. Tom Daschle, the Democrat who holds the distinction of being the first Senate party leader in more than 50 years to be voted out of office, was on BBC Radio 4 this morning to discuss the US Presidential election. Talk about being given an easy ride! Daschle is firmly in the Obama corner and got stuck into Hillary Clinton’s prospects. I was entertained when the BBC interviewer cooed in open-mouthed agreement at the “extraordinary power” Obama generates when he speaks. No bias there folks. There was plenty of discussion about how Obama can unite the American people and no talk of the Obama/Rev Wright debacle that has played out for some weeks now Stateside. The big concern raised was Iraq and the fear of US success. The BBC interviewer wondered how Obama could cope if “the surge” continued to work; the answer was that things had failed anyway and so getting out was the main priority. All these really weak points made by Daschle were let pass – no hard questioning and for one simple reason; the BBC is salivating at the prospect of a black liberal in the White House. This was an excellent opportunity to press Daschle on a range of issues such as Obama’s post-Iraq plan; Obama’s plan to counter Al Queda; Obama’s plan to enforce border controls, to manage a free-market economy; there were so MANY questions that could have been put across but in the end all we got was a cushy push for Obama the great. Listening to this wrapped in cotton-wool interview, one could be forgiven for thinking that no-one is running against the Democrats!

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  1. thud says:

    ‘Barry O’ ticks all the beebs pc boxes and as a bonus may be a secret memeber of the religion of peace…..my goodness…the man is a walking beeb wet dream.


  2. I would happily sell my house says:

    They’ll be laughing out the other side of their faces when Obama loses. Anybody remember the smugness of the last BBC presidential campaign when they were all convinced that Bush was going to lose? You should have seen their faces when the last exit polls came in & the awful truth suddenly dawned on the BBC’s high powered panel of smug liberal commentators. Priceless.


  3. Jim Miller says:

    David – Although it is conventional to call Obama a “liberal”, on this side of the Atlantic, as well as on your side, I would suggest that “leftist” is a more accurate term for him.

    And I would not dispute someone who added an adjective, such as “hard” to leftist, when describing the junior senator from Illinois.

    (Amazingly, Obama recently said that he is not a liberal, though nearly every journalist in the US — assuming they were honest — would call him one. As would every organization that makes up those voting scales.)


  4. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Yes, funny how Naughtie doesn’t mention Daschle’s disgraceful exit. He’s just the former leader of the Senate and current think-tank member, so he must know what he’s talking about. But this can’t possibly be a useful interview for anything other than to promote the Obama cause. The BBC isn’t going to ask any tough questions, and Naughtie wouldn’t be the one to do it if they did.

    The Scottish person shows the Obama love immediately, and lobs softball after softball. First, he establishes that Obama “has almost the number of votes to win the ‘elected’ majority today, and shortly he’ll be in a position to win the ‘overall’ majority.

    Daschle definitely gives a slight emphasis to “elected”, and anyone who has actually been paying attention to the details knows why. This is an important point, because if Florida and Michigan had been allowed to seat their delegates from the primaries, Hillary would be either very close or in the lead (she clearly won Florida, even though Obama ran radio ads for a month before he got busted on it, and she would have been at least very close in Michigan in a proper contest). If the Democrats had a “winner take all” system everywhere instead of the distribution method they have going, Hillary would actually be in the lead. Daschle knows that, so he needs to emphasize that Obama has a lead in the “elected” votes. No challenge from the BBC, as they probably don’t know that. If Justin Webb has worked it out somewhere on the back of a napkin in DC, he hasn’t told anyone at Today.

    And then we get evidence that the BBC still has not given up on its prejudices against United Statesians: “What about the American people? Are they ready to vote for a Black President?” Gotta love the condescending tone of the question. Thankfully, Daschle answers strongly in the affirmative. Best thing he’s said in years. Of course, he has to say that if he’s going to be an Obama supporter, but it’s still refreshing to hear.

    As DV mentions, the Scottish person is simply wet for Obama. He even begins a question about which Dem would better be able to defeat McCain by gushing that “the excitement of Barak Obama is extraordinary. I’ve seen it myself at meetings, and I know what it’s like.” So, is Naughtie suggesting that there is some sort of Obama excitement going on at BBC meetings? Or is this a clumsy way to say that he has been attending Obama rallies on his own? I find this to be very curious.

    The rest of the interview was a little odd as well. It all seemed a little too easy, as Naughtie asked his questions in a sort of straw man fashion, and Daschle then was allowed to knock it down with his answer. With the exception of pointing out that McCain is not, in fact, just a Bush clone, Naughtie never challenged any of those answers. He even put a disclaimer on the notion that people think the troop surge in Iraq is working.

    Now, if the BBC really wants to inform the British Public about the US elections, as Mark Thompson claims they do, how is this spin session with Daschle informative? Rather than having yet another Obama supporter on to promote the cause, the BBC ought to be telling you all about his double-talk regarding Iraq, his falsehoods about JFK bringing his (Obama’s) father to the US, his lies about NAFTA, and questioning how he could have attended Rev. Wright’s church for 20 years and not know about the racist and anti-American sentiments espoused in Wright’s speeches – which Obama had on cassette tape as a young man.

    No, that would actually keep the British Public informed. Can’t have that. It’s much sexier and newsy to get a former US politician on to wave the Obama flag for a few minutes.


  5. Martin says:

    Obama is going ot get his butt kicked if he’s the Dems candidate. Anyone who follows US politics (outside of the scummy BBC) will tell you that.

    The BBC have written off the whole Reverand Wright thing, but McCains lot will just be waiting.

    Also, Obama probably has a lot more stuff hidden away that has yet to come out.

    Yes Obama might have the “youth” vote, but they are less likely to vote that other groups.

    Additionally, the BBC forgets that McCain has always been quite a middle of the road person and will attack votes from Democrats. The BBC try to paint McCain as another George Bush, but he’s not.

    I watched Obama yesterday at the Senate Committe and he was hopeless compared to McCain and Clinton.

    He’s good with the prepared speech, but I think Americans will not be so sure that he’s tough enough to take on Iran and Russia.

    They know that McCain is tough and Hillary is a real ballbuster.

    I hope the Guardian tries to “sway” the American vote like last time. That was a real hoot!!!


  6. Curious Yank says:

    David Preiser (USA):
    Yes, funny how Naughtie doesn’t mention Daschle’s disgraceful exit…

    Not sure what you mean here. Sure Daschle lost an election, but that hardly qualifies as a ‘disgrace’ in my book. Especially considering he was the target of one of the most nasty smear campaigns in the history of right-wing talk radio, not to mention the NRA and other interest groups with lots of clout in the state. And we’re talking about South Dakota after all, a state that has not exactly been hospitable to Dems in recent years.


  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Curious Yank,

    The fact that Daschle fiddled the system to get a residential tax break in DC when he is supposed to live in the state he represents was not made up by right-wing radio. His defeatist position on Iraq and the various times when he “misspoke” about the truth there wouldn’t have helped him keep his seat even if Rush Limbaugh had kept his mouth shut. Or maybe you think the people of South Dakota were anti-this war but were swayed by the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. Daschle attacked Bush based on a false quote he got from the Washington Post and got busted for it without Rush Limbaugh. The problem with his lobbyist wife existed outside of right-wing radio.

    Daschle’s perversion of Senate rules while majority leader is what got his opponent so much support from the Bush Administration. He did not go down in flames due to a smear campaign. He stopped representing his constituency, and he embarrassed himself many times with telling fibs about Iraq and his lobbyist wife. So the citizens showed him the door.


  8. Jack Hughes says:

    Go David, Go !


  9. Jack Bauer says:

    And don’t forget Stephen Moore and the Fund For Growth ad which showed Daschle’s multi-million Washington DC mansion to his constituents.

    That didn’t sit too well with the voters either.