Same here as in the States?

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

Are you keep­ing an eye on the Demo­cratic pri­maries in the States?

If not, you should. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing. In­struc­tive too.

One of the fas­ci­na­tions – in con­trast to the po­lit­i­cal scene here in Aotearoa – is that so many well-in­formed, ar­tic­u­late com­men­ta­tors have been analysing al­most ev­ery move made by the two can­di­dates and their sup­port­ers.

So we al­ready know more about the back­ground of Barack Obama and Hil­lary Clin­ton than we’ll prob­a­bly ever know about He­len Clark and John Key.

And we’ve been able to watch them deal with the dozens of highs and lows they’ve been en­joy­ing or en­dur­ing in the course of this bru­tally long and de­mand­ing cam­paign.

Barack Obama has been my favourite all along. For two rea­sons. One is that he came on the pres­i­den­tial scene last year as such a fresh and in­spi­ra­tional fig­ure.

He re­ally has held out hope that an Obama pres­i­dency could mean an end to much of the ig­no­rant, greedy, bul­ly­ing Amer­i­can be­hav­iour that has been the hall­mark of the Ge­orge W Bush years.

But the other rea­son is that, given the shame­ful his­tory of race re­la­tions in the United States, it would be such an ex­cit­ing step to elect an Afro-Amer­i­can to the pres­i­dency.

For a while, it looked as though Obama would suc­ceed in win­ning the Demo­cratic pri­mary and then the race for the White House. He still might.

Lately, how­ever, you can see signs of how un­com­fort­able many Amer­i­can vot­ers are with the idea of a black man in charge.

It’s too much for mil­lions of them, even though they’ll of­fer other rea­sons for their vote go­ing else­where.

Back here, there have been Maori politi­cians with cre­den­tials to de­serve a stretch as prime min­is­ter, like Sir Api­rana Ngata, Sir James Car­roll, Sir Maui Po­mare and Win­ston Peters, but for what­ever rea­son none of them has got the top job.

It seems that Kiwi vot­ers are no more open-minded than their US coun­ter­parts. Not yet any­way.

Lis­ten to Wil­lie Jack­son on Mon­day at 10am on Ra­dio Waatea 603AM

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