independent

Tuesday 30 September 2014

It doesn't look like we'll be getting our own Obama

DEBORAH COLEMAN

Published 09/08/2011 | 14:23

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What a week it has been for the Presidential race – and the final date for nominations hasn't even closed. Senator David Norris could never have clawed back a win after revelations that he sought clemency for his former partner, who was convicted of statutory rape over a decade ago.

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Occurrences such as this are a prime example of why politicians must carefully consider every move they make.

On a human level I understand Norris's reasons for writing that letter. He loved his partner and made no secret of this-and why should he. However, as a politician he cannot be seen to support or seek to protect anyone who is guilty of violating a child's rights.

Norris was dignified to the end when he declared his campaign over and it was clear to everyone how in doing so he closed the door on ever realising one of his greatest ambitions, which must have been crushing. Many people say that the decision on his suitability for the role should have been left to the electorate, but now that won't happen.

It has been said many a time this week but it's true – if a member of the clergy had been involved in this scandal in any way then there would have been ructions. The people of Ireland cannot afford any scrap of uncertainty or doubt when it comes to child welfare. There have been too many painful revelations for this to go unearthed and the truth is that there was so much covering up in other areas it has all but rotted the faith of many good Catholics.

In my opinion, the fact that Gay Mitchell sent a similar letter lobbying to have a murderer taken off death row is no different.

Mitchell, pictured left, sought to use his political influence to assist a convict. Yet he has not been subjected to the same demands and certainly hasn't removed himself from the Presidential race.

So as they annoyingly say ' we are where we are' and from where I'm sitting it's facing a pretty dismal selection of future Presidents.

With many quick to criticise Norris's mistakes, it's widely accepted that he had more charisma than all the others put together.

Suggestions poured in over the airwaves for everyone from Miriam O'Callaghan to Bob Geldof to throw their hats into the ring.

For goodness sake! It's not I'm A Celebrity, Get Me To The Áras. I do not doubt for a second that these suggestions and others are expert in their own fields but just because they are well liked doesn't mean they should be president.

What we are crying out for is our own Obama – and at this stage it doesn't look like we will get it.

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