One of my favourite past times when it comes to politics is watching the U.S. election campaigns. There is something fascinating about watching a bunch of rich, predominantly Caucasian men and women vying for the job of the most powerful politician in the world. The power at their disposal – financial, political, economic, military and otherwise is only matched by the stress that must go with the role.
It can be a lonely job on a tight rope whose strength, flexibility and width one never knows. There will always be some critics for whom nothing one does in the job will be adequate, short of quitting, killing themselves or getting assassinated – just ask any U.S. President who has served. There will be horrendously invasive security measures in place to protect the President and their family from unwanted prying eyes, from potential hostiles with criminal intent and there will be endless requests for meetings with heads of government/state, attendance at public events, private events – the list goes on. It is no wonder Presidents look decidedly aged by the time they leave office.
But right now I am watching with some interest the early stage rumblings of the Republican and Democrat camps. Both have candidates who are in the very early stages of declaring their intentions. Some like Hillary Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton need no further mention. Some like Jeb Bush bring a certain wariness with their family name, the consequence of older siblings having already occupied the White House with controversial results. Others like Rand Paul, a Republican with a libertarian streak, potentially bring a bit of diversity to the potential line up of candidates.
But it is Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat Senator (Massachusetts), who I am most interested in. Mrs Warren was a key figure in President Obama’s efforts to rein in the banks as a result of the Global Financial Crisis, and is an unapologetic proponent of transparency. Her stance against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is a substantial departure from the other Democrats including Mrs Clinton, who I view as being very closely linked to corporations, and therefore not entirely likely to have America’s best interests at heart.
The U.S. Presidential elections might not be until November 2016, but given the length of the candidates campaign to become their respective party’s nominee, the race to make the starting line for the real election race is starting now.