Mr or Madam President – Who will make it to the White house this time?
As the game of thrones playing out on the political stage of USA enters its final month, the results of the November 8th election is already being discussed threadbare all over the world. There are currently 5 runners for White house namely Ms Hillary Clinton (Democratic), Mr Donald Trump (Republican), Mr Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Ms Jill Stein (Green) and Mr Darrell Castle (Constitution). The recent trends suggest that the main contenders are going to be first female presidential candidate by a major party Ms Clinton and the renowned businessman and TV personality Mr Trump.
So, who has a better chance?
It is hard to decisively speak on who has a better chance especially with more than a month remaining for the elections.
In the race so far, even though initially Ms Clinton seemed to be the clear favourite, over time Mr Trump has garnered support among sections of American voters and has closed the margin so much so that at the moment both seem to be neck to neck with a slight edge for Ms Clinton.
A wide number of newspapers have endorsed Clinton over Trump. Clinton with her history of being First lady, then a Senator, and finally Secretary of State, is no stranger to White house and hence is a known quantity where as Trump on the other hand has some rather radical views of certain subjects and has frequently been termed as crazy.
On the other hand, Clinton was recently investigated for possible negligence and lapse of duty as regards the safety of official documents during her term as the Secretary of State. Her health has also appeared as an area of concern in recent times.
Trump plays the emotions of a section of the American public that nevertheless forms a huge share of the voting population. His views may be isolationist and anti immigrant but it is finding resonance in many an American heart. Being a true businessman, he could be expected to bring a certain life into the flagging economy of USA.
Even so, Trump too is being chased by the personal demons of his own making. Including the latest tax evasion issue, Trump has been in the eye of controversy since the day he began his race.
The Indian Viewpoint
From the viewpoint of India, it is safe to say that neither Trump nor Clinton can afford to be hostile to us in the current global scenario. Hence, the analysis ought to be as to who will be more beneficial for us.
Clinton is expected to toe the usual US line and continue the policies propagated by her predecessors. In that case, one must say that she is predictable and hence manageable for the India Inc. It may be noteworthy at this point, that should Clinton make it to white house, her long time aide and confidant, the Pakistani American Ms Huma Abedin will be a prominent figure in her staff. It is superfluous to point out the implications of such a situation especially when anti Indian sentiment is high among Pakistanis like now.
Trump with his strict anti immigration stance may bode ill for the wide Indian diaspora settled in USA. His isolationist policies may even initially hurt our overall trade with US. However, Trump the businessman has already started financing and putting up big time projects in India through his numerous business ventures. Should he become the President we could actually expect an inflow of investment for infrastructure development in India.
Another aspect is that Trump has a bigger axe to grind regarding China and Pakistan. His current stand indicates that him coming to office may very well stem the flow of dollars in form of trade imbalance to China and in form of aid to Pakistan. No matter which way we look at it, that could be an overall win win situation for us in India.
Further as an indirect effect, should Trump make good on his intentions to scrap the TPP agreement, and scuttle the trade with the European Union, that would open for India a golden market to explore even as we are starting on our economy’s high growth phase.
In conclusion, one will have to agree that even though Clinton may have a slight edge right now, but it is too early to say for sure. For an Indian, it will be the difference between predictable and status quoist President of USA and a slightly crazy but useful one. I guess this will be one drama worth watching to the finish.