When did Murdoch last back a loser?

The media mogul without the midas touch.

If the opinion polls have got it right, David Cameron will be deprived of an overall majority at best, squeezed out of the post-election coalition carve up, at worst. Either way, it will prove a huge blow for Rupert Murdoch whose Sun newspaper ditched Labour last autumn in favour of Cameron's Conservatives.

Murdoch has a reputation for backing winners. But his touch has deserted him before. Most recently in 2008 when his New York Post endorsed John McCain rather than his presidential rival - and eventual President - Barack Obama.

 

 

I was reminded of this fact when editing a piece for the forthcoming New Statesman by Peter Wilby this morning. (Wilby's analysis of the Sun and Daily Mail during this British election season is well worth looking out for.)

The New York Post editorial from 8 September 2008 is well worth looking at too, especially this on McCain's running mate:

McCain has been in Washington for many years now, but he is not of Washington. He knows where the levers of power are located - and how to manipulate them - but he is not controlled by them.

McCain's selection of the charming, but rock-solid, outsider Sarah Palin as his running mate underscores the point.

Rock solid?

 

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Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.