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April 14, 2007



Bill Richardson?

please search Bill Richardson and wen ho lee in Google, Kaiser.

Kaiser Kuo

@Jack: This is what happens when you live away from the States for too long, as I have. You'd think I would have remembered that Richardson was Secretary of Energy and fired Lee. Thanks much for pointing this out. Funny how it's not mentioned on his campaign website! (I should be more keenly attuned to this sort of thing than most: a close relative of mine was witch-hunted by the big company he worked for, for allegedly sharing docs with the Chinese. He had his good name dragged through the mud before the whole thing was dropped). Thanks. I'll read up on this some more.

Damien Ma

Obama is interesting and certainly scared the bejesus out of the Hillary camp when he demonstrated his fundraising prowess in the first quarter. His oratorical skills and stentorian voice are unparalleled (he smokes). He's a Washington neophyte and has positioned himself as someone who has not spent enough time in the political machine to become jaded and tainted by the vicious currents of partisan politics inside the beltway. However, Obama has thus far only painted his campaign in very broad strokes and has failed to provide any unique policy prescriptions. Once the opposition research camp starts to really dig into him, I wonder whether he can maintain his so-called "positive politics." I think similar charges that were lodged against Bush, that the presidency is not a learning-on-the-job position, will also be fired at Obama once the campaigns heat up. To have the audacity to hope sounds Kennedy-esque, and it's possible that he will eke by on his sheer charisma and good looks, much like Kennedy did. If that's the case, he needs a VP to run the show behind the scenes. Nevertheless, I do think he has one of the best shots in 2008, least because he now has his war coffers filled to the brim and ready to battle.

The public is overly dismissive of Clinton. We forget that she's been running for president since she was like 10, much like her husband. Yes, her husband, one of the most shrewd and intelligent politicos in contemporary American politics. He had won two national elections and he's a super star these days. I agree that the Clintons can be polarizing, but I also believe that their minds combined can do wonders to the campaign landscape. On the experience front, Clinton's got Obama beat by a long shot, and if she plays her cards right with female voters, the bulk of which are Democratic, she has a great shot at winning.

Finally, lest we forget, this campaign season started much earlier and so plenty of time remain for a dozen "macaca" incidents to take place. I have first hand experience with how a campaign can just implode as a result of a seemingly innocuous event; I worked for Howard Dean in 2003, enough said.
Don't even get me started on how they're front-loading the entire primary season so that fringe candidates will not have any chances of being considered. I wouldn't discount Edwards either; I think he'll actually surprise everyone by winning either Iowa or New Hampshire.

As for the second tiers like Richardson, Dodd, Biden, et al., I think they were running for VP or administration positions from the outset, despite their public pronouncements to the contrary. The only thing they're trumping is their foreign policy credentials, which we all know play an important role in the supposedly "more dangerous" post-9/11 world.

Anyway, those are my two cents. I met you once in the Book worm in Beijing. I think we briefly exchanged some words on Rachel DeWoskin, my former professor. I'm now based in Washington, DC.

I like the blog.



As someone who lived through the Giuliani administration in NYC, and judging from what I know about your political preferences Kaiser, I'd hazard to say that you probably would not be so comfortable with him in office as you might think. That said, anything seems like an improvement these days. But I don't think he's as solid a candidate as he may appear, since he's gonna have a helluva time courting the religious right and I don't think he's gonna swing independents very easily either. And the American public hasn't really had a chance to see him speak; I figure that'll shave 10 points off his ratings instantly when he appears to be a small gargoyle on television.


Obama can be accepted by the religious right for converting from Islam to Christianity. As for his China position, in the recent debates he said that China is not an enemy but is a competitor and that the US needs to bring together its allies and maintain an active military presence in the pacific to promote stability.

Hillary is probably the most China-friendly of the bunch and she is too divisive to get the nomination.


Hi Kaiser,
To get a better sense of the top three Democratic candidates, I'd really recommend your reading this article from The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/01/15/070115fa_fact_goldberg


Are there any more upcoming Obama-Beijing events? I'm not quite ready to contribute, but I am interested in participating and maybe, at some point, getting involved.

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and feel it's all Terribly Exciting. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go help burn all their houses to the ground while they're in Dalian, in order to

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