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What to Conclude from the Townhall Debate?

I think it is great that the US presidential candidates have several televised debates. And I appreciate it, that this US tradition and democratic principle has arrived in Germany in 2002, although here we only have one debate per election. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

I have read a couple of articles about yesterday's Townhall debate, but apparently it was not too exciting. James Joyner was "bored to tears" about an hour into the debate. His conclusion in Outside the Beltway:

Overall, this was McCain's best debate performance.  It's conceivable that he won it on "points."  The  bottom line, again, though, is that Obama went toe to toe with him and didn't clearly lose.  That's a win given that he went into the debate with a lead and that McCain's hoping to win based on superior seasoning.

What do you think of the presidential elections? Did Obama and McCain give any clues about policy issues that are important for Europe?

Many American friends (incl. our co-blogger Kyle) are enormously interested in this election; even on the border of obsession. Of course, I understand why this election is so special, but I do not share this huge interest and excitement. I am probably even less excited than my fellow Germans.

While there are significant policy, style, judgement, and character differences between Obama and McCain, I am not sure these differences will matter as much as most people think they will. The next president will be less powerful and will have less room for maneuver than past presidents due to the financial crisis and the Iraq war.

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David on :

Barack Obama handily won the debate and will continue to gain support across the US for his vision of change. We are now seeing the makings of an electoral blowout in favor of Barack Obama.Something is stirring across America - it is the longing to turn the page on the Bush years and for the nation to move in a fresh direction.

Don S on :

I never thought I'd write this to you, David - but I think you are seeing this far too narrowly! This is no longer about turning back the pages to the good old days of 1999, no longer about making the US just a little more socially democratic. The fiscal crisis has converted this election (or possibly the next one if Obama fails) potentially into one of the landmark elections of US history. Right up there with the elections of 1828 (Jackson) and possibly 1932, behind only the elections of 1788 and 1860. If Obama handles this right he has a chance to be one of the greatest presidents - or one of the worst. FDR or Hoover. He has a chance to drive a fundamental realignment of the political order in the US for many years if he succeeds. If he doesn't the GOP will do it. 50-50 America will be dead one way or the other. The problem is that he'll have to step out of the current limitations of his party to do it. I am providing a link to one of the msot perceptive pieces of journalism I've read in a long time, which goes some way toward explaining why many working class people haven't trusted Kerry or Obama the way they trusted FDR or Truman. Read the whole thing, but I think the first part explaining the situation of a single woman named Barbara Snodgrass shows the problem in high relief. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/10/13/081013fa_fact_packer Not everyone is as badly off as Ms. Snodgrass, but I think something like 100 US million workers and their families have seen their situation deteriorate - not only under Bush but under Clinton and the first Bush before him. Arguably ince the early 70's in some cases. They haven't been visible to anyone in the political class. The Democrats claim to represent their interests - but haven't done a good job at all. The GOP told them that a rising tide raises all boats - but they can't afford a boat. If Obama can help these people (and others) the dems could hold power for a generation or longer. They need help and hope. It doesn't have to be perfect - but improvement must be material and obvious. At very least Obama has to be FDR - Lite. Obama is going to get elected this year. Not because of his oratory, or his winning smile, or his social liberalism. He'll be elected for fundamentally two reasons I think; 1) He's less attached to the status quo at a time when the status quo is increasingly unbearable for many. 2) He offers hope - McCain doesn't. It remains to see whether he (and his party) are up to the challenge. Were it just Pelosi and Harry Reid to depend on I think I might slit my wrists. But Oabama hs a far wider view of things AND he's a lot smarter than those two. I believe he sees the problems that Gore and Kerry could not - that is progress of a kind. He's going to have to come up with progress on difficult and long-neglected problems, which will be very difficult. But...... Look back to 1932 & FDR. That is the prize for the Democratic Party. It's worth doing....

David on :

Don, it's funny how history seems to repeat itself. Two weeks ago, the events of 1932 seemed like the distant past. Since then, I've seen my retirement savings (and my wife's) diminish by a huge percentage. And this is happening to nearly every family in America. Fear has taken hold as no one knows where the bottom is. The job losses are just beginning to be felt. I never dreamed that we'd find ourselves in 2008 on the brink of a real economic depression.

Don S on :

Maybe. It's not clear that what we are about to enter is going to be like the Great depression. I think (I hope) the Great Depression was uniquely bad. What I think we may get is something like the period after the Panic of 1873. A severe recession or shallow depression. If we're fortunate it may be comparable to the early 70's or the 1979 downturn in scope. If not it my be worse. I don't think anyone knows just yet. What I do thnk I know is that we're in a similar situation to that inb 1929, perhaps moving faster. The single difference is that the US authorities this time have the benefit of 60's years of analysis of the 1929-32 slump and are actively trying to fight the liquidity crisis with everything they can think of. The measure which realy amazed me is the move to directly purchase commecial paper from companies. This goes WAY beyond trying to save the banks - it is a direct effort to prevent the actual main street economy from becoming gangrenous from lack of credit. I think I fear two things. Either they fail and we repeat the 1932 slump. Or they succeed and the side effects are enough to put the economy into a 70's style stagflation on 'roids or a prolonged 90's style Japanese no-growth period. If we avoid any of those things I expect conditions to be pretty depressed for at least 2-3 years with a slow recovery for another 2-3 years. Call it a 5 year slowdown.

Marie Claude on :

I had the impression that Obama has the energy to embrass the whole America's fate, also that he was not repeating a well known lesson, but was thinking while talking, didnt get a positive impression of McCain, he seems worn out within his discourses, that we can read on diverse republican american thinktanks for ages, kind of last dance !

Joe Noory on :

You were [url=http://www.programme.tv/debat-obama-mccain-1435769.php]up at 3 in the morning[/url] to watch it?

Marie Claude on :

yeh Im a nighty owl ouh ouh ouh

Zyme on :

Now while these debates are a good chance for unpolitical bystanders to pick their vote, I would really like to know what these debates are except one pompous tv show devoted to the god of populism? Have you ever expected to learn substantial news from a candidate in such a show? Have you ever expected to gain additional insight into his personality, after having been trained for weeks by media professionals? There are many interesting turns in the field of politics - but none, absolutely none, can be witnessed in such a debate. The only thing surprising everybody seems to be waiting for is that one candidate produces a terrible slip of the tongue. Clearly then the other one must be better suited for office!

Don S on :

Zyme, I think your information comes from the political junkie clss. Most people in the US don't really start to pay attention to the candidates until October. Even those who participate in the primaries and caucuses don't necessarily make up their minds until late. In 1984 my mother and I were still Democrats. We voted in the primary, then attended caucuses the next day. Our guy won the primary but lost the causcus, and the delegates went to the other candidate. In the general election we voted for the other party's candidate because we thought he was better. The debates don't usually determine the winner, but they give people a chance to see the candidates in a situation they can't control. Everything else tends to be scripted - campaign stops, TV ads, radio - everything. So the debates are valuable data. The political junkie class already know all of this stuff - or think they do anyway. But most of them have already made up their minds - years if not decades ago. So Obama is either nigh unto the Almighty or the coming of the Antichrist. Or McCain. This is not valuable data for the citizen as you might guess. We need to see them, see them explain their nostrums (or not), try to work out what is truth and what is a lie. Try to work out who has better judgement and ideas. This is why many people watch he debates.

Zyme on :

Interesting. Well this seems to explain this phenomenon rather well. People without ordinary interest can have a full dose of it at a relatively small cost of time. I think it is a common mistake to confuse one's own areas of interest with those of the average society :)

quo vadis on :

Debates (and 'town hall' type forums) are also an opportunity to see the candidates in action when their not reading off a teleprompter.

c.sydow on :

Concerning Germany we had two televised debates between schröder and stoiber back in 2002 while there was only one debate between schröder and merkel before the last elections 2005. Concerning the debates between obama and mccain i would say that i didnt learn any substantial news or ideas from the candidates. but it gave me an idea about the character of the 2 candidates and i think this it what makes the debates interesting for viewers inside and outside the US.

Fuchur on :

Let's face it: This election is over. Of course, people will see the outcome of the debate slightly skewed according to their political preferences - but in the end, it was clear that McCain did not get the clear victory he needed. What's more, the polls indicate a clear victory for Obama. This was McCain's last chance to turn this around. The Palin bump has worn off (to put it mildly). He went negative to the extreme in the past weeks. He pulled out of Michigan. And still Obama is comfortably in the lead. McCain has one shot left with the last debate - but it won't be enough to sink Obama. To make things worse, as several commentators have indicated, Obama's clear lead has now reached a point where this will start to pull the undecideds over to his side (people just love a winner). My enthusiasm for the debates is rather limited. Palin vs Biden was interesting, because everybody was waiting for Palin to implode. But the rest of the debates are just boring me to tears. The weird restrictions didn't help much, either IMO. I'm not quite sure we'll have a debate in the next German elections, though. IMO, it doesn't make sense in a five party system to have a big debate between just two party leaders.

David on :

I'd like to see a debate between Lafontaine and Westermann. NOw that could get pretty lively!

Fuchur on :

Wester[i]welle[/i] :-). Yes, I was kinda thinking along that line, too. Cause that's where the real frictions are. The fundamental disagreements are not between CDU/CSU and the SPD - after all, these two have been in a coalition government these past years.

Zyme on :

Only at the first glance. Westerwelle and Lafontaine would never agree to that one. All Westerwelle does is calling for snap elections because of an "incompetent government" Lafontaine isn't part of. And Lafontaine prefers spreading his dubious promises he knows he can present towards simple minded followers but not towards a politician with economical knowledge.

David on :

Yes, Lafontaine was attacked as unserious for criticizing the deregulation of the financial markets ...10 years ago. Who looks stupid now?

Zyme on :

My goodness, what Lafontaine essentially is promising is more money for everyone except the rich ones and the big companies. He wants higher pensions. More money for children. More governmental payment for health care. Basically all the reforms that kept our economy in track he wants to be undone. If the people would like the idea, he would demand the sun to shine at night, too! Nobody except a left wing extremist can get away with such utopian ideas. How to take these demands serious, if they come from a former minister of finance who threw in the towel at the first sign of trouble?

Fuchur on :

I hate to agree with Zyme, but don't get me started on Lafontaine. First of all, this ridiculous idiot is in no position to lecture anybody. He was a governor, high ranking member of his party, party leader, finance minister - I don't give a damn what he may or may not have [b]proposed[/b] 10 years ago. I care about what he [b]accomplished[/b] 10 years ago, when he was in power. I remember him standing there all fat and gloating and mocking his political opponents in pathetic manner after the big election victory over Helmut Kohl. Well, he was always a big talker. When it was time to implement his beautiful promises, and reality proved to be tougher than his little dreamworld, he ran off like a crybaby. Recently he enlightened us that "many good things are happening in Venezuela". Well, they certainly can't complain about lack of [i]regulation[/i] in Venezuela... If that's where we are headed, count me out, dear Oskar. I kinda value my civil liberties. Talking about regulation: This very same guy who's now giving us all good advice how things should have been done - is sitting in the board of directors of the German state-owned bank KFW. Maybe he should have devoted a little bit more time to his duties as member of that committee? I mean, if he's such a sucker for control and regulation, why didn't he realize that some investments of the bank were rather fishy? I guess he was to busy making smart speeches. Not that he minded getting his big cheque every month, though. This phony and his communist friends stand for everything that's wrong in German politics.

David on :

On the other hand, what has Westerwelle proposed for solving this global financial crisis? More tax cuts? Seems like the fetish of free markets absolutism has now been discredited for good. We need new ideas, and neither Lafontaine nor Westerwelle seem to have any....

Fuchur on :

What do you mean, "more tax cuts"? We just had one of the biggest tax increases in the history of Germany. That this crisis would somehow be the result of "free market absolutism" is a pretty bold claim. The reasons are manifold and complicated. At any rate, the idea that there would be some magical way to assure neverending economic growth without any economic crises ever is preposterous.

Joe Noory on :

Look who's stupid now? The people who regulated very badly, those European banks. Not only are they on average [url=http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/1669]leveraged nearly twice as much[/url] as American banks, but are in a [url=http://ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=308271768901116]taught straightjacket of regulation[/url]. The problem in America is that the federal government did nothing to contain Fannie and Freddie when they were using their capacity as a buyer of mortgages to encourage bad loan-making. Those bad loans were made to engage in a social engineering excercise that should not have been. It's just as bad to have 0% down home loans in the US as it is to have 40-50% down home loans in Germany, where people have to try to borrow the difference from a relative who is more likely to be able to deal with a default. To my knowledge, only Connerzbank was doing a 60%-of-sale-price loan, byt in general, the arrangement does more to stifle potential homebuyers, even if they're doing well financially. That aside, the European are teetering due to loans NOT made to the populus, but to businesses and one another - people who have access to professionals who should know better.

Don S on :

Joe, you seem to take some satisfaction from this; I find it scarier than hell. Perhaps because I live in the UK. But at least I don't bank with Barclay's - I'm with RBS which seems as well-capitalised as any of them, although that's not saying much. I can move back to the US if need be, which is a comforting thought. Live with relatives until I can get a new start. But if there is one damn lesson from this crisis it is that problems which surface in the US cross to Europe with lightning speed, and (presumably) vice-versa. We're all cross-linked. "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne

Joe Noory on :

I don't take any satisfaction in what happened, but the past can't be changed. As for your own assets, don't make yourself crazy - you'll be fine. The entire world has been through these kinds of things.

Don S on :

Oh, I know that Joe. One thing which stands out from the 30's is that people with skills other than those useful on Wall Street and other such hornswoggles did OK, because they have choices and can apply their skills in multiple ways. Also there was a lot of nice real estate going for fire sale prices all of a sudden, and a man with a decent income could often afford the rent on something previously far beyond his means. It was the speculator class and the unskilled who suffered the most. And dryland farmers of course. What happened to dryland farmers in Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, etc was beyond appalling.

Marie Claude on :

http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/oct/08/government-reshaping-financial-landscape/ so Joe, what is your government up to ???? me think that you should open a site Fuck-the-US.com now that your openly a socialist country

David on :

What a joke. The predatory lending practices of CountryWide had nothing to do with "social engineering" and everything to do with greed. The issuance of $69 trillion in Credit Default Swaps - backstopped by AIG - had nothing to do with "social engineering" and everything to do with greed. How do you explain the collapse of the entire US investment banking sector? The collapse of Wachovia and Washington Mutual? BTW, there are many more bank failures to come (I'm referring to US banks).

Joe Noory on :

The overwhelming bulk of the HIDEOUSLY STUPID lending was legal, and enabled by Fannie & Freddie for the simple purpose of getting people into homes at all costs. It was social engineering and intervention at it's core and in its' intent. The rules that came out of congressional law were not structured to set up predatory lending. Not in the least. If loan officers practiced predatory lending that was a function of the loan brokerage companies that they worked for and their own actions. Not the law. I once got ACORN's 'advice' on home ownership given to me as a handbill on the way to the subway. It was a 2 page sheet which amounted to an instruction sheet on how to get a no-money-down mortgage with a description on how to impute your income upward under the mortgate interest deduction. Nothing more. They handed them out at my city's periodic "home ownership fair". It was hosted by the City government. Our Congressman, a Democrat with an apple-blossom nose who's always sending mailers about how much he's accomplishing because he cares, endorses it on the postcard I get anually to promote the home-ownership fair.

David on :

I'm not so sure the lending was legal,and neither is the FBI: they are investigating a number of banks. The global collapse was has been instigated by the unregulated derivatives market. Especially the CDS (Credit Default Swaps) market was a giant ($69 trillion) ponzi scheme. How could this happen? The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 basically scuttled regulatory controls. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Phil Gramm - John McCain's "economics advisor" - who recently said Americans "were a bunch of whiners" and the financial crisis is all just in our heads. Dow down 678 points again today. Thanks, Phil!

Joe Noory on :

I would imagine that the Commodity Futures Act would have to do with commodity futures, not Credit Default Swaps and mortgage lending practices. Either way, people will trot out a stale and implausible class-struggle argument, demanding conditions that will scuttle conditions needed for recovery. N.B.- I'll be cashing in on my dollar bullish fund, and shed my bozos this week to balance it out, and then buy into US equity index funds. Whole market down means whole market up... someday.

David on :

"I would imagine that the Commodity Futures Act would have to do with commodity futures, not Credit Default Swaps " You would be wrong: the legislation covers all futures contracts - including Credit Default Swaps. Look, the American people know that this total economic collapse is the culmination of the Bush era policies. That is why every indicator suggests a historic landslide victory for Democrats on Nov. 4.

Joe Noory on :

I just read part of it over, skimming, and doing word searches. The act would have limited single-stock futures, and it's only effect on Credit default swaps would be to regulate their trading and ban the private clearinghouse in which they could be traded as a market, as opposed to each holder seeking out each potential buyer individually. It may have banned their regulation, but the existence of CDSs didn't bring the credit market down - they were a hedge against them and would be a symptom of a credit failure, and are worthless to an investor because they're being called in by their offerors. The clearinghouse for these things is at the end of October, by the way. The people who cite Enron as a precedent to spur regulation, as though the private trading, something done on and outside of the commodities exchange and other bourses, would somehow have stopped something from going wrong in the economy. It wouldn't have. Calling it "the Enron loophole" in retrospect. The Enron scandal broke in October 2001. This is recycling - recycling the recitaton of some canned complaint used to rail for partisan political purposes over the Enron Scandal, which tried to pin on a president who took office in 2001 something that started (in the case of Enron) in the mid 90s, even though congress makes laws and Clinton was president. If they wanted to repetatively bang-bang-bang as they do with blame, it would have been more accurately on the republican, but because it seems useful, it's faised to presidential status and attributed in roundabout fashion to Bush even though it ocurred under Clinton. The usual tripe. To reuse that old complaint now with people expected to believe that the chronology and attribution are irrelevant is weak and mendatious, just like reusing vague-non-specific allegations from the 80s about the S&L bailout. So in effect, all you're telling me is that there has to be some sort of controversy out there that you can pin on anyone that the charlatan you support disagrees with - nothing more. Especially becuase of the left-leaning nature of Fannie and Freddie which was like blood the in the water that attracted the wall street sharks, who, after all, were only trying to make a tradable instruments our of the bad loans that social intervention had created. The existence of Credit Default Swaps distributes the risk of an investment over a larger number of investors in order to stabilize them - it like a voluntary form of securitization. Like any investment, it might also go down. You know that. Stop trying to throw spaghetti at the wall. To say that something specific that happened in 2000 is cause by an atmospheric attribution that you want to give it - "the [uel=http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/09/bush-called-for-reform-of-fannie-mae.html]Bush era[/url]" - when HE WAS ELECTED IN 2001 - is specious. What's worse, is that it's meant to provide political cover. Weren't you, after all, the one who wanted so badly to attribute illegality to the trading and making of bad loans? What about looking for rule-bending and arm-twisting of the people who permitted it? What about that congress that has a 9% approval rating - one lower than Bush's? The fact remains that you'd never do such a thing. Nor, would you get into any level of detail knowing that Obama has taken more [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/17/AR2007041701688.html]money[/url] from [url=http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/bulletin/bulletin_070405.htm]Wall Street[/url] than any candidate in history - probably on the theory that they will either be quietly shaken down anyway or that he's malleable and has a history if being easily manipulated by donors. Since 2006 he's received $112 000 from Fannie Mae where McCain as taken $22 500 in his 26 year congression career from them.

David on :

I think you've become unhinged by the collapse of your worldview. The American voters will decide on Nov. 4 on who the real "charlatan" is.

Joe Noory on :

Yes, they will decide on November 4th - but I'm "unhinged"? I'm not the one who will evasively promote the idea that events in 1995 and 2000 are caused by someone elected in 2001.

Don S on :

Dave, I think you're making a small asumption here, that Obama is going to win by a landslide. I doubt he will, somewhere between 52-48 and 56-44 is my best guess at this point. I think there is way too much distruct of him out in the country for the enough people to cross over to make it 60-40. In fact I think the Democrats will do better in Congress than in the Presidential race. You also seem to be buying the story that lots of GOP'ers are 'unhinged'. I don't see that either - more Democrats who have been unhinged for 8 years than GOPers at this point. There are a few conservtives who are angry, true, but that is because 'conservatism' has been given the rap for this downturn when Bush hasn't been a conservative president & McCain is no conservative either. Bailing out $300 billion of mortgage-holders is not a conservtive approach. Neither is bailing out banks for that matter. I'm not properly a conservative myself, mind you, but I know who they are and what their beliefs are.

Don S on :

David, It's not a 'total economic collapse'. It's not even a total collapse of the banking system - except in Iceland perhaps. It is a crisis - a panic. It's more severe than the usual panic and has been resistant to the usual measures to stop panics thus far, but I now think it will be stpped and bank lending will resume in the near future. The way to stop a panic is usually to overwhelm it with liquidity. This one is more complex because of the housing slump and particularly because of the CDS's and the complex instruments - but I think the bank recapitalisations will overcome he last problems in he system. Once solvent banks know they are going to survive and the bankers know that the 'perp walk' is not in their futures I think they'll start lending again.

Pat Patterson on :

The current drop in the stock market is not even as bad as it was when the dot.com bubble went bust. Over the space of two weeks, between 3/10/2000 and 3/24/2000, the DJIA lost 70% of its value plus all of those really cool ads for the 2001 Super Bowl.

Joe Noory on :

"Luxus fuer alle"? You call that a plausible policy position?

John in Michigan, USA on :

"Lafontaine was attacked as unserious for criticizing the deregulation of the financial markets" [url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/1179-Financial-Crisis-Trans-Atlantic-Sniping.html#c16664]I've asked this question before[/url], and I'll ask it again -- when did Europe supposedly deregulate its financial markets?

Joe Noory on :

[i]I understand why this election is so special, but I do not share this huge interest and excitement.[/i] That ALWAYS say that. The last one came with warninings that the world would end. Get a hold of yourself. [i]I am probably even less excited than my fellow Germans.[/i] An Election in the US doesn't matter as much to Europeans as it does to Americans. They have issues bordering frequently on the atmospheric and image oriented with respect to the US, whereas Americans are practicing their citizenship. WE are electing OUR president. In fact the impact is no greater than the moves of the EU are to Americans, but unlike the US election, there is no transparent side to take in Europe as a function of policy direction - if one cane even discern policy direction in the European political environment. Europeans on the other hand can "pick a side" in our elections, for what almost always seem like reasons based on thin and weak information which has a bias in favor of anything that seems marginally familiar to them. Most usually simplistic, passion-filled tirades about demanding "peace" without knowing why or how.

Don S on :

Joerg, I find myelf both agreeing and disagreeing with what you wrote. At the base you seem to be saying "it's booooorrrriiing" (though you are MUCH too polite to actully use that word). ;) You are correct - right now it is. This election is all over but the shouting. Most measures I see give Obama at least a 90% probability of winning and the odds against McCain are lengthening. Anther reason it's boring is because it's been going on so long, more than a year now. There is little suspense, little reason for baroque strategies. It lacks the white-knuckle last-minute excitement of a Hollywood thriller - or the elections of 2000 and 2004. A third reason is because there is another problem occupying the headlines, one which comes a lot closer to home for almost everyone, but more so for those who aren't US citizens. I think this has resulted in a state of widepread information overload and anxiety-tripping. Events of huge importance are going on but I think many of us feel like pawns of fate right now. We feel we have little control over conditions which will obviously have huge impact on us. This movie has been going on way too long and we wish the director would cut to the ending - only it doesn't work like that. But this is not ultimately boring for Americans. This is certainly the most momentous election since 1980 and probably the most important since 1932 for people in the US. Obama has a chance to be the most important US president since FDR, and that is no exagguration. People in Europe who wish to see the US go in a more social democratic direction may get their wish at long last. And President Obama will have ultimately have large impact in Europe, even if his policies will necessarily begin as primarily domestic. He'll make the obligatory trips to Europe and Asia (probably Africa and Latin America also). He'll be the very model of a nice multilateral politician. But I doubt we'll see fundamental changes in NATO or the trans-atlantic partnership because there simply won't be time. I'm very sure that Europeans found Roosevelt boring in 1933 for a similar reason. There is one possible exception to what I wrote above about few big changes in trans-Atlantic relations, in the area of economic regulation. There it may be possible for major changes and cooperation. This is nowhere near certain because it may not be possible for Europe to negociate with the US on an equal and fair basis. This is not intended as a cut at Europe, just an acknowledgement of the problems we have seen.

Javaneh on :

Interesting blog post. As a blogger, we thought you’d be interested in VoterWatch’s Presidential Debates Project. We have brought together presidential candidates, political figures and others to comment on the presidential debates. Dick Morris, Sophia Nelson, Public Agenda, and others are using our video player to provide their commentary. Be sure to check it out at www.bloggingthedebates.com

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