At Harry’s Bar in Paris, Obama looks like a sure winner

November 3rd, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaParis, Nov 3 (DPA) If the informal straw poll at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris is a reliable indicator, as it has been most of the time, Barack Obama will be the next president of the US.On Monday, one day before polling at Harry’s Bar closes, the Democratic candidate had a lead of 248 to 154 votes, or 61.6 to 38.4 percent, over his opponent, Republican John McCain.

Since Harry’s initiated a month-long presidential straw poll of its patrons in 1924, the results have been wrong only twice, with Jimmy Carter’s election in 1976 and the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004.

In fact, on a recent afternoon, it was difficult to find a McCain supporter at Harry’s Bar, which has become a tourist monument in the heart of the French capital since its founding in 1911 and is generally credited with having invented the Bloody Mary.

Robert Blake, a photographer and educator from New York who voted for Obama, said he wanted to see the Democrat emerge the winner of “an honest election”.

“I’m not convinced it will be honest,” Blake said, remembering the disputed vote in 2000 which required a controversial Supreme Court decision to make Bush president.

Blake said he wanted Obama to win “to put an end to right-wing appointments to the Supreme Court” and to “regulate the money that is being spent to support those who stripped the American economy”.

A President Obama would also assure what Blake called “a reasonable exit from Iraq and reasonable support of the government of Afghanistan”.

Lily, a first-generation Ukrainian-American from New York City, also cast her vote for Obama.

“He represents something we haven’t seen before in the United States,” the 33-year-old fashion pattern-maker said.

The election of a black man as US president would be “cool,” she said. “That it is possible is what makes America great.”

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