Wednesday 23 August 2017

No matter who wins, the next US president will be like none before

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will square up in the presidential election
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will square up in the presidential election

Carole Coleman

If Hilary Clinton's "overheating" episode at a 9/11 commemoration and pneumonia diagnosis shows anything, it's the gruelling nature of the American presidential race. Candidates must go through two years of crisscrossing the country by bus, train and campaign plane, dozens of televised debates, hundreds of rallies, and thousands of opinion polls while raising hundreds of millions of dollars just for the privilege of taking part.

On top of this, nominees are expected to be 'presidential'. Before they ever set foot in the Oval Office, hopefuls must possess the aura of someone capable of great things. According to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton doesn't fit the presidential ideal. "I just don't think she has a presidential look," he recently said, "and you need a presidential look."

Mr Trump is correct in one sense. His opponent looks unlike any American president in history because, "Duh, Donald", she's a woman, a wife, a mother and grandmother. She's one of those female thingamabobs that America has not yet had for a leader. Like Barack Obama, who didn't look sufficiently presidential throughout swathes of America in 2008 and 2012 - too black, too foreign, too skinny; Mrs Clinton is too short, too shrill, and too prone to high heels.

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