So, who watched the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? What did you think?
Neither Mrs Clinton or Mr Trump did or said anything in the debate that gave me reason to believe that New Zealand as a nation might draw inspiration from their presidency. Neither landed an apparent knock out blow. Both repeated well known lies, an act that further chips away at their trustworthiness. There is no doubt both seriously want to become President of the United States, or that they want the U.S. to believe they can restore America’s place in the world.
And both have polarized America like no other Republican Democrat contestants.
But the similarities end there. Mrs Clinton is running a campaign many believe is linked to high profile bankers. Mr Trump’s campaign is self funded by himself. One is an establishment politician whose husband used to do the job she now wants. The other is a maverick billionaire businessman. For neither the Republicans or the Democrats is there strong mainstream voter support. Disenfranchised Americans number in the tens of millions, the major of which will not be likely to vote, though if they all voted for a third candidate the political earthquake to hit the U.S. would be as big as any seismic one to have done so.
In their millions, mainland America has rejected the idea og Democrats as being currently of the stripe that made Harry S. Truman and Franklin Delano Roosevelt a pair of the most respected Democrat Presidents. The name Clinton used to link to her husband Bill, who despite the allegations that Monica Lewinsky is by no means the only woman he had intercourse with, remains very popular in the Democrats. His Presidency will unfortunately be best remembered for his act of perjury.
It is true that Clinton Mk II is asking for trouble. The deaths of four people in a diplomatic compound that was attacked by Islamic State in 2012, when Mrs Clinton was Secretary of State is jumped on with glee by Fox News and conservative commentators on a regular basis. On top of that a questionable e-mail server and what Mrs Clinton did with potentially thousands of e-mails that . Mrs Clinton may or may not be charged with a Federal offence for this, but her reputation for carelessness will cost her more votes than she will admit to.
Likewise the nomination of Mr Trump shows the extent to which the voting population has lost trust in establishment Republicans. Far from wanting a mainstream politician who embodies mainstream Republican politics such as the Newt Gingrich’s, the Paul Ryan’s and the George Bush’s, conservative America and – so I am told – some right leaning Democrats – Americans have gone for Mr Trump, the wall building billionaire who wants to ban Muslims from coming to the United States.
But like Mrs Clinton, Mr Trump has his problems. For a man who appears to make policy on the hoof, displays remarkable ignorance about global affairs and who refuses to release his tax returns and seen non-American politicians comment negatively on his proposed policies even before the election, his first foray into politics has angered as many as it has delighted. How will Americans react to a Trump victory? Will his supporters show credible restraint win or lose?
Like it or not, despite the wholly uninspirational showing by both, by the end of 2 November New Zealand Time, one of these two people is going to be the 45th President of the United States.