Pay attention to the loser not the winner

While we still have three months to go until the U.S. Presidential election we seem to have reached a point in the race where a clear pattern is emerging: Trump has lost the plot and Clinton is going to win by default.

Barring something unforeseen (and in this campaign anything is possible) it is likely the only wall built by the billionaire will be the one he has erected around his supporters. Trump has stopped trying to draw in independents or disaffected Democrats. He seems to be only concerned with his base and building a division between it and the rest of the country.

All the polls suggest the wild and excessive comments by Trump are taking a toll on voters and despite his attempts to claim he was “only” being sarcastic he is failing to comprehend words matter.

While the victory by Hillary Rodham Clinton will be historic more of the initial attention will be on the failed candidate Donald J Trump.

He cannot be sarcastic

His concession speech could be the most important words he speaks in 2016. Given his predilection for inappropriate comments what can we expect from the man who appears incapable of admitting being wrong or failure?

If Trump stays in character can we expect him to take the same approach as Canadian politician Jacques Parizeau?

He was the leader of the Quebec separatist movement during the 1995 referendum which he lost by 55,000 votes. Parizeau blamed the loss to “money and the ethnic vote”.

If Trump goes down that road, and it is hard to see he will not, the outcome could be explosive. As a sore loser he could he inspire some of the more extreme Trumpites to take action beyond the ballot box.

A minor casualty will be the GOP whose leaders need to decide in the next few weeks if staying or moving away from Trump gives the Republicans the best option to hold onto the House of Representatives and the Senate. Desertion may unleash the wrath of the candidate but the alternative may be far worse.

If the loss is huge it will be extremely difficult for Trump not to find people to blame for his humiliation.

As we have seen Trump has only one concern: himself. We also know there are enough people in the US with guns who can be motivated to mayhem.

He has already talked (sarcastically?) about enlisting the help of those who support the 2nd amendment and how the election is rigged. If he repeats those inflammatory comments on election night it will be extremely difficult to avoid a violent scenario; maybe the worst in the United States since the 1960’s. There has to be real fear he will take the equivalent of the nuclear option: if I don’t win then everyone else loses.

The people behind Trump need to quell the anger but is that possible?

Post-election blues

The biggest job for President Obama before he hands the baton to Hillary Clinton may be keeping America united.

Clinton may be taking over with parts of the country in flames. And she starts off with at least 40 percent of the country who dislike her and many more who don’t trust her.

Some of those, quite rightly, refuse to ignore the issue of the personal Email server when she was U.S. Secretary of State. And Clinton is not helping herself with her pedantic responses to the scandal. But it appears we have reached beyond the point of her being clamped in irons and hauled off to federal jail.

That is not to excuse Clinton because she was certainly wrong and may have acted illegally. Yet there is something disconcerting about her and legislation. She has always taken a Trump-like approach to rules and laws: if there is more than one interpretation she will take the one most favourable to her.

The history of Hillary has been marred by “interpretations”. There are concerns going back to Whitewater when she was a lawyer in Little Rock and Bill was the governor of Arkansas. Even though a special investigator was appointed neither were charged but the stench of wrongdoing remains.

There is ongoing concern that the Clintons do not always play by the same rules as everyone else. So what does it mean for her presidency?

After victory in November

On the plus side Hillary Clinton knows she has very little to beat.

Her predecessor will never be considered for the top echelon of U.S. presidents. Sure he made history but this was an administration too often resorting to executive powers rather than build cohesion. This has led to a more divisive Washington and many of the policies being overturned by the country’s top court.

Overall Barack Obama started off with promise and while he will leave the White House with a reasonable approval rating there will be few notable achievements. Obama had replaced a man who will be even more harshly treated by history. George W. Bush was politically naive and intellectually challenged. Neither man should concern themselves with having to visit the Black Hills of South Dakota.

One of the major issues for Hillary Clinton will be sort out her uneasy and sometimes frustrating relationship with her husband Bill. The man according to political insider Dick Morris could have been one of the all-time greats but was marred by a serious character flaw.

As president, Bill Clinton appeared to take everything in his stride: the nasty personal attacks, the incessant negative reports in the media and the usual day after day crises arising in the West Wing. Never ruffled and always seeming to be in control of the controversy and having a handle on the issues.

Bill Clinton is probably a dream subject for most psychologists. “In Search of Bill Clinton” by psychotherapist John D. Gartner gives us some pointers to why Bill casts such a massive shadow over Hillary.

Even when he was running for office he was willing and comfortable enough to include Hillary in the “two for the price of one” shtick. His easy-go-lucky approach masks one of the sharpest brains to have sat in the Oval office. He does not appear to be the kind of individual who is threatened by anyone…that is not the case for Hillary.

She gives the impression of always being impatient and needing to be in charge. For Bill it seems he was born to hold high office, for Hillary she has been fighting every day to get there.

Quite rightly at this point, she wants success and recognition; this can only be achieved by smashing the glass ceiling and walking into the White House.

What comes next?

Bill Clinton followed 12 years of Republicans in charge. He was happy to take advice and look at every option and still appeared to have time to play the saxophone. (Unfortunately this was not the only extra curricula activity for the president).

For George Bush it was 8 years focussed on political survival. He was followed by Barack Obama who sought to develop a ‘first among equals’ environment. The urge to be different trumped the need to be effective. It seems the periods of being a lame duck president are getting longer and longer.

If Hillary remains true to her character every decision will be micromanaged and the need to “check with Hillary” will lead to an administration being consumed by bottlenecks before spring flowers emerge in Washington DC. If every decision awaits the nod from H.R.C. the critics will have a field day and we will have more days of finger-pointing and buck passing. Two games popular in the American capital but have little interest in the rest of the country.

Clinton will have to embrace the moniker of being a change -maker and mean it. If she fails to delegate and build trust within her administration and she will never have the confidence of the country.

Clinton needs to reach beyond her base and show leadership. She will have to avoid ‘to the victor go the spoils’ and find a way to work with Congress. This has not been done for eight years. This has to be the main priority from day one. She has to take the opposite approach from Obama. She must reach out, sympathise and cajole as only a Clinton can do.

With her background it will be easy to concentrate on foreign issues where she may feel most comfortable. Again we go back to priority one — domestic issues cannot be given equal billing. There are always going to be issues for the U.S State Department. But for the first time in more than a decade if the world is to go forward then America must be united.

Foreign leaders know this. Failing to pay attention to the frustrations and concerns of the electorate could open the door to a political milieu similar to what we saw in the run up to the Brexit vote in the UK. The Far-right made false promises and created a crisis. We are also seeing the Right surging in other parts of Europe.

For America to lead it needs to be domestically strong and a beacon of electoral maturity. If it cannot then there is every chance extremists will flourish.

The U.S. has to signal a change in the way the political world is evolving. That can only be achieved if the new president can reach out and find traction with those feeling disenfranchised.

Words will not be enough nor will it be possible without ordinary voters seeing the rules tilting back toward them and not skewed towards the rich and powerful.

This is an immense task yet this may be the opportunity Hillary Rodman Clinton has been waiting for throughout her adult life. If she is not prepared to change herself, and her country, she will always be second best to the “aw shucks” president.

The goal of bettering her husband could be the incentive she needs to reach for greatness. It is worth noting while Hillary Clinton does poor in campaign polls when she gets into office her approval rating goes up. With the world watching she must make it possible to ignore the loser.

While we still have three months to go until the U.S. Presidential election we seem to have reached a point in the race where a clear pattern is emerging: Trump has lost the plot and Clinton is going to win by default.

Barring something unforeseen (and in this campaign anything is possible) it is likely the only wall built by the billionaire will be the one he has erected around his supporters. Trump has stopped trying to draw in independents or disaffected Democrats. He seems to be only concerned with his base and building a division between it and the rest of the country.

All the polls suggest the wild and excessive comments by Trump are taking a toll on voters and despite his attempts to claim he was “only” being sarcastic he is failing to comprehend words matter.

While the victory by Hillary Rodham Clinton will be historic more of the initial attention will be on the failed candidate Donald J Trump.

He cannot be sarcastic

His concession speech could be the most important words he speaks in 2016. Given his predilection for inappropriate comments what can we expect from the man who appears incapable of admitting being wrong or failure?

If Trump stays in character can we expect him to take the same approach as Canadian politician Jacques Parizeau?

He was the leader of the Quebec separatist movement during the 1995 referendum which he lost by 55,000 votes. Parizeau blamed the loss to “money and the ethnic vote”.

If Trump goes down that road, and it is hard to see he will not, the outcome could be explosive. As a sore loser he could he inspire some of the more extreme Trumpites to take action beyond the ballot box.

A minor casualty will be the GOP whose leaders need to decide in the next few weeks if staying or moving away from Trump gives the Republicans the best option to hold onto the House of Representatives and the Senate. Desertion may unleash the wrath of the candidate but the alternative may be far worse.

If the loss is huge it will be extremely difficult for Trump not to find people to blame for his humiliation.

As we have seen Trump has only one concern: himself. We also know there are enough people in the US with guns who can be motivated to mayhem.

He has already talked (sarcastically?) about enlisting the help of those who support the 2nd amendment and how the election is rigged. If he repeats those inflammatory comments on election night it will be extremely difficult to avoid a violent scenario; maybe the worst in the United States since the 1960’s. There has to be real fear he will take the equivalent of the nuclear option: if I don’t win then everyone else loses.

The people behind Trump need to quell the anger but is that possible?

Post-election blues

The biggest job for President Obama before he hands the baton to Hillary Clinton may be keeping America united.

Clinton may be taking over with parts of the country in flames. And she starts off with at least 40 percent of the country who dislike her and many more who don’t trust her.

Some of those, quite rightly, refuse to ignore the issue of the personal Email server when she was U.S. Secretary of State. And Clinton is not helping herself with her pedantic responses to the scandal. But it appears we have reached beyond the point of her being clamped in irons and hauled off to federal jail.

That is not to excuse Clinton because she was certainly wrong and may have acted illegally. Yet there is something disconcerting about her and legislation. She has always taken a Trump-like approach to rules and laws: if there is more than one interpretation she will take the one most favourable to her.

The history of Hillary has been marred by “interpretations”. There are concerns going back to Whitewater when she was a lawyer in Little Rock and Bill was the governor of Arkansas. Even though a special investigator was appointed neither were charged but the stench of wrongdoing remains.

There is ongoing concern that the Clintons do not always play by the same rules as everyone else. So what does it mean for her presidency?

After victory in November

On the plus side Hillary Clinton knows she has very little to beat.

Her predecessor will never be considered for the top echelon of U.S. presidents. Sure he made history but this was an administration too often resorting to executive powers rather than build cohesion. This has led to a more divisive Washington and many of the policies being overturned by the country’s top court.

Overall Barack Obama started off with promise and while he will leave the White House with a reasonable approval rating there will be few notable achievements. Obama had replaced a man who will be even more harshly treated by history. George W. Bush was politically naive and intellectually challenged. Neither man should concern themselves with having to visit the Black Hills of South Dakota.

One of the major issues for Hillary Clinton will be sort out her uneasy and sometimes frustrating relationship with her husband Bill. The man according to political insider Dick Morris could have been one of the all-time greats but was marred by a serious character flaw.

As president, Bill Clinton appeared to take everything in his stride: the nasty personal attacks, the incessant negative reports in the media and the usual day after day crises arising in the West Wing. Never ruffled and always seeming to be in control of the controversy and having a handle on the issues.

Bill Clinton is probably a dream subject for most psychologists. “In Search of Bill Clinton” by psychotherapist John D. Gartner gives us some pointers to why Bill casts such a massive shadow over Hillary.

Even when he was running for office he was willing and comfortable enough to include Hillary in the “two for the price of one” shtick. His easy-go-lucky approach masks one of the sharpest brains to have sat in the Oval office. He does not appear to be the kind of individual who is threatened by anyone…that is not the case for Hillary.

She gives the impression of always being impatient and needing to be in charge. For Bill it seems he was born to hold high office, for Hillary she has been fighting every day to get there.

Quite rightly at this point, she wants success and recognition; this can only be achieved by smashing the glass ceiling and walking into the White House.

What comes next?

Bill Clinton followed 12 years of Republicans in charge. He was happy to take advice and look at every option and still appeared to have time to play the saxophone. (Unfortunately this was not the only extra curricula activity for the president).

For George Bush it was 8 years focussed on political survival. He was followed by Barack Obama who sought to develop a ‘first among equals’ environment. The urge to be different trumped the need to be effective. It seems the periods of being a lame duck president are getting longer and longer.

If Hillary remains true to her character every decision will be micromanaged and the need to “check with Hillary” will lead to an administration being consumed by bottlenecks before spring flowers emerge in Washington DC. If every decision awaits the nod from H.R.C. the critics will have a field day and we will have more days of finger-pointing and buck passing. Two games popular in the American capital but have little interest in the rest of the country.

Clinton will have to embrace the moniker of being a change -maker and mean it. If she fails to delegate and build trust within her administration and she will never have the confidence of the country.

Clinton needs to reach beyond her base and show leadership. She will have to avoid ‘to the victor go the spoils’ and find a way to work with Congress. This has not been done for eight years. This has to be the main priority from day one. She has to take the opposite approach from Obama. She must reach out, sympathise and cajole as only a Clinton can do.

With her background it will be easy to concentrate on foreign issues where she may feel most comfortable. Again we go back to priority one — domestic issues cannot be given equal billing. There are always going to be issues for the U.S State Department. But for the first time in more than a decade if the world is to go forward then America must be united.

Foreign leaders know this. Failing to pay attention to the frustrations and concerns of the electorate could open the door to a political milieu similar to what we saw in the run up to the Brexit vote in the UK. The Far-right made false promises and created a crisis. We are also seeing the Right surging in other parts of Europe.

For America to lead it needs to be domestically strong and a beacon of electoral maturity. If it cannot then there is every chance extremists will flourish.

The U.S. has to signal a change in the way the political world is evolving. That can only be achieved if the new president can reach out and find traction with those feeling disenfranchised.

Words will not be enough nor will it be possible without ordinary voters seeing the rules tilting back toward them and not skewed towards the rich and powerful.

This is an immense task yet this may be the opportunity Hillary Rodman Clinton has been waiting for throughout her adult life. If she is not prepared to change herself, and her country, she will always be second best to the “aw shucks” president.

The goal of bettering her husband could be the incentive she needs to reach for greatness. It is worth noting while Hillary Clinton does poor in campaign polls when she gets into office her approval rating goes up. With the world watching she must make it possible to ignore the loser.