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The greatest challenge facing George W. Bush in this pre-election season is to reduce expectations and lull his opponents into repeating their errors of the past two elections to "misunderestimate" him and, by doing so, hand him the election. While GWB is not perfect, he is certainly not as inept, frightened, or childish (short pants? How obvious) as Der Spiegel makes him out to be. Thanks!

Kerry's voting record and his attempt to be all things to everyone will come back to haunt him. That worked for Carter against a weakened Ford, but this time there is no pardon of a corrupt former president to help the democrats. Bush has just started to launch his campaign. We'll see what happens.
tompaq

It's pointless to make any predictions (esp. so visibly as on the front cover) at this point. The Deomcrats will have to move back to the center, and Bush will have to respond.

More to the point is the obvious reverse Orwellian attempt (a similar phenomenon is driving Kerry in the primaries): if you say it will be true, everyone who does not agree gives up without a fight.

Scrum speaks the truth, elbeit in his decrepid way: only fools and political commentators predict elections before August of the election year. Heck, we're still in a place where we're not completely sure Kerry is going to carry the eventual nomination, much less the presidency.

What we can say is that Kerry is an unusually weak candidate. If I were Der Spiegel or Deutsche Welle, I wouldn't go writing fawning opeds just yet.

Lastly, you Euro types are likely to be dissapointed in any Democratic candidate. American presidents don't pander to foreign constituencies just like Vespasius didn't pander to the Carthiginians: empires don't listen to outside influences. America may or may not be an empire, but it did develop remote from the Eurasian continent and is inward looking as a consequence. Democrats will only be one tenth of a percent better from your perspective.

In your haste to gloat over a defeat for Schröder, you've missed the real meaning of the election in Hamburg... a victory for Angela Merkel, and the emergence of a new star in the CDU, Ole von Beust.

The failure of the FDP to reach 5% reduces their weight for the selection of the Bundespresident, and Guido must now realize that unless he finally puts his yellow house in order, the CDU can do the same thing nationally as it has done in Hamburg: rule without the FDP.

Ole von Beust is now free of his two skeletons in the closet, his homosexuality and Ronald Schill. He is now free to play a national role in the CDU. By 'pulling a Stoiber' in Hamburg, von Beust must now be mentioned in the same breath as Koch and Wulff.

And a new moderate CDU star strengthens Merkel's hand against the Lederhosen wing of the Union. I doubt that Stoiber will throw in the towel and move to Bellevue, but I do believe that the Union will take more moderate positions on issues like immigration and tax reform, and makes Merkel even more likely to be the next chancellor candidate.

Lastly, you Euro types are likely to be dissapointed in any Democratic candidate. American presidents don't pander to foreign constituencies just like Vespasius didn't pander to the Carthiginians: empires don't listen to outside influences. America may or may not be an empire, but it did develop remote from the Eurasian continent and is inward looking as a consequence. Democrats will only be one tenth of a percent better from your perspective.

Indeed. It is the trait of a world power that it doesn't fundamentally shift its policies with governments. Only immature and/or weak nations do that...

Once again a demonstration of the European elites complete and total misunderstanding of America and its people. GWB will be re-elected with more than 55% of the popular vote which will translate into an electoral college landslide. Reasons listed below in no particular order. Pay attention Euro Elites, these are the issues that are meaninful to Americans at large, not whether a bunch of snobs from the Continant think our Yale/Harvard MBA - Fighter Pilot President is a "Moron" or a "Cowboy".

By the way,out West where I live, calling someone a cowboy is a compliment.


Reasons GWB will be re-elected

Ecomomy is on the rebound (5% unemployment and heading down/ Dow above 10,000 and heading up)

The Japanese economy is on the rebound.

The push for Gay marriage will backfire on the Democrats.

A conspicuously ignored plank in the Democratic platform will get a full airing right around election time: Reparations. The Democratic Party is resoundingly FOR them. 75% of the country isn't No talk about it at all in the Democratic debates, not even the one sponsered by the Congressional Black Caucus. A conspiricy of silence is easy to pull off when only Dems are talking. Kerry can not win on this issue. If he runs against his Party paltform he will most asuradly squelch the African American vote. If he stands for them he will create an Army of Reagan Democrats.

The situation in Iraq is looking up and may be down right rosy in 6 months. Sistani agrees to election postponment. Oil production is ahead of schedule. Lowest casualty rate since the beginning of the occupation this month. Many reports that even in Falluja, the rebels are tiring and losing the support of the populace. Continued progress on this front damages Democrat chances.

Musharraf has found new motivation. He's plugged the nuclear leak, bartered a cease fire with India and put troops into the tribal regions to help us clean out the remaining jerk-offs.

Libya of all places is knocking on the door, trying to be let in to the fraternity of responsible nations. Expect some sort of friendly gesture towards Isreal in the near future from the Col.

The Intifada is losing steam.

The Mullahs in Iran appear to have overplayed their last hand. look for more diplays of popular discontent. Possibly to the point of an overthrow.

Trade as well as cultural ties have been improving steadily with India. This is a trend that will continue to the great benefit of both nations, the two largest democracies on earth.

The Saudis have been put on notice and appear to be responding regarding the funing of madrassas and Islamic "charities"

Kerry's anti military voting record in congress will catch up to him as well as flip-flopping on the issues.

Kerrys srcewball wife will not be perceived by the American Public as 1st Lady material.

There is no Kerry "Base".

For me the results were more a confirmation that "Hamburgers" still have not forgotten what the SPD did to their fair city during the decades they ruled it. Voter desperation to get away from the multi-culti Reds & Greens, who had allowed crime to skyrocket and the city to decline, drove many into the arms of Barnabus Schill. The CDU took a big risk by building a coalition with him, but it paid off. Schill self-destructed in an incredibly primitive power play, forcing new elections. But the voters were so frightened by the prospect of a return of Red-Green that they gave the CDU the absolute majority -- unbelievable !!! I'm less sure of the signifying power of the election for the national elections. First and foremost I think Hamburgers just want a decent city in which to live.

As for the FDP, this is sad. Ein Handelszentrum wie Hamburg müsste eigentlich mindestens 10% FDP-Wähler haben! Time for some new blood in the party. Aggressively recruit groups such as business-minded, secularist Turks, etc. The FDP should be the multi-culti party of the right, just as the Greens profit from it on the left. Themes: color blind, equal opportunity, meritocracy, anti-quota. Ich musste meinen Senf dazugeben. Senf ist Gelb, nicht wahr?

The big story here is, once again, the media has it all wrong. Whether CNN, the Washington Post, Der Spiegle, the BBC, al Jereeze or some other elite club of snot nosed little pompous journalists, the media is completely out of touch with the real world. The world of journalists is so insular it resembles more Bizarro World than anything here on earth. Journalists have no clue what the average earthling is thinking, which is rather odd since they are the people equipped to ask the questions and dig up the truth. Journalists have completely given up their professionalism for warped dreams of Marxist revolution. I love it when the public proves them the idiots that they are.

First off, nice blog. Are you a native speaker living in Germany, or a German with a knack for language? I discovered this site Saturday and linked it to my personal site. Now I see Sullivan linked to you today.

As for your post--I'm not sure I get why this is a blowout of "historic proportions". The SPD lost some points, but the Greens had some gains. The "big story" appears to be Von Beust himself (as Scott notes above)--how he has somehow managed to simultaneously appeal to both moderate and right-wing Hamburgers. From what I've seen of him, he seems like the perfect CDU politician for Hamburg--relaxed, seems competent and moderate.

Excellent day for the CDU, clear defeat for the SPD. I don't see how this is a disaster for Rot-Grün nationally.

First off, nice blog. Are you a native speaker living in Germany, or a German with a knack for language? I discovered this site Saturday and linked it to my personal site. Now I see Sullivan linked to you today.

As for your post--I'm not sure I get why this is a blowout of "historic proportions". The SPD lost some points, but the Greens had some gains. The "big story" appears to be Von Beust himself (as Scott notes above)--how he has somehow managed to simultaneously appeal to both moderate and right-wing Hamburgers. From what I've seen of him, he seems like the perfect CDU politician for Hamburg--relaxed, seems compotent and moderate.

Excellent day for the CDU, clear defeat for the SPD. I don't see how this is a disaster for Rot-Grün nationally.

Interesting in the Wahlanalyse of NDR is the Wählerwanderung of previous SPD voters they lost 35 thousand to the CDU more than the 12,000 to the greens and 19,000 who didn't bother to vote (showed discontent but are still SPD at heart) combined. Doesn't look good for Gerhard when extrapolated nationally.....

As for Spiegel's cover, I'm going to file this next to their famous "Superpower in Sand" issue which hit the stands as the Americans were taking a smoking break in Sadam's golden toilet, central Bagdad.

I am from Massachusetts, and John Kerry's political career has not yet been delved into. I know a thing or two about how politicians from Massachusetts are viewed among my countrymen. No Massachusetts Democrat (liberal) will win the Presidential election in my lifetime. In case nobody has noticed, the entire world is moving to the right - bringing the political system back to the center.
John Kerry is toast, and Bush will look like a giant come November. I am a Libertarian, but I vote to defeat Socialists.

Wow, the world is getting smaller, where else could Americans get a blow-by-blow of Germany's possible bellweather elections?

So how was Gerhard's visit to the WH presented?

Or did I miss that post?

Wird Deutschland wieder relevant?

Schlafenszeit fuer Gerhard Schroeder

Sandy P.:
I found many positive reports about Schröder's visit in the USA. First time that I read in DIE WELT the term "Befreiungskrieg" instead of "Angriffskrieg". My opinion is that the media changed their attitude a little. Less bashing.

Damn, I made the mistake of glancing at the cover article. It paints America with the usual broad and innacurate brush: There are two Americas, you see. The America of the Republicans is white, Christian, racist and stupid, and run like a fascist state, complete with talk radio "propagandists". (Funny, I thought guys like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly made it big by purveying their opinions in the free market in a way that appeals to a lot of like-minded people - but the Spiegel knows it all comes out the Progandazentrale). Then there is world of the more enlightened (but somehow less organized) Democrats.

It's all ridiculous stereopying, and it's way out of date. To some extent, I could see how the categories proposed might apply to Reagan's America (perhaps Eisenhower's America is more like it), but a lot can change in twenty years, and America is a country that changes fast.

Picked up the Spiegel yesterday. Amazing cover story. It completely misunderstood the meaning of "neo-conservative," and engaged in the basest of caricatures:

Among the core supporters of the conservatives are also the "Nascar Dads." Nascar race cars are powerful machines like the Formula 1, albeit the kind driven in a "salad bowl" -- oval-shaped stadiums with high-banked curves. They're cultural exhibitions put on before 180,000 fans and 35 million TV viewers. It's a particular honor to start the races as grand marshal ("Gentlemen, start your engines.") Recently actor Ben Affleck was granted the privilege until he had to bow out at the last moment, giving way to someone just a little higher.

He landed with his Air Force One directly next to the stadium and drove with a fleet of black SUVs into the middle of the race course. The crowd broke into cheers of delight. After all, "Nascar Dads" represent the most dedicated branch of Republicans. They work in bad jobs or poorly paid ones, live primarily in southern states, love their guns and pick-up trucks that often fly the the Confederate flag -- as a sign of contempt for the yankees up there in the north, including, no doubt, John Kerry.

For the "Nascar Dads," America is white. Their racism feeds on the fear of competition from Latinos and blacks. They love Bush, because he's a straight-up guy who struck back after September 11, 2001.

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