Monday, July 21, 2008


Iraq War shill Michael O'Hanlon was quoted with delight yesterday by Sarah Baxter in Rupert Murdoch's Times of London:

...Michael O'Hanlon, an expert on Iraq at the Brookings Institution, said Obama must beware of a "Tony Blair effect" by appearing more beloved abroad than at home. The more popular Blair was in America during the Iraq war, the more ferociously criticised he was in Britain.

"If Obama becomes the world’s poodle in the eyes of some voters and in Republican attack ads, that’s a downside...."

Er, Mike? What made Blair a poodle wasn't being in sync with U.S. policy. What made Blair a poodle was being in sync with U.S. policy while being completely out of sync with his own country:

Tuesday February 18, 2003

The rift between Tony Blair and the British public over war against Iraq is today confirmed by an opinion poll which shows for the first time that a clear majority of British voters now oppose a military attack.

The survey, taken over the weekend, reveals that Mr Blair has sustained significant political damage from the debate over Iraq. His personal rating has dropped through the floor to minus 20 points....

This month's Guardian/ICM poll also shows that at least one person from 1.25 million households in Britain went on Saturday's anti-war march in London, confirming estimates that between one million and two million people went on the march....

Opposition to the war has risen five points in the past month to 52%, with support for the war falling to 29%, the lowest level since the Guardian's tracker poll started last August....

Obama's take on the #1 foreign policy issue of our time is, needless to say, very much in sync with what his fellow citizens think.

GOP flacks will, of course, declare that Americans don't like politicians who are popular in Europe, and the "liberal media" will dutifully transmit that argument, which will take on a life of its own.

But, of course, the last president we had who was popular in Europe actually had very high job approval ratings back home.

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