The Time cover that’s sparked off the excitement

The Time cover that’s sparked off the excitement

    The Obama price tightens from 33/1 to 12/1

obama time magazine.JPGThis is the cover of last week’s Time magazine which for seven days has been appearing on news-stands right across the US.

This is the cover that has propelled the young first time Senator from Illinois into a position where the pundits are saying that only he can stop Hillary Clinton from securing the Democratic nomination for the 2008 White House race.

This is the cover that prompted the questioning six days ago that led to him saying that he was considering putting himself forward.

This is the cover that caused the Slate online magazine to decalre yesterday that “The Obama Rules. In one week he has turned American politics upside down.”

This is the cover that has caused the UK betting price on Obama for next President to tighten from 33/1 to 12/1 in just six days.

This is how the Slate is describing the entrance of Obama. “Political assumptions can remain constant for long periods and then change very quickly. And so they have in the approximately 10 days since the publication of Barack Obama’s book.. In the brief time he’s been on book tour, Obama has overthrown much of the reigning conventional wisdom about what’s likely to happen in the 2008 campaign, how shrewd politicians ought to behave, and what the informal rules of the American system really are.”

    But is all this just a media hype and could it all be forgotten in a month or so?

I should say that I am biased and my judgement might be being affected by the fact that I tipped and bet on Obama when he was 50/1 in May last year. I believe, however, that he offers a much more attractive proposition to the Democrats than Hillary Clinton who will for ever be a divisive figure.

We will have to wait until January 14th 2008 before Obama’s appeal is really tested. That’s the day of the Iowa state caucuses which is the first major event in the 2008 election. Here party supporters get together in big and small gatherings right across the state and talk over the chances of each potential nominee. It was Iowa in 2004 that caused Howard Dean’s campaign to come to a halt.

My view is that Barack Obama is ideally suited to the Iowa format and that this will be the launch pad for him getting the Democratic nomination. After that who knows?

Mike Smithson

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