Monday 22 January 2018

Alison O'Connor: Easy rider Higgins steers clear of any controversy

Alison O'Connor

There is an air of the full moon about this election campaign, an edge of lunacy. Anything could happen next, you find yourself thinking, and then it does. It makes for great drama, but I'm not sure whether it's good for electing a president. A notable feature though, throughout all the madness, is that Michael D Higgins has been sailing rather serenely through it all.

He may be looking less than swan-like with his leg injury but the old Labour warhorse has managed to inject an element of glide to his campaign. His co-candidates meanwhile are spending time trying to avoid or jump over obstacles that keep cropping up in their way.

They and their supporters complain that Michael D's easy ride is unfair, but it is no coincidence. There has been a mountain of muck raking and digging for dirt in this campaign so far. While much of it is legitimate, it does seem as if it is skirting around the edges of decency. So it's hardly serendipity that has kept Michael D out of trouble. It's that the searchers are coming up with nil.

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