In Britain, an American-educated third party politician is riding a wave of American-style rave reviews after an American-style television debate to an American-style bounce in pre-election polls. Nicholas Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, is now (suddenly) the most popular politician in Britain, and the eyebrows of the political elite are struggling to out arch their unusually frozen arch-i-ness.
Clegg is even being peppered with American-style analogies -- last week's debate was his "Iowa" moment, in that the threshold issue for Clegg was to persuade British voters that he and his party are plausible leaders, and that voting for the LibDems won't waste a vote (much as, or similar to, Barack Obama's having to convince the Democratic establishment that he could win white voters in Iowa).
Irony of ironies: the calcification of British politics may be dissolving because of an American-style scandal: members of parliament were caught padding their expense accounts. (British style scandals are sex scandals, and gay conservative politicians were being caught in flagrante delicto well before Larry Craig was in diapers...as a baby, I mean.) Clegg is being compared to President Barack Obama: "He's the outsider, the face of an antipolitics movement -- or anti-old politics, at least. He's the man who will "do things differently" and is mining widespread discontent with two party politics and the Westminster village elite, particularly among younger voters."