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.

 

Hillary For Prison 2016: The Indictment Looms

THE PROSPECT of POTUS fancy Hillary Clinton finally ending up where she belongs — in gaol — has drawn nearer, with a key report slamming her misuse of classified material on a private email server. This column has despised the Clintons for decades, with their entitlement mentality and penchant for acting as laws unto themselves. The likely Democratic nominee facing prison as a consequence of her actions would be no less than she deserves.

At some point late today or tomorrow morning, I am going to post a quick review of where our own federal election campaign sits with three weeks down and five to go; for some time I have thought Malcolm Turnbull was on track for a narrow defeat, although the best efforts of the ALP this week to deal the Coalition back into the game just might save Turnbull’s hide. Stay tuned.

But this morning I want to share a report carried by The Australian yesterday from The Times, which moves election season in the United States into some seriously interesting territory; a key State Department report into the unorthodox email management system utilised by Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State — using a private server — has slammed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, finding the arrangement was not officially sanctioned, and was used to handle confidential and classified materials that were at heightened risk of hacking or interception as a consequence.

Clinton, tellingly, has apparently been “sweating” on this report exonerating her of any misconduct.

But in a further excoriation of her behaviour, the report also found that 30,000 emails deleted from the private server included classified documentation: and that not only should they not have been there, but they should not have been destroyed by Clinton either.

It now seems inevitable that Clinton will face charges over the matter, and if found guilty, faces prison: and with decades of history of acting, with husband Bill in harness, as a law unto herself, a stint in a federal penitentiary would seem no less than the one-time First Lady and New York Senator deserves.

THE decades-long endeavour to bring Hillary Clinton to justice may be nearing its conclusion.

This column has never made any secret of its deep loathing of Bill and Hillary Clinton; neither is able to point to any legacy in office of any particular value, and both fit the nauseating stereotype of would-be emulators of the “Camelot” mentality of the Kennedy family with their sense of entitlement, their penchant for doing whatever they like, and the expectation they will always get away with it: and that Americans will and indeed should love them irrespective.

I’m sorry, but even in the insiderish Washington establishment that protects its own at almost any cost, this is simply too much to stomach.

Not least from a woman who — 20 years ago — found herself at the centre of the Whitewater scandal, in which her role was never satisfactorily or convincingly explained; and not from an individual who now seeks arguably the most powerful office in the world, free to dispense patronage and favour to fellow travellers in the Democrats’ insidious liberal Left tradition, and whose ascent to that office could provide sufficient cover to ensure she never faces justice over the alleged misdemeanours of which she now stands accused.

This scandal has been years in the making, literally, and many decent Americans have wondered whether the whole sordid business would be swept under the carpet. In this sense, the release of the State Department’s report, and the obvious signal it sends to prosecutors to indict Ms Clinton, is a refreshing development.

As readers will note, the article I have linked to this morning sets out a likely timeframe for Ms Clinton to be indicted, the charges considered by a Court, and a verdict arrived at; this process will by its nature run longer than the remainder of the presidential election race, giving rise to the very real prospect that Clinton — if elected President — could earn the shame and ignominy of being the first US President to ever be jailed whilst holding office.

This, of course, is no excuse to defer or avoid justice being carried out.

But it adds fresh fuel to the campaign of Donald Trump — who, whether you approve or not, appears likelier by the day to be elected in November, providing the seemingly inevitable march toward the GOP nomination he has all but completed follows its course to conclusion.

And it raises the question of whether the Democrats persist with Clinton, disallow her candidacy on some arcane pretext and substitute her with ageing socialist troglodyte Bernie Sanders, or cut their losses with the pair of them and find a fresh candidate altogether, such as Clinton’s rumoured running mate, Elizabeth Warren.

Personally, I think the Clintons have been allowed to get away with far too much for far too long, and if Hillary ends up in gaol at the conclusion of the State Department’s action against her, it will be exactly what she deserves — and put her precisely where she belongs.

We will follow this issue as it develops, and of course with the nominating contests all but finished, this column will pay closer attention to the presidential race as it cranks up in the rundown to election day in early November.

But if it is decided at law that Clinton has destroyed classified documents (or worse, if it can be established that they have been intercepted) then that isn’t a piffling matter to get away with: it’s an offence against US national security, and should that verdict come to pass, it will be a damnation of somebody who has always held herself up as the “brains” trust in the God-forsaken Clinton sideshow: and a prison term in those circumstances would be a fitting punishment for someone who, on any measure, should have known better — and known better than virtually anybody else in the United States.

I will be back late today or in the morning, as promised, to talk about matters closer to home.

 

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.

 

Obama Wins. But At What Cost?

In a disturbing result bearing ominous portents for the economic, social and military stability of the United States — and, to an extent, the rest of the Western world — President Barack Obama has been re-elected by the narrowest of margins. His new four-year term promises to be a rough ride.

Is this a legitimate win by Obama? Of course it is; he won the popular vote, the votes in most of the so-called “swing states,” and he won the electoral college.

There is a saying in Australia that Australians get the governments they deserve; I’d imagine many Americans would be saying the same thing right about now. But enough of them voted for Obama to re-elect him and so, for the next four years, the rest of them are stuck with him.

Aren’t we all?

The Red And The Blue, whilst heartily disappointed that Obama remains as President, nevertheless wishes to extend congratulations to him on his election win today; at the very minimum, we can at least say it is the last time such pleasantries will be required.

Because whilst Obama is a good and decent man, his ideas leave everything to be desired, and with the mess the United States is in at present it is to be hoped the honourable gentleman deploys a rather different approach to the next four years to the last four.

This election really mattered; the US economy is in the toilet, for starters.

For all the talk of auto industry bailouts in Ohio, the wider economic problem persists: stubbornly high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, negligible domestic consumer confidence, the obscene practice of printing dollars to artificially deflate the US economy, and federal debt running at 107% of GDP.

In turn — to a country like Australia — these measures translate to an overvalued currency that hurts Australian businesses (whilst nonetheless failing to effect the intended correction in the US), softening export markets, sagging inbound tourism numbers, and an increased cost of capital for businesses and banks operating in this country. Just to name a few of the ill-effects of President Obama.

Are there other partners of the US on whom this administration has not adversely impacted? I doubt it.

It is true that Obama inherited an economy from George W. Bush in a disparate state, partly on account of the so-called GFC, which in turn was partly the result of poor prudential regulation in the USA by administrations of both political stripes stretching over decades.

In short, after four years, Obama should have made a difference.

The fact that his administration has failed to do so has nothing to do with George W. Bush, or the Republican Party, or the GFC.

But it has much to do with the fact Obama isn’t a leader’s bootlace: even in the first part of his term, with control of Congress, he enacted nothing which has proven to be of economic benefit in the latter.

Rather, it has been more important to play games, blame Republicans, reject negotiated outcomes and consensus measures, and engage in the rhetoric of utopian left-wing social nirvana.

The rhetoric, mind; aside from the detested so-called Obamacare package, Obama has achieved little in terms of meaningful outcomes.

This is an administration that has failed to pass a budget in almost four years; never mind the fact the US Constitution says it will be done once per year.

This is an administration under whose watch government debt has ballooned to US$16 trillion, or 107% of GDP.

This is an administration which has overlooked its traditional allies in favour of currying sympathy with the regimes of murderous despots in the hope appeasement will simply make them disappear from the radar.

And this is an administration which has actively hacked away at the US defence capability and the budget that underpins it, and this includes the strategic forces — at a time when emerging and resurgent rivals in China and Russia are expanding or modernising their capabilities, and at a time when the US and its allies face unprecedented security threats from a range of malevolent entities across the world.

And the snub of Israel — and, by extension, of the Jewish people generally — is despicable.

Yet this has been the face of government in the US for four years, and so it will be for another four.

We believe that Mitt Romney was a flawed yet worthy candidate; whether he was or not, however, is immaterial, on one consideration: after the past four years, anyone could have done better than Obama has.

And so the buck stops with Obama — again.

We hope that in the coming four years, Obama embraces the spirit of bipartisanship, because if he doesn’t, nothing will get done in Washington.

Unlike other democracies, Obama does not have the option of early elections to fall back on.

And in any case, an insistence on his way or the highway — when the US really isn’t in good shape anyway — simply won’t cut it.

Obama might be President, but he also has a responsibility to uphold his country’s constitution, and to govern for all of its citizens — not simply a select few.

And if that means working with his enemies in Congress, so be it: the buck stops with Obama.

It is to be hoped that the left-wing social agenda is to be put aside in deference to four years of grinding, orthodox, dour government delivering services, policy outcomes and tangible results.

And it needs to be pointed out that the black and Latino and other communities which have voted for Mr Obama — and which experience disproportionately extreme levels of poverty and unemployment compared to the national average — now have Obama and his Democratic Party to blame for their continuing plight, and not the white establishment historically held out as responsible for their misfortune.

For if Obama is their “saviour” then save them he must — and to fail them is to commit a flagrant moral breach of trust with those who have entrusted him with helping them to improve their lot as citizens of the American republic.

Mitt Romney — accepting his party’s nomination for the Presidency back in September, pointed out that

“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans…and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”

For everybody’s sake, Obama would be well advised to forget about this ridiculous and undeliverable mantra of contemporary socialist posturing, and get on with helping the families of his countrymen.

There are plenty of inherent risks in the continuation of this Presidency. None of us really wants to see them played out. But unless he changes tack now, Obama is doomed to fail. The consequences could be disastrous.

So much for a triumph.

Secretly, perhaps Obama wishes this was the election he might have lost.

Congratulations again, Mr President.

US Election: Mitt Romney For President Of The United States

Counting will shortly commence in the United States to determine whether Barack Obama will be re-elected, or whether Mitt Romney will become the 45th President of the United States. And whilst The Red And The Blue endorses the Republican Romney, we also believe he is likely to be elected.

Had Hillary Clinton edged out Barack Obama in the knife-edged contest for the Democratic nomination to contest the presidency in 2008 — and gone on to preside over the same administration Obama has — this column believes that Clinton would, today, be staring down the barrel of a 50-state landslide defeat at the hands of Romney.

The fact today’s election is competitive at all has everything to do with the “star quality,” or the “magic,” of Barack Obama, and little to do with the record of his administration.

Obama — elected four years ago, in the depths of the worst recession to hit the US since the 1930s — has been a serial underperformer, and a disappointment; overall unemployment figures in the US are only fractionally lower than they were in 2008, and only then because millions of Americans have given up looking for work.

The once-mighty American economy is growing at a snail’s pace; and US prestige abroad, on Obama’s watch, is undergoing its most serious decline since that country’s humiliation in the fiasco of its Vietnam war effort.

US debt has increased by 60% in four years, to US$16 trillion, at the same time as Obama has been preoccupied with “Obamacare” and other grand gestures of the socialist Left, whose bona fides as ideals are beyond reproach, but which lack utterly any meaningful or practical import when implemented as actual measures.

And Obama has been a risk to international relations and to world stability; his persistent snub to Israel — whilst courting the fundamentalist regimes in its backyard — are a good example. His apparent determination to resume the policy of “splendid isolation” practised by the USA prior to the second world war is another.

There is also ample evidence that Obama has refused — or is simply unable — to work with a hostile Congress to achieve meaningful legislative outcomes, or at least since his Democratic Party lost control of the House of Representatives two years ago.

Yet there is little — if any — evidence that Clinton would have done any better; indeed, with what Obama lacks in terms of a slate of real achievement to point to, he at least resonates on a personal level with ordinary Americans.

The abrasive Clinton — whilst highly respected for her abilities, and rightly so — can’t even claim that, and as a standard-bearer the same left-wing agenda as Obama, it is fair to say that a Clinton presidency over the past four years would have been an unmitigated disaster.

That said, Republican challenger Mitt Romney arrives at today’s moment of reckoning as something of an enigma in spite of the campaign, and as something of an unknown despite his record as a former Governor of Massachusetts.

On one level, Romney (or any other Republican challenger) should, by rights, arrive at the 2012 election with little if any entitlement to expect to win, given the mess the USA was in at the conclusion of the Presidency of George W. Bush four years ago.

Then again, the Republican message that the four years Obama has had is long enough to expect to see results is actually absolutely correct.

As I said at the outset, the fact today’s election is competitive at all has everything to do with Barack Obama personally, and were it a simple referendum on the results or otherwise of his administration, the Republicans would be in line to romp home.

Simply stated, the election is more about the two candidates; even many on the Left — in the US, here in Australia and elsewhere in the world — concede, to varying degrees, that Obama’s administration has underperformed.

Readers will know that this column originally backed former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich to contest this election against Obama, and whilst we believe Mitt Romney has fought the best campaign possible by a Republican candidate, his candidacy will be one of many subjects covered in a post-mortem review should Obama be re-elected today, especially if by a narrow margin.

Yet in endorsing Romney in a straight contest with Obama, it is his policy focuses on families, business and reordering US military priorities, backed by his expertise in business and his success as a Republican governor in Democratic-controlled Massachusetts, that we believe deserving of support from the US public.

And in regard to Barack Obama, we would make the simple observation that “social agendas” are well and good, but with the country teetering on the brink of bankruptcy — with government debt running at 107% of GDP, in large part the result of his own Presidency — “social agendas” are simply not the priority the Left, the world over, present them to be.

Little has been made during this campaign of Romney’s religious status as the first Mormon to contest the US presidency, and rightly so; we believe this to be irrelevant.

Similarly, and in spite of the best efforts of the likes of businessman Donald Trump, the so-called birther conspiracy surrounding Barack Obama has been the non-event it should be.

We endorse Mitt Romney to be elected today as the 45th President of the United States, and expect that he will be, although we agree with the conventional wisdom that the contest, as it plays out with actual votes rather than opinion poll results and whichever way resolved, will be exceedingly close.

Polls close progressively during the day, commencing on the east coast and including states such as New York at 7pm ET (10am AEDT), with results coming through over the ensuing hours.

We look forward to following the count as the day unfolds, and will comment again once the overall results become known and the outcome of the contest becomes clear.

US Election: Picking A President, And Said Better Than I Could

As readers know, The Red And The Blue is keeping an eye on the election campaign underway in America for the Presidency; today I share from a newspaper in Orlando, Florida, that sums up my thoughts beautifully, warts and all — endorsements, reservations, approval and misgivings.

I saw the piece reproduced below early yesterday morning, and simply had to share this; readers are aware that whilst I endorse Mitt Romney to defeat US President Barack Obama, that position comes with extensive qualifications attached to it (in short, Newt Gingrich would have been a better conservative option).

I have been trying to attach this article with a screen shot but am not across the technological know-how (any helpful suggestions from fellow bloggers?) And so I have simply reproduced the text instead in order to share it. (Americanisms, grammar faults etc are left exactly as they appear in the article; I have however removed a number of hyperlinks for the purposes of this blog post).

The one qualification I make on the editorial piece below is that whilst I agree with the Sentinel that Obama is not “a business-hating socialist,” I certainly think he is a socialist, no less.

(For those who wish to do so, the original page from the Orlando Sentinel can be viewed here.)

Our pick for president: Romney

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to supporters during a campaign rally on October 11, 2012 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Two days after his lackluster first debate performance, President Barack Obama’s re-election hopes got a timely boost. The government’s monthly jobless report for September showed the nation’s unemployment rate fell below 8 percent for the first time since he took office.

If that were the only metric that mattered, the president might credibly argue that the U.S. economy was finally on the right track. Unfortunately for him, and for the American people, he can’t.

Economic growth, three years into the recovery, is anemic. Family incomes are down, poverty is up. Obama’s Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, highlighted these and other hard truths in this week’s second debate.

Even the September jobless numbers deserve an asterisk, because more than 4 million Americans have given up looking for work since January 2009.

And while the nation’s economy is still sputtering nearly four years after Obama took office, the federal government is more than $5 trillion deeper in debt. It just racked up its fourth straight 13-figure shortfall.

We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.

Obama’s defenders would argue that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, and would have made more progress if not for obstruction from Republicans in Congress. But Democrats held strong majorities in the House and Senate during his first two years.

Other presidents have succeeded even with the other party controlling Capitol Hill. Democrat Bill Clinton presided over an economic boom and balanced the budget working with Republicans. Leaders find a way.

With Obama in charge, the federal government came perilously close to a default last year. Now it’s lurching toward another crisis with the impending arrival of massive tax hikes and spending cuts on Jan. 1.

The next president is likely to be dealing with a Congress where at least one, if not both, chambers are controlled by Republicans. It verges on magical thinking to expect Obama to get different results in the next four years.

Two years ago, a bipartisan panel the president appointed recommended a 10-year, $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan. Rather than embrace it and sell it to the American people, Obama took his own, less ambitious plan to Congress, where it was largely ignored by both parties.

Now the president and his supporters are attacking Romney because his long-term budget blueprint calls for money-saving reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, three of the biggest drivers of deficit spending. Obama would be more credible in critiquing the proposal if he had a serious alternative for bringing entitlement spending under control. He doesn’t.

Romney is not our ideal candidate for president. We’ve been turned off by his appeals to social conservatives and immigration extremists. Like most presidential hopefuls, including Obama four years ago, Romney faces a steep learning curve on foreign policy.

But the core of Romney’s campaign platform, his five-point plan, at least shows he understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government’s balance sheet are imperative — now, not four years in the future.

Romney has a strong record of leadership to run on. He built a successful business. He rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from scandal and mismanagement. As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with a Democrat-dominated legislature to close a $3billion budget deficit without borrowing or raising taxes, and pass the health plan that became a national model.

This is Romney’s time to lead, again. If he doesn’t produce results — even with a hostile Senate — we’ll be ready in 2016 to get behind someone else who will.

We reject the innuendo that some critics have heaped on the president. We don’t think he’s a business-hating socialist. We don’t think he’s intent on weakening the American military. We don’t think he’s unpatriotic. And, no, we don’t think he was born outside the United States.

But after reflecting on his four years in the White House, we also don’t think that he’s the best qualified candidate in this race.

We endorse Mitt Romney for president.

Copyright © 2012, Orlando Sentinel

Great Laugh: Double Entendre On The Campaign Trail In The USA

Tonight I am very happy to share one of those rare times the political process offers up a great old belly laugh; US Vice-President Joe Biden — or more correctly, his wife — has kicked a massive own goal on the campaign trail, much to the delight of supporters and opponents alike.

I thought I would feature this tonight — let’s be honest, although there have been serious issues to canvass over the past week, we’ve all taken them fairly seriously as well — and something a little lighter, prior to the start of a new week, is welcome.

Imagine the brouhaha, then, when Jill Biden — wife of Joe, Vice-President of the USA and standing for re-election with Barack Obama — introduces her husband at a campaign function, and inadvertently implies ol’ Joe is…well, very well endowed…

Biden — who was described by Clint Eastwood at the recent Republican National Convention as “kind of a grin with a body attached to it” — lived up to the description as he smirked, smiled, and eventually lost it as his wife’s remarks rolled fatefully along their course.

I can’t stand the sight of Biden; the smug smarm and — yes — that grin grate on my senses to the point of virtual intolerability.

Tonight, however, I just have to laugh along, like the rest of them did…

As an aside, this is the sort of thing political campaigns can’t engineer, and they gift something no amount of campaign donations can ever buy: warm, sincere spontaneity, underwritten by the fact that had it been planned, it would never have worked.

So — whilst I sincerely hope Mitt Romney beats Obama and Biden — I’m happy, just this once, to give a little air to their campaign, and invite you to watch this video of Jill Biden “keeping it real.”

Enjoy!