Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bill Clinton Campaigns

He's not busy enough touting the missus, apparently. Now the former American president is speaking on behalf of Bertie Ahern, the man who would be Taoiseach again. Going for a record third term, Mr. Ahern has brought out the heavy guns, and doesn't Mr. Clinton have quite the reputation when it comes to campaigning?

He's looked on as the golden boy, an attention-getter with a smooth delivery and charming persona. "If it hadn't been for Bertie Ahern," Mr. Clinton said in a recent election broadcast, "we would never have had the Good Friday agreement."

How's that for a hearty pat on the back? You'll not hear the same said about Enda Kenny, the other man who would be Taoiseach (in this case, for the first time). Sure 'tis Bertie himself who brought about peace in the north, and isn't he the statesman? No less a political light than Bill Clinton is his friend and admirer, and as for that other fella....Edna, was it? A woman? No? Pity.

The Fine Gael leader is not impressed by Bertie's buddies. They're on the way out, as far as Enda Kenny is concerned, and not worth a second glance. Has-beens, the Clintons and Blairs who touted Mr. Ahern's contributions to the world, and Mr. Kenny doesn't believe that a single Irish voter is going to be swayed by such a promotion. And didn't Fianna Fail make fun of Fine Gael for swanning about with a letter from German Chancellor Angela Merkel? Funny how the shoe pinches when it's on the other foot, Fine Gael wants the voters to know.

So it's back to the campaign promises, the hundreds of hospital beds and shorter work hours and more pay and the economy will keep bubbling along and don't pay any heed to the economists when they talk about decreasing productivity leading to inflation and further gloom and doom. Remember, it could be a lot worse. Sinn Fein could win enough seats to come into Government in a new coalition.

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