Letters to the Editor

Graham Bradley et al.
Published in March 2013 no. 349

Obama’s second term

Dear Editor,

After admiring Morag Fraser’s perceptive and insightful review of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (February 2013), her commentary on Obama’s second term is sadly superficial and contains several inaccuracies, some quite bizarre.

First, she says that Romney’s defeat was patently obvious. (‘The mystery is why so many people didn’t see it coming.’) I spent election week in the United States, and election night in Boston with Obama campaign supporters who remained nervous that their man would lose until close to midnight. No major opinion polls nor the many insiders to whom I spoke predicted the result with confidence. The Electoral College result belies the close popular vote. Had a mere 300,000 votes (0.2 per cent of eligible voters) voted differently in only four states, the Electoral College result would have reversed. ‘Too close to call’ was the right call in this election.

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Published in March 2013 no. 349

Comments (1)

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    I agree with Val Wake. Henry Handel Richardson was an extraordinary-looking woman, certainly not my idea of 'plain', and poor Nettie does get treated a bit unfairly by Brenda Niall in an otherwise fine article. After the comment quoted by Wake, Niall goes on to say that Nettie 'dressed dowdily, let out her dresses (the seams ‘strained’ against her plumpness) and wore the mended shoes that figured on the tight Palmer budget'. There is no source for the 'strained' in the parenthesis, but I think it comes from an error in Michael Ackland's biography of HHR. He quotes Mary Kernot: 'She really is a picture of robust-ness. I always feel nervous about her frocks, they strain’ and says this refers to Nettie (p.235). The sentence before the one he quotes indicates that Kernot is referring to Nettie's sixteen-year-old daughter: 'All this Aileen told in nervous bursts. She really is...' etc [MK to HHR, 1 September 1931]. Nettie Palmer wasn't plump; her adolescent daughter was.

    Friday, 22 March 2013 16:09 posted by Sylvia Martin

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