Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s president, has suggested it would be wrong to use the terrible fire at PdVSA’s Amuay refinery to political advantage before the October 7 presidential election. After all, the fire has killed more than 40 people. Nonetheless, politicking is inevitable. Name-calling has already erupted on both sides. Read more
Back in the golden age of the convention, Walter Cronkite may have been the American public’s principal source of news about their candidates. Today, everyone is Walter Cronkite. Read more
These are the pieces that interested and amused us today:
The good news for the Republican Party is that “hurricane” Isaac has not hit Tampa. The bad news is that it might hit New Orleans. If that happens, the Republicans might still have to abandon or curtail their convention. The “optics” of Republicans partying, while New Orleans drowns, might just be too disastrous.
Needless to say, this is all frightfully irritating for the Republicans. Monday was meant to be the red-hot launch of the convention – a full day of Obama-bashing had been lined up. Instead, the GOP symbolically opened the convention; only to close it again 10 minutes later – which just seemed bizarre.
Since Isaac has chosen to blow right by Tampa, the weather here is nothing worse than mildly unpleasant. It is sultry, wet and blowy. But this – plus the heavy security which means large parts of Tampa are cut off by roadblocks – has given the city a slightly strange and sinister feel. The central streets are empty – save for gun-toting police and soldiers and sopping-wet delegates, trudging through the rain. As one friend put it – “The place looks like the set of a climate-change disaster movie.” Read more
By Gideon Rachman
The most significant political story in America this year had nothing to do with politics. It was an article in The New York Times headlined “Whites account for under half of births in the US”.