Sure it’s a long way before the November 2010 U.S. congressional election — and a lot can happen between now and then. But at this point, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada seems to be in jeopardy of becoming the second Senate leader in a half century to be voted out of office.
Tales from the Trail
DALLAS – Republican presidential contender John McCain still retains strong support from white evangelical Protestants, but the 72-year-old Arizona senator’s appeal fades with younger voters from this flock.
Nancy Kivlen of PUMA (“Party Unity My Ass”) explains why she plans to vote for John McCain if Hillary Clinton doesn’t receive the Democratic nomination. This video is from Mike Smith, one of the contributors to Reuters Inside the Tent.
BERLIN – If Germans could vote in the U.S. presidential election, Barack Obama would win a staggering 72 percent of their vote, according to an opinion poll by the respected Emnid institute published on Sunday in Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Republican John McCain would get 11 percent.
Germans have no say, of course, in the U.S. presidential election. But they have long wished they did.
And because the American influence on their country has been so pervasive and their fate so intertwined with Washington’s in the six decades since the end of World War Two (see everything from Care packages to the Airlift, the Cold War, their central bank and Pershing missiles), Germans may well follow U.S. politics and especially presidential elections closer than in any other country in the world.
With a feared “World War Three” looming in the middle of their divided country for more than 40 years before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it should come as little surprise that they care a lot about who’s in the White House and have an amazingly thorough understanding of the candidates’ positions.
The ties between the two countries sometimes became even a little too intense. One former chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, kept warning U.S. President Jimmy Carter to stop treating West Germany like a “51st state.”
So the Emnid poll is worth taking a closer look at — even if Germans won’t be able to cast their ballots in November.
Obama, who is rumored to be mulling a trip to Berlin later in the summer, would win an even more lopsided 86 percent of Germans with high school diplomas and an even higher 77 percent of those living in the formerly communist east.
The results are all the more astonishing against the backdrop that Germany has a conservative chancellor, Angela Merkel, whose popularity far surpasses that of the leader of the Social Democrats, Kurt Beck, the more natural ally to Obama’s Democrats.
TOKYO – Mike Huckabee is not running — or maybe he is.
The marathon man, who lost 110 pounds (50 kg) by hitting the road and advocating healthy living after he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003, has a painful inflammation of the heel known as plantar fasciitis, and he is walking around the Imperial Palace in the Japanese capital gingerly.
Whether he will take a walk with presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, as vice presidential nominee is another question requiring equally careful footwork.
Speaking with Reuters less than five months before the U.S. presidential election and three months ahead of the Republican convention, the former Arkansas governor was interested but self-deprecating when asked if he would be the party’s No. 2.
“I don’t truly believe that’s probably going to happen and I’ve moved on to doing other things.”
Those projects include the trip to Japan and lectures at Tohoku University in northern Miyagi Prefecture, as well as Fox News, which hired the former Republican presidential hopeful as a political commentator leading up to the national election.
But Huckabee quickly noted that did not preclude being on the other side of the camera in November.
“I’m very happy and proud to be able to do some commentary and develop a programme with the Fox News Channel,” he said.
“But that doesn’t mean if there was an opportunity to run somewhere out in the future, if not this year some other time — I’m not going to take myself completely off the stage.”