Belfast Telegraph

How the US ticks all our boxes

By Gail Walker

What do you think about Nancy Pelosi trying to hang on to her job? Or Harry Reid beating off the Tea Party's Sharron Angle? And what does the republican sweep through the rustbelt bode for Obama in 2012?

Need evidence that we're fast becoming the 51st state? Well, last week’s wall-to-wall coverage of the US mid-terms is a smoking gun.

A few years ago a congressional election would have merited a few pars in the papers, a 30-second piece on the news and perhaps a feature in the weightier Sundays. Now we all know that Senator Cheeseburger simply has to make inroads in the Hispanic vote if he is to stand any chance next time round.

Of course, in this 24/7 news culture the good old USA provides flannel by the yard but could it be — like silly infatuated admirers — that we're just a little bit in love with the glamour and drama of it all?

This ain't necessarily a good thing. After all, apart from Brian Cowen, can you call to mind any other politicians from the Republic? Who leads the opposition in Germany? Who's the British minister for education? What does Robin Newton look like?

Nope me neither. And these are supposed to be rather closer to home. But I sure as heck know who Rand Paul is.

Ah well, maybe we shouldn't get too worked up about it. Just uncap a Bud , get out that boxset of The Wire and eat all those left over candies from the Trick or Treating ...

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