Sunday, January 13, 2008

Clinton vs. Obama and McCain vs Romney - A Michigan Double Bill.

It is widely held that if one wants to remain friends, the topics of politics and religion should be avoided.

But these are such amazing days that we see for our American neighbors.

And next week, we in Windsor will watch closely as the Michigan Primary is held. Michigan is in such a tender and fragile – prone – position right now. Windsor is as well, and it is definitely in Windsor’s best interest to see a strong Detroit.

So we do care. Very much.

When you sleep next to an elephant ... you best know which way they role.

As you already know, both a woman and a black man are running for the presidency of the United States of America. Both are running for the nomination of the Democratic Party.

We always knew the day would come when one or the other would occur. But, I at least, didn’t expect both to happen at the same time. Barack Obama seemed to appear out of nowhere.

It is about time indeed for both.

The standard has been set. You cannot transcend race or gender and then use race or gender to distinguish yourself from your opponent. It erases the fact that either was transcended.

And so far I believe this standard has been pretty well met. Let’s see how South Carolina goes. Race is a powerful influence in South Carolina.

But the question is “Are any of these three Democrats capable to be president?“

It would be an awkward position for any man to be in, that of “First Gentleman”. But I think of all men who could break down that barrier … Mr. Clinton could do so.

Though I am fairly certain Bill would not likely be granted his own Intern.

You must remember that former presidents are still referred to as “Mr. President”. So in the event Mrs. Clinton should go on to win the American Presidency, the couple would be referred to as “Mr. and Mrs. President”.

They would have matching bath robes.

If you remember in the mid 1990’s, there was much speculation that Mrs. Clinton actually had greater influence on her husband and the White House than expected.

And I honestly do not see anything else that distinguishes Hillary Clinton from Barack Obama or John Edwards.

So flip your best coin.

On the republican side, I am so delighted that John McCain is doing so well so far. I have liked Mr. McCain for the last eight years. I believe Mr. McCain and his every word I see to be sincere and honest. There has never been a politician since Mr. Carter that I can say that about. But I see Mr. McCain as being much more capable than Mr. Carter.

However Senator McCain is in support of an Illegal Immigrants bill that I personally question. While I certainly do not condone illegal immigrants into the U.S. or into Canada for that matter – I do know that such measures bills further restrict Canadian access to the U.S. Border.

Since Canada and the United States are so dependent on each other as our largest trading partners – I do not see such a move helping Michigan. Instead it would tighten the noose around the largest North American trading route between the U.S. and Canada – the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit and Windsor. It is border restrictions now that are negatively impacting not only Canadian automakers, but their American big brothers as well.

He is running against Mitt Romney, who I also see as a very good man. I like Mr. Romney. But I do not believe Mr. Romney has the depth of understanding that years in a prisoner of war camp that John McCain has. That being said, Mr. Romney may well be the best answer by brining business sense to the internal running of that country.

Fred Thompson? I like this man very much. He is very McCain like. A bit gruffer and less civil. Mr. Thompson would also make a wonderful President – but he is not that likeable; even though I seem to like him.

It looks like the race between Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney can only be obstructed by Mr. Huckabee. Again it comes down to a coin toss – a coin with two good faces and a tail.

And Governor Mike Huckabee? I don’t think I could trust him as far as I could throw him. Maybe a couple of feet if I stretched well before trying. He probably weighs what, about one-eighty?

Rudy Giuliani exploits 9/11 in such a fashion – conjuring thoughts and images from the tragedy at every opportunity – appropriate or inappropriate. I am surprised that with only 3% of the American’s polled support remaining, that he is still running.

I wonder how all the candidates tie back to the oil industry. Does that really matter?

Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the United States.

Damn those Canadians.

Let’s hope one of the faces turns up, because they are just now finishing eight long years of pure “tail-end leadership”.

I do not wish upon my American friends and family the spectacle of electing a person to this most important role based only on the novelty of being black or female. I do indeed hope the Americans find the most qualified person who fits the needs of the next four to eight years well.

As a Canadian, most Americans – including my own friends and family - may say I have no business in writing these observations. But this election does impact the world. And living across the river from Detroit, Windsor is very much so desperately impacted by the state of Michigan’s economic status.

And there is still this one truth that all political pundits try to overlook:

American’s will pick celebrity over notoriety.

Thank your stars (literally) that Arnold Schwarzenegger is Austrian born and ineligible to run for President.

Although we might see them try to amend their constitution.

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