Saturday, August 8, 2015


US politics has always had a certain fascination for me maybe occasioned by the fact that a very distant relation of mine once ran for Vice-President on the Republican ticket (Congressman William 'Bill' Miller from New York was Barry Goldwater's running mate in the 1964 Presidential election).

The political divide in the United States is perhaps not as clear cut as here in NZL although in recent years it certainly has become pretty well defined.    I have met some conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats who would probably sit well with the ACT Party here and some liberal Republicans who might equally be at home on the right wing of the Labour Party.

Whatever, I find the American political dynamic fascinating.     As so it was that yesterday I gave up golf and sat down to watch both of the Republican Presidential Candidate debates.   The 'B' team debate was interesting in that it threw up a clear winner ... Carly Fiorina, ex Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.   Expect her to get a bounce in the polls and join the 'A' team in the next debate.   Expect a number of the remaining 'B' team debaters to exit the race in short order.

The main debate lived up to it's billing with Donald Trump clearly the elephant in the room.   Just how a political party (any political party) can countenance a candidate who refuses to rule out standing as a third party independent candidate should he fail to get the nomination sure beats the hell out of me ... and yet that's Trump and clearly he has tapped into a Republican Party nerve much like Barry Goldwater did back in 1964 ... and, as an aside, here's a little known fact about Hillary Clinton taken from her book 'Living History' ...

I was also an active Young Republican and, later, a Goldwater girl, right down to my cowgirl outfit and straw cowboy hat emblazoned with the slogan 'AuH20' … I liked Senator Goldwater because he was a rugged individualist who swam against the political tide.

Clearly to impress was Florida Senator Senator Marco Rubio, young, articulate, Hispanic (a hugely important voting demographic) and forward looking.    Best line ... 'Just who is Hillary Clinton to lecture me on welfare reform ... I was brought up in a family that lived from welfare check to welfare check' ... brilliant.   Another standout was Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, also Hispanic, who firmly nailed his conservative principles to the wall ... only downside was that he was tad too loquacious for my liking but that might just be me.

The surprise performer for me was political novice, Afro-American and distinguished Neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson.   Probably received the least mic time exposure of all the participants but when given the chance he spoke with clarity, forcefulness and humor.   He's not going to get the nomination but he could be a player in the Veep sweepstakes.

Of the others Governor Chris Christie showed flashes of why he is the twice elected Governor of New Jersey, a state dominated by the Democrats, but whether he can ignite the conservative wing of his Party is a moot point. Sometime Arkansas Governor and previous presidential candidate Mike Huckerbee showed why he remains the poster boy for the evangelical christian right.

So, the winners and the losers (from my point of view) .....


Carly Florina - although I don't think she'll be there at the end
Donald Trump - although the Republican Party could end up being the loser both ways
Marco Rubio
Ted Cruz
Ben Carson - possible VP contender


Jeb Bush - trying to be his own man but struggling to distance himself from the 'Bush' legacy
Rand Paul - looked a lightweight

Long way to go with two more debates leading into the primary season.   As with the 'B' team contenders, expect some of 'A' team to fall by the wayside quite quickly as money runs out.

On the other side of the fence and while Hillary Clinton remains the front runner controversy (particularly the e-mail issue) continues to dog her.    Meanwhile speculation is rife that Vice-President Joe Biden is about to declare ... that could make it interesting.

1 comment:

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Americans have had a gutsful of a black arsehole so why on earth would they now elect a white arsehole?