Pepe Escobar: Is Obama the voice of a generation that rejects conservatism?


Story Transcript

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NEWS SHOW HOST: It’s the biggest primary election day this country has ever seen.

NEWS SHOW HOST: We get to see why they call it Super Tuesday. Voters in 24 states will tonight in effect decide the future direction of this nation, certainly this presidential election year.

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PEPE ESCOBAR, TRNN ANALYST: If Barack Obama was a product—and in many aspects he is—he would be labeled the sound of the new generation. He’s cool; he’s hip. In fact, he may be the coolest thing to have happened in the US since James Brown sang “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” in the early ’60s. When he didn’t win California, although 91 percent of the Democratic voters in California are against Bush on Iraq, Hillary Clinton took California. And, in fact, Hillary took most of the major crucial states at play with a large number of delegates, although Obama took 13—no less than 13 of the 22 states in play on Super-Duper Tuesday. So the race is absolutely on on the Democratic side. On the Republican side, what did Super Tuesday tell us? It told us that Mitt Romney, who wants to pose as the über-conservative businessman with experience in government, in fact, he was vetoed, basically vetoed, by large parts of the country as a CEO. Mike Huckabee, with all his likeability factors, he is basically still a regional candidate in the south. John McCain could have nailed it. In fact, there was wide expectation that he’ll be coronated on Super Tuesday as the Republican nominee. He didn’t, because basically the bigs of the Republican Party all over the country in fact still hates his guts. So he’s still a divider, not a uniter. He needs to be a uniter in the next few weeks or so, or at least until mid-March or late March, to clinch the nomination. Supposing we have John McCain on the Republican side and Barack Obama, with large bags of cash, for that matter, because Hillary may control the party, the Clintons may control the machinery of the party, but Obama in January alone collected $32 million. So plenty of funds, plenty of possibilities of advertising on TV all over the place, especially in important states that are going to come up, like Ohio and Pennsylvania. If we have a McCain against Obama, we’re going to have basically a referendum on Iraq. John McCains on Iraq are saying that the United States could stay for as long as 100 years in Iraq. And Obama, as everybody knows, has always been against the war in Iraq. So this could be a conflict of rural America and religious America and conservative, but even try to grapple with–a tremendous struggle against what is a slow ideological implosion of conservatism. What does it mean to be a conservative nowadays in the US after almost eight years of Bush-Cheney disasters? Against young people, who support Obama, and high-income people in America, who are very well informed and know that Obama is really the new thing, the sound of the new generation. So Obama, he’s basically viewed by a lot of his supporters like a rock star. Young people and high-income people, very well-informed people, are fed up with the status quo. And in fact they want and they have embraced a rock star to change it. But there are three very important questions that from now on Hillary and Obama must answer. Number one, how come in 2007 Congress supported more funds for Bush wars than any previous Republican-dominated Congress? Number two, do they want or are they in favor of permanent American military bases in Iraq? And number three, are they in favor of the new Iraqi oil law, which is a crucial benchmark of the Bush administration? And this would mean the de-nationalization of the Iraqi oil industry and essentially for US and especially Anglo-American oil companies—let’s grab all that oil. So the die is cast, and it’s not over until the fat lady, or other ladies, or even James Brown sings.

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Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil is the roving correspondent for Asia Times and an analyst for The Real News Network. He's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, based in London, Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, and Bangkok. Since the late 1990s, he has specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central Asia, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has made frequent visits to Iran and is the author of Globalistan and also Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge both published by Nimble Books in 2007.