Experienced and very nounce’d world politician Hillary Clinton (Democrat) is trying to face-off amateur and viciously parochial ant-politician Donald Trump (Republican) on the final lap to the race for the White House.
Those of us overseas so outside of American politics, have suffered some months of Preliminaries’ sickening US type electioneering, just like the their locals of course , while the two main parties chose their respective candidates, didn’t we? Much as had been expected and predicted by many, these two emerged from the hazy fray, but hardly unscarred and unscathed it must be said, eh?
Most international political leaders, as well as their populations, are aghast at the prospect that the American people could elect Trump to lead the modern Western world, aren’t they?
Around the globe, sophisticated establishment-loved Clinton is viewed as a competent knowledgeable, vastly travelled, internationally renowned political figure, so has always been the favourite to complete the task in hand, since brash dissident non-politician Trump is seen as an unknowledgeable interfering interloping rabblerousing moronic buffoon.
For the role of US President that vast difference was expected to make it a ‘no contest’ and the total demise of the Republican party, wasn’t it? Well that is not is has it has turned out, has it? While Clinton was originally so far ahead in the polls (10 points),that the result all seemed a foregone conclusion, that is not anymore is it, eh? Trump has pulled back that lead in the past month and surprisingly is now within a few points and hairsbreadth touching distance of his female rival. A couple of weeks ago, Clinton didn’t help herself or her image by hiding an illness (pneumonia) and collapsing at a recent major public national event, that has then allowed Trump to claim that she doesn’t have the medical strength nor stamina for the job, hasn’t it?
Now, many-many things are known about Clinton who is probably the best identified in America and everywhere around the World – well she has been in the international public eye for fifteen years starting not least as First Lady when husband Bill Clinton held the White House for 8 years (elected in 1992 and re-elected in 1996). However, having a husband who was a previous President has advantages and disadvantages – though he was a great President that was coupled with him being a sexual sleazebag (and apparently he still is, it is said?).
She has always had her own separate professional identity and accomplishments however, so she should not be viewed in her husband’s light. During his era though as President, she was personally instrumental in bringing into being a children’s’ US Health Care institution, but following his tenure in Office, she has done many things solely in her own right, hasn’t she? Yes, like achieving elective office as a US Senator (serving 8 years) and then performing with distinction as the popular U.S. Secretary of State for 4 years for the current Obama administration.
Apart from being a successful book writer since, she has obtained a PhD qualification, and has been a sought after public speaker that earns her perhaps some two hundred thousand pounds a go.
Not only is she the first female standing (and likely?) to be President and has come from humble middle class beginnings (indeed she herself started out as a Law-School teacher), but the lady is now an unbelievably rich candidate who has amassed a fortune since then, so is now worth say twenty five million pounds at least – not bad for someone supposedly running in the shadow of an ex-State Governor and President, eh? So you can be sure of one thing though, and that is she doesn’t really need the money from being President, does she? No, it is all about POWER and that always applies to all such people seeking such control positions, don’t you think? Nothing about public service in reality then, eh?
But what about Trump then? Well, multi-BILLIONAIRE Trump set out from a well-off privileged background from which he subsequently inherited a real estate and construction outfit [now renamed “The Trump Organization”] from his bigbucks father and is extremely well known (in US only?) through his dubious dabbling and now ownership of flourishing real estate, skyscraper, hotel, landmarks & trophy buildings (Manhattan apartment complex, Trump Palace on the East coast, 40 Wall Street, Niketown store, 555 California Street in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Trump International Hotel next to the White House, Vornado buildings, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, Trump Tower, etcetera), and perhaps even more dubious television shows perhaps (apart from ‘The Apprentice’?). Although Clinton may have trouble with her husband’s wandering eyes, Trump is on his third marriage (an ex-model now) and has been accused of violence in one of the break-ups. He has established more than a dozen high profile golf courses around the globe including one in Scotland that caused great controversy there.
The Trump promotional image is one of an extremely rich & successful businessman, entrepreneur, television personality, plus now politician, and yet he has done zero public service, but had left a trail devastation in his commercial wake with disastrous failed businesses losing billions (casinos, real estate, airlines, vodka brand, hotels, mortgage provider, board game, to name some) that resulted in no less than 6 bankruptcies and thousands of other Americans who as a consequence have lost THEIR dollars – while he himself has grown progressively filthy rich.
He is a controversial maverick character who has constantly made disgusting outrageous provocative political comments against all and sundry during his nomination campaign, so consequently he has benefited from free massive media coverage that has put him in the limelight while others have spent millions of dollars on their advertising campaigns to no avail, eh?
Unbelievably the person chosen by the American people to be the man or woman, said to be ‘the most powerful person in the World’, actually depends now on just three face-to-face TV debates, eh? That may be surprising to many of us, but history shows that past US Presidents (like Kennedy who trounced Nixon, Carter who upstaged Ford, ) have only secured the job by great (or better) performances on the big stage – which of these two candidates will do that as well, do you think?
In the UK one of the worst things we have imported from America is such TV leadership debates (along with Coca Cola and obesity, eh?).
The first of these debate confrontations took place last week in New York, but how did it go? Did we learn anything we didn’t know already, or move things forward? Well no, no big knockdowns, and certainly no knockout outcome as some had predicted. Not many people in Britain will have seen it as it happened, since it transmitted in the middle of our night, so despite it being of considerable interest to this Country, most of us will have watched it afterwards or simple seen some classical sound-bites repeated on our terrestrial TV news and shows.
Before this first event Trump loudly complained that it was a stitch-up because the chosen host moderator was a Democrat, when in fact the guy was like him a registered Republican, and afterwards he moaned that the questions were loaded against him [mind you he has form on this kind of thing and indeed had spent the whole nomination campaign belligerently complaining that the whole system was against him, didn’t he?].
The experts may say that an in-control Clinton won it with a smooth polished professional performance, while a poor-temperament ranting Trump showed himself to be a rough bombastic interrupting inexpert candidate. In truth though un-riled, Clinton only did expose a major clink in Trump’s armour and that concerned his tax position – the conclusion that most will draw from what was said that day is that Trump doesn’t pay ANY federal tax and probably hasn’t done so for decades [yet during the debate he boasted of his annual income being hundreds of millions of dollars [Federal tax pays for the likes of Defence, Social Security (Pensions), and major Health programmes]. Trump is the ONLY candidate in 40 years who has refused to publish his tax returns (he retorted that his lawyer had told him not to – why would that be do you think?)
Whereas Clinton has to be seen as an outstanding clever and mature political candidate compared to Trump, she is nevertheless far from certain to win the Presidency – she is deeply unpopular in much of America (a fairly recent fall from grace though). She is seen apparently by many as the unacceptable face of the Establishment, who has achieved her status through dodgy dealings and money, is deceptive, and lacks the fun factor because she is so career focused.
While Trump has been viewed by many as obnoxious, insulting and offensive, he nevertheless is favoured by the anarchist types (and there seems to be millions of them), and he is a loose cannon prone to outrageous outbursts, who has frequently escaped his straightjacket fashioned by his minders. His duplicitous character allows him to denigrate the outsourcing of work to other countries like Mexico and China, while he has done exactly the same himself, as well as registering business in tax havens. He simply lies unnecessarily about the amount of the massive debt ($1billion?) he holds, while undoubtedly that is well outweighed these days by company assets and income.
The second debate will be next Sunday 9 October (2am Monday in UK) in Missouri with two moderators this time – will it be more decisive, eh? Trump is already on his complaining band wagon about its timing which he claims is set to disadvantage him – despite the clear fact that is was scheduled a year or so ago and well before he was a nominee let alone a candidate (he obviously believes in getting his excuses in early, wouldn’t you say?).
The 3rd and final confrontation between Clinton and Trump will be in Las Vegas on Wednesday 19 October – only twenty days before the new President is elected on 8 November 2016.
[The US Electoral College decides who wins the American Presidential election.
It consists of 538 electors, with a majority of 270 electoral votes being required to elect the President.
Each state is worth a number of electoral votes equal to the size of its Congressional delegation, and in all but Nebraska and Maine the winner of the popular vote in each state wins all of the electoral college votes on offer].
[The World is clearly very much paying attention to who just might be the next US President. Britain has particular concerns as well, because it has had a long-term predominantly close relationship with America