Friday, November 07, 2008

The Real McCain

It is ironic that John McCain's finest performance of the whole presidential campaign was his concession speech, which showed him at his best - it was calm, dignified, and generous towards President-elect Obama as well as thanking his own supporters. I wonder how far in advance it was written?

McCain didn't seem too unhappy. During the campaign, it was obvious that some of his more ignorant far right supporters had cast him as the great white defender of Christian civilisation and white privilege against the rampaging Muslim communist hordes of dark-skinned aliens with funny names storming the gate, a role McCain never appeared quite comfortable with, sometimes rebuking his supporters for their more extreme attacks on his opponent. Now he was free to be himself again - a man who may be a jerk at times, but who also has many friends on both sides of the political divide.

While McCain paid the obligatory tribute to Sarah Palin, he didn't invite his running mate to speak. Nevertheless, it appears she is already being cast in the role that never quite fitted McCain, but which she seems eager to embrace. No doubt we will hear more of her in four years' time - though if Obama runs the country as smartly as he ran his campaign, there should be little chance of him not getting a second term.

By the next election, many white Americans who still feel uncomfortable with seeing a black face in the White House will have become familiar with the idea and start to think more about his performance than his race. If he survives, that is - I hear that staff of one human rights organisation in Hong Kong are already placing bets on how long Obama will serve before someone assassinates him. Two men are already awaiting trial for planning to shoot him.

Back to Palin, one question going around is, does she really need to wear glasses? Or does she do it to make herself appear more intellectual? I wonder.

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