Monday, February 12, 2007

John Howard and Tony Blair Interfere in 2008 Election

Howard and Blair. (image via ezilon)

A disturbing trend has surfaced involving two of the more precariously balanced leaders of Bush's "coalition of the willing," namely Australian prime Minister Howard and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Both elder statesmen are interfering in a United States Presidential election and we are totally not cool with that (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). What's next? Will the political leadership in Poland next call John Edwards a "Prell Girl"?

Perhaps it is the lame-duckishness of Blair and Bush, and, ancillary to that, the electoral fragility of Prime Minister Howard, that feuls the desperation of adventurism in the domestic politics of a sovereign nation that is presumably an ally.

We noted that our favorite Dickensian villain Robert Novak had reported recently that Tony Blair had quixotically asked 2008 Republican Presidential frontrunner John McCain -- a war hawk -- to intervene and "contact the Rev. Ian Paisley, the hard-line Protestant leader in Northern Ireland, to press him to discuss a power-sharing plan."
We noted at the time that we did not entertain the possibility, considering all the options open to Blair, that he was interceding in an ongoing Presidential campaign, in favor of the war-hawk, to bolster said warrior's bona fides as a statesman (Dismissive wave). We presently entertain that idea with growing alarm and disdain.

Tony Blair is a lame duck veering, precipitously, towards his own irrelevance on the British political scene (Averted Gaze). Having gambled the Anglo-Atlantic "special relationship" (as welll as on his political legacy) on the Iraq War, it is in his best interests, as he prepares to hand-off power to the more dove-ish Chancellor of the Exchequeur Gordon Brown, to strengthen McCain, who has all but pledged to conntinue the war should he be elected president. And so we get this subtle and smarmy interference in our internal domestic affairs.

Prime Minister Howard is just as smarmy, though less-than-subtle in his transtlantic foray. From TheAustralian:

"The American media largely viewed the Obama-Howard story as a baptism of fire for the 45-year-old Illinois senator, who only announced yesterday that he would run for president.

"In this, his first full day as an official candidate, Democratic senator Barack Obama got a taste of the rough and tumble world of presidential politics,'' senior ABC correspondent Jake Tapper told his American audience.

"Obama, often criticised for his lack of foreign policy experience, had his plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq by March, 2008, attacked by an unlikely source - the prime minister of Australia, an ally of President Bush.''

FOX News political correspondent Carl Cameron told his viewers Mr Obama had found "himself in a sparring match on the international stage''.

"A controversy has erupted with the Australian prime minister John Howard, who has criticised Mr Obama and Democrats in general suggesting al-Qaeda and terrorists would benefit if elected in 2008,'' Cameron told his audience.

"At a news conference, Senator Obama slapped back at John Howard.'"

And we will not entertain Wonkette's report that Howard "loaned" his son out to Bush's re-election campaign.

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