November 4th, 2008. What better place to be on Election Day, than the place they promise to change: Washington, D.C.?
Grand seigneur of the intellectual left in the US, Noam Chomsky has given the Spiegel an interview. He makes it pretty clear that Europeans shouldn’t hope for much from a possible President Obama.
SPIEGEL: “Change” is the slogan of this year’s presidential election. Do you see any chance for an immediate, tangible change in the United States? Or, to use use Obama’s battle cry: Are you “fired up”?
Chomsky: Not in the least. The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.
SPIEGEL: But he does say things that Europe has long been waiting for. He talks about the trans-Atlantic partnership, the priority of diplomacy and the reconciling of American society.
Chomsky: That is all rhetoric. Who cares about that? This whole election campaign deals with soaring rhetoric, hope, change, all sorts of things, but not with issues.
He has more to say about the state of American democracy and the 2008 elections. Chomsky touches upon the role religion plays for campaign managers, the narrow spectre of choices voters are given and McCain’s honest suggestion that this election really is about personality and not issues, as the Obama campaign claims. The full interview is here.
The US Presidential elections 2008 are historic in many ways – A black man had to beat a woman to claim the nomination of his party, the campaigns already spent more than a billion dollar to persuade voters, the final month of the election coincides with the collapse of the credit markets and the global economic system is threatened in its entirety.
Also, this election is increasingly fought out not on the TV screen or in newspaper editorials and op-eds, but on the Internet – which adds another historic element. German journalist Tobias Moorstedt has travelled the US to find out more about this development and the changes, challenges and criticisms digital campaigns evoke. He touches on all of these questions in his new book and in the following interview with tapmag (you can also read the interview in German on my private blog).
Here are the words which John McCain and Barack Obama used most frequently in their acceptance speeches they delivered at their party’s conventions. Draw your own conclusions (but be so nice and tell us about them in the comments).
The wordclouds were created with the help of wordle.net.
tapmag’s reporter finds herself in a position she never thought she would be in. [Read more]
Paris Hilton, that is. Reportedly, Mrs. Hilton was not too pleased that John McCain used pictures of herself and Britney Spears in a political advertisement to bash Barack Obama. The campaign commercial attempted to compare Obama’s popularity to that of perceived dim-wits such as the two, with a voiceover weighing in that “he’s the biggest celebrity of the world – but is he ready to lead?”.
McCain’s use of Paris Hilton as an example of someone famous for, well, being famous, is especially slippy as her parents, Kathy and Rick Hilton, have donated $ 4,600 to McCain’s campaign. Talk about a bad choice of image.
Now, Paris Hilton herself has responded to the events, in a rather surprising way.
The US Presidential elections are finally entering the homestretch after a seemingly endless qualify season. USA Today has laid out the last meters in great detail. They describe how the campaigns try to prepare in advance for the events they know about and how they react to all the unscripted surprises that might happen before it’s all over November 4th. Prime example are the Olympic Games, during which both candidates will find it hard to generate substantial press coverage of their campaigns.
Here’s what fills the calendars of both John McCain and Barack Obama.