US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama may have taken a bruising from the well-oiled Clinton machine in both the polling and fundraising race of late, but he’s still winning the war on one front.
Despite a recent charm offensive from the smooth-talking Mr Clinton, whom Hilary has tasked with restoring America’s reputation abroad, it appears that fresh-faced Senator Obama is the overwhelming favourite among Americans living overseas. In the first half of this year, expatriate donations to the Obama campaign almost equalled the total given to all the other Democrat and Republican candidates put together.
And Americans living in Britain have contributed the most to his campaign—which is why London was an obvious place to send his wife Michelle to fundraise this week. The press were barred from the $23000-a-head dinner at the Landmark Hotel on Monday night (indeed one hapless Chicago Tribune reporter was forcibly ejected), but by all accounts she made quite an impression.
Mrs Clinton, it seems, is not the only one who has an asset in the form of a spouse.
While Michelle Obama does not command the same brand-recognition as a former President, there are many similarities between the Obamas and the Clintons as teams. Just as Bill contributes an important feelgood factor to the Clinton campaign (in contrast to Hilary, who is often perceived as cold); Michelle, a sharp, businesslike attorney, provides the perfect counterbalance to the more dreamy, emotive style of her husband.
Many pundits have looked at Clinton’s daunting 33 percentage point poll lead and formidable campaign warchest and written Mr. Obama off. But they would do well to look again—both at the crucial caucus of Iowa (where the gap between the candidates is a lot smaller), and indeed at Mrs Barack Obama.