Thursday 23 February 2017

The other half

•While the presidential election campaign is intended to choose one person to occupy this pivotal constitutional office, this is a demanding role that has been shown to be enormously enhanced by the support and dedication of someone close to the president. That individual can have a profound impact on the attitude of the public and their relationship to the president of any nation.

The magnificent support consistently provided by Martin McAleese and Nicholas Robinson was indispensable to the success of our two most recent presidents and proves the point. The widow of the former president of Argentina and former First Lady from 2003, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, succeeded her husband in 2007 as president and is facing the second stage of a presidential election with almost a 60pc rating in opinion polls.

Our own presidential election campaign might begin to show more vitality if the public could glean some insight into who could play the role of presidential consort from November onwards, giving the electorate a more holistic and compelling perception of how the nation might fair under the next president, whether that person is a spouse, or not.

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