Sunday, February 03, 2008

The US Elections from Hareega's Persepctive

To those who were fortunate enough to miss what's been happening in the US elections so far, it's the semi-finals. There are two Republicans (Mitt Romney and John Mccain) and two Democrates (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton) left who might become the next president of the United States. There are a few others left in the race (Ron Paul, Huckabee, Gravel) and possibly an independent (Bloomberg) but they have no reasonable chance of winning.

To start with, I'm not American, probably I'll never become one, but I enjoyed watching the race so far. It tells you much about this country and the people.

In 2004, my first year in the US, I used to spend 10-15 minutes each morning at work in October and November engaging myself in very loud and angry arguments with Nick, my good friend who was very liberal but decided to vote for Bush because he believed he was a "real cowboy" who can protect America. Later, I've realized that Americans don't like to talk much about politics at work for many good reasons, so thank God for internet. I started asking myself some questions and here I am thinking to myself about which presidential candidate has the best chance of winning the nomination of his/her party and who can win the presidential elections in November ?

1- Who will win among democrates, Obama or Hillary?
One thing democrates can be very proud of, never have a woman or an African American become so close to becoming a president and it's them who can the credit for that.
Obama has the momentum, but to win the nomination of the party you need to win the big states, and Hillary won Florida and has a very good chance of winning Michigan and California. She also has a better chance of winning more states than Obama in the next Super Tuesday on Feb 5th and she will probably emerge a winner.

Obama is black, and some people will be hesitant, to say the least, before voting for a black candidate. They're not the KKK, they might not even have a problem with African Americans or other minorities in general, but they might have a problem in having a black person becoming their president. Obama has won two states so far, Iowa and South Carolina. One might argue that Iowa is an all-white state, but in some all-white states like Iowa and New Hampshire, there is little racism directed against African Americans. Residents of these states have no black neighborhoods, no crimes committed by black people, no black gangs; basically African Americans have never caused problems so they have nothing against them.
Looking at South Carolina, Obama won very big, with 55% of votes vs. 27% for Hillary. However, Obama won only 22% of the white votes there, and the rest were votes from the black community or other minorities. That makes me think that he his chance is not as good as Hillary's next Tuesday were many states oting do not have many African Americans.

I have a feeling that even if Hillary did better on Tuesday, her victory will not be that remarkable, and given all the energy that Obama and his supporters have, he will not withdraw from the race and the decision on who will run from the party might be taken in a smoked-filled room shortly before the election.

2- Who will run for Republicans, Mccaine or Romeny?
Mccaine. He got endorsements from the people who matter. If Hucakbee the conservative withdraws from the race before Tuesday, Romney's chances will increase. Doesn't look like it's happening.

3- Who will become the next American President?

Like most elections people will not be very satisfied on the final two (maybe three) candidates. There is an outrageous rage among Reublicans that John Mccain might become the Republican nominee. He is too liberal for them, he doesn't want to kick all 12 million illegal immigrants outside the US, and he opposes torture (what a moron!), maybe because he is the only candidate who has been tortured in the past. Ann Coulter, a very devout and crazy conservative described by many liberals as a total bitch, said she would campaign for Hillary Clinton if the final race was between Clinton and Mccain. Despite his apology years later, many right-wing Chrisitians can never forget Mccain calling some of their religious leaders "evil" and that "there will be a special place in hell for them" after the very ugly campaign against him in South Carolina in the 2000 presidential race.

One thing is clear about both Mccain and Romney, none of them is a "uniter" and none of them can claim he is. After Bush claimed he was one, Americans stopped buying it, at least from Reoublicans. Obama is more believable and Hillary doesn't usually mention that she will be one.

Another thing that is also evident, more American hate Republicans than ever before and Republicans do not seem to know it. They're angry about Bush, about the economy, Katrina, and so much about the war. What can really bring Mccain down is saying, "We will stay in Iraq for a hundred years if we have to. We want to be victorious". Most Americans, including a large number of soldiers and their families, hate this war and do not want to stay there. The meaning of victory is not very clear to them anymore, and they're not sure if it's worth sacrificing anything to stay there.
There are more young voters heading towards voting booths, and the vast majority of them vote for democrates. Even Caroline Kennedy herself endorsed Obama, saying that he reminds her of her father, only after her children started talking to her about Oabama and his positions.

It doesn't look good for Republicans, and I think that's good for America, at least for now.

This afternoon Hillary will be giving a speech at our university. I'm pretty sure the hall will be packed, but it might be my only chance to ever see someone who might become the next American president.


Mohanned said...

Don't you think that binladen will be caught on the elections eve?

Anyway, you can never expect who will win, it only takes one act of terrorism for McCain to win big..

I have a feeling that obama will win the democratic nomination.

"Barak husien obama went to a madrasa, and he is an undercover muslim" Don't you love america?It reminds of salt.

Mohanned said...

Rumors wise that is;)

batir said...

This honest and unbiased perspective from within is better than all I read of lousy analysis in the Arabic press. And by the way how dare you neglect the zionist influence in the elections?
How about the Arabs in USA? Are they more tilted to Obama?

Hatem Abunimeh said...

For all intents and purposes good analysis all the way through with the exception to this

"Another thing that is also evident, more American hate Republicans than ever before and Republicans do not seem to know it"

Statement, I don't know where on earth did you come up with such a statement?!Lst time I checked the red states were still red and the blue ststes are still blue.I wouldn't dismiss the power of the core republicans, I think that it is still alive and well despite what the liberal media wants you to believe.

Sami said...

I listened to McCain today when he was talking about making the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and USAF larger... This guy is setting his mind to another World War. Every single speech for him doesn't exclude the phrase: "Radical Islamic extremism"... This guy is a warrior not a president. However as you said, since most of the American, blue and red alike, hate the war on Iraq and wants the troops back.. So I think if McCain wins the Republicans nomination, he will make it easier on Hillary to win. Also as you said, I think just because Obama is black, and despite his momentum, he will not be the nominee for the Democrats. It's still early for the Americans to elect a black president, given what I see and touch here in Atlanta, the capital of black people.

Mohanned said...

I have to agree with hatem to some extent, bush still has around 30% approval rating(when the war was going "bad"), with all what he did, this means that those 30% are hard core republican conservatives.
Further, you have some anti bush people who say he was too soft, add those two groups and you get a big fat republican party..
When you talk republicans and democrates you also need not to forget economy, republicans are for free trade, while democrates are for more conservative trade, democrates are for bigger government control..

Hareega said...

Mohannad, yeah Bin Ladin always comes in the last minute and screwes up democrates! Those 30% will remain loyal to any right-wing conservative even if he carries a gun and starts shooting at them, there's no way they'll change their mind. People do care about economy but the strong message that Clinton and Obama are sending is that the main reason the economy is down is because of the war and the American jobs being shipped overseas. That sounds right to most people. When Mccain told people in Michigan he won't restore the jobs that were lost there they didn't like his realistic answer and voted for Romney. I don't think people go too deep as much as you do in analyzing economy.

Batir, Arab Americans are so left out in this race. There were only 2 candidates that acknowledged the existence of Arab Americans: Ron Paul the Republican and Dennis Kucinich the democrate. Kucinich performed horribly (got less than 1% of votes in each states he ran in) and withdrew from the race without anyone noticing. He was the only candidate (maybe with Gravel or Paul-not sure) who refused to go to the AIPAC meeting where American politicians claim their total support for Israel.
In this election however Arabs seem to favor Obama , maybe because he's not as harsh as others on Arabs and Muslims in general, although it doesn't look like he'll be a great friend of us. If Hillary becomes the nominee this will make it a bit more difficult for them. They hate her.

Hareega said...

hatem abunimeh, look at Florida. Democrates showed up in unprecednted numbers, and if this doesn't change by November Democrates will win it. There are a lot of independants and people who voted for Bush last time who swear on their lives that they can never vote Republican this time. Democrates totally destroyed Republicans in the 2006 House and Senate elections. There have been a lot of scandals with Republicans involved in them, revealing the hypocricy and corruption of many of its members: Katrina, Foley, Larry Craig, Walter Reed, Alberto Gonzalez, the re-emergence of Taliban,Valerie Plame, and the biggest one of course: Iraq.

Hareega said...

Sami, I agree that Mccain is more of warrior now and he's actually proud of that and I don't think all people like that. He might have succeeded now because the surge has started to work and he had his I-told-you moment, so more Republicans are supporting him now. But when he said that he might stay for a 100 years in Iraq, he lost millions of people for that statement that he is still defending.

No_Angel said...

hareega thanks for the first discussion about US politics in the jo blogos that didn't make me cringe ;)

who will win among the democrats the problem with obama and the primaries is that his base is much younger than that of hillary, and younger people are less likely to participate in the primaries. but to their credit the democrats in general don't like bill (remember the de regulation on corporations and putting the pressure on the unions and some more economic follies that he did) and with his recent banters and theatricals in the news he was brought back to memory and he placed himself as a co president.
So based on that it will be a close race and am hoping for obama to just cut it through, but alas ... hillary got the backing of the corps so do expect some ala ohio mess to occur on super tueday.

reps camp i don't like them, whether the nutty mccain (although he is the most centrist of the bunch) and i hope the nomination would be to romney instead of mccain cause i would be fearful in mccain gets the nomination since he actually stands a chance of making it in the election against hillary.

who will be the president
well am rooting for obama, and i think it wouldn't matter who becomes the president if it was hillary or mccain if it ended up between those two (which is the most likely scenario) in that case expect much of an ever declining position of the united states (their postiion, atleast what she would give a position on, are pretty much the same)

i hope that ron paul does make his move and leave his prints for the election, am not being a day dreamer here and i am not expecting him to win anything. but he has the most campaign money of all the candidates and with that money he should make his move to leave his imprint on the election as a libertarian. and regardless of the media blackout treatment he has been getting which is the most biased thing that has been overlooked in the election. he will make a great vice president and i'll allow myself to dream that much, and even though he said he wouldn't run as an independent a lot of his supporters are hoping that he will because they are not willing to register as republicans to vote for him in the primaries.

two last comments, the arab americans are really apolitical. the only state that has arabs recognized is michigan which has been dropped out from the primaries(so u can't say she won it cause she was the only one running against the rules of the dems!)

the reds stay reds and blues are blues argument is nulled, and you only have to look at the midterm election for proof.

either way i hope it won't be a mccain vs hillbill cause that would be a loss for everyone. and bloomberg sounds like Thompson v2.0

Hatem Abunimeh said...


Initially you introduced some compelling points to the argument but then you screwed it all up by comparing the legislative elections with the presidential elections, there is a huge contrast between the two. Then you alluded to the midterm elections, what does the mid term elections have to do with ongoing current presidential elections? Nothing is the answer. In 1994 the republicans under the leadership of Newt Gingrich swept through both chambers of congress, short time later they not only didn’t accomplish any of their aspirations, they lost the speaker ship position. The current congress which is fully democratic hasn’t been able to pass one single piece of legislation since they swept through both chambers of congress in the midterm election, they currently according to published polls enjoy an approval rating by the American people lower than that of what president Bush is enjoying. To suggest that the legislative elections are indicative of upcoming presidential election is totally flawed.

No_Angel said...


with legislative elections you mean the party nominations ?
If so then yeah they are similar in the sense that if hillary vs mccain is pitched forward then neither of those can address the american ppl as a uniter and they will be talking to their base and focusing on them. which is what is done right now, they will not be focusing on bipartisan issues.

if u meant midterm elections, then i didn't really compare the two. i just said that it gives a recent indication about how the voting of fence states and some of the red states. when ppl went to vote they went to vote against the president not for congressmen. so it just goes as an indication that even red states might be up for grabs if it is a bipartisan candidate like obama.

and always remember that the american people have an extremely short memory span when it comes to politics, all they know is that they hate bush and current rep can't distance themselves from him yet since they want the nomination. so they don't care that they voted an inept congress (not the first or the last time) they just are sick of a republican president

Hatem Abunimeh said...

See that is where we differ, I’m not sure that the American people are sick and tired of a republican president, this may be just a speculation on your part because that is probably how you feel and not how the American people feel, and allow me to tell you why. Let us go back 40 years of presidential ruling in the United States starting with the last one first. Bush 8 years, Clinton 8 years, Bush father 4 years, Regan 8 years, Carter 4 years, Ford /Nixon 8 years. If you compare and contrast all of the years combined, you will conclude that out of 40 years of presidential ruling—28 years for the republicans, and only 12 years for the democrats. What does that tell, or what does the history seems to suggest?? Well, it seems to suggest from these simple statistics that over the past 40 years or so of the American history, more Americans were leaning toward voting republican than democratic. And that is what I’m trying to demonstrate to you that there is no way of knowing whether the American people will go for republicans or go for the democrats in November.

No_Angel said...

its definitely not only my opinion but the opinion of more than 75% of Americans that they don't want bush, and that would reflect on the republicans.

what the republicans did in the past 8 years is that they reduced the taxes, increased governmental spending, increased the control of government, and lets face it they were centrist on social issues.
So that goes on against every ideology the republican base stands for, so they are pissed.

the approval for bush many comes from hardline republicans, whom the evangelicals compose the majority and they would rather lose a testicle rather than vote for mccain, after all he called them evil :P

so yeah thats why i think the only way that this election would be better poised towards the republicans is if jesus comes back and gives his stamp of approval for the dem candidate. but then again hillary might unite all those republicans to spite her ... so yeah the only person that could beat the democratic party is the democratic party it self as usual

The Observer said...

Good analysis Hareega. I think that it would be good to America and the world if either Clinton or Obama won and one of them would most probably make it.

On the other hand, even if a republican won, there is no worse than Bush. We have hit rock bottom, and there is only one way going up!

Anonymous said...

Ya waradiiii sho taweel el post but I can't resist reading for you till the end!! I think that either Clinton or Obama would win. Anywayz, for us Arabs, whenever a bad person leaves, a worse one comes!!

PŕōuđPāŀĩ said...

id hate to see hillary win to be honest.. altho im all for women taking the elad, but not this one! blech!

Hani Obaid said...

I think Ann Coulter is about as conservative as Sheryl Crow. It's all an act she always says the most controversial thing she can think of so she can sell more books.

I saw the Reagan library debate of the republican candidates. Romney is far too slick. I wouldn't believe a single word he says. Mccain kept repeating over and over again that he was a footsoldier in Reagan's revolution, and that his navy experience makes him a leader of men, and both kept arguing about Reagan endorsing them. I sitll don't understand why everyone is so interested in Reagan. Anyhow they were both arguing about how many more troops they should send to Iraq.

The only republican that made any sense to me was Huckaby, and he's the most religious of the bunch.

Let's just hope for a democrat any democrat!