Bobby

I managed to watch the DVD of Emilio Estevez’s Bobby at the weekend. I found it to be a thoroughly absorbing and enjoyable film. One of the questions which the film attempts to answer is “why was Boby Kennedy so loved, particularly across the racial divides in America?”

With the characters of the humble Mexican busboy (based on the young man who actually cradled RFK’s head after he was shot) played by Freddy Rodirguez and the campaign volunteer played by Nick Cannon, the film attempts to explain the love felt towards Bobby.

However, for me, the movie spends too much time on two campaign volunteers who spent the day of the assasination at the Ambassador Hotel getting stoned, when it could have spent that time more usefully in further exploring why Bobby Kennedy inspired so many.

Having said that, it is an excellent film, a truly moving film which is a joy to watch. Any film with Anthony Hopkins, Harry Belafonte and Martin Sheen in it (plus an army of other highly notable actors) would have to be subjected to an almighty directorial mess-up not to be delightful – and there is no mess-up here. I particularly found the weaving of contemporary footage of Bobby Kennedy to be inspired. Apart from someone playing his back, there is no attempt to have an actor playing Bobby Kennedy. That makes the film exteremly powerful, in my view.

Could lack of cash force Hillary out of race ?

The Politico reports that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is delaying paying bills:

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months — freeing up cash for critical media buys but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small-business circles. A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter. Their cautionary tales, combined with published reports about similar difficulties faced by a New Hampshire landlord, an Iowa office cleaner and a New York caterer, highlight a less-obvious impact of Clinton’s inability to keep up with the staggering fundraising pace set by her opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, Michael Sneed in the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

….major money problems in the Clinton camp may soon become a coroner knocking on her campaign door.
• To wit: Word is the cash feeding into Hillary Clinton’s campaign coffers has not only slowed down in a big way, undisclosed campaign debts that have yet to be made public could signal the end and have insiders biting their nails.

Translation: “It won’t necessarily be politics which may force her out of the race,” said a top Dem source. “There is no hanky panky going on, but Hillary needs to raise money to stay alive . . . and word is she may not be able to climb out of the money hole.”
• The buckshot: “I think it’s safe to say Hillary’s not going to dip into her pocket again,” the source added. “And if her employees start taking pay cuts while chasing the dream . . . it’s usually the beginning of the body becoming totally cold.”

Cameron admits he’s too posh to win votes in the North

The Mirror reports:

David Cameron has given up on voters in the North to focus his election battle on winnable seats in the South.

The Tory leader’s posh background is a big turn-off in Labour’s heartlands, private polls by his own party reveal.

His inner circle have now drawn up a secret “core seat” strategy to snub voters in the North of England where the party holds just 19 councils and has 17 MPs. In Scotland it holds no councils and has just one MP.

A senior Tory source said: “David’s team has decided it’s simply not worth fighting a losing battle to win lots of seats in the North in the general and local elections.

“There may be a couple of visits by David, but he will be focusing his energies on seats in the South and Midlands where he is more popular. He can’t even command support from some of our own people in places like Yorkshire where he’s seen as a ‘soft Southerner’.”

The third way for Heathrow

The Economist this week carries a Leading Article on the future of Heathrow. It’s worth reading. Rather than its future being a simple question of “Third runway – yes or no?”, the Economist suggests that there is a third way:

A new airport may yet be needed. But, in the meantime, there are ways of making Heathrow better. It is crowded because it is too cheap for airlines to use and because BAA has been encouraged to stuff it full of transit and leisure passengers who it hopes will spend money in its shops. Business travellers, who generate the most value for the wider economy, account for only a third of the airport’s passengers.

This suggests a better solution to the overcrowding. First, the price for using Heathrow should reflect the value and scarcity of its capacity. Second, any new capacity should be built at London’s other airports. And, third, these airports should be set free to compete with Heathrow by breaking up BAA.