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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Democratic Primary Wisconsin

2.30ish am UK time. Just me and the dog. Like moon landings or Muhammad Ail fights I am a child again and have this urge to stay up to the early hours to watch the Democratic primaries. The speeches, live and uncut, before the media get to show them later with their edit and their spin.

Hillary is speaking and projected to lose Wisconsin. She is in full throw. Gone. Had she finished. Was she cut in mid sentence or even mid word. I missed the segue. Obama is only making his way on to the stage.

Flick with the remote Sky-BBC News 24. Both show the same image Barack Obama only arriving at the microphone. Have the media editors already made their judgement. Is Hillary Clinton now only the warm up, the time filler, the B movie to the main feature?

"Thank you Thank you". Eventually Obama gets into his stride. "Washington is a place where good ideas go to die". Barack Obama returns to a central theme. Change in the US political process. Again the power of the lobbyists is questioned.

Hillary’s "Is", her "when I am President", the "I wills" have disappeared. Obama likes the inclusive "we are, we will. We are a movement".

Can the movement effect change? Obama is definite. "Yes we can". As he speaks his arm is slightly raised, bent at the elbow with curling wrist movements. There is an air if familiarity, of deja vu.

Another challenge to be resolved, is it possible to overcome. "Yes we can". Surely the Democratic front runner is not quoting Bob the Builder. I wait in anticipation. Is he going to ask his audience "Can we fix it?" And exult them to reply, "Yes we can". He took me to the edge of anticipation and left me dangling.

Has Bob the Builder crossed the Atlantic, does Mr Obama have young children. Please I must know, is Bob the Builder a new force in American politics? Please next time Mr Obama, please please say "Can we fix it?".

The British national press won’t be able to cover the speech for another 24 hours. It will be this evening before the serious political assessment on the TV news. A prediction of what they may focus on.

Five words.

The Fierce Urgency of Now.

At least Dr King is familiar in context.

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