While the first half of his foreign trip, to Afghanistan and Iraq, was official, the European tour was campaign related. Yet, it was on this leg that a visit to wounded U.S. soldiers had been scheduled. As campaigning in a military hospital is prohibited, the visit was canceled.
But, instead of going ahead and visiting the troops alone, without aides, press or cameras, Barack bailed out and flew on to Paris.
This left the McCain folks an opening to paint Obama as a cold-hearted opportunist avid to visit a military hospital only if he could bring in press and cameras to record his compassion.
My ever-so-humble opinion is that the current US crisis is a "phase change," from which the US will emerge as a significantly reduced power with a different -- and more acute -- set of problems. Analogous to what occurred to Britain in the long depression of the late 19th century. Yet the media-enforced two-party stranglehold on American political life is so entrenched -- with all that it implies in terms of not discussing real problems, issues, or choices, and with being controlled by the same puppeteers -- that nothing of this comes through in the campaigning, which is, to use a term of Guy Debord, a "society of the spectacle.""RWS" said:I return to the States at the end of the month. Then I'll set about trying to find a third-party candidate whom I could in good conscience vote for.