This is a cross-post, originally posted in Jessica Zafra's blog, in response to her question, "Who would receive the Filipino vote, Obama or McCain?"
My response, with a few additions ---
Obama will win the election in the Philippines. Obama is masa, McCain is snotty, rich, and most of all, old. Even if someone would say, “Ayoko sa negro” more would say, “Ayoko sa amoy-lupa!”
Obama is populist, a publicity-hogger, and he is far more entertaining on-screen than McCain. His minuses would be: he would lose the endorsement of the bishops, the businessmen (who love the O&O industry)., and probably a segment of the Fil-foreigns. Pinoys look more on the messenger than the message - look, we’ve lapped up Ronald Reagan and as a nation, could “forgive” Bill Clinton. Obama has macho value.
Obama also has more cash! Did you hear how much he spent on that infomercial that almost locked in all the major networks to broadcast his message? A guy who is willing to throw away that much money on his media campaign could probably, ehem, share the wealth a little to his poorer brown brothers.
I disagree with those who say the Pinoys would vote McCain because he is white. The American-based Pinoys, yes. The common Pinoys, who are looking for someone who poses more of a sympathetic figure, would go for Obama. I’ll mention one other thing here that will swing the race for Obama — going by the political yardstick, he would also win over the INC vote.
Obama wins the sportsmen, the tambays, the noontime-show crowd, the telenovela crowd, you name it. The guy can entertain.
On the other hand, he loses points among the semi-educated who pretend that they can see through his overspending, hyper-gimmicked, celebrity-filled campaign. And what it means to the kind of government he will have - more taxes, more welfare, etc. McCain is the smart vote daw. Yeah, they said that about Salonga too, and look what happened to him.
Joe Biden is a liability to Obama - he’s a traditional politician, he appears to be snobbish, run-of-the mill, someone who comes from a small state, and in most perceptions, a specialist who could only talk politics but can’t do much else. Those guys never win big-time elections (and Biden’s record in the primaries shows exactly that). Hillary would have been the slam-dunk choice (if we are talking Filipinos, of course.) Naturally, Obama wouldn’t pick Hillary - otherwise, he might end up just like JFK (knock on wood!).
Other thoughts … If we can split the ticket, Palin would win hands down. All she has to do is carry a tune, show some legs and cleavage, and sound somewhat intelligent and controversial at the same time. Look, we are still swallowing the dollop Miriam Santiago doles out. Palin is a reminder of the young GMA --- supporting a trapo, carrying some political capital, has some popular appeal... maybe she and GMA can be really, really, close. Scary.
I would say Palin would even have better chances to win the election than Obama, if they went head-to-head in the Philippines. Golly, that would be a natural disaster.