Thursday 22 August 2019

Revealed: The speech the Irish Government had prepared for a Clinton win

Notes for Cabinet show greater enthusiasm for a Clinton win

Rivals Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shake hands before one of their political debates in the run up to the US presidential election Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman
Rivals Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shake hands before one of their political debates in the run up to the US presidential election Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Evidence has emerged that the Government would have been more excited about the US election result if it had been won by Hillary Clinton.

Briefing notes prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs show the Government had a euphoric speech prepared to greet a win for the Democratic candidate.

The speaking notes prepared for ministers contrast significantly with a more downbeat message to congratulate the eventual winner, US President-elect Donald Trump.

The notes for each eventuality were prepared for Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan ahead of any public utterances on the election result.

Donald Trump Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters
Donald Trump Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Hillary Clinton was to be referred to as "a good friend of Ireland" and "an extraordinary individual". Her rival Donald Trump, known for his brash comments and bombastic style, was to be given a subtle reminder of his new responsibilities as a world leader.

The note also served as a prompt to publicly remind Trump about the traditional St Patrick's Day reception at the White House before the commentary turned prickly.

"We are all acutely conscious of the particular responsibility of the United States for leadership and engagement across the globe in our endeavours to address our shared challenges," it stated.

It also highlighted "the cause of international peace and security" and hopes of establishing a "productive working relationship".

There was no such urge to tell Clinton of the diplomacy that comes with holding public office.

A warmer and friendlier tone was to be offered to the Democratic candidate if she won the election.

"President-elect Clinton has been a good friend to Ireland for many years and the Government looks forward to working closely (with) her and our new colleagues in the White House," read the note.

"She has made history in becoming the first female president of the US - an extraordinary achievement by an extraordinary individual."

The different tone also extended to each candidates' Irish-American running mates, with the Government appearing to hold a preference for one of its long-lost sons.

Trump's Vice President-elect Mike Pence was congratulated and a reference made to his Sligo-born emigrant grandfather in the note.

Speaking of Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine, who has ties to Longford, the note said: "Irish-American men and women have made an extraordinary contribution both to the development of the United States from its foundation and to the enduring relationship between our nations.

"I know Mr Kaine will seek to build further on this legacy."

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