USA: Trump Wins The Election Hillary Clinton Was Born To Lose

AMERICA has delivered a vicious rebuke to Hillary Clinton and the Washington establishment, voting Republican firebrand Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States; despite early uncertainty, the sky will not fall in, and Trump’s task is to make good his vow to “make America great again.” For Clinton, the repudiation is a brutal, thorough, deserved humiliation. For her party, it remains to be seen whether it can recover by 2020 — if at all.

First things first: congratulations must be minuted to President-elect Trump, his family, their supporters, and the 60 million Americans who voted for them; Donald Trump has been elected to the most powerful political office in the free world — and will become its 45th occupant on 20 January — and it is to be hoped, for the common global good, that the eloquent vision he articulated during his victory speech last night (Melbourne time) is one he delivers upon.

I am not a supporter of Trump, nor am I hostile toward him; I am however (as regular readers well know) flatly opposed to the Clintons ever again holding public office and in this sense, the United States and the world have been spared four gruelling and traumatic years of legal machinations, a probable impeachment, and quite possibly armed conflict with Russia. And this is before we even contemplate the divisive, insiderish, illiberal junta that would have comprised a second Clinton administration.

Donald Trump, to be sure, is far from an ideal candidate for the presidency of the United States.

But his alleged misdemeanours — real, imagined, or laid bare by Wikileaks as campaign plots by a morally bankrupt and repugnant Democratic Party — pale into insignificance alongside any contemplation of decades of shady legal and business manoeuvres, questionable (and possibly criminal) behaviour during four years as Secretary of State, or the arrant and abhorrent sense of entitlement with which Hillary Clinton pursued the position of President.

This is not to say that dirty talk about women and other insulting and/or demeaning conduct should be sanctioned or condoned; far from it, although there are those leftist zealots who will accuse me of doing precisely that irrespective of any declamations to the contrary. For those people, reality is a jaundiced concept.

But a woman whose conduct may yet be found to have been brazenly and wantonly criminal — and who, in “supporting” her husband has repeatedly silenced women who levelled accusations of rape and sexual assault against Bill Clinton — is in no position to wail about “misogyny” or the mistreatment of her gender; in any case, she has singularly failed to satisfactorily answer the charge that her flagrant misuse of email systems as Secretary of State at best divulged highly classified material, and at worst compromised the national security of both the United States of America and its allies.

Hillary Clinton is, to be sure, the most unsuitable candidate to ever seek to be President. Whilst the alleged misdeeds of Trump are nothing to recommend, they do not outweigh any reasonable or reasoned assessment of her claim to that office. On that score, one of the best deconstructions of that campaign I have seen can (and should) be viewed below.

At the time of publication, it appears Trump and Clinton are level pegging with 47.6% of the popular vote apiece, with the balance claimed by a raft of minor party candidates, although as counting concludes in the Democratic fortress of California, Clinton will likely edge Trump on this measure by about half a percentage point overall.

In the Electoral College — where it really matters — this translates into 310 of 538 votes for Trump to 228 for Clinton, as the Republican carried EC votes from 31 of the 50 states to Clinton’s 19 plus the District of Columbia.

It is, in EC terms, a convincing win that falls short of a landslide. The only real surprise is that the margin isn’t greater.

One of the points of interest I have noted is that of the seven extra states Trump won, six — Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — are clustered in the north-east in and around the area variously described as “Hillary’s firewall” and the home of America’s liberal Left “elites.”

In other words, the Trump victory has been primarily fuelled by a rebellion against Clinton and the Democrats on what is to all intents and purposes their home turf: the only extra state he picked up elsewhere was Florida, whose 29 EC votes ultimately proved surplus to the required 270-vote threshold.

The notion Trump’s win was driven by a backlash against the Democrats in their heartland is further underlined by the fact almost every state the Democrats nevertheless carried in the immediate vicinity of those they lost — New York, Maine, Connecticut, to mention a few — were carried with significantly reduced margins.

There is a very clear message to politicians of the liberal Left — in and beyond the United States — and one that transcends the populist claptrap that at times characterised Trump’s campaign tactics: people are fed up with being told how to think, and act, and behave, or that someone else knows better than they do how to run their lives or spend their money, or that their country is the plaything for profit of a cabal of mostly unelected spivs legitimised by the fig leaf of an electoral endorsement obtained by gross deception.

This message (and its impact) has now been felt twice in Britain, once with the majority victory by the Conservative Party last year and subsequently in the Brexit referendum in June; it was a key reason for yesterday’s victory by Trump in the USA; and the prospect of sitting governments being turfed out in western Europe in favour of nationalist and/or conservative libertarian outfits is high, with the Front National in France a real chance to push the ruling Socialists out of contention in next year’s elections.

It is one that is quickly generating a backlash here in Australia, as people fed up with the finger-shaking agendas of an insiderish few profiting from the public purse, aimed at enshrining political correctness and hard socialism, find their voices in (for now) minor fringe parties.

If the Liberal Party rediscovers its proper role as the steward of the individual, freedom and respect for traditional institutions and values, it will prosper; but if it does not, the risk a new conservative force rooted in the mainstream rather than the far Right may usurp it is very real.

In other words, the forces that have led to the ascension of Trump are on the march across the Western world, as people react against the scam of “climate change,” the spectre of unlimited mass immigration, the prescriptive regulation of speech and thought, and the consequent destruction of everything that made their countries great to begin with.

Contrary to nightmare scenarios bandied about by Clinton and her cheer squad in global media — in increasingly shrill tones as election day drew nigh — the world will not end under President Trump, and the sky will not fall in; it is an obscene intellectual dishonesty to suggest otherwise, but in the US, Australia, Canada, Britain and elsewhere, it is fashionable for the Left to frame any conservative electoral mandate as the precursor to unmitigated social, economic (and in this case, military) destruction.

Ironically, the prospects for global conflict will recede after yesterday’s win by Trump; far from the a candidate with “inappropriate links” to Russia, Trump has demonstrated that he understands the need to ratchet tensions with the re-emergent superpower down.

In this sense, the so-called “bromance” he enjoys with Vladimir Putin appears likely to provide a circuit-breaker in US-Russia relations that would not have materialised under Clinton, who spent four years as Secretary of State giving every appearance of being as provocative toward Putin as possible, and whose campaign articulated a series of positions on Syria and the Middle East that seem contrived only to goad Russia into armed confrontation.

Global financial markets — which initially reeled on discovering compliant media reports assuring a Clinton victory were incorrect — will soon enough stabilise, as they did in the UK in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

And whilst some of America’s trading partners may be entitled to feel nervous about changes Trump says he will make — backed by majorities in both Houses of Congress, no less — the truth is that US interests have been badly damaged during eight years of spectacularly incompetent Democratic rule. Whilst the Trump prescription might not be perfect, the prospect the American economy can be revived under this new approach is at worst no less probable than anything Clinton might have attempted.

Significantly, Trump has made it clear that the relationship with Australia is a key priority for his incoming administration: to safeguard our own interests, Australian officials have been building bridges to the Trump camp for months, and media reports yesterday featuring senior US figures suggested these prove fruitful.

But in the end, yesterday’s election result — a vindication of the Trump message, however unorthodox — was really a judgement on the illiberalism and socialism and failed international and domestic strategies of a moribund Democratic Party.

After two eight-year administrations in less than 25 years, it is easy to forget that America’s Democrats have lost six of the past ten US elections and that a seventh — Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992 — might have ended very differently had Ross Perot not drained off 19% of the vote as a third-party candidate: a development widely acknowledged at the time as having cost the senior George Bush a second term in the White House.

And in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, the euphoria of initial victory was quickly displaced by deep unpopularity and electoral mauling as soon as mid-term elections fell due; in Clinton’s case, a second term was made a certainty only by exceedingly poor candidate selection by the Republicans.

In short, the US Democratic Party of the past 40 years isn’t the most successful outfit on the planet.

I was shocked to learn, flicking through Wikipedia at the weekend, that many prominent names at Democratic presidential selection contests 30 years ago have remained prominent for most of the time since; the current Vice-President, for example, initially sought the presidency in the 1980s.

And with an eye to the future, it seems a tall ask for the Democrats to be competitive in four years’ time, let alone be in any position to win.

Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was, in some respects, the last lunge by a patronage-addled, insiderish junta at an undeserved return to power in Washington; it has rightly been punished with defeat, and there are few credible names coming through that party’s ranks who might make plausible claims to the White House even after a further four years.

By contrast, the Republicans are blessed with fresh blood, with the likes of Scott Walker and Marco Rubio seemingly on the cusp of acting as standard bearers for a new era of American conservative politics.

I would be surprised if Trump seeks a second term in 2020, at the age of 74; whether he does or not, I suspect the axis of American politics is very much tilting away from the Democrats.

Either way — and whether he does or not — the onus is now on Trump to deliver on his rhetoric, and to make good his promise to “make America great again;” this project doesn’t start for another ten weeks, and until it does, I will reserve my judgement.

For Hillary Clinton, yesterday represented a brutal and thoroughly deserved humiliation, and a savage repudiation of everything she and her insidious cabal stands for; as I publish, Clinton has had neither the grace to publicly concede the election to Trump, nor the basic decency to address the American public or her long-suffering supporters. In defeat, Hillary Clinton has shown just how poor a champion she really is for the groups she claims to represent, and her actions remove any final vestiges of doubt that her only real agenda was power at literally any price.

America — and the world — are the poorer for the bruising and at times tasteless election campaign that concluded yesterday. It is Trump’s responsibility to now restore some decorum and prestige to institutions and processes that have been considerably tarnished.

But this election was destined to be lost by Hillary Clinton, who was born to lose any contest for the highest office in the United States at which she may have sought to slake her thirst for power and the imbecilic delusions of entitlement and public adulation that may have fed it.

In the end, this had nothing to do with oppressed women, or male dominance of spheres of influence, or the inherent “sexism” of the electorate, or any other bullshit with which the Left seeks to justify the failure of undesirable and contemptible candidates for high office.

Hillary Clinton has failed because the US public — weary of her after 40 years in public life, and contemptuous of her litany of scandals, fixes and other embarrassments — has finally decided to simply say “no.”

There is nobody else to blame. The result perfectly reflects her unfitness for office. Hillary Clinton emerges from this contest with precisely what she deserves, and that — literally — is absolutely nothing.

 

Trump vs Clinton: Choosing Between Political Correctness And The Truth

AS THE RACE to find the 45th US President enters the final stretch, it looks increasingly likely America — and the world — will be lumbered with the most unfit candidate to ever hold the office. A Hillary Clinton presidency is not and will not be a triumph, but a disaster; such an outcome is not a victory for women, but a curse upon them. In a turgid race pitting leftist fantasies of political correctness against a potty-mouth, a certain casualty is the truth.

Today’s post is as much an opportunity to “share” as an opinion piece in its own right; as we recommence the discussion in this column I’m mindful there are many issues we have missed, and with a known two-day hiatus starting off the new week, I want to try to get a separate piece up in time for Monday morning readers in addition to this one.

But the electoral contest playing out in the United States offers perhaps the most uninspiring choice of candidates ever seen at arguably the most important US election since Dwight Eisenhower triumphed in 1950, if ever; this election actually matters — not just to the USA, but to the rest of the world — and has become, like everything Hillary Clinton touches, a filthy slugfest between an allegedly rotten enemy that must be destroyed at any and all costs, and a tawdry set of “principles” to which unconvincing lipservice is paid but which are utterly disconnected from the reality of their so-called champion.

At the outset, I want to emphatically note that I am not a supporter of Donald Trump, even if the practical effect of my position could be construed as marking me out as exactly that; on the contrary, I am flatly, resolutely and implacably opposed to the Clintons — be it Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, or the army of quislings who do their bidding — and can more accurately be described as sitting in the “anyone but Hillary” cohort.

Indeed, one of the despairing laments those around me have heard over the past couple of months is that it’s a shame (an almost criminal shame) that the independent candidates in the field, and Gary Johnston in particular, do not seem to have their shit together; the imperative of barring Hillary Clinton from the Oval Office far transcends any jumped-up indiscretions on the part of Trump, but through the negligence and selective amnesia of most of the American press, the sins of the latter seem certain to pave the way for the ascension of the former: with her own, far more reprehensible track record simply skated past and ignored.

The explosive revelation some weeks ago that Donald Trump had engaged, 20 years ago, in what he described as “locker room banter” but which at root was a filthy diatribe about what he would physically like to do to women he found attractive were inappropriate, abhorrent, and distasteful in the extreme, although I should note that a) were he not a candidate for the US presidency, they would never have come out, and b) if you show me a heterosexual male who has not articulated sexual desires toward a woman at some point, however foolishly, I will show you a liar. It doesn’t make it right, or justifiable, or even tolerable in the context of the election campaign, but it should also be noted that these sentiments — tasteless or not — were nothing more than words.

Of course, the Clinton campaign has followed up the salacious and scandalising revelations by producing a stream of aggrieved women with accusations of actual sexual “misconduct” against Trump; curiously enough, every one of these accusations has died out within a few days. Some have been allowed to quietly slip when contradicted by credible third-party witnesses; others when irrefutable proof has emerged that Trump was geographically nowhere near the woman in question at the time the alleged misconduct occurred.

The strategy is simple; operating from the grimy platform of the Clintons’ own debased standards (which we will come to presently), to paint Trump as a monster not dissimilar to the former US President in their own midst.

Just because Bill Clinton is a predator and a monster in his own right does not mean Donald Trump, by extension, must also be a predator on account of the fact he has dared to range himself against the Clintons in an electoral contest.

But if you are a Clinton, this is the mentality that underpins your words and deeds; Hillary is “a champion” of women and of women’s rights, and the “agent of change” who will encourage women across America and the world to speak out about their experiences at the hands of evil men, safe in the knowledge their grievances will be believed and assured that whomever they accuse will have the living shit kicked out of them by society, public opinion, and the law.

It doesn’t matter, in the jaundiced and warped Clinton world, that their own reality could not be more disconnected from this nirvana of women’s rights and the damnation of men at the merest denunciation, however fallacious; in fact, this outlook is a heinous and unforgivable slight upon those women who really have been raped, or assaulted, or otherwise physically mistreated by men who are never brought to account.

But when you are a Clinton, such distinctions are treated with contempt, for the only thing that matters is power: and if that means using a few women as pawns, or trashing a few men guilty of nothing more than a few loose (if grotesque) words along the way, then so be it.

This brings me to an excellent video editorial by New York media identity, former prosecutor and judge, Jeanine Pirro, from her programme on Fox News three weeks ago at the height of the fallout from the initial reportage of the Trump remarks; with surgical precision (and whilst failing to excuse what Trump said in any way, shape or form), Pirro made the case — irrefutably — that far from a defender of women, Hillary Clinton is in fact a destroyer of them; far from a champion of women’s rights, Hillary Clinton is a serial malevolent whose only priority has been to further her own (and her husband’s) political agenda even if it means actively compromising the very cause she has the audacity and gall to claim, po-faced, to be the greatest advocate for that America has ever seen.

Take the few minutes to watch this, folks. It isn’t intended to exonerate Trump, but those wedded to the imbecilic notion of Hillary Clinton as a President who might add any value whatsoever to the lot of women cannot reasonably adhere to such a misguided notion after an exposition of the case against her, laid out with forensic exactitude, such as this.

(That clip is pinned to the top of my Twitter feed, and will remain there until election day in the US; I urge readers who use Twitter to visit me @theredandblue and retweet it to their followers, and to encourage them to do the same).

But more broadly, why are 300 million Americans apparently determined to select a President based on this issue at all?

With the exception of Fox News (and even then, not unilaterally), the bulk of the US press appears singularly determined to simply ignore the shocking record of the Clintons where misdemeanours against women — actual, physical, often allegedly criminal misdemeanours — are concerned.

The complete whitewash of anything remotely negative in connection to Hillary Clinton is reminiscent of the treatment given to Kevin Rudd in 2007 by the Australian press; despite “a rich seam of shit” on Rudd, as I put it to a former senior Liberal frontbencher at the time and which was later validated by events more thoroughly than any of us hoped or believed, the media in Australia had simply decided who they wanted to win that year’s election and proceeded, blindly and unthinkingly, on that basis. The same phenomenon is in evidence in America today.

And without putting too fine a point on it, this election matters, for reasons that far transcend issues of women’s rights and the politically correct railings against an indisputed potty mouth with an apparent penchant for talking dirty.

The warnings by 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney about the resurgent threat posed to the United States by Vladimir Putin’s Russia have proven disturbingly correct, so much so that the very real prospect of nuclear conflict over Syria, or over any move by Russian forces into the disputed Baltic states, is now growing; eight years of abjectly pathetic Democratic management of foreign affairs have signalled a weakening of American prestige and resolve on the world stage, with Iran widely perceived to have walked all over Barack Obama in striking a deal on nuclear security that left it open to developing nuclear weapons, and with a plethora of other international flashpoints — North Korea, Syria, and the scourge of Islamic State — seemingly beyond the capacity of the Americans to deal with.

Domestically, the US faces intransigent challenges in healthcare, immigration, crime, the moribund state of its economy, and the haemorrhaging federal budget: all issues for which Clinton has exhibited a cavalier disregard.

And Clinton’s own record — with unresolved allegations of criminality over her misuse of classified emails, Benghazi, and the supposedly charitable Clinton Foundation, amongst others — is seemingly being overlooked by the mainstream media altogether.

It is instructive to note that Wikileaks — curiously, looking as if it wants to torpedo Clinton — has been unearthing an avalanche of damning evidence against Clinton that is failing to register with American voters, presumably because the mainstream press simply isn’t interested.

But what is equally telling is that the Clinton camp and its adherents — who in the past lauded Wikileaks as a “hero” whenever it took aim at George Bush, or John Howard, or Stephen Harper, or a swathe of other Right-of-Centre leaders — is now letting it be known that the document leaking portal is “a disgrace.”

I don’t resile from my long-held view that Wikileaks is nothing more than a criminal outfit: a front for the commission of treason, sedition, and other violations of the national security of sovereign states. But what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and the only thing protecting Clinton is the apathy of the press, which is relentless in striving to achieve her election as President.

In an ideal world, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and even the independent candidates on the ballot who seem incapable of capitalising on the horrendous choice provided by the major parties would all be absent from this contest; it is the most lacklustre field in living memory, and makes the likes of Barry Goldwater and Walter Mondale appear positively statesmanlike by comparison.

And in a final demonstration of the contemptible double standards of the Clintons, their “outrage” at suggestions by Trump that he “might not accept” the election result if Hillary wins warrants a look no further than the behaviour of the Al Gore campaign — aided and egged on by the Clintons — when it dragged the USA through a protracted legal dispute that lasted for weeks when George W. Bush narrowly triumphed in 2000.

Yet whoever emerges, the tragic casualty is likely to be the truth: and if Clinton is elected, the USA and the rest of the world will soon regret the day she was ever selected by her party to run against Trump, let alone handed the keys to the White House.

Trump may have proven little better than a filthy gnome during this campaign, but that pales in comparison to the actual misdeeds of Clinton, and the genuine threat a second Clinton presidency would pose to international security and to the United States itself.

In this sense, the least worst of the available candidates is, in fact, Donald Trump: something it gives me no joy whatsoever to opine.

Yet unless an outburst of reality and commonsense quickly afflicts the American press — and the tens of millions of voters who depend on it to provide a balanced assessment of all relevant aspects of this campaign, and not just the sanitised PC blather of the Clinton junta — then a Clinton presidency is exactly what America will get.

Should it come to pass, then fair-minded and rational people the world over will have ample reason for alarm.

God help the United States of America.

 

US Elections: Iowa Caucuses Resolve Nothing

A VERY short post to acknowledge today’s primaries in Iowa, as the US begins to select a new President; with Barack Obama barred from seeking a third term by the constitution, one of the candidates who featured today will become President of the United States in November. Whilst Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz fared better than expected, today’s results shed little light on who the eventual victor will be.

It really is a short post this evening; operating on ten hours’ sleep in three days, I’m not going to be conscious very long. But I wanted to make some remarks on the first of the nominating contests that took place in the US state of Iowa today (AEDT) as Americans begin the process of selecting a new President.

I have always had a sense that the next President of the United States would be a Republican, but just who that ends up being remains a matter for conjecture; despite the weight of money, Establishment endorsements, and unrivalled name and personal recognition factors all running in her favour, I would be stunned if a majority of American voters could bring themselves to stomach four more years of the Clintons in the White House: and Hillary Clinton, in particular, being in charge.

Today’s vote within her own party sees her make virtually no progress toward sealing the nomination of her party whatsoever; with 49.9% of the votes cast in Iowa by registered Democratic voters, she couldn’t even win outright, which in turn echoes eerily the omen this state delivered on her prospects when she first stood against Obama eight years ago. It’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

By contrast, ageing “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders has reason to be pleased; despite falling short of Clinton by just over a quarter of a percentage point of the vote, Sanders has done better than anyone predicted or thought, although the “Anyone But Hillary” camp is every bit as alive and well in her own party as it is over at the GOP.

Some weeks ago I saw a supporter of Donald Trump attending a rally with a T-shirt that proclaimed “Hillary for Prison 2016” (and if anyone knows where I can get one of those shirts, do please drop a note in the comments section): all jokes aside, the Clinton camp is unable to proceed with any confidence that Hillary won’t be indicted at some point over any number of scandals (email servers, Benghazi, preferment, arcane relics from her legal career, et al) and the prospect she may in fact be charged can and should be sending prospective supporters scurrying in almost any other direction but hers.

The bottom line is that of the 44 delegates that were on offer today to the Democratic National Convention later this year, Clinton pocketed 23, and Sanders 21: and how the Clintons make any kind of triumph out of that is anyone’s guess.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the political ledger — and speaking of Donald Trump — conservative republican Senator Ted Cruz topped the polling with 27.7% of the vote; outspoken loudmouth and “anti-candidate” Trump came second, with 24.3%; and in something of a surprise, Florida Senator Marco Rubio came third with a solidly respectable 23.1%, with nine also-rans rounding out the table and collecting a quarter of the votes cast by registered republican voters between them.

For the stats junkies, a link to the results from both the Democratic and republican primaries held in Iowa can be accessed here.

There’s not a great deal of point making any definitive predictions at this earliest of junctures, and quite aside from the fact I’m completely exhausted tonight (and don’t have the energy) this is a theme we will obviously be covering in increasing detail over the next nine months.

I had thought, as far back as 18 months ago, that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush — the “competent” Bush, as some call him — was the likeliest to emerge from the Republican pack with his party’s nomination, and a good chance of beating (as I then thought) Hillary Clinton to follow his father and older brother into the White House.

How politics changes: today, Bush scored less than 3% of the votes from Iowan Republicans; it could be that Americans have “had enough of Bushes” generally (much as many of them are heartily sick of the Clintons); it could be, given Jeb was a mentor as Florida Governor to the GOP’s boy wonder in Rubio, that the apprentice has merely stolen a march on the master.

One thing I am sure of, however, is that today’s results do not spell the end of the Trump campaign: he was always likelier to prevail later this month in New Hampshire than in Iowa, and unlike many of his rivals is flush with cash and enjoys a popular underpinning that none of the other candidates on either side of the ledger enjoy.

One will say, however, that a rash of drop-outs should be expected in the next week on the Republican side: starting with Rick Santorum, whose 1% today embarrassed the almost one-third share he pulled in this state four years ago, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose “endorsement” of Obama three days before the 2012 presidential election arguably swung the result behind Obama, and who must surely be regarded as unelectable after a corruption scandal in his state a few years back and after only polling 1.8% of the vote today.

The only conclusive takeout from today’s result is that despite the overwhelming advantages she arrived at this contest with in her arsenal, Hillary Clinton — one of the most unbackable favourites to win the Presidency in decades — couldn’t even garner half the vote.

This process has a million miles to run, and as it evolves the story will become clearer. But if I were a betting man (which, in small bier, I can be) I wouldn’t be putting any money on Clinton now, and it will be interesting to watch whether voters in other states take their cue from the Iowa result, and now begin to desert her in favour of Sanders.

On that note — goodnight…

🙂

 

 

Fairfax Press Fail: Donald Trump Is Not Like Germans, Nazis

AN EXTRAORDINARILY GROTESQUE attempt by the Fairfax press to liken Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump to World War I-era Germans and to Nazis should be sneeringly dismissed; Trump is many things, and some conservatives view his right wing populism with contempt. Even so, Trump’s pitch is grounded in a revolt against the US liberal Left. Fellow travellers in Australia — and at Fairfax — would do well to heed the warning signs.

To date, as readers know, I have declined to comment on the early stages of the 2016 US presidential race being played out ahead of the primary season that kicks off early next year; for one thing, this point in the US political cycle is little more substantial than the silly season now descending on our own polity; for another, and with an eye to the farce that played out on the Republican side four years ago, I’m reticent about declaring anybody to be a frontrunner: last time, just about every starting candidate in the field had their five minutes at the top of the pack before sinking into obscurity, withdrawal and/or disgrace.

However, the likelihood that property and media billionaire Donald Trump will emerge as the GOP nominee for next year’s presidential election — and, potentially, as President of the United States — is growing, and it seems no matter what he says (and no matter what his opponents, both within the Republican Party and elsewhere, throw at him), his popularity among likely voters is proving far deeper and more durable than 2012 flameouts such as Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and the candidate I originally supported, former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

With that in mind, I note the shrill and increasingly panicked denunciations Trump is eliciting from an alarmed liberal* press across America and, indeed, around the world; and it is on account of a particularly insidious piece by Martin Flanagan in The Age today that I find myself commenting on the Republican presidential primary season rather earlier than I had intended.

It seems to be a stock tactic these days, of left wing political parties across the world, to accuse conservative contenders of being likely to start wars; in the US, eventual 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney was pilloried for remarks that bluntly stated Russia was America’s greatest strategic and military threat, and subjected to a diatribe that boiled down to World War III and Armageddon being a mere vote for Romney away; I don’t believe for a minute that Romney would have initiated military conflict with Russia, but subsequent events have shown that his judgement of the threat posed by Russia under Vladimir Putin was deadly accurate.

Similar sentiments were articulated about John McCain in 2008; closer to home, of course, Kevin Rudd baselessly proclaimed in 2013 that an Abbott government would result in a war between Australia and Indonesia (it didn’t).

In this vein, the attempt to liken Trump to Kaiser Wilhelm II — the German ruler who presided over his country’s disastrous military confrontation with Allied forces, at the cost of millions of German and Allied lives — and Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party is grotesque, and an unforgivable transgression of the bounds of fair comment by a supposedly professional Australian journalist.

It isn’t hard to ascertain the reason for the latest wave of anti-Trump hysteria among the global left wing commentariat: his recent edict that all immigration to the USA by Muslims would cease if he were elected President in November; the Left has become complacent in lecturing and prescribing social positions aimed at destroying the values and foundations of Western liberal civilisation, and accustomed to having its brilliant pronouncements accepted and implemented, verbatim, as the creeping slither of hard state socialism continues its odious infiltration and undermining of the free world.

Any concerted resistance the Left faces must, it follows, be slapped down at almost any cost, and the more damage it inflicts on its enemies in the process, the better.

But the problem is that all too often, the Left overreaches, and when it does — far from contriving to destroy the opponents of its ugly world view — its ridiculous and sometimes downright dangerous utterances are most damaging to itself.

So it is beginning to prove in the case of Donald Trump.

Likening Trump to the figures responsible for initiating the two most destructive and catastrophic conflagrations in human history should and will backfire, and I would be interested to know whether Flanagan — in compiling his silly and offensive piece — was egged on or otherwise provided with fodder by his counterparts in the USA.

There seems to be a chain of inferences and insinuations that are not explicitly spelt out in Flanagan’s piece, which I gather the reader is intended to play “connect the dots” with, and to heed the dog whistle it constitutes. The concept of Social Democrats as the enemy. Talk of the Kaiser becoming a rabid anti-Semite. The introduction of the Kaiser’s war of “Slavdom against Germandom” as a casual method of accusing Trump of racism. The focus on Hitler and on Fascism as the endpoint of this progression, with the clear implication Trump might as well have a swastika tattooed to his forehead.

There is also the small matter of Trump’s ancestry — his great-grandparents were German immigrants to the USA — that Flanagan doesn’t bother to mention (or if he did, would in likelihood simply present as further “proof” of his case against Trump); this is just too subtle an omission to allow to go unnoticed, and illustrates one of the great hypocrisies of the Left: its enemies are to be excoriated for lumping all Muslims into the category of “terrorists,” for example. But as Trump is of German descent, he is basically a German, and therefore as bad as Kaiser Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler. The fallacious logic and cavalier malice in such blatant double standards are breathtaking.

(Flanagan even sneaks in mention of the Left’s favourite Australian hate figure, Tony Abbott, baselessly and perhaps libellously — in the context of the tone of his article — calling him “another World War I figure” and suggesting he would send soldiers to pointless slaughter just for the hell of it. It is beneath despicable).

Flanagan equates the Kaiser’s “scorn for democracy” with “the way Trump scorns political correctness as an impediment to clear thinking and immediate solutions:” this facile statement is based on a false premise, for Trump — far from attempting to circumvent the ballot box — is seeking to win the potential votes of hundreds of millions of registered voters; the Kaiser Wilhelm II was a hereditary monarch. The real meat in the assertion is that Trump is an enemy of political correctness (read: the prescriptive state socialism of the hard Left) who must be smashed by the clenched fist of the global Left.

Frankly, anyone who stands against such insidious and doctrinaire positions is to be lauded; it remains to be seen whether Trump is electable, but at the very minimum no-one can accuse him of pliability where the anti-Western forces of the leftist junta are concerned, and for that much at least, he warrants a hearing.

It is true that Trump, as voting in the first state primaries draws near, has said things that are outrageous, provocative, and designed to maximise the publicity he attracts, but rather than dismiss him as a lunatic (as the Left is wont to do) a more considered view than idiot-simple rants of the kind Flanagan has engaged in today suggests a shrewd, calculated and intelligent pitch — highly organised and professional, even — that has identified a coalition of voters the Trump camp believes can propel it into the White House, and upon which it has been singularly focused.

Equating him to the historical enemies of the West who systematically raped, gassed and slaughtered millions of innocents is not only offensive, but likelier than not to drive even more American voters into Trump’s embrace. Then again, I did make the point that the Left’s approach to what it believes is the enemy — its own enemies — is more often than not counterproductive, and I daresay Flanagan is simply following the trend.

I’m in two minds about the suitability of Donald Trump as President of the United States — part of me thinks he’d be brilliant, and part of me thinks he’d be bloody awful — but his business nous, his connections, and his undeniable patriotism mark him at the very least as someone with some of the tools required to discharge the post if successful. With 11 months until the votes are counted, there remains plenty of time to ascertain what defects might accompany those virtues, and how deleterious they might prove if Trump is elected: if, that is, he manages to secure the Republican nomination in the first place.

I do, however, think the prospect Trump will prevail is growing more probable, and especially if the Democratic nominee, as expected, is Hillary Clinton: one is the champion of just about everything the liberal Left stands for, and the other the polar opposite of it. Right now, if pressed to pick the winner between the two, I’d expect Trump to defeat Hillary.

With growing evidence in most Western countries that people at large are tiring of being told what to say, what to think, what to do and who to unquestioningly defer to, a candidate like Trump comes to this contest with a rich seam of public anger to tap into.

Former President Richard Nixon used to speak of the “silent majority” in America — it’s also a phrase I have used from time to time in tearing into the same insidious claptrap the Left propagates here in Australia — and it is this constituency of ordinary Americans, disaffected and shunned by the Left’s mission to turn the world into some open-border, wealth redistributing, thought-dictated and tightly controlled illiberal ecosystem that Trump is trying to harness.

Whether the Left likes it or not (and irrespective of who is right and who is wrong) people, broadly, are fed up with attempts to legislate their thought, speech and behaviour out of existence.

They are fed up with having pre-determined positions on issues imposed on them as “fact” — irrespective of the moral, ethical, legal or actual veracity of those positions — and then abused and publicly humiliated as “deniers, “skeptics,” “flat-Earthers,” and other accusations of heresy to paint them as ignorant reprobates and figures of ridicule.

They are fed up with being told their countries are international embarrassments and moral abominations by the Left when its own agenda is to destroy forever the fabric and values that underpins those countries in the first place.

They are fed up with governments that make little secret of their prioritisation of third world countries and sometimes murderous despots over the people who already live in their countries, and their welfare: the first responsibility of any elected government is to its own people, not to someone else, and the will in democratic countries to ensure that responsibility is honoured is growing stronger.

And ordinary people are fed up with a narrow band of chattering elites, drunk on Chardonnay and shaking their fingers at anyone or anything that moves in a contrary direction, telling them that their views, aspirations, and even their existence is meaningless compared to the “superior” agenda they seek to enforce.

America might or might not elect Donald Trump as its 45th President.

Whether it does or not, the popular uprising that buoys Trump’s current public standing is unlikely to be an isolated phenomenon. The “silent majority” — in the US, in the UK, here in Australia and elsewhere — is fed up with the drivel the Left is trying to impose on the free world.

If nothing else, Trump’s rise serves potent notice on the Left that its time is passing, and passing fast; all over the world, those who either seek to spread the Left’s agenda directly or who cheer it on from the sidelines — in a stupid opinion piece in the Fairfax press, for example — would do well to heed the warning signs currently emanating from the Republican nominating contest.

When the “silent majority” turns, its strike will be savage and swift; and the moral poseurs of today will become society’s pariahs tomorrow unless they abandon their seditious subterranean campaign to destroy it.

That is what Trump really represents, and it is why the likes of Flanagan and his brethren across the world are jumping all over him. Their panic is real, and their need urgent. They can hardly say they haven’t been warned.

 

*I use the word “liberal” today, of course, in its classic left-of-centre context, as it applies in US political discourse, and which has nothing to do with our own Liberal Party here in Australia.

 

POTUS 2016: The Bush-Clinton Showdown Is Coming

UNBELIEVABLY, it’s less than two years until Americans elect a President to replace Barack Obama; pundits have long salivated over a contest between Republican Jeb Bush — former Governor of Florida, son of former President George H. W. Bush and brother of George W. Bush — and former Senator Hillary Clinton. This column has already expressed preliminary support for Bush — if he runs. That prospect appears to be drawing closer to reality.

It is — by my standards — a very quick post from me this morning, and in truth, really just to share some material with readers.

It beggars belief to consider that it’s now more than two years since we sat glued to FOX coverage of the US 2012 presidential election, when former Republican strategist Karl Rove insisted GOP candidate Mitt Romney could still be elected even as the decisive swing state of Ohio declared for Barack Obama — sealing his historic, and in retrospect completely unjustified, re-election.

I wanted to post this morning to share a couple of articles being carried in the Fairfax press today; after all, with the recent US mid-term elections that saw Republicans sweep control of Congress (and making Obama a lame duck in every sense for the final years of his stint in the White House) attention in the States will now increasingly turn to who follows him into office, and a crowded field of potential Republican candidates appears to be taking shape more quickly than the number of names suggest.

In truth — barring some miracle of judgement on the part of the Democratic Party — the GOP contest is really to work out who takes on Hillary Clinton in 2016.

My motivation to briefly publish comment on this today stems from a report that Jeb Bush — sometimes referred to as “the competent Bush” — appears to be shifting decisively toward commencing a full-blown run for the Republican nomination; common sense and consideration dictates that were he to do so he would automatically assume frontrunner status, and in the interests of expediency I’m not going to canvass his prospects today either for or agin, other than to reiterate the early support for a Bush candidacy I have previously indicated.

After all, this post is really only to introduce the issue to our conversation, having occupied our consideration literally once or twice in the past couple of years. There will be ample time to talk this through in coming months.

And in any case, this piece gives cursory consideration to the pros and cons of any Bush run that I don’t have any quarrel with.

Rather, a second article (and companion to the first in today’s Fairfax papers) that purports to list out GOP presidential contenders may be of more early interest to readers as a possible guide to who might stand as VP on any ticket headed by Bush.

I tend to think that Bush’s frontrunner status is likely to be enhanced by the considerable experience (and success) he has already recorded as Governor of Florida, as well as the obvious positives he brings in appealing to the Republican base.

And this rules out a lot of the neophytes on the second list, although some of those names come into the mix as a vice-presidential consideration.

Either way, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is likely to fare very badly in the upcoming Republican primary season, credited as he is with swinging last-minute votes behind Obama in 2012 with his glowing praise of the President’s response to Hurricane Sandy, and the subsequent scandals of governance he has faced in his own state.

Obviously, today’s piece is meant as an early talking point: and to provide my own input into this, an early musing over who might be selected as Bush’s running mate if he runs and prevails as the Republican to face off against Clinton.

I tend to think, despite the conservative nature of his Governorship in Florida, that any running mate is likely to be someone to the Right of the Republican Party — partly to offset some of Bush’s perceived drawbacks to the conservative wing of the party, and partly as a sop to it.

And it is likely to be, like Bush, someone who brings “experience” to the table: again, someone like Clinton, with the experience and political muscle she would bring to the Democratic nomination, is unlikely to be beaten by a slate of novices.

The obvious name is Paul Ryan, who stood in second spot on the GOP ticket to Romney two years ago, although whether he would do so again is a point of conjecture.

The names I would single out (at a very, very early stage in the process) are Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who aside from hailing from the Right would balance a Bush ticket geographically, and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who would provide accommodation (and perhaps perspective) for the Tea Party contingent within the GOP.

In any case, and as I said at the outset, this piece this morning is really only to get the 2016 election into the mix of our discussions. I am certain it will come around again in more detail soon enough: and possibly as soon as the Christmas break, given the odd timing US elections often seem to follow.

I will be back this evening with something a little more topical, and focused on affairs closer to home.

 

Rape Defence: Is Hillary Clinton Unfit To Serve As POTUS?

A 30-YEAR-OLD INTERVIEW — made public this week for the first time — could be the silver bullet that ends the career of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once and for all; made when she was a lawyer during husband Bill’s first term as Governor of Arkansas, Clinton is heard laughing about her handiwork in getting a man she clearly believed guilty off a child rape charge. Is Clinton unfit to serve as President of the United States?

There are some people who will excuse practically anything on the basis of “youthful indiscretion,” or as a proverbial slip of the tongue, and indeed when talking about young, brash, excessively confident or ambitious and inadequately experienced young people, these pretexts for forgiveness are often appropriate and, indeed, warranted.

After all, the ruination of a career should not be primarily engineered from the mistakes of immaturity.

But rape — and the rape of a child, no less — is no laughing matter, and it doesn’t matter how young or inexperienced one might purport to be, there is nothing amusing about either the act or the escape of a perpetrator from punishment based on legal technicalities.

It is particularly disturbing, therefore, that an old interview with Hillary Clinton — previously a New York Senator and US Secretary of State, lately a rumoured presidential aspirant — has surfaced for the first time this week, and in my view it seals concerns over Clinton’s suitability to be President that have percolated for decades, and at least since her husband made the move from Little Rock to the Oval Office in 1993.

Readers should peruse this story and, particularly, listen to the six-minute audio file embedded in the article. This is material that has been buried since it was compiled in the 1980s, and with the contest to replace Barack Obama as US President set to ratchet up a notch once midterm elections in November are out of the way, its public release now is something Clinton could well do without.

I acknowledge that in handling the case in question — and representing her client, a 41-year-old man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl — that she was only doing her job; I also acknowledge that in plea bargaining the offence down from first degree rape to “unlawful fondling of a child” based on the destruction of a key piece of evidence by a forensic laboratory that had analysed it, she availed herself of a legal loophole by which to legitimately do so.

Where the problem for Clinton arises lies in some of the other details revealed in this interview, in Clinton’s obvious attitude to both the matter and the complainant, and the implications these raise over her integrity and suitability as a candidate for high office.

This case — to be sordid for a moment — appears to have pivoted on the underwear the accused was wearing on the night of the alleged rape; a section of this (encompassing, it seems, virtually the entire area of contamination with bodily fluids) had been removed by a forensic lab and analysed, with a report on the composition of the foreign material provided to the Court.

However, due to an intricacy of law that I don’t pretend to understand, the fact this evidence was subsequently destroyed (despite the official forensic report having being filed) apparently rendered the prosecution case as good as pointless, enabling Clinton to secure the deal for her client that got him off the charge of rape in exchange for a plea to something less serious.

So far, there’s nothing wrong in that, personal opinions readers might have notwithstanding.

But Clinton makes it very clear she believed her client was guilty: her musings that by passing a lie detector test, he “forever destroyed (her) faith in polygraphs” make that plain.

So, too, does her laughter over various points she makes in the interview, and it is this apparent mirth — hey, I knew he was as guilty as sin, right? But I got him off, and aren’t I clever? — that in my view goes to the heart of her suitability to be President, blowing apart as it does the credibility of her claim to be an unwavering champion of women’s rights.

There is nothing funny about a child being raped; the fact the perpetrator — now deceased — got off as a result of the inadvertent destruction of key evidence doesn’t justify or excuse the fact that someone finds the matter worth laughing about.

I accept that having agreed to defend this fellow, Clinton was bound to do so whether she believed him to be innocent or guilty. But her conduct in this interview is at times tantamount to bragging, which is tasteless at best and downright despicable at worst given the welfare of a 12-year-old girl was central to the case.

As the linked article notes, the victim of the alleged rape claims to have never come to terms with the attack, and harbours ongoing resentment and hostility toward Clinton for her actions.

To be fair, nobody can deny that over the course of her life Hillary Clinton has done a lot of charitable work that has benefited many people. Even so, the appearance of this material will give impetus to those who argue that such work was undertaken purely to build a political profile in readiness for the time she would step clear of her famous husband, and pursue a political career of her own.

And it bears pointing out that this interview wasn’t embargoed, or withheld for security-related reasons; it was never published, it seems, because notorious lad magazine Esquire — for which it was taped — simply opted not to run with it. Its emergence now, however, is difficult to regard as coincidental, coming as it does amid rampant speculation that Clinton will shortly confirm her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the Presidency to succeed Barack Obama when his term expires in early 2017.

It raises more of the questions that have perennially been asked of her judgement over more than 30 years in the public eye; the cavalier regard for propriety, which critics have often sought to portray as observed only by stonewalling and reliance upon technicalities, evokes memories of the Whitewater scandal that threatened at one point to terminate the Clintons’ tenure in the White House in the 1990s.

Her apparent betrayal of lawyer-client privilege in the interview is a telling pointer to this attitude; Clinton seemed to place greater emphasis on self-promotion.

So, too, is the revelation her certificate to practise as a barrister in Arkansas was suspended in 2002 for failing to undertake certain requirements around career development she was obliged to meet.

And the whole episode will do nothing to promulgate her claims to act as an advocate for women and children.

The irony is that just as Clinton’s opponents begin to produce what is reasonable to expect will become a mountain of material to discredit her, it is already clear Clinton is a flawed, compromised candidate for the Presidency.

At 69 by the time the election is held in 2016, Clinton will be the same age Ronald Reagan was when he won in 1980, and despite the spectacular successes of the Reagan era, Democrats have spent the 30+ years since lampooning him as a senile gerontocrat whose administration was run exclusively by his wife and his advisers.

The Democrats have also since used age to help defeat two other Republicans — Bob Dole at 73 in 1996 and John McCain at 72 in 2008 — and can hardly expect Clinton’s age not to be turned against her.

As a hypothetical President, her return to the White House would reopen many wounds from the administration of her husband: the reputed iffy deals, the policy torpor in international relations, and the divisions the controversial first couple opened in American society the first time around.

The domestic political climate in the US is arguably far more fraught today than it was in the 1990s: with arguments around national security, budget management, healthcare and environmental policy seemingly insuperable, as they are in many Western countries, it is doubtful as to whether such a divisive figure as Hillary Clinton could unify Americans as all US Presidents seek to do.

In any case, I have long maintained that if the Republican Party has the good sense to endorse Jeb Bush as its candidate (provided he can be prevailed upon to run), the Republicans are likely to return to the White House irrespective of who the Democrats put up — Clinton or otherwise.

Even so, I think this episode raises a question that American voters (and, by extension, anyone among America’s allies, partners and adversaries who ponder such matters) are increasingly going to be forced to contemplate over the next two-and-a-bit years, assuming Clinton goes ahead and contests the Democratic nomination.

Is she even fit to hold office? I suggest the answer is no. It remains to be seen what conclusions others draw — and not least, her Democratic Party colleagues and mentors.

 

Another Bush As President Of The United States In 2016?

GEORGE W. BUSH resurfaced this week, in the time-honoured tradition of former US Presidents opening presidential libraries; he has advocated younger brother Jeb running for the US presidency in 2016. Could this most successful of political dynasties produce another American President?

Controversy is never far away these days when it comes to discussing the Bush family; like the Kennedys and the Rockefellers and the Roosevelts, it has been among the most prominent clans in American political life for generations, having produced Senators, state Governors, and two Presidents, and whose members have also filled a myriad of other roles in circles of American governance.

Much of this controversy stems from the Presidency of George W. Bush, which divides and polarises opinion both at home and around the world. Was this the Presidency that saw America reclaim its position in the world, and begin the painful process of migrating the US to the realities of the 21st century?

Or was it the defective and misspent opportunity presided over by a village idiot and manipulated by “evil” Dick Cheney, which heightened the risk of worldwide war and sent the USA down the path of economic ruin?

I suspect final judgements on these issues will take many years to crystallise — history often does. But Bush has reignited a discussion that has simmered since his second term began in 2005: should younger brother (and former Governor of Florida) Jeb Bush run for the Presidency in 2016?

Three years out, my sense is that he should; the Republican Party will need a nationally recognised candidate with a proven record in public office if it is to stand any chance of reclaiming the White House when Barack Obama leaves office in early 2017.

This is an area in which Republicans have fared poorly since the departure of Ronald Reagan from the Presidency in 1989; his successor, former President George H. W. Bush, could well be viewed as lucky.

In 1988, he followed the most popular President in recent times into the White House four years after the most spectacular presidential election win in US history, and at a time in which the boom of the 1980s had yet to fully burst and when the USA was riding high on confidence.

His defeat in 1992 by Bill Clinton was a salutary lesson in the mechanics of modern election techniques — and in the importance of honesty, having promised that Americans could “read my lips: no new taxes” and then proceeded to introduce precisely those.

Bob Dole in 1996 was hamstrung by the fact he was too old (at 73) and on account of being widely regarded in America as too divisive; John McCain in 2008 was also seen as too old (72), swimming against the tide of the economic disaster now known as the Global Financial Crisis, attributed rightly or wrongly to the policies of the outgoing Bush administration.

And Mitt Romney last year was simply the wrong candidate: decent and articulate, he looked like a President, but was too similar to many Republican-inclined voters to the Democratic Party to offer any real alternative to the incumbent Obama.

Ironically, and on paper, George W. was an impressively-credentialled candidate; twice elected as Governor of Texas, he was telegenic and popular, although his folksy style (and capacity to mangle words) made him a figure of fun and derision in many quarters.

I think that had Newt Gingrich — former Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1990s — won the nomination to stand against Obama last year, he probably would have won; but hypotheticals are just that, and it brings us back to the question of whether Jeb Bush should run in 2016.

Whoever does stand for the Republican Party is likely to face off against former New York Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; the merits of another Clinton as President are as dubious to me as those of another Bush are to those on the political Left.

But the fact of the matter is that Republicans are going to need to select a candidate capable of beating the high-profile, well-resourced Clinton, who boasts a formidable campaign weapon in the form of her husband, teflon-coated ex-President Bill “Slick Willy” Clinton, whose popularity remains vast despite his various failures and foibles in office.

Viewed this way, the GOP has surprisingly few options, despite the score of names that make up the likely field of starters — even this far out from the election.

Romney has already said he will not run again, and in any case would face the same question of his age (69 in 2016) as did Dole and McCain; Gingrich, 72 in a few years’ time, has probably missed on his first and best opportunity in failing to clinch the Republican nomination last time.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum — nominally having put in a strong showing in the GOP primaries against Gingrich and Romney — will likely run again, and at 58 when the contest occurs is certainly the right age.

Yet his brand of conservatism is too doctrinaire and rigid to appeal to the majority of swinging voters in America’s political centre, and what might play well with the Republican Right is probably a recipe for disaster at a general election.

And the raft of past and present Republican state Governors that is habitually trotted out — most notably at present, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — comprises a group of individuals with, mostly, little profile beyond the boundaries of their own states, and little public support in the context of the US Presidency.

Christie is different, in that he has willingly grabbed the opportunity as Governor for media exposure on a national basis whenever it has arisen, most notably during the Hurricane Sandy disaster in the dying days of the 2012 campaign.

But Christie — a veritable mountain of a man — faces ongoing concerns that his weight poses a grave danger of him dying in office as it is, let alone within four years of any presidential win in 2016.

And he isn’t likely to make it that far in any case, with a large contingent of Republicans residually livid with him for fulsomely endorsing Obama’s handling of the Sandy disaster, and to many minds (including my own) effectively terminating Romney’s campaign for the Presidency from within, one week from polling day, by doing so.

It is inconceivable the same Republicans would tolerate his candidacy.

This brings us back to Jeb Bush, and to my mind he’s the GOP’s best bet by a mile.

He declined to enter the fray for the Republican nomination in 2012; possibly a wise decision, given the circus the primary contests degenerated into and given Obama was always likely to be re-elected once Christie effectively intervened in his favour.

His background in politics is exemplary; after several years in that state’s Congress, he became Florida’s Governor in 1999 in a state that had not elected a Republican between 1877 and 1967, and over which Republican Governors had presided for just 17 of the 145 years to that point.

Jeb Bush ticks a lot of the boxes that many of his Republican contemporaries don’t, or can’t; an orthodox conservative politician, he nonetheless boasts relationships with, and support from, Hispanic and Asian Americans that would be critical in any Presidential bid.

(Romney, for example, won 81% of the Presidential votes cast by white Americans, and still lost to Obama).

And Spanish-speaking Bush, married to a Mexican and espousing innovative and practical ideas about how to solve the USA’s illegal immigration crisis, offers his party the means with which to reach out to and embrace minority communities in America that the likes of Romney and Santorum could only dream of.

Critics will point to the facts of the Florida controversy in the 2000 election that saw his older brother become President and, cruelly, even the fact he is a member of the Bush family at all.

I think the idea of Jeb Bush as President of the United States is not only interesting, it’s probably the best option for his country after Obama leaves office, and especially in light of some of the openly socialist and ideologically driven left-wing measures introduced by the present administration that will need to be wound back.

Of his intentions regarding 2016, Bush simply says that he will make a decision in at least a year from now, in time for the endless drudgery of fundraising and planning that is part of a Presidential run in the US to commence, should he opt to throw his hat in the ring.

In the view of this column, that’s a year for his contemporaries in the GOP to get to work on him, and to convince him to run.