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How 2016 race for the White House is shaping up

Most Kenyans believe that Barack Obama, who occupies the White House, is their “son” and given there was a request by a frequent reader of this column to comment on the race to the White House, I’m more than willing to reply.

This week’s column are excerpts from my reply to a high school student. So forgive the basic overview. There are two major parties in the United States, the Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are conservative. That means in general they support the system. They are for smaller government. They are also usually hawkish when it comes to foreign policy.

That means they are less constrained to use military means when it comes to dealings with other nations. Republicans are also conservativeon the social front. They are generally anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage and anti-immigration. Democrats are liberals. So kind of the opposite of what I just said. Remember these are just generalisations.

Chances are high Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic, and the Republican nomination will be won by Jeb Bush. The RealClearPolitics polling data which is an amalgamation of three prominent national polls, CNN, FOX News, and Ramussen, currently shows Donald Trump with 22 per cent, and Jeb Bush at 10.7 per cent.

The polling data captures what would happen if the Republican primary were to be held today, or rather at the time the polls were taken. It doesn’t capture what would happen in the next 5 months. They say a day is a very long time in politics. And the campaign for the presidency is a marathon not a sprint. Having said that, a digression about Trump.

First of all, he is a non politician hence his appeal at the moment. But I don’t think he will the ticket. He might end up as a third party candidate. He can afford the campaign. At the moment, Hillary is a shoo-in. Her only competition is from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but he is too liberal to win moderates in the party.

He couldn’t win an outright presidential election. He would definitely have a hard time convincing moderates out of the party to vote for him. A caveat, in 2008 before Obama, Hillary was considered the favourite. She also has scandals surrounding her. Still, the race is for her to lose. For Hillary, I think Bill Clinton is an asset.

His presence in the campaign will energize some elements of the Democratic base. The Bill Clinton years were very good for the economy. However, Bill will have to balance his presence on his wife’s campaign. There is a big debate in America about dynastic politics. American’s abhor the notion that political office can be inherited, even if that’s the case.

People don’t want to elect a co-president Bill Clinton. There is also the fact there have been two Bushes in the White House before. One of them still comes with a lot of baggage. The writer is a Master’s of Public Affairs student at Park University, Kansas City US.

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