07 October 2011
I keep wanting to get away from the Presidential election because there is so much else going on with the ongoing crisis in the eurozone and the lead in to yet another murderous budget. Still, there it is in your face, on the television, and everywhere with those damn election posters. The lady in red is really starting to irritate me. She needs a campaign song â€œ those quangos are made for walkingâ€. As for David Norris, a formidable rights campaigner is turning himself into a clown. I got hepatitis from contaminated seafood in my early twenties. I was sick as a dog and it left me lethargic and depressed, but not out of action for 16 years. How convenient he has now made such a remarkable recovery that he can run for the Presidency. As for his claims to being transparent, the only thing that is crystal clear is that he is not coming clean. We have a right to know what is in those letters and particularly if any of them were written to a serving President.
Now how about the Fine Gael campaign. The truth of the matter is the blueshirts already have a President. He is our current Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. He did a fine job in greeting President Obama and the Queen. He likes walking to work and meeting the people. He is often seen in public riding a bicycle. Like all good Presidents he seems somewhat detached from government , after all, there is an argument that the real Taoiseach is Michael Noonan, the man who makes the hard decisions. To top it all, Enda has achieved celebrity status. Iâ€™ve been told a restaurant in Mayo is serving a Taoiseach burger. It is covered in blue cheese.
Any realistic blueshirt probably recognises at this stage that Michael D. Higgins is likely to end up in the Park. This would not be a bad result as it would be a victory for the government and give Labour a glow going in to yet another rough budget.
Mitchellâ€™s mistake was, having landed a significant punch on Martin McGuinness, he should have concentrated on appearing more presidential. He just isnâ€™t cutting it with the public. Sean Gallagherâ€™s hard campaigning, sincerity and emphasis on job creation is getting a positive response from voters. However, the truth is that the focus should now be on the skills demanded of a President. Much is made of Mary Robinsonâ€™s and Mary McAleeseâ€™s roles in expanding the office but we should remember Patrick Hilleryâ€™s deft handling of a potential constitutional crisis. My money is still on Michael D.