Jonn @NewStatesman: The US election is Bush/Kerry in reverse


…or so I hope:

So here’s the situation. The sitting US president is an incredibly divisive figure. The challenger is pushing a single big policy issue, in which he believes he’s at an unassailable advantage. And the opposition are so fired up with loathing for the president that they’ve convinced themselves they can nominate a gaffe-prone plank of wood from Massachusetts and still walk home to a win.

If all this is starting to feel eerily familiar to you, it might be because we’ve been here before…

You can read the rest here.


Fear & Loathing ’08


In which I cover the Obama apotheosis for the New Statesman

In October 2008, my trusty companion Scot and I flew to New York, hired a car and hit the road, so as to answer the vexed question: could the land of Bill O’Reilly really be about to elect a left-wing black man with the middle name ‘Hussein’?

Along the way we met Republicans and Rednecks for Obama, the punk rocker doing Joe the Plumber’s PR, and a heavily tattooed backwoodsman named Rusty who casually asked if I could get him a job. We also visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky – whose founder and CEO was later noted to have encouraged the internet to pray for my soul (apparently I’m ‘without excuse’).

And all the while, I scribbled frantically for the New Statesman, in my role as the magazine’s US election blogger. My posts are archived below.

The best…

  • Harassed or ignored? It’s all a matter of geography – on how the electoral college distorts campaign strategy (October 21st, 2008)
  • Betting on Pennsyvania – John McCain’s best shot at victory (October 28th, 2008)
  • Sweet, crazy people – a visit to a McCain-Palin campaign office in Ohio (October 30th, 2008)
  • Purple America – on racists in New York, Rednecks for Obama and the convenient fiction of the red-blue paradigm (November 4th, 2008)
  • Eve of the election – an Obama rally in North Carolina (November 4th, 2008)
  • Disappointment can wait – the election night scenes in Washington DC (November 5th, 2008)
  • Putting the fun in fundamentalism – a trip to Kentucky’s museum of creationism (November 6th, 2008)

The rest…

Some greatest hits

  • How unpaid internships have made the media so middle class (The First Post, August 2009)
  • Busy doing nothing – the inert mayoralty of Boris Johnson (Londonist, July 2009)
  • A lesson in private education – the strange success of Cognita’s schools (Guardian Unlimited/Comment is Free, July 2009)
  • They come over here, they take our houses… Why the immigrant housing myth persists (Londonist, July 2009)
  • Putting the fun in fundamentalism – a trip to Kentucky’s museum of creationism (, November 2008)
  • Disappointment can wait – the election night scenes in Washington DC (, November 2008)
  • Sweet, crazy people – a visit to a McCain-Palin campaign office in Ohio (, October 2008)
  • Nobody can handle the truth about PFI – fifteen years and £57 billion later, and we still don’t know if it works (The First Post, September 2008)
  • A load of Bull – some thoughts on left-wing patriotism (The Sharpener, June 2006)
  • A Sicilian Message – Ten suspicious parallels between the War on Terror and the Godfather Trilogy (ak13, June 2004)
  • Dead giveaway – sitting in judgement on Santa Claus for the Political Judge column (ak13, December 2003)