Tuesday, 2 February 2016

And the next President of the United States is... Marco Rubio, apparently. That's okay - just as long as it isn't Hillary!

Hillary catches Bill at it yet again
Not only am I not an American, I'm observing all this from 3,000 miles away, and the only US media I regularly consume is solidly right-wing/conservative. And I was absolutely certain Obama would lose in 2012. So, if you want to know what's going to happen in the US presidential race, I'm obviously the one you should be listening to...

Ted Cruz, the candidate I'd most like to see as the next US president, just isn't likeable enough. When he tries to be nice, it sounds phoney, schmaltzy: he could be absolutely sincere - I suspect he is - but it just doesn't come across that way. To be honest, I prefer him in threatening, razor-sharp lawyer mode with the "bastard" dial turned up to 11 - but that doesn't win presidential elections. Donald Trump? He may very well win in New Hampshire - he has a humungous poll lead over his rivals there - but it feels like his party may be over almost before it's begun, not because he was defeated by Cruz (which wasn't much of a surprise) but because the Republican establishment candidate (Rubio) came within a whisker of overtaking him. As with Isil, a strong insurgent movement based on incoherent anger needs territory and momentum - if it doesn't keep growing, it shrivels. The Donald may be a pricked balloon (as well as being a prick shaped like a balloon). We can but hope.

Now Rubio, who'd practically been written off in recent weeks, looks far likelier than Cruz or Trump to win the Republican Party nomination. That's not good news for US right-wingers, obviously, because he isn't one of them. But it could be good news for the Republican Party, and for everyone who absolutely despises Hillary Clinton (i.e. anyone with a lick of common sense), because Rubio is exponentially more likeable than Nurse Ratched. That's not difficult: I mean, George Galloway is more likeable than Hillary. She defeated bonkers old Bernie Sanders in Iowa last night - but by a margin so small that Bernie ("In your guts, you know he's nuts") has demanded the release of a precinct-by-precinct raw vote count: basically, it was a dead heat. For God's sake - the ghastly, fibbing old trout can't even trounce the American equivalent of Jeremy Corbyn?

There's been a lot of excitable stuff about how Hillary could wind up going to jail over her carelessness with emails containing state secrets while she was US Secretary of State. She's evidently been lying through her teeth about the whole affair - but, then, she seems pathologically incapable of telling the truth about anything. Nevertheless, I bet she doesn't end up in the Big House... or the White House. She'll escape prison because the Democrats are in power. And, with any luck, she'll never be allowed back into the White House because she is just so spectacularly unlikeable: she has the eyes of a bitter, frigid, mean, humourless, exhausted old woman, and when she laughs she comes across as hysterical and scary. The innate likeability of her serial sex-abuser husband doesn't appear to be rubbing off on her (probably not the best phrase to use when discussing the Clintons): in fact, seeing them together merely serves as a reminder of just how creepy their marriage of convenience is.

So poor has Hillary's performance been to date that, while the Republicans initially seemed to be involved in the pointless process of choosing a victim to sacrifice to the monstrous Grendel, it's beginning to look as if they might just pick someone capable of entering the beast's layer and emerging triumphant, a bloody sword in one hand and the monster's head help proudly aloft in the other. And the Republican candidate capable of carrying that off, I'm rather sorry to say, would appear to the doe-eyed little amnesty enthusiast, Marco Rubio. But if the price American conservatives have to pay to permanently rid their land of the Gorgon is to elect a wet centrist, then I rather hope they do it - because all the signs are that Rubio would beat her, whereas Cruz and Trump might not.

As I'm 63, I'd better deal with the ageism issue. I'm not against elderly politicians - the great Ronald Reagan was 77 when he left office - but, goodness, not only does Hillary look her age these days (68), but there's also an utter lack of spontaneity, freshness or vigour about her. It's not a question of her being old - it's more a matter of appearing to be terminally clapped-out. If I'd been married to a philandering sleazeball for 50 years, had been forced to lie my way out of numerous tight spots, and had served without distinction under the worst president in my country's history for four years, I suspect I'd be ready for the knacker's yard as well. And, while I'd be delighted to be proved wrong, I suspect Rubio might be the only Republican candidate capable of sending her there.

One other thing - how is it that the political party which relies so heavily on the support of young and ethnic minority voters has wound up having to choose between two very white old folk, while the Republicans, who traditionally appeal to very white old folk, have wound up with a positive smorgasbord of candidates in terms of age and ethnicity? Are Democrats prejudiced or something?

I suspect I'll be watching Fox News a lot this year - the next ten months should be fascinating.

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