Monday, February 29, 2016

Primaries and Caucuses' Victories in Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina: are these indicators of a female or political outsider US Presidency?

Keywords or Terms: Hillary Clinton; Bernie Sanders; Donald Trump; Runaway Victories; American National Politics; Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina; Republican Party Spectrum; US Congressional Power-brokers; Political Acumen; Political pressure Groups; Political vs Non-Political experience; Politico-economic-socio variables; Conventional forces in Europe and Asia; Ready on the first day

PictureThe campaign strategy of Hillary Rodham Clinton must have changed several times since the onset of the 2016 primaries and caucuses. But it has also had some consistency when it comes to victories and accumulation of delegates after the close call at the Iowa caucuses, driven by three major factors: reflective and resonating campaign messaging that minority groups can identify with, especially in the States of Nevada and South Carolina; the redirection of campaign messaging that a growing number millennial can consider as speaking to their concerns and welfare, a group suspected as having been cornered by her arch rival, Bernie Sanders; and, the active participation of her surrogate husband (President Bill Clinton) on the campaign trail, for and on her behalf. Prior to the recent victories in the States of Nevada and South Carolina, Hillary’s campaign and potential of a runaway victory against Bernie Sanders were on shaky grounds, considering his outing in Iowa and New Hampshire caucus and primary. By tomorrow, Super Tuesday, there would only be twelve more primaries that can change the direction of the competition between Hillary and Bernie for the Democratic Party flag bearer’s position. More than anyone may conceive right now, the global political leadership may be determined on Super Tuesday. If Hillary wins a huge number of delegates more than Bernie and there is no indictment from any federal security agency, including the CIA and the State Department on the issues of the State Department’s email fiasco, there is every likelihood to believe the next President of the United States would be a female.

Most compelling lately is the revolutionary uprising of an outsider at the Republican Party spectrum of American National Politics, Donald Trump. For those who question the assessment of the possibility of having the first female President occupying the White House oval office, current assessment or postulation is not based on whimsical thoughts or doubts regarding the ability of Donald Trump to win the Presidency of the United States; rather, it has to do with the reality of who is best qualified to hold the global political leadership, which by default, has fallen on the laps of the only standing supper power on earth, since the fall of the USSR. Under Hillary Clinton, a former US Senator and Secretary of State, the nation would be in good hands; however, with Donald Trump, the nation would be experimenting with a business man with little astute capability of understanding the intricacy of political power brokerage, one that is mostly acquiesce with  political leadership of experience, coming out of years of hobnobbing with national and international leaders, Congressional and State legislators, and an active participation in grassroots politics, with ear to the ground regarding what is practical and or workable in American Politics and legislative process.

Politics and political hegemony comes not strictly from running a campaign to be elected a party’s primary flag bearer; rather, it comes from knowing how to better work with US Congressional power-brokers and influence peddlers; it comes from what it takes to push legislation through the two chambers of US Congress without losing a sleep, or steam rolling the difficult process or terrain of sponsoring, writing and passing a preferred bill that you can sign into law; it comes from understanding how to dine with adversaries, enemies and naysayers and getting your way; while accepting shellacking failures or humbling short comings of inability to push through legislation that you are committed and truly believes can make a difference in the lives of the people. These types of skill and zeal are not synonymous with what you have in corporate boardrooms or as a private enterprise CEO, no matter how you look at the responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency. At the same time, it is not totally impossible or unfeasible for a Chief Executive Officer to get to speed with the duties and responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency; however, there are some fine items of political wheeling and dealing that are almost, if not automatically essential to make things happen; call them essential tools for bringing about change when you are in that office. They are indispensable political acumen and necessities that make effecting change in the halls of congress, across political parties and among political pressure groups, possible. These skills are different from what it takes to turn a business around or manage bankruptcies with a team of well-paid lawyers and accountants; or build a golf course or tower in the middle of Manhattan or nowhere, Abu Dhabi, Nevada or Canada.

Comparatively, it is clear from Bush and Obama’s Administrations that an occupier of the White House oval office must understand what is best for formulating national security and international relations policies; who best to listen to when incurring into foreign wars; how to recognize the pitfalls for passing a new bill like the Obamacare or taking out an America’s enemy like Osama Bin laden, and how best to avoid pitfalls that may ground great intentions; including, seizing opportunities as they present themselves on several fronts, politico-economic-socio, once in the office of the Presidency. It entails being mindful of mischievous close political advisers and associates within the executive and legislative branches of government. Thus, if you could negotiate a deal to build a huge business enterprise, and perhaps if you are able to bring people together around a table to build up on an idea, you may be able to accomplish some of these tasks; however, you cannot always count or depend on initial commitments from legislators on proposed legislation, even though those legislation were initially advanced by leaders of your own political party. In addition, you cannot completely depend or rest on party-affiliates disposition on advanced public policy ideas, once they interact with their party’s leadership. This is why politics is a different animal from business negotiations. In politics, you never have a permanent enemy but permanent interests; you never have a complete loyalty or commitment of your party members, not to talk of opposition party members; rather, you have to learn the intricacy of buying time, robbing shoulders, back slapping and giving and taking in the dying hours of a deadline, to achieve any success; you constantly have to remain focused, dowsing political fires as new ones are being started, peeling off opposition party loyalties from lawmakers, untying long and outstanding political friendships and relationships,  plodding and convincing party faithful and uncommitted antagonists to buy into your leadership and ideas; it is a task that requires high tempo and energy to go through a long stretch of huddles and non-starters; it is a world so treacherous, political philosophers have termed them, a world of incongruousness in a congruent world and dispositions.  

On one hand, you want to recognize that it takes more than two, three or four meetings to resolve thorny political issues. You want to recognize there are risks inherent in immediate and imminent resolutions of the ever dynamic and repeated national problems. There is a danger to assume legislative members of your party are always going to be agreeable to your administration’s positions. Furthermore, there may be a reason to invest your personal wealth in seeking an office, or raising a lot of political campaign donations and promising benefactors ambassadorship or foreign attaché positions; however, you cannot assume that because everyone is saying you are embodiment of business success will readily translate to an agree-ability of all legislators or party leadership and membership in US Congress, to build a great, … great wall on the southern US border and making the Mexicans pay for it. An aggressive or narcissistic character may be good for show business; however, political leadership in government would hardly go very far, because of the nature of politics and political terrain when you are head of government or President of the United States. Finally, doubting the heroism of Senator John McCain or devaluing Heidi Klum as no longer ten, or lambasting all Muslims as terrorist and Mexicans as racists are hardly going to make America great again as promised during an election into the office.

A President of the United States or anyone seeking that office, must appreciate the complexities of our union, including the diversities in race, color, religion, national origin, sexuality, veteran’s status, among others. Offering yourself as a candidate for the oval office means you are less interested in self-aggrandizement or unnecessary bigotry that may color your disposition on several national issues. As a candidate and potential winner, you must take into account sensitivity of issues that concerns the welfare of a plurality of our people, including ensuring abstinence from the use of oratory that offends; and abasing any action or statement that dispossess or impinges the civil rights of a greater number of members’ resident in the union. You cannot fail to call to question hate groups or deny understanding the categorization of statements from leaders of White Supremacist, neo-Nazis or nationalists and expect to be afforded a benefit of doubt regarding some issues that impact the lives of minority groups within the union.

An aspirant for the office of US Presidency needs to understand the intricate nature of domestic and national security issues, some of which s/he has no control over. Creating a defensive and proactive strategies are essential duties of the position, demonizing one segment of the population over another is hardly wise or prudent; and, more importantly, having the patience of a vulture, is just as important as making things happen in the long haul, when you may not be able to attest to continued support and loyalty, even from members of your party and households. Along with changes in major alliances, you must expect dissenters within the party and expect regional problems that can derail great intentions. Having victory with an insurgent political campaign is just a tip of the iceberg, channeling populist anger to coalesce votes and offering somewhat condescending comments regarding why running for the US presidency is nasty and tough, are just the beginners, wait until you occupy the office, you’ll really know what multi-polar and regional disgruntlement mean and how they can upturn well laid out political initiatives; and how all these may inadvertently impact the process and challenges of governing a nation of about three hundred and seventy million people. These are part of the qualities America is looking for in our presidents or aspirants; this is why Hillary's credential far outstrip either Trump, Cruz or Rubio.

On the first day in office, you will be formulating strategies to make the country work, the same time you are dealing with briefing and notification of the impact of significant reduction of conventional forces in Europe and Asia. Just as the euphoria of your victory is settling in, you’ll be confronted with multiple issues and scenarios that are out of sphere of your influence, which money cannot buy or resolve, yet asking for your immediate attention because inattention may result in life or death situation. You will be faced with challenges that are somewhat above your political capability or financial security, because of your inexperience in the intricacies of political give and take; or, underestimated ignorance of what it really takes to be president of the greatest democracy on earth and a global leader that all member nations of the UN can look to and respect. Your challenge is to formulate newer strategies or thoughts to deal with dangerous and unpredictable predicament of the moment, without forming new adversaries or probable reduction in the influence of the office with supporters, allies and antagonists.

The most feasible manifestation, is to expect the unacceptable. This is why prior executive political experience, though not always a sin-qua-non, comes in rather handy for the office of the US Presidency. You may not postulate that your executive experience as a former CEO has completely prepared you for the task of the oval office, although it maybe helpful. Corollary, you  must now remember that the US presidency is not a position you can allocate budget resources without communicating and taking advice from a number of government agencies and advisers; a challenge, you are not accustomed to as a CEO or now, Presidential neophyte. Unlike Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, you will have more difficulties restructuring State or Defense Department’s budget; thus, there is a ticking time bomb potentially associated with your inexperience in political office and this is why the political outsider label or emblem, is more of a handicap, and may have you on the defensive for a while, until you are able to get up to speed with the task of the office. Welcome to the new reality, being a US President is more than winning the office by drawing energy and support from the dark side or far right nationalists!
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