Obama and Hillary both urge UK to stay in EU

obama uk hillary euPresident Obama and, possibly next US president, Hillary Clinton want the UK to remain in the EU.

No sooner had pro-Brexit campaigners labelled US President Barack Obama’s warning against the UK leaving Europe as the views of a ‘lame duck’ president than Democratic front-runner, and possibly next president, Hillary Clinton added her opinion. And she made it clear that if she enters the White House she will want the UK to be fully engaged, and leading the debate, within the EU.

Obama had warned that it could take up to 10 years for the UK to negotiate trade deals with the US if it leaves the EU. In a BBC interview, the US president said: “It could be five years from now, 10 years from now before we were able to actually get something done.”

Asked to explain, Obama said: “The UK would not be able to negotiate something with the United States faster than the EU. We wouldn’t abandon our efforts to negotiate a trade deal with our largest trading partner, the European market.”

Britain would also have less influence globally if it left, he added.

This brought about an angry response from the Leave campaign.

“This is really about a lame duck US president about to move off the stage doing an old British friend a favour,” said Justice Minister Dominic Raab.

And while it may be fairly safe to discount the views of any president in his last nine months in office, it may be unwise to ignore those of someone leading the chase to succeed him – former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In a statement to the Observer, her senior policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, said: “Hillary Clinton believes that transatlantic cooperation is essential, and that cooperation is strongest when Europe is united. She has always valued a strong United Kingdom in a strong EU. And she values a strong British voice in the EU.”

It has also been reported, apparently according to ‘sources close to the former secretary of state’s campaign’, that she stands fully behind Obama’s opposition to Brexit, which the president said on Friday would not only undermine the international institutions, including the EU, that had bound nations closer together since 1945, but would also mean the UK being at ‘the back of the queue’ when negotiating new trade deals.

Trump ‘scary’, Hillary ‘a liar’ – pick your US President

DJT_Headshot_V2_400x400 HCFront runners: Republican Trump and Democrat Clinton.

Presidential hopefuls in the race to become the Republican party’s candidate in the USA presidential election may have been reduced to three but it is quite possible than none of those three may be the eventual nominee as chosen by the party’s convention.

And, if that seems to make a complete nonsense of the whole system of primaries and caucuses … well, yes it does.

However, if no candidate gains an overall majority of pledged delegate votes in time, the convention will become contested and then, it seems, anything can happen. The chosen candidate may, in fact, be none of those involved in the primaries and caucuses.

Does that strike you as crazy?

Over in the Democrat camp, former first lady, former senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has amassed a great deal of delegate support so far but, at the moment, she has not gained enough and rival Senator Bernie Sanders has pulled off some remarkable primary wins to keep up the pressure.

Her biggest problem seems to be her reputation. Because of the controversy surrounding her using her home email server while Secretary of State, she is seen by a large proportion of voters as being untrustworthy. And that is only one of a number of concerns.

Now, as I am British, I don’t feel qualified to comment about the qualities of those currently seeking their own party’s endorsement. However, my wife Lisa was born and raised in New York City, so here are her thoughts:

Republican:

Trump: “I like the fact that he is not a politician but he could and would quickly become one. His arrogance scares me and I think he is a danger to the USA and the world.”

Cruz: “A senator from Texas with a Hispanic name. There never has been a Hispanic president and I don’t believe he is the right guy to break that tradition. He hasn’t got what it takes.”

Kasich: “Who? Oh yes, the Governor of Ohio. His poor results in the primaries show he is not in the running for anything.”

Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders.

Democrat:

Clinton: “I could never, ever vote for Hillary. She may never have been convicted of a crime but I don’t trust her. Added to that, her well-documented flip-flops on various policies on which she claims to have always been ‘consistent’ show she is a liar. While I’d love to see the USA have its first female president, please let it not be her.”

Sanders: “Probably the safest of any of those still in the race for either party’s nomination. Certainly, the least of all evils.”

Could Sanders win like Corbyn?

bernie sandersJeremy Corbyn new

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senator Bernie Sanders (left) and Jeremy Corbyn MP

Now the new leader of the UK’s Labour Party might not seem in any way connected to a hopeful campaigning to win the US’s Democratic Party nomination as its candidate for the Presidency but there are striking similarities.

Eventual winner of the Labour Party leadership election was, as of course we all know, Jeremy Corbyn. The guy struggled to get onto the ballot paper as not enough MPs supported him. In fact, he made it with only five minutes to go before nominations closed. And then only because some MPs who did not support him, and subsequently did not vote for him, decided to nominate him so that his arguments could be heard.

And heard they were, leading to the outsider, the maverick who has often rebelled and refused to vote as instructed by party whips, being elected with an amazing 59.5% of the votes cast. He won the majority of votes of trade unionists, full members and party supporters. But not the majority of MPs, those he now has to lead in parliament.

Those MPs who nominated him but never actually supported Corbyn or his policies must now regret their actions. He was not supposed to win; he was almost a joke candidate. But his left-wing old Labour message rang true with so many and he quickly became regarded as the most authentic of the four candidates – which is why the pro-Corbyn landslide crushed the other three candidates.

In America, the fight to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for the November 2016 election for the office of President is well under way. In the early stages, this was dominated by Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton. Of course, since being First Lady she has been a Senator, a contender for being the party candidate eight years ago when she lost to Obama, and then served as his Secretary of State during his first term in the White House.

Since enjoying a great start, out of nowhere came competition in the form of a left wing senator from Vermont. Bernie Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist (a word that was once labelled its owner as being un-American and untrustworthy). Now, though, it is Hillary’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State that is leading to her being widely considered the one who cannot be trusted.

While Sander’s policies may be different to Corbyn’s, although some may be quite familiar, his campaign message resonates with those that distrust the establishment and want a new way. Labour high-ups did not want Corbyn and Democratic chiefs don’t want Sanders.

This may be because both Corbyn and Sanders seem to be advocating a new kind of politics and it is this that appears to have caught the imagination of voters. Sanders is now the front runner in both New Hampshire and Iowa, two states that in January will choose whom they support. His fundraising is now at the same level as Clinton’s, he has energised a great deal of support among the young as well as the traditionally disaffected.

Corbyn has also tapped into this pool of support – with the Labour Party’s membership growing by 50,000 in the first week after his election. That is an increase of more than 16% and is still growing.

Could Jeremy Corbyn’s dramatic win in the UK be an indication that Bernie Sanders will be the Democrat candidate for the Presidency?