Friday, 17 October 2008

Obama and the race question and the NYT coverage of it.

I live in one of the most hard-left leaning areas of France. We have an enormously popular Communist Party deputy, the only new CP member to be elected in France in the Chircac-Le Pen runoff. In the last election when Sarko came to power, his majority even increased to around 75%.

Local politics isn't about left or right, it's about people. A mayor has a list of 11 people to be councillors, you cross off who you don't like, you add the name of some individuals who might be standing on their own, without a counter-party list of 11 names themselves and that's it. Many communes have no opposition lists. The fix is in, the consensus is kind of understood. We go along and vote, and maybe get something off our chests about someone who slighted us, or give a pat on the back to someone we like.

Down in town, there's a little bit of a left/right going on, but not much. It's people, but people and personalities that tip the balance, their connection with our shared 'pays'.

In the last municipal elections earlier this year, an extremely successful and popular mayor of our local town, who had been responsible for a wide number of high profile, successful and broadly used social and infrastructure projects, lost power.

Why? I don't know.

I do know that there are people in positions of elected power and state authority that say that it was because the mayor added a black man and a Frenchman of Turkish origins to his list.

And that's here in one of most hardcore left wing voting parts of France. Forget Iowa or Florida.

I've already said Obama is going to lose in the voting booth, partly because he is black, and I still think that's the case.

Suddenly, as Obama begins to pull away in the polls, the IHT/NYT are all over this issue in yesterday's newspaper. Why so late?

I don't know the answer to that either.


International Herald Tribune
New York Times

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