Murdoch says 'rock star' Obama will win election

Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who has a history of subordinating his conservative instincts to pragmatism when it comes to choosing sides in national elections, has spoken up for Barack Obama, terming him a "rock star" who is "likely to win" the White House in November.

Stopping short of offering an actual endorsement, Mr Murdoch made plain his enthusiasm for the Democratic hopeful when speaking on the fringes of a digital conference in California sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, recently acquired by News Corp.

"He is a rock star," said Mr Murdoch. "I love what he is saying about education. I think he will win and I am anxious to meet him."

Recalling a surprising loss of a safe Republican seat in a Mississippi by-election recently, Mr Murdoch suggested November may see a Democrat landslide. "You have probably the making of complete phenomenon in this country," he noted. John McCain, he said, goes into the election with "lots of problems".

Mr Obama is tantalisingly close to seizing the Democratic nomination. Only three more primary votes remain – Puerto Rico on Sunday, followed by Montana and South Dakota on Tuesday. A potential bump on the road is a meeting tomorrow of the party's rules committee which will consider proposals to reinstate votes cast in Florida and Michigan that were disqualified because both states voted too early.

Mr Murdoch called Mr McCain, the Republican nominee, a "friend of mine" but was unexpectedly harsh in his assessment of him.

"He's been in Congress a long time, and you have to make a lot of compromises. I think he has a lot of problems." He added Mr McCain "doesn't know much about the economy". While he was a "patriot", "he doesn't know much about organising a campaign, it would seem".

Not everyone will be surprised by Mr Murdoch's comments. Earlier this year, his newspaper The New York Post endorsed Mr Obama over Hillary Clinton on the eve of New York's primary election, even though Mr Murdoch had previously appeared to have courted both the former first lady and her husband Bill Clinton. He admitted in California that he had been involved in the newspaper's nod for Mr Obama.

He predicted that the deteriorating economy will aid Mr Obama's bid. "The average American is really getting hurt financially and that all bodes well for him," he said. And while he said the race issue would be a challenge, "it looks like he will overcome that totally".

For rolling comment on the US election visit: independent.co.uk/campaign08

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Application Developer

£20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in the centre of Glasgow,...

Recruitment Genius: Production Engineering Manager

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Joinery Shop Foreman

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Joinery Shop Foreman is required to join a p...

Recruitment Genius: Bench Joiner

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Bench Joiner is required to join a privately...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada