Cameron backed the wrong horse

GRATEFUL thanks to LabourMatters who sent me a link to this very entertaining story.

Davd Cameron declared his support for John McCain, against convention and, presumably, at a point when he thought McCain could beat the presumptive Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton.

telegraph3

And yet today, ‘Dave’ spent the whole of Prime Minister’s Questions frantically – and belatedly – climbing back on to the Obama bandwagon.

His party’s got form on this kind of thing, of course. In 1992 Major’s government did a trawling exercise as a favour for George Bush Snr in an attempt to dig up some dirt to use against Bill Clinton.

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10 Comments

Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron, Media, Politics, United States

10 responses to “Cameron backed the wrong horse

  1. You’re most welcome, but if I may be allowed a small dig?

    If more of Labour (and in this case, those who prepare the political briefing for the PM’s PMQs) read Labour Matters daily they would have known about this two days ago when I published it:
    http://www.labourmatters.com/Editor/britain-watching-and-waiting-for-an-obama-presidency/

    It was later taken up by the excellent Conservative & Unionist blog here: http://toryparty.net/wordpress/?p=549 although it’s not clear whether that was independent of Labour Matters’ article.

    Instead of bitching about the dominance of the right-wing blogs (allegedly copyright our own ‘chipmunk’), it’s clear that Labour still need some people in positions of authority who understand how to push back.

  2. William Nicholson

    Therefore Hazel Blears will be wondering about the elected MPs sitting opposite her and being very worried indeed, especially in the light of her comments about the electorate’s opinions:

    “The commentariat operates without scrutiny or redress. They cannot be held to account for their views, even when they perform the most athletic and acrobatic of flip-flops in the space of a few weeks. I can understand when commentators disagree with each other; it’s when they disagree with themselves we should worry.”

    Do you imagine that any of her Labour colleagues ever change their minds? At least we can hold them to account at election-time, unlike the commentators in the electorate who we cannot help but to patronise by buying their journals or subscribing to their blogs!

    Good grief. Cameron changed his mind, instead of refusing to support the democratically elected President of the United States. What a travesty. Would he honestly still be shouting ‘McCain for President’, and would we hate him for having said he was backing him, even though his support would count for nothing over the other side?

    It’s natural for a Conservative to support a conservative.

  3. That’s a valiant attempt to defend Cameron, William Nicholson, but a man who aspires to be PM really shouldn’t be allowed to get away with unnecessarily backing McCain in January and then Obama in July (when he came to visit the UK and had little choice if he wanted his picture taken, which he obviously did).

    The fact that it’s natural for Tories to support US Republicans is taken as read, but Cameron invited McCain to the 2006 Tory Party conference and then in 2008 broke protocol by explicitly endorsing him for President.

    That’s a lack of judgement at the very least, and a flip-flop of huge proportions if we really believe that he changed his mind for some reason between January and July. Neither options strike me as something he would want to highlight.

    Fortunately he doesn’t need to worry about being exposed for the PR-knob he is, because the media is either on his side, or rubbish at their jobs (you choose which). He rarely gets called on his inconsistencies, and in fact journalists seem to go out of their way to spin a story his way.

    Take the Evening Standard’s political blog today:
    http://waugh.standard.co.uk/2008/11/cam-n-brown-scr.html

    “Perhaps more importantly, Brown was very close to Hillary Clinton and her team and signally failed to meet Obama in the summer of 2007. That sense of distance may well have led Obama to treat Britain as a bit of an add-on to his European tour this summer, when he carved out more time and priority for Berlin and Paris.”

    So wrote Paul Waugh, apparently ignorant of ministerial protocol, whilst also failing to Google Cameron+McCain before writing his blog!

    I’ve not read Blears’ speech yet, so can’t comment on its content, but the bit you quote is demonstrably correct.

  4. AngryVoter

    Uhm, so what about the whole backing Obama, and the meeting with Obama thing and everything else?

    To me it seems like the usual spun out nonsense. Both sides have to be prepared to engage with both candidates, regardless of who wins. That simple really.

  5. It’s not “spun out of nonsense” at all (unless you’re referring to Cameron). As PM, Gordon can’t show favouritism with any candidate in another county’s election, especially the US Presidential election.

    Cameron should also have followed the same protocol, but can’t miss a photo opportunity even when he’s already backed the other chap. That the media (who should know better) fail to pick up on this and hammer the opportunist leader of the opposition says all you need to know about the media and Cameron’s Conservatives.

  6. Johnny Norfolk

    Why are Labour so spiteful. I could never imagine Labour behaving like John McCain did in defeat.

    Cameron backed Mc Cain so what. Labour/BBC backed Obama.

    I just cannot understand why you are so bitter. You will loose the next general election and you may as well just get used to it. Taking pot shots at Cameron like this over nothing is just childish.

  7. Nick the Greek

    ‘flip-flop’ another labour bingo phrase, will we be listening to the electorate tomorrow morning?

  8. Blackacre

    Much as I would like it to be true, I feel the Telegraph headline does not quite justify the Cameron quote given. He is specifically praising McCain’s views on protectionism which would seem appropriate for a Conservative speaking at the fount of global capital event in Davos. Obama is certainly more protectionist than McCain and the comments only seem to endorse this view and not the man for president.

  9. richard

    Speaking of backing the wrong horse I see that Labour drones are trying to downplay the Glenrothes result.

    -=-=-

    Salmond at 2.30am – “Struck a blow for Scotland…sending a message… Westminster… Holyrood…Scotland… One step closer… strong independent scotland…”

    Blears(?) at 2.30am – “Difficult economic circumstances… listening to the electorate… global economic downturn…blah, blah, blah”

  10. If Cameron really did support McCain, then he’s a fool, with all due respect. Even more than 50% of all Tories, according to various polls, support Obama. So why he would go against the general current is beyond me.

    In Canada, too, Tories overwhelmingly favoured Obama — including in the “redneck” and fully conservative province of Alberta.

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