• Morgan Fagg

The President has to shake a lot of hands

Updated: Oct 20, 2018

I watched the Irish election carefully in 2011 and was delighted to see that the candidate elected to the presidency had run such a clean and positive campaign. There were several candidates and the eventual winner seemed to have avoided direct skirmishes. Maybe he was lucky or maybe at nearly 70 years of age, he was wise enough to know that the president has a lot of hands to shake.

You don’t attack people unless absolutely necessary, you don’t make a mess or defecate in your own Rose Garden. You try to avoid controversy and remain positive.

During the Irish debates, each of the seven candidates was asked how much they would spend on their campaign. Each dodged and deflected, thinking that spending money would be seen as something negative, especially during a financial crisis.

Some candidates rightfully pointed out that they hadn’t had time to finance their campaigns because they had just been selected. One even went as far as saying that he would be the cheapest candidate despite no other figures being put forward. One candidate suggested she didn't know how much she would spend but when questioned further as to how much she had spent on a previous campaign, she replied that she couldn't remember.

You might say the same thing if asked about how much you spent drinking the night before but a presidential campaign is slightly more rememberable. I would hope anyways.

Then Michael D. Higgins was asked the same question but there was no need for a follow-up question as he answered the question and took everyone by surprise. “€321.000 he responded”.

He followed up that it was a professional presidential campaign and he intended to win.

Win he did, he bet the cheapest candidate and the forgetful candidate, the candidates who hadn’t figures and those with bigger budgets. In the end, his estimate was only about €40,000 short of his suggested figure but his €321,000 response was priceless.

How will Hillary Clinton meet her deplorable Second Amendment constituents? How will Humpty Trumpty not fall over an unbuilt wall? How will a billion Muslims, Mexican neighbours, Chinese, Americans, children and women meet President Trump?

Will he deport immigrants and their noble prizes? Will his Russian bride lose her green card? You have to shake a lot of hands as president, try to make sure your hands are clean.

NOTE: Since this story was first written in 2016, Donald J Trump, despite loosing the Popular Vote, has tried his hardest to shake many people´s hands.

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