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Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’ Category

The excitement is on. The year-long process to elect a successor to George Bush has begun. Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee are off to a colourful start. (Read report) The race is a year long. So, there is no guarantee that one of these two will be the next President.

America has one of the most complicated process of electing its President — arguably the most powerful person on earth. Whether one likes it or not, America, its politicians, policies, and society have a great influence on rest of the world. As the saying goes: If America sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold. It’s a different matter if America realises this, and does something about it.

The election process

  • BBC has excellent details elaborating the complicated electoral process. Click here to know everything about it.

Here are some extracts:

Most states hold state-wide votes, called primaries, to determine their preferred candidates from the two main parties. Others use a slightly different procedure involving public meetings, called caucuses.

This is the process by which supporters of the Democratic or Republican parties, in each US state, say which candidate they would like to see representing their party in the November presidential election.

Each state gets to send a certain number of delegates to the parties’ national conventions in August or September 2008. Bigger states have more delegates. During these national conventions each party’s nominee is formally chosen.

The primaries and caucuses determine which candidate the delegates will vote for. Suppose, Obama has has got more votes than Hillary in Iowa. It means, more delegates, who have pledged support to Obama — than who have pledged support to Hillary — will be sent from that state, Iowa, to the Democratic party’s national convention.

The candidate with the most delegates wins the nomination. Usually this becomes clear early on in the primary season. This year the winning candidates are expected to be known in February.

The Democrats will hold their convention in Colorado in late August. The Republicans will hold theirs in Minneapolis in early September. The presidential candidates will take part in TV debates on 26 September, and 7 and 15 October.

Voting takes place on November 8. Americans do not, technically, participate in a direct election of the president. It’s the delegates / electors who actually select the president.

In almost every state, the winner of the popular vote — on Nov 8 — gets all the electoral college votes in that state, even if his or her majority is wafer thin. So it can happen that a candidate ends up with more electoral college votes than the rival candidate, and yet a smaller share, nationally, of the popular vote.

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It’sn’t often I get to see TV at prime time. At that time, I am in office, putting together the paper I work for. Today was a compensatory off I availed of for having worked on Republic Day. And, I got to see two programmes I enjoyed. One, Walk the Talk with Sania Mirza. And, two, Hillary Clinton’s address and the subsequent Q&A at the India Today Conclave.

It is so nice to see someone so young as Sania perform so well, on and off the court. There is also probably another reason why I like her. Sania looks so much like a friend of mine (also from Hyderabad) who is now in the US. When Shekhar Gupta asked Sania what was her ambition: she very realistically said that she would like to come within top 20 or 25 in the next two to three years. I hope she does.

I am in awe of the Clinton family. A remarkable couple – each a celebrity in his/her own right. I was closely following the flood of articles in the US media at the time of Monica case. Some were on how much the scandal affected the family, how the two drifted apart, how they came back together and the many reasons for that…

When Bill and Hillary were courting, she was a fledgling lawyer, and she was among the few “brightest lawyers of America” handpicked to assist in the impeachment proceedings of Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal… That was… when… in 1972. She and others were actually locked up, cut off from outside world for a few days (because of the secrecy surrounding the case) and so Bill, apparently had a real tough time, forget meeting her, even getting to talk to her…

Their life history is very interesting… they had real tough times… personal and political (the constant Republican hounding) and they always survived… including the Monica thing… which Clinton firmly believes (even after all his confessions) was a Republican set-up.

Will Hillary become the first woman President of the US? It is easy for Rabri Devis and Phoolan Devis to be elected to high offices in India. In the US it is tough even for a Hillary. A woman US President is a mental block, which the Americans will have to first remove, before even assessing Hillary’s credentials.

But given this lady’s capabilities, I wouldn’t be surprised if she creates history in 2008.

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