Hopefully, soon there will be another US President with Irish origins: Barack O'Bama. The chief reason of writing this diary is to get more votes for Obama. Every single vote counts and the world simply cannot afford another warring Republican in the White House.
A couple of weeks ago I read this article by Niall O'Dowd, the editor of Irish America Magazine and newspaper in New York. He warns Obama that
US commentators say that, by ignoring voting blocs such as Irish Americans, Barack Obama is repeating the mistakes of Al Gore.
Then on August 27th I read this alarming news:
Barack Obama could abolish the post of US special envoy to Northern Ireland if he becomes president as he responds to the Taoiseach's call for a review of the relationship between Ireland and the US.
Irish Voice publisher Niall O'Dowd (who btw, supported Mrs Clinton in the Democratic primaries) was quick to point out
"the statement was unclear but warned that any weakening of US input in the North would be completely unacceptable to Irish-Americans. A special envoy continues to be vital and necessary. Wholehearted American support and involvement will also be vital in resolving the upcoming issues of policing and devolution."
As you may know, former US president Bill Clinton created the position of US special envoy to the North and George Bush has continued to appoint envoys, most recently Paula Dobriansky.
This week I read that Obama has asked George Mitchell (who has done a stellar job in getting the Good Friday Agreement, I remember spending the entire night glued to the television, which btw, was greatly advanced by Bill Clinton staying up all night in Washington to monitor the situation) and six leading Irish-American politicians to advise him and help him on his campaign (read getting more votes from Pennsylvania & Ohio). Smart move. But I have a quicker solution: IMHO, Obama would do well to make a quick trip to the old sod (Eire) and shake a few hands in and around the Emerald Isle (his great-great-great grandfather, Falmouth Kearney, emigrated to the US in 1850 from Moneygall, County Offaly) and even down a few pints of Guinness. Again, let me reiterate that there are 52 million plus Irish-Americans, and that represents one of the largest voting block in the US. Evangelical Christians are among them, not all of them but a significant amount. Ireland is still deeply religious (attendance at religious services is remarkably high by international comparison) and a visit by Obama would go a long way to convince those fence-sitters who may be leaning towards the unthinkable: A McCain/Palin ticket. It is no secret that 90% of Europeans want Obama in the White House.
Today, at lunch time I listened to one of my favorite radio show, The Sunday Supplement. It deals with current issues and today Dr Frank Luntz (yes, that one! He is particularly known for his work for the Republican Party, each year he writes a memo for Republicans containing phrases to be used in debates. His specialty is finding words that will help turn public opinion on a political issue or candidate. Sounds familiar?) gave his opinion on the McCain/Palin ticket. All of his points were, you guessed, Republican talking points, and lies, blatant lies were spoken, one by one. He even mentioned the untruth of Palin having sold the jet on Ebay, realizing a hefty profit. This show is listened to by a lot of people, people who have relatives in America, and it saddens me that this guy spreads all the Republican lies to unsuspecting Irish folks. Mind you, not many would buy this line of thinking but still, a few would call their American cousins and reinforce Republican lies.
As for this video, take a look at Obama's ancestral home.