Without wanting to sound too much like Donald Rumsfeld, there are some things I know that I know nothing about, and I put US politics in that bracket. This blog has categories for European and UK politics for a reason. I don’t know the relative importance of New Hampshire or Illinois, and I cannot tell you which states form Super Tuesday. I’m not even a fan of West Wing, so I cannot even sound like I know what’s going on. Please don’t interpret this as being anti-American – I just don’t know enough, that’s it. I’m not even going to get drawn on whether Hillary or Barack is a better bet for the Democrats. I even find myself (astoundingly) partially in agreement with Guido about the rather ludicrous amount of UK media coverage of the primaries, although the newspapers are as much to blame as well. The only thing I might get drawn on is how the candidates use the internet – oh for a British politician who did anything as slick as Barack Obama’s site. But c’est tout.
Thanks for the comment… 🙂
I saw your roundup – interesting stuff. But my recipe for this blog is this: stick to what you know, or at least stuff you think you know. Broadly speaking it does the trick!
Jon, I did a blogtour of some 50 mainly EU-focused blogs covering Obama and the implications for Europe, and you were the only blogger I found who declared himself unqualified to comment.
I think you deserve some sort of award for this. Perhaps we can set up an annual prize for bloggers who don’t opine about stuff they don’t know a lot about?
I think there are a few reasons for the amount of coverage, which is much higher than the comparable election of 2000 (2004 was different as Bush was an incumbent)…
1. Everyone in the UK is really fed up with Bush, so people view the process with some hope – whoever wins should be an improvement
2. Having a woman candidate and a black candidate with a decent chance on the Democrat side makes it even more appealing
3. The internet and more TV channels mean it’s possible to get better coverage, and more of it
4. UK politics is tedious and repetitive at the moment
My fear is that while there are loads of opinions not too many of them are well-judged!
I’ve been astounded at the amount of coverage of the US primaries in UK media (and indeed in the rest of Europe as well). Not having been here for a previous election I don’t know if this is very new or quite normal (but judging by the amount of errors the UK press makes in reporting on the primaries, I assume this is new to them).
The only thing I would add is it seems to me that the level of public interest here would justify the coverage. Everyone here seems absolutely obsessed with the election, and I have yet to meet anyone here who doesn’t have an opinion on it.