Washington, May 29 (IANS) Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the most presidential of them all? That’s the question American voters are asking as they size up the three survivors in the White House race.
Supporters of “Dodging Donald” Trump, as critics call the Republican now sitting pretty with magical 1,237 delegates to lock the party nomination, have eyes only for the Manhattan mogul.
Diehard backers of mathematically-challenged “Crazy Bernie” Sanders, as the billionaire has dubbed him, have ears only for the self-styled Democratic socialist.
And “Clearance Merchandise,” as a columnist described the Democratic frontrunner or “Crooked Hillary” Clinton, as Trump has branded her, too has her own legion of defenders of the faith. Poor Hillary, she thought her coronation as the Democratic nominee was a done deal despite an annoying Bernie snapping at her heels to the chagrin of the party establishment.
Then, a State Department independent watchdog’s scathing report on Clinton’s use of a private server at home for official work as secretary of state sent her “drowning in emails” as the New York Times put it.
A gloating Trump “Celebrating 1,237!” was quick to rub it in. The report was “not good” for “Crooked Hillary.” It was “devastating”, said the master of a “fifth grade” speech.
Bernie supporters too saw in a parallel FBI probe into Clinton emails an “answer to their prayers” as the Times put it, as the former first lady’s lead in the prized June 7 California primary quickly evaporated.
And when Senator Elizabeth Warren, a key supporter, took up cudgels on her behalf to suggest Trump was “drooling over the housing crisis”, he dismissed her as a Clinton “Pocahontas” and again changed the conversation.
When the media questioned him about an “offensive” reference to a Native American notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, in the 17th century, an unapologetic Trump quipped: “Oh, I am sorry! But Warren has a big mouth.”
Going on late night comic Jimmy Kimmel’s show, Trump also promptly accepted a suggestion to debate Sanders before the California primary.
“I would love to do that” in a massive arena, said the business mogul provided $10-15 million was raised for a charity with the promise of huge ratings for the host channel.
Then Sanders, who’s peeved that Hillary Clinton was backing out of a planned Democratic debate, jumped on the offer. “Game on,” he tweeted and boasted if Trump did not chicken out, the billionaire would be toast.
As the idea of what Democratic media strategist Brad Bannon called a “complete circus,” of a novel inter-party debate, gathered steam, Trump did walk back.
He first called it a “joke” and then said now that he had become the Republican top dog it would be “inappropriate” for him to debate the straggling Democrat.
Meanwhile, as Trump completed the “hostile takeover” of the Republican party with his magic 1,237, a vanquished “Little Marco” Rubio came out of hiding with an offer to release his pledged delegates “to be helpful” to Trump’s campaign.
Hours later, Trump who once called Rubio a “joke,” a “choker,” and a “dishonest lightweight” who “couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Florida,” graciously pushed him to re-run for the Senate. “Important to keep the MAJORITY. Run Marco!” he tweeted.
And as the three White House contenders called each other liars and worse and unqualified to be the president, the Washington Times offered a novel insight into the making of a president sans pundits and pollsters.
Saying that “size matters”, it noted the taller candidate has won the popular vote in more than two-thirds of the elections since 1950.
And by that measure, come November 8, Trump, who stands 6 feet 2 inches to Clinton’s 5 feet 4 to 7 inches, according to varied calculations, would win hands down — big or ‘small’ as “Rubio” once insinuated. Let “rattled” foreign leaders be forewarned!
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)