Monday, September 29, 2008

Views from Tehran and Kabul: On the US Presidential Election

Elections in the US matter elsewhere. I was called a radical in 2004 for suggesting that Iraqis should also vote for the US Presidential Election. And now, as we get closer to to another election, it's only fair that Afghans and Iranians - the former especially - should have a right to views, if not the right to vote.

Here are a couple of videos of recent street interviews from Kabul and Tehran.

There are some hilarious statements, especially from Tehran. Check the Persian carpet-seller who supports McCain because he looks fit to be president whereas Obama is merely talk and celebrity looks. And many young Iranians like Obama because Obama is not too different from "U-ba-ma", which roughly translates to "He is with us."

But the best comes from one of the Tehran respondents who asks: "George Bush isn't running again, is he?"


Krishnan said...

Who do you think will win ? I remember you told me some time back that race is wide open though many in India think think Obama is going to win hands down. Did McCain err in the choice of his running mate ?

Hari said...

Hi Krishnan,

I think the gap is too close, which is why I said the race is wide open. The swing states, which will determine the outcome, are mostly tied at the moment. It's hard to say, but I don't think Obama is convincingly ahead. But I do think Obama has a slight edge, not only because of his charisma, but also because the last eight years under Bush have been terrible, and almost everyone acknowledges that.

McCain has erred in the choice of his running mate. But you never know with the American electorate. Sara might actually turn out to be a masterstroke - she may become popular with the public because she gets a criticized a lot.