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How will Pakistan affect the White House race?

December 27th, 2007

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    Will McCain and Clinton be the main beneficiaries?

With exactly one week to go before the first test of opinion in the 2008 White House race the big question this afternoon is how will such a global event impact on Iowa and New Hampshire – the first states to decide on the candidates?

As the Politco site observes – “Bloody images of Pakistan in turmoil, which will dominate newspapers and TV news just as Iowa voters are making their final decision and the caucuses are only a week away, will remind voters that this is a dangerous world. And the aftermath — still very unclear in the chaos surrounding Bhutto’s death — will test the agility of the presidential campaigns in dealing with an unexpected and momentous event; a dry run for daily life at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”

There is an argument for saying that American voters, particularly in a places like Iowa, are very parochial and in the end it will be domestic matters which will determine their votes.

On the face of it such a dramatic event is a reminder of the seriousness of the decision voters will be taking. It’s here where some are saying that McCain and Clinton might have the edge and that Huckabee and Obama might just come off second best. In a dangerous world, the argument will go, you need experience.

Team Obama, however, can argue is that it is the established approach to US foreign policy that has made the world much more unstable and that their man can help America to relate to the world community better.

Who knows at this stage? The next few days could be fascinating.

In the betting the Clinton price has tightened to 0.51/1 while McCain is the 4.4/1 third favourite in the GOP contest.

Mike Smithson






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