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October 09, 2004

AFTER WHAT THE AGE CALLS JOHN HOWARD'S "THUMPING VICTORY" in an Australian election that was run in no small part as a referendum on the war, it's interesting to see how little play it's getting in U.S. media.

If Howard had lost, however, I suspect it would be getting a lot of attention, and advanced as evidence that the war was going badly, Bush can't keep allies, etc., etc.

UPDATE: Australian blogger Tim Lambert says the Australian election didn't have anything to do with the war. "No, the election was not about Iraq--it was hardly an issue."

Hmm. But another Australian blogger wrote last week: "The hysteria that the Australian press has been whipped into, most significantly over Iraq, has radically altered the shape of the coming election."

And Tim Blair (hey, he's Australian, too, and even a journalist!) observes: "Thatís why many voted for him ... although the New York Times, having earlier decided that War Plays a Role in Elections in Australia, now believes that Iraq remained in the background during the campaign."

I think it's Lambert who -- along with the NYT -- is doing the spinning here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tim Blair writes that Lambert is wrong.