Ireland’s still special, honest. Obama can U turn too

Hardly the most startling U Turn in history as the Democrats’ powerbrokers assert themselves. From the way the story is written up in Irish Voice Niall Dowd and co are still smarting. ….“ shore up Obama’s somewhat frayed relationship with Irish America….” Was it really only a week or so ago since the Obama camp announced: “He will consult with the Taoiseach, the British prime minister, and party leaders in Northern Ireland to determine whether a special US envoy for Northern Ireland continues to be necessary or a senior administration official, serving as point person for Northern Ireland, would be most effective.”

Now it’s all “I am delighted to be able to call upon a ‘Dream Team’ of leaders who cherish the U.S.-Irish bond as I do,” said Obama, “I look forward to putting in place policies that will fortify this indispensable relationship.” Fortified also by Obama’s ( rather thin) Irish portfolio.
So no surprise here. The guy has to wear the full mantle of The Candidate now, he’s not just some intriguing, original, changing…. Some things never change.

  • manichaeism

    Hasn’t anyone told Obama that he is really an Irishman!

    Maybe he will see the light about Ireland when he finds out!

    He must be one of the legendary black Irish!!!

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Irish Americans and by extension many people in Ireland constantly need to be told that they’re “special” regardless of the truth. Pathetic.

  • manichaeism

    I don’t think the need to think they are special is a solely Irish trait. Germans-Master Race, Jews-Chosen people. Americans-AMERICANS!
    British-Just generally superior to the rest of the human race!!

  • Brian, it seems the McCain Irish portfolio is much thinner:

    The US-Ireland Alliance is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse any candidates. We have offered the same opportunity to Senator McCain’s campaign and will post his statement if we receive one.

  • Greenflag

    This election is about the american economy in recession , health care , and the abysmal record of the present administration . Northern Ireland or the Republic will not rate much of a mention unless of course the NI jaffa heads and fenians get tired of the present mexican standoff and start killing each other en masse again .

    So if yiz want to be taken notice of ye know what to do !

    A good move by Obama – might help with a few floaters in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

  • Pete Baker


    “it seems the McCain Irish portfolio is much thinner”

    Not so.

    As I mentioned previously, McCain has actually intervened here.

  • dosser

    I’ve mentioned before that it’s rather academic if McCain has ‘intervened’ on the issue of NI before. The post of NI envoy is devolved to the Director of Policy Panning and they have the liberty to either take on the onerous task or pass it on down the food chain. Hass and Reiss, as former Directors, decided to take the post, largely because of the delicate position of the peace process. Stephen Krasner, however, decided to pass on the part-time post to Dobriansky.These envoys thus ‘enjoy’ a large degree of autonomy, as can be read in Hass’s and Reiss’s divergent input into negotiations.

    Regardless of who becomes the next President, this procedure will still take place.

  • dosser

    Btw – it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Mitt Romney had one the Republican nomination. Reiss was on the Romney ticket as his one of his International Advisors.

  • dosser

    I meant ‘if if Mitt Romney had won the Republican nomination’….

  • Greenflag

    ‘‘if if Mitt Romney had won the Republican nomination’’

    McCain would just lose the election by a bigger margin . Many of the born agains , evangelicals , rapturers and tongue babblers just will not vote for a Mormon as President . And as they represent about 35% of the Republican electorate it would have been political suicide for McCain to have chosen Romney . It would also have been political suicide to have chosen arch philanderer and mass adulterer Giuliani likewise that gobshite Allen from Virginia . It’s sad to think that all that was left for him to pick was the moose hunting Alaskan babe

    The GOP will need a decade or more to recover from the Bush/Cheney demolotion job on America , it’s economy and half the world 🙁

  • Darren J. Prior

    It’s sad that some people complained about this:

    “He will consult with the Taoiseach, the British prime minister, and party leaders in Northern Ireland to determine whether a special US envoy for Northern Ireland continues to be necessary or a senior administration official, serving as point person for Northern Ireland, would be most effective.”

    Yes we Irish people are special and we need people to tell us that we are.

  • Wilde Rover

    Obama has said he intends to have his own surge, this one in Afghanistan, and is advised by people who miss the good old days of the cold war.

    McCain is also keen on war and is also advised by people who are keen on war.

    Neither are peace mongers.

  • Bfb

    Rasmussen’s latest tracking poll has some good news for the McCain campaign. In the first tracking poll with post-Palin speech data, John McCain has begun his convention bounce, coming within two points of Barack Obama after being down as many as six this week. And in an ironic twist, Sarah Palin has better favorability numbers than either of them.

    According to the internals, Palin now has solid favorable majorities from men (65%) and women (52%). Palin also has majority positive favorability ratings in all age demographics and in all income brackets. She also has majorities among conservatives and moderates, while trailing with liberals and black voters.

  • Dave

    …somewhat frayed relationship with Irish America…

    I respect Niall O’Dowd, but I do wish that he would get over this mirage of “Irish America”.

    There is no such thing.

    There hasn’t been a solid Irish voting block since the “Irish” Americans fled to the suburbs.

    The emergence of the “Reagan Democrats” has smashed any remaining political identity that may have still existed at that time.

    Those who usually call themselves “Irish Americans” also call themselves “Republicans”, some even thinking that it means the same thing on both sides of the water! (This illusion is buttressed by Sinn Féin themselves who had Peter King speak at their Ard-Fheis ten years ago)

  • Pete, I linked ‘thin’ to Brian’s ‘us-irelandalliance’ link. Perhaps you didn’t read both.

  • The reality is that the relationship is still special, when you consider that US investment in Ireland is higher than in India and China combined. And it turns out even Obama has Irish ancestory, namely someone called Falmouth Carney from the 19th century. He is also related to Dick Cheney and – ironically – Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

  • Dewi

    “US investment in Ireland is higher than in India and China combined”

    Astonishing ! Is that really true? Have you a source?

  • BfB

    Ungrateful bastards!

    U.S. investment has been particularly important to the growth and modernization of Irish industry over the past 25 years, providing new technology, export capabilities, and employment opportunities. As of year-end 2007, the stock of
    U.S. foreign direct investment in Ireland stood at $85 billion, more than the U.S. total for China, India, Russia, and Brazil–the so-called BRIC countries–combined. Currently, there are approximately 620 U.S. subsidiaries in Ireland, employing roughly 100,000 people and spanning activities from manufacturing of high-tech electronics, computer products, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals to retailing, banking, finance, and other services. In more recent years, Ireland has also become an important research and development (R&D;) center for U.S. firms in Europe.

  • BfB

    RACIST bastard

    Root: —that my GPA was better than Barack’s—

    Welch: Oooooh.

    Root: …and he got in based on the color of his skin.

    Does anyone doubt that possibly Barack could have gotten into Harvard with a C average because he’s black, where as I, white, couldn’t get into the same school with a B-plus, A-minus average? And yet his wife says that America is a terrible nation unfair to minorities! I say, Au contraire!

    I say the whole problem with America is we are racist against people because of the color of their skin. We’re helping people because they’re black. We’re helping people because they’re minority. We’re helping people because they’re poor. In reality only those who have the most skill and talent should get into Harvard, not because of the color of their skin.

    So now I ask out loud in the press, I challenge my classmate to give his GPA against mine. And let’s see if he really is the bright guy they all say he is. What if we discover he got into Harvard with a C average? Is he then the brilliant man America thinks he is? That would be a very good question, don’t you think?

    Welch: The follow-up I want to ask is: What if it’s better than yours? You just said a million dollars!

    Root: Well, who’s taking the bet? I didn’t hear anyone accept. No, I’m pretty sure I’m right. I’ll go out on a limb. Listen, they always said with O.J. Simpson, you know, never ask the question if you don’t know the answer, does the glove fit? I don’t know the answer but I’m pretty sure I know the answer. He had a lower average than me and he got into Harvard and I didn’t.

    And so my answer is, has America really been unfair to minorities? No it hasn’t. It was unfair to me. A white butcher’s kid, whose father had no money, but nobody gave me a break. And do I have a chip on my shoulder? You’re damn right I do. And I represent millions and millions of poor people in this country who weren’t lucky enough to be poor and black, they were unlucky enough to be poor and white, and they can’t get into Harvard. So maybe that country Barack’s fighting for, he’s got the wrong country here. He’s been just fine in this country. The rest of us need someone to defend them….

  • dosser

    Actually, US based foreign direct investment into Ireland is cica $58 billion; interestingly, NI receives about $2 billion. Perhaps this statsitic augments calls for the harmonisation of tax records; although it needs to be noted that Ireland had a corporate tax rate of 0% in the 1950s.

  • elias hill

    ‘In reality only those who have the most skill and talent should get into Harvard….’

    That has never, ever been the case, of course. The only way one gets in with an ‘A-, B+ average’ is if your daddy is a ‘legacy.’ But hey, don’t let me get in the way of a white victimhood rant. They are so rare…or not.

  • BfB

    What you don’t get there elia, is that the complainant has overcome the massive white male prejudice in the USA and prospered, as most of us did until recent generations of pass/fail, entitlements. But you over educated, not that smart, lemmings (beta males) like to label and assign motives, as you were indoctrinated to do. Critical thinking proves this mans rant to be true. Truth, something poor, credentialed fools like you react to like the Wicked Witch of the West reacts to water.
    Oh what a world!!!!