New Hampshire Screws Media
I was jolted awake some time after 6 by the very voice of the devil talking about hell. When I'd recovered my sanity, I realised that the voice belonged to Senator John McCain. The Today programme was broadcasting his speech about Osama Bin Laden - McCain proclaims, lest anyone be in any doubt, that as president he 'would chase Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell'. Excellent. Because what we need is a president who is prepared to get a little more aggressive out there in the Middle East.
Actually, McCain, to be fair, is one of the better Republican candidates (I know, I know - that really is like suggesting Posh is one of the more intelligent Spice Girls, but there we go) and his win in New Hampshire was every bit as exciting as the astonishing Hillary Clinton turnaround. Well, actually, more a sort of turn-and-turn-again-around, since Clinton was well in the lead, then behind after Iowa, then back in the lead. Americans are nothing if not fickle, and they do love their underdogs. At this rate, every candidate will have a chance to top a poll somewhere; there's definitely space for someone to grab the Alaskan primary.
This is the most open presidential race for about half a century. After getting huge amounts of egg on their face in New Hampshire, the pundits are certainly going to be wary about calling the results. It was great, for instance, to read the 'Sun's' usual crass anti-Hillary slot and fawn all over Obama before they'd got the actual result. There's actually beenm quite a lot of fawning over Obama, even from Tories, as Conservative Home shows in this post. But then, he is an exciting candidate, even if he hasn't quite worked out all his ideas, and both he and Hillary have genuine political star power. For the Republicans, McCain, Giuliani and Huckabee are all 'outsider' possibilities; I think Romney is frankly too damaged now though. McCain is a solid 'anti-Bush' Republican for all his hard line on the war, but I think the race is still the Democrats' to lose - 'change' is the most over-used word in the campaign at the moment, but Americans seem desperate for it, and that probably means changing party in the White House as well. Let's see - for all the January excitement, the presidential poll isn't until November. And a mere week is.........well, you should know the rest!