Matt Frei is Leading Britain's Conversation.
8 November 2016, 12:18
What kind of President will Hillary Clinton make, ponders David Mellor. A morally-bankrupt one, he concludes.
It continues to amaze me that a nation of 300 million people, that thinks of itself as the greatest on earth, can’t produce a better Presidential contest than this.
The serial deficiencies of Donald Trump as a potential leader of the free world are too obvious to require further elucidation, so let’s focus on Hillary Clinton.
This should be a moment of great joy for progressive Americans, as they await the election of the US’s first woman President. But it won’t be, because of Hillary’s total lack of freshness, or, indeed, moral authority.
Some weeks back, the best endorsement President Obama could make was to say, “Well, she’s made mistakes, but which of us hasn’t”. Scarcely ringing.
Last night he tried harder, hailing her as “a mother, and a grandmother!” Thereby unwittingly aping one of WS Gilbert’s finest songs, where the hero is praised for being an Englishman, when he could have been a Turk, or a Prussian! Almost beyond satire.
The Democratic Party has had a severe shock in this election, thinking it would be a shoo in, when it hasn’t been because of Hilary’s inadequacies.
All the stops were pulled out last night from Michelle to Bruce Springsteen and Madonna, but one massive figure was curiously absent – Bill Clinton.
And the most upsetting thing for me about a Hillary victory is that Bill will miraculously reappear, having, via his various business and charitable enterprises, taken money from some of the most unappealing people/governments in the world, for a spot of light influence peddling. Hillary’s arrival at the White House will be payback time for them, and, indeed, for him. Because Bill is a sleazeball who makes Tony Blair look like Snow White.
What kind of administration will Hillary Clinton run, assuming she gets her chance?
A morally bankrupt one, and I’m not talking sex, but money. She’s just too obligated to too many people she shouldn’t be obligated to, and Bill will make sure she stays that way. As, no doubt, will their far from spotless daughter, who, it is now alleged, but whether true or not, had a lot of her wedding paid for by the supposedly charitable Clinton Foundation.
And it will be a tired administration, because, let’s face it, Hillary is pretty washed out physically, as well as intellectually. “An empty pantsuit”, is the Telegraph’s Tim Stanley’s comment this morning, and he isn’t wrong, is he?
And she’ll run an administration that won’t command the world stage, putting Putin back in his box, amongst other priorities, because she didn’t do that when Secretary of State, so why should she change now.
So, a choice of President between Clinton and Trump is a crisis, not just for the US but for the rest of us. But behind it, lies a bigger one.
Hugely talented Americans, with choices as to how they spend their lives, have turned their backs on politics. Hence, because nature abhors a vacuum, we end up with Donald and Hillary.
And the saddest thing of all, is not that one of these two inadequates will be elected tonight, but that America’s best and brightest aversion to a political career isn’t going to change any time soon.