I was very disappointed with Newt Gingrich’s comments about Palestinian statehood on US television. Generally speaking I have been disappointed with the tone that has been struck in the Presidential campaigns in the US. It is a strange paradox, but there is a real gulf in the United States between people who understand politics and people who do not. Someone who understood politics very well and could be a decent President would almost always appear unelectable to the vast majority of the electorate who choose Presidential according to how white their teeth are or how well they can throw a baseball. You have to pander to this vast swathe of the American general public before you get the golden ticket to the White House. It is once you are sworn in that the real work of making you a President begins. When I first thought about Barak Obama after his election, he was juvenile, celebrity-influenced and playing it for laughs. It took the US Government two years to make him the impressive figure he is now – mature, intelligent, sensible, and capable. A similar story can be told in England – David Cameron once admitted it was only in May this year, a full twelve months after his election, that he actually worked out how his role as Prime Minister functioned. It would appear that both in the US and UK, you only work out the job of top dog after a year or two of actually having been in it, and having faced the real stresses and pressures of it. There is no simulation or training that can prepare you for it, and generally an President or Prime Minster only hits form after 12 months in at least.
Newt Gingrich is not even remotely Presidential, and I am saying this as someone who is not saying he is not a Republican. Whilst he may need to pander to the vagaries of the general public in the US, and appear viable to them, he should also remember men like Rupert Murdoch who are already on the strata he hopes to join, and remember that people there will also cast a critical eye over his performance to see if this rough diamond will someday be polishable into something that can be worked with. I cannot speak to Rupert but in this commentator’s eyes at least Newt is not the solution we are looking for.
My position is that if it isn’t broken, it shouldn’t be fixed. I am happy with Obama as he has attentuated to the top flight political exposure we all know exists.