Ever since a colleague recommended I watch The West Wing I’ve been a close follower of US politics. To say it enthralls me would be an understatement; the personalities, the history, the politicking and most of all the system make it avid watching, listening and reading.
Over the past few years, since I’ve learnt and absorbed more of the US electoral system it’s fair to say I’ve become a Republican (in the British sense) and would certainly advocate an end to the British monarchy. The beauty of the checks and balances and the split between state and federal power, although far from perfect, makes for an ebb and flow of social discourse that I don’t see within the UK. Now that isn’t all to do with the fact that we have a constitutional monarch but in my view it doesn’t contribute to a disengagement with Westminster.
Anyway, we’re getting to the fun part, now just a month away from the election and President Obama looks firmly on course to win a second term. When you consider the poor performance of the US economy, his comfortable lead points to one main aspect, the disarray in the GOP which has seen the Tea Party faction increase their power to the dismay of the more centrist party members, epitomised by Romney picking Paul Ryan as his running mate. Mitt Romney, even though clearly more than capable of being President, is committed what could be viewed as the Cardinal sin of politics, denying himself, in other words shifting position so regularly to appeal to different parts of the Republican base that he no longer appears principled and solid as a politician. So we enter the final few weeks with Obama comfortably ahead in national polls and with clear leads in the two crucial swing states of Ohio and Florida, if he wins those then he wins the Presidency, simple. The first of three debates is on Thursday, they always make interesting viewing but given the state of the race Obama merely has to duck the big shots Romney has to come out with, Obama can afford to be defensive to score the win. There have been lots of classic debate moments over the years, not too many last time round with McCain and Obama though so here’s hoping for memorable clashes over the next few weeks, I’ve included some of these classic past moments below. Also if you’re interested in the current projections the Huffington Post electoral map is worth some of your time: http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/2012/romney-vs-obama-electoral-map