascination many people in Great Britain have with this year's American politics.

In Britain, hundreds of thousands (millions?) of Englishmen and Englishwomen find them awake at 5 a.m. (their time) hanging on the latest results from Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Some of these people may not know exactly where Indiana or Pennsylvania are, but they're fixated on the Obama-Clinton battles in those states.

The Economist mentions that a lot of people in Britain have a form of "primary envy." They wonder why their own country, one with a parliamentary system, can't have primaries of their own! Obviously, the primaries are great theater. Also, there are clear winners and losers, a situation that's always certain to draw public interest.

The obsession with American politics isn't just something you'll find in Britain. For example, I received the following e-mail from an overseas man, Jim Fryar, an Aussie who's a regular reader of my blogs.

He tells me, " I have been over to HSFM [Hillary Supporters for McCain] a few times, and I regard it as a potential winner for our cause [i.e., the conservative and libertarian one]. "My main concern at present is that Hilary will make it. I realize it's unlikely or highly improbable, but I never underestimate the Clintons, [because] they are as cunning as outhouse rats. . . . It's not over until Obama has the nomination, and even then I think its likely that Hilary would have 2012 in mind and have similar sentiments [regarding] the people we are reaching out to [as possible McCain supporters]."

[Alaska Governor] Sarah Palin would be a great asset to this effort if she were the VP nominee. The "girl" thing is a side issue to this. She is honest, competent, has executive experience, and appears to have the toughs where she needs them. I would not recommend her otherwise. The last thing we need in the future would be a useless VP who we 'owe' for getting us over the line.

"Sarah's main competition would be Mitt Romney, who is also a good choice. Mitt would bring back some of those who backed him but still won't come across to McCain. He would cost us some ultra-conservative support, but I am not sure that this would be a real bad thing if he can bring in greater numbers of other groups.

I think that a great many ultra-conservatives would still support the ticket [McCain-Romney] rather than accept the alternative. If Mike Huckabee and/or Fred Thompson were to support such a ticket, it would go a long way to help.

"That group [ultra-conservatives] worry me as they seem to be pulling us away from the more moderate electorate to the point where I feel some of them actually despise moderates and possibly want them out. I still believe we need the [ultra's] support so we have to be nice to them, but to some extent I think they are costing us, especially among the young [voters that] Romney could appeal to.

"I notice in the NYT an article which suggests that the Latino vote could be crucial and Eric [Dondero, a Texan who broadcasts on BlogTalkRadio/Libertarian] has been pushing this line for the last year, or at least that we do not do enough to get that vote. He also seems to feel that quite a few Latinos don't really like the Democrats as they tend to stand over them. He presented a good case for Bonnie Garcia as a possible VP a couple of months ago. If she were at least to get a prominent place in the campaign, she could be a great asset.

Is Condi [Rice] really 'tainted' [by assocation with the Bush Administration] as some seem to claim? I feel she has handled a bloody difficult role with total credit, and I have great respect and admiration for her. From over here, I don't get the street feel you would have, but on her record I would love to see her on the ticket.In another e-mail Jim said talked about the need in his country and ours for highly skilled immigrants -- in the face of growing anti-immigrant feelings.

"All of us are bound to disagree on some things. I kind of half heard a tv show in the background the other night on our ABC which was interviewing someone with similar views to Marina Kats's. I have been looking for the transcript on their website but it has not come up yet. The interviewee was saying that both of our countries [U.S. and Australia] could lose out badly and the tendency for industry to move offshore could increase if we do not get in more skilled people [immigrants] in a hurry."He adds, "It is almost impossible [in Australia] to get an electrician [in most non-minerals] industries now because of the mining boom."

Jim's knowledge of American politics is quite amazing when you consider that he's in Queensland, Australia. I love the way he talks about "us," referring to American conservatives. Jim sees himself -- and frankly, is -- one of "us." He's very familiar with what's going on in the New York Times and on ABC.

You can find Jim's remarkable blog at: He describes its nature as:"Real World Libertarian: The Politics of Liberty and the Defense Thereof." Occupationally, he is a "former farmer, [and] surface and underground driller now moving into [mining] training and consultancy."

I told Jim that "Americans and Aussies" are brothers and sisters under the skin. And as he demonstrates, that's true. May it be ever thus.

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