The election for the next American president has been quite a repulsive affair. The people of the world’s most admired democracy have had very little to choose from. On one hand, they have a male candidate who doesn’t look assuring as the world’s ‘most powerful man’ while on the other, there is a female candidate who is a typical politician with not a flawless image. Both the Republican and Democratic candidates are in a race to reduce a negative verdict on themselves in a bid to win the presidency.
In these circumstances, it is the presence of the Michelle Obama factor which has helped #Hillary Clinton and she looks to have the edge over Donald Trump despite the recurring talks over the email episode. Whether Clinton really is corrupt will make less appeal to people as they find a more personal threat in Trump – be it in terms of religion or gender. And here is where the ‘apolitical’ Michelle Obama has done Hillary a great favor. Hillary’s willingness to have Michelle in her government if she wins the November 8 election is a gratitude in advance, for the First Lady has immensely helped the Democratic candidate in capitalizing on the opening that Trump has created for his opponent.
The ‘apolitical’ is always appreciated by the political for it gives that class an opportunity to rediscover the bridge with the masses, the reality it tends to forget unless there are elections. It’s unfortunate for Trump that he did not have a Michelle Obama to fight his case in this high-decibel election season.
In India, Priyanka Gandhi can do a Michelle to help her brother Rahul
In #India, a similar role could have been played by Priyanka Gandhi to promote her brother Rahul Gandhi’s case. At a time when the country’s Grand Old Party – the Congress – is finding it impossible to even compete with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP and other regional parties that had capitalized on the Congress’s collapse in India’s political life, the political leadership of the party seems to have run out of steam. With its president Sonia Gandhi ailing, vice-president Rahul Gandhi finding the going too tough and the little possibility of the rise of an alternative leadership, thanks to the party’s infallible dynasty-centric functioning – a realistic hope is Priyanka Gandhi.
Priyanka needs to inject a freshness in Congress' too-predictable politics
Just like what Michelle did for Hillary by opening a fresh war front against Trump, Priyanka could add that much-needed versatility to the Congress’ futile fight against Modi. Taunting Modi on issues like nationalism is never going to help the Congress but corner it more. In fact, the Congress can hardly win any political debate with Modi at the moment as the question it will face is: what have you done for India’s welfare given you have ruled it for a number of years?
It’s only the ‘apolitical’ Priyanka who can break the stalemate for the Congress by putting the focus on issues that concern the common man (there is no shortage of such issues in India) and which the Modi regime might not be thinking about much. It is only through emphasizing serious socio-economic issues that the Modi government can be put under some pressure and only somebody like Priyanka Gandhi – who is not known to be an active politician – will look more convincing in this role compared to her mother or brother. She can do it without taking anybody's name either, just like Michelle. But has the Congress given this any thought? So far, given Priyanka’s half-hearted political stances and only engaging in political campaigning for Sonia and Rahul, one is convinced that it hasn’t. Maybe India’s GOP can take a cue from Michelle. She has shown how the ‘apolitical’ wins it for the political. #2016 Election