Trump vs Clinton in America?
No, there may be no “return bout” between the Clintons (Democrats) and the Bushes (Republicans) in the US presidential polls, as many have earlier feared.
This is because the campaign of businessman Jed Bush, son and brother of former US presidents (George Bush and George W. Bush) is imploding and the darling of the moment is the talkative, arrogant, but strangely attractive billionaire (net worth: $4 billion) Donald Trump.
Because of his wealth, Trump hardly needs the money of others and has called his rivals as well as media people names, such as “stiff” and “puppets.” He appears to many as a “nontraditional politician” who may be on a “campaign of rage and anger” vs the Obama governance, to which many can relate.
His zing is being compared to the magic appeal of the charismatic former president and ex-actor Ronald Reagan, who was such a great communicator—but basically in terms of form rather than substance. Reagan was elected US president twice and was one of the most beloved in recent memory.
Trump talks the street language, extemporaneously, and offers the American people “hope” because he wants to “make this country great again”—sounding like the Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his candied-up “New Society.”
Trump cites problems, and there are many in the United States, but he does not offer solutions. That’s why his critics dub him a clown and an ignoramus. But consider his spiels: He will send millions of immigrants home and save America for America; he will put up a giant wall on the border between Mexico and the United States because Mexicans are alleged rapists and drug dealers; people do not want “politically correct” and polite politicians, they want straight-talking ones, like himself.
“People want to hear someone who can say we beat China, we beat Japan, and steal Iraq’s oil and stick it to Iran,” he once declared. And he quarrels even with the most respected media personalities.
Trump travels rich and in style, wearing a baseball cap to conceal a wayward hairdo. What makes him tick is his personality, not his policies, of which he has none to offer. He probably intends to walk into the White House and just hire people who know the solutions.
Yet he appears to be leading (latest National Gallup poll) at 56 percent with GOP voters, from 39 percent in July, while Bush has slid down to precisely 39 percent. Dr. Ben Carson is lodged at second place.
Does the GOP want a candidate like Trump—thrice married, head of Trump Organization and Entertainment, which is known worldwide to build edifices with the best addresses and skin-filled shows—to represent it?
His opponent in November 2016 will likely be Hillary Rodham Clinton, former US first lady (1993-2001), senator (New York, 2001-2009) and secretary of state (2009-2013). After Barack Obama won as America’s first black president in 2009, Clinton may just become its first woman president.
An establishment candidate, Clinton has the women’s vote and the strong Hispanic-immigrants’ vote behind her. But while last year she seemed a runaway winner as the Democrats’ candidate, her popularity seems to be fading and is now at 41 percent in favor, lower than in 2008 when she surrendered the party’s presidency slot to Obama. It seems Sen. Bernie Sanders is suddenly a contender and Vice President Joseph Biden has been showing a faint interest in the race—an opportunity that has always been there if and when Clinton shows some vulnerability, as she does now.
And the e-mail imbroglio—using her private e-mail to send confidential government information, thus compromising state security—is adding to Clinton’s vulnerability.
But Clinton is a global celebrity and a media star, as well as a lawyer with tremendous political experience: She knows more than anyone else among the American hopefuls how to run an election campaign, and what switches to turn on in the White House to get things done.
Given her aggressive stance on foreign policy with respect to Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan and her reaction to the Arab Spring, Clinton is expected to be “a hawk in a skirt” if she becomes president of the United States. But she maintains her link with the middle class, with her support for labor causes and Obama’s healthcare program.
Doubtless, her physically and politically attractive husband, former president Bill Clinton, will be her strong campaign adjunct.
If Trump and Clinton fight one on one for the US presidency, it will be a spectacle to behold.
An uncouth, gung-ho, shoot-from-the-hip campaigner versus a polished, learned vote-getter. A nontraditional politician versus a political animal if there ever was one. A man of the world versus a community-type personality.
A man with immense wealth versus a woman armed with alliances with the rich and famous. A man who promises hope versus a woman who has long been working on it. A promise of change versus a continuation.
Will America finally have its first woman president? Or will Trump simply say “That lady is a tramp” (with apologies to Frank Sinatra)?
Bingo Dejaresco, a former banker, is a financial consultant, media practitioner and political strategist, and a lifetime member of Finex (his views do not necessarily reflect those of Finex).
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