I’ve now watched all of the Democrat Presidential aspirants interviewed. To date the stand-out for me in a cliché-spouting line-up is 37-year-old Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. I was certainly impressed listening to him as plainly so too is the American public given his high polling, currently in 3rd place in the 19-candidate field. Furthermore, money is pouring in for his campaign funding. At 37 he brings a Kennedyish youthful optimism, in raw contrast to the current front-runner Joe Biden.
Recently Biden copped the tiresomely familiar claims of molestation by attention -seeking females. He dismissed them as simply his tactile nature which the public know to be true of him. The revelation of Trump’s bragging of grabbing women by the crotch in lieu of saying hello, revealed shortly before the last election, seemed to have no adverse effect on his female support. Given that, maybe Trump’s on to something and we should all give it a crack.
The attack on Biden is reminiscent of John Key and the pigtail pulling beat-up. At the time I pointed out in my Herald column a cold-hard fact, namely that the charge against Key as a molester led by some female journalists had a very clear ratio. Specifically the uglier they were, the more they were in the vanguard of the contrived offence-taking. That indisputedly true observation shut them up.
Behind Biden in second place is Bernie Sanders. In my view he’s unelectable. Flogging an almost Jeremy Corbyish socialist platform as always has a sympathetic audience, but nowhere near in sufficient numbers to crack it in America.
Bernie’s attempt to gain the Party’s nomination last time garnered a high support as being policy-packed, it stood in raw contrast to Clinton whose campaign had an undertone of entitlement but offered nothing else. Her equivalent this time is telegenic Beto O’Rourke, a show pony also with nothing to offer.
Buttigieg is fresh, young, highly intelligent, decent, a former Naval Intelligence officer and Harvard and Oxford educated (he was a Rhodes scholar). He advances sensible policies, notably universal health-care which is long overdue in America. He’s also homosexual but the evidence is clear that’s no longer a handicap in American politics or indeed anywhere in the Western world. In short Buttigieg is the absolute opposite on every count to Trump; perfect credentials to reduce him to a one-term office-holder.
One thing’s certain. The Democrat primaries are going to be gripping viewing.
That said, making political predictions 18 months out is fool’s gold as so much can happen in the interim. As always the state of the economy will be the salient issue and who knows what that will be?