Have dinner with Barack!

Dinner with Barack

Is this sweepstakes contest of the American presidency an example of our commercialization of just about everything?  Can you imagine your own political candidates doing such a thing?  Or is this just being honest that the highest office in the land is really for sale?

You might say, well there’s no purchase required to enter the sweepstakes.  Look closer.  You have to give your email address and zip code.  That’s all the reelection committee needs to barrage you with fundraising appeals.

 

Can Tokyo learn from the American presidential election?

Can Tokyo learn from the American political ‘matsuri’?

Japan’s politics are as Machiavellian as anyone else’s behind closed doors, but their public campaigns are demure compared to the United States — and many in Tokyo are aghast at the negative campaign tactics used on the road to the White House.

The idea that whoever won the 2008 Democratic nomination would make history was exciting for the Japanese. This time around, most people see the current field of Republican hopefuls as a noisy blur, an only-in-America phenomenon — or a “matsuri,” as one woman described it, in reference to Japan’s colorful, oft-chaotic outdoor festivals.