Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


That #Selfie: Do our elite really ‘get’ the new grammar of digital democracy?

Wed 11 December 2013, 1:43pm
Mandela Obama selfie

Tweet So what do you make of that ‘selfie’ from the Mandela Memorial? Personally the nearest I’ve been to an African funeral/memorial service was just ordinary a Mass at the windowless Catholic Cathedral in Abuja. I’d never quite witnessed anything like the joy, the singing the dancing and the time taken anywhere else I’ve attended […] more »

Obama’s “Peace comes dropping slow (but not necessarily *this* slow)” speech in Belfast…

Tue 18 June 2013, 11:58am

Tweet So, Obama’s speech? As Fionnuala O’Connor pointed out on BBC NI yesterday comparisons with past speeches are ill-placed. When Clinton spoke in 1995, she argued there was a lot riding on it. There was virtually nothing riding on Obama’s delivery yesterday. The regular mis-pronunciations were testament to the downgrading of Northern Ireland both in […] more »

Obama’s Speech in Belfast…

Mon 17 June 2013, 9:33am

Tweet Obama’s just arriving at the Waterfront Hall… I’ll try and note the main highlights of the speech here (when he gets to the podium)… We're about to go LIVE!! UTV with full #Obama coverage at 9.25am. And don't forget the live online blog — Marc Mallett (@MarcMallett_UTV) June 17, 2013 And US people, […] more »

King 1963: I have a dream. Obama 2013: I have a drone

Mon 21 January 2013, 11:54am

Tweet In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. Today, fifty years on, in tribute to the great civil rights leader, the US marks Martin Luther King Jr Day with a federal holiday in his name. Today […] more »

Visual Comment of the Week

Sun 11 November 2012, 4:07pm
obama slugger

Tweet Cartoon by Brian Spencer with commentary from Aaron Callan. So Obama’s made it over the line and won his ticket back into the White House. But already the US media are making predictions on the 2016 Presidential election. It’s interesting to see how the US media, starved of the Presidential election to feed on, […] more »

A historic vote just took place in the USA. Oh, and Obama won too…

Wed 7 November 2012, 10:55pm

Tweet I’ve no idea how this flew under the radar, but the outside world (bar the BBC) has largely ignored the most historic American plebiscite since the 1950s. Obama’s re-election, important though it is in itself, might find itself eclipsed by what just took place in Puerto Rico – a clear popular vote in favour […] more »

Obama’s coalition: what’s the NI alternative?

Wed 7 November 2012, 9:05pm
Democrat donkey

Tweet What can NI parties learn from Obama’s continued success at the polls? Last night was a night to sleep. November 2008 was a night to stay up and watch the US Presidential election results. Wakening up this morning at 6am was early enough to catch Governor Romney’s short and sweet concession speech (did he […] more »

US election may be tight but probably not tight enough to change the guard…

Mon 5 November 2012, 12:40pm

Tweet You have to congratulate Mitt Romney for running a more than decent campaign. He took on the run that few others in the GOP fancied has made a good job of it. The most exciting moment was the first debate, when he literally cleaned the floor with a sitting President who’s minders has not […] more »

Late night panel: US Election and what matters on Main Street?

Fri 31 August 2012, 9:17pm

Tweet Gore Vidal once famously noted of American politics, “there is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.” An exaggeration, of course. But it is not always obvious to those of us who live far beyond the watery borders of the American […] more »

Happy travels! Guantánamo Bay: a decade of failure

Wed 11 January 2012, 10:42am

Tweet Ten years ago today, the first detainees were transferred to the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Since then 779 people have been held, yet only one has been given a trial in an ordinary US federal court. Yesterday I met with the impressive acting US Consul General, Kevin Roland, at the Consulate […] more »

He Came, He Saw, He Complimented.

Tue 24 May 2011, 10:06am

Tweet Yesterday, and yesterday only, President Obama was in the house. Unlike the formality of the previous week, his brief visit culminated in a speech to a large crowd in College Green. Following an introduction by Enda Kenny, Obama pleased the crowd but it was largely sentiment and reassurance rather than substance with an obligatory is […] more »

There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’bama … something for the weekend

Sat 21 May 2011, 8:43pm
Corrigan Brothers / Obama Moneygall image

Tweet The Corrigan Brothers generated a lot of publicity – including an appearance on Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning show – with their O’bama ditty which they ended up performing during the inauguration festivities in Washington DC. Here’s a link to the original. With the US president due to touch down on Irish soil on Monday […] more »

President Obama’s speech on the Middle East and North Africa

Fri 20 May 2011, 1:16pm

Tweet President Barack Obama is due to give an open-air speech on Dublin’s College Green on Monday afternoon. That a huge crowd will be there to hear him is not in doubt. Neither is the President’s speech-making ability. Indeed, it has been one of the hallmarks of his presidency and the campaign which preceded it. […] more »

#Obama v #OBL: “We finally got our man last week, it’s true”

Fri 6 May 2011, 7:59am

Tweet On the front page of the Irish Times this morning Lara Marlow asks: “WHAT WAS Barack Obama thinking during that long moment of silence, after he laid the wreath at the foot of the Survivor Tree?” This great piece of writing from Walter Kirn outlines his own complex thoughts: It had to end somewhere, […] more »

Wikileaks reminder that Obama’s still Guantánamo gaoler-in-chief

Wed 27 April 2011, 11:31pm

Tweet As Ireland readies itself to welcome President Obama to these shores next month, those with an interest in upholding international law have been given reason to recall how he has failed the litmus test of Guantánamo. While the President appears to have forgotten his January 2010 promise to close the internment camp within a […] more »

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