Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 21:11 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 21:11 | SYDNEY

With friends like this...


Michael Fullilove


12 September 2008 13:41

To quote Jonathan Freedland in today's Guardian: 'The feeling is familiar.' Except that unlike Mr Freedland, the feeling I'm experiencing is boredom and it's caused by his self-indulgent op-ed about the US presidential election.

The author makes generous use of the first person singular, taking us through his 'physical pessimism', anxiety and 'rising frustration' about the turn the US presidential race has taken in the past fortnight. His basic argument is sound: that most of the world is barracking for Senator Obama and that his election would help to shift global perceptions of America. But Mr Freedland adopts a tone that is pure, distilled Guardian — and more likely to hurt Senator Obama than help him.

'If Americans reject Obama,' he writes, 'they will be sending the clearest possible message to the rest of us — and, make no mistake, we shall hear it.''

Did you get that, middle America? If not, here it is again, expressed in an especially unlovely phrase: 'If Americans choose McCain, they will be turning their back on the rest of the world, choosing to show us four more years of the Bush-Cheney finger.'

No, Mr Freedland, if the American public elects Senator McCain they will not be showing you the finger (which would be difficult, in any case, if they are turning their back on you). This election is not about you, any more than the next British election is about me.

American voters do not go into the ballot box with The Guardian top of mind. At least, that's what Senator Obama will be hoping this week.