I like reading Normblog. Norman Geras may always be wrong on any subject but cricket (and quite often on that), but he writes well. His blog is a place where I can keep up to date with the thinking of my opponents, without the usual strain on my aesthetic sense. In the linked post (comments disabled over there, so I must do it remotely) he expresses more elegantly than most the Establishment's view of the Governor of Alaska.
It reminded me of a conversation about the Presidential Elections this week with a prominent American businessman whose privacy I must respect. I took the opportunity of lunching with him in a professional context to fish for his views on the likely outcome. To be honest, based on current polls I was worried about a bet I have made on McCain/Palin (based on the assumption that, as Gordon "Jonah" Brown favours him, Senator Obama is doomed).
In the course of an interesting chat, I asked if John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate had been madness or genius. Without hesitation he answered "genius." He explained that in the America foreigners don't know, she is going down famously and drawing bigger crowds than Senator Obama. You would never guess that from the MSM, but he assured me it was true. He was confident she is winning support for her ticket every day. He also sadly predicted that the Bradley Effect would come into play on voting day. We both hoped he was wrong about that. Though we both wanted Senator Obama to lose, we didn't want him to lose that way.
Foreign intellectuals don't often get to meet ordinary Americans and wouldn't like them if they did. Hence their condescending amusement at McCain/Palin's "Joe the Plumber" shtick. Each of those much mocked-Joes and Janes (among whom I would personally far rather live than with Guardianistas like Norm) has a vote however. Only time will now tell how they are going to cast them.
It would be presumptious of me to predict the outcome. Fascinating though I find it, I profess no expertise in US politics. My charming and thoughtful new friend, however, told me not to give up on my money just yet.