Daily Archives: March 19, 2008

Gideon Rachman

A lively debate has broken out on the blog between Mary Cunningham and “Danny” about whether the Bush administration bears any responsibility for the current financial crisis. They go into much more detail than I am capable of, so I suggest that readers take a look.

But let me make one simple point. This crisis is taking place in the eighth year of the Bush presidency. It must have very deep roots indeed, for the Bush administration to bear no responsibility. Read more >>

Gideon Rachman

Various people have been in touch with me – by e-mail and on the blog – to ask what I thought of Obama’s speech on race and the Wright controversy? Wasn’t it a great speech, and doesn’t it prove that I was wrong to dismiss Obama as a master of empty rhetoric?

Difficult. Yes, it was a great speech. And perhaps I should just leave it at that. Any attempt at further explanation threatens to leave me sounding like one of those politicians, saying – “I do not for a moment withdraw any of my previous statements on this matter. However, in the light of recent events, I would like to issue some further remarks, expanding upon my previous statements and adding some important context.”

Well, I do not for a moment…etc, etc. But Obama’s race speech was completely different from his standard stump/victory speech - because of the context in which it was delivered. In his regular campaign appearances, Obama’s goal is simply to pump up the crowd with vague and vacuous applause lines. He is a master at producing euphoria. At one campaign stop, he was even cheered to the rafters simply for blowing his nose. Read more >>