The world may still face all kinds of economic upheavals, as the panic from the American subprime mortgage sector spreads around the world, like a kind of financial BSE
To ask the reader to support Hillary means asking you to forget all those worrying allegations …and the Whitewater real estate imbroglio.
it is time America once again radiated a generous understanding of the rest of the world
it is time to think of supporting Hillary, not because we necessarily want her for herself but because we want Bill in the role of First Husband
I want Hillary Clinton to be president
You know, I never thought it would come to this. Over the past 24 hours I have been trying to imagine the kind of person I want to follow George W Bush into the White House.
I have been scanning the faces of the competitors for what some have called the most open presidential race for years, and I have screwed up my eyes and tried to work out who should be in charge of us all.
Who should have their finger on the nuclear button? Who should be Commander-in-Chief of the American military, the hugest and most lethal killing machine in history?
The world may still face all kinds of economic upheavals, as the panic from the American subprime mortgage sector spreads around the world, like a kind of financial BSE. Whose brain can we rely on to protect us?
I hum and I brood and then to my amazement a face seems to form in my mind’s eye. She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital; and as I snap out of my trance I slap my forehead in astonishment.
How can I possibly want Hillary? I mean, she represents, on the face of it, everything I came into politics to oppose: not just a general desire to raise taxes and nationalise things, but an all-round purse-lipped political correctness.
To express approval of Hillary Clinton is to invite fury from my friends in the American Republican party.
To ask the reader to support Hillary means asking you to forget all those worrying allegations that Ambrose Evans-Pritchard used to report so brilliantly in these pages: the funny goings-on with the White House travel office, the anomalies in the position of poor Vince Foster’s gun, the curious business of the drug-runners at the Rena airfield and the Whitewater real estate imbroglio.
How could I possibly emit the merest peep of support for a woman who seems to have acted out the role of First Lady, from 1993 to 2000, like a mixture between Cherie Blair and Lady Macbeth, stamping her heel, bawling out subordinates and frisbeeing ashtrays at her erring husband?
Supporting Hillary means passing over the powerful claims of other good candidates. There is the plainly brilliant Barack Obama; there is the chap who acted in the Hunt for Red October, and above all there is Rudy Giuliani. How can we prefer Hillary to the man who did so much to sort out violent crime on the streets of New York?
The answer is that we should certainly venerate Giuliani’s achievement, and the former Mayor of New York has much to teach any London mayor about the importance of getting police out on the streets.
But with the deepest respect to Rudy, he has one disadvantage over Hillary. Unless I am much mistaken, the Clinton marriage is still standing, a shell-scarred monument to the triumph of hope over experience; and the nub of the matter is that I am prepared to pay the price of supporting Hillary just to get Bill Clinton once again padding over the shag pile carpet of the Oval Office, even if it is only to bring his wife a cup of tea.
It seems so long ago, but do you remember how the world felt in the 1990s? There was a time when it was possible to support America exuberantly and unashamedly, and part of the reason was that the Presidency was held by a man of high intelligence and terrific political skill.
Though it pains me to say it, Tony Blair was a pretty smart operator. But I was lucky enough to watch several Blair-Clinton press conferences, and Bill made Tony look like a novice.
I remember a time when Clinton came to Belfast, and gave a speech of such sensitivity and understanding that he had virtually everyone purring with approval, from Paisley to Sinn Fein.
With the best will in the world, it is hard to imagine George Bush descanting with such fluency on any international topic. This is a man who believed until recently that the people of Athens are called “Grecians”.
After all these years of tough-guy stuff from the Neocons, it is time America once again radiated a generous understanding of the rest of the world. Take Syria, a place struggling to cope with more than a million refugees from Iraq, as a result of the ill-starred invasion.
I listen to Dubya starting to rev up the rhetoric against this member of the “Axis of Evil”, and I cannot for the life of me see what good can come of it. When I hear the Bush White House proposing to bomb Iran, I yearn for someone with the wit to offer a more sensible approach.
Of course Hillary has been careful not to be too soft, and she too has rattled the sabre against Iran. But I somehow feel that with Bill at her side, with all his experience, and with his well-stocked mind spooling through the options, America is less likely to do something rash and counter-productive.
The opponents of Clinton will say that he has nothing to teach Bush, and that it was his own laxness that allowed Bin Laden to flourish, and some will say that it was Clinton who allowed Afghanistan to get out of control.
But whatever the strength of that case, I can’t imagine that Bill Clinton would have made such a supreme hash of America’s response to 9/11. He was and is a master of language, and would never have been so cloth-eared to call for a “crusade”, given the connotations of that word to a Muslim ear.
He would never have informed the world that “if you are not with us, you are against us” or landed on an aircraft carrier to announce “mission accomplished”.
For all who love America, it is time to think of supporting Hillary, not because we necessarily want her for herself but because we want Bill in the role of First Husband. And if Bill can deal with Hillary, he can surely deal with any global crisis.