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A Political Comparison

So your candidate Hillary Clinton, and our Prime Minister Gordon Brown, are pledged to fight on bravely in the face of overwhelming odds. She hasn't got anything like enough delegates to be nominated to run as the Democrat candidate for President. And he presides over an accident prone Government which is now only slightly more popular in Britain than a dose of bubonic plague.

Logic dictates that the only way, for both of them, is out. But the hopeless optimism of this odd couple is one of the abiding mysteries of modern politics.

They have several things in common. Their policies and political aspirations are remarkably similar. They have both lived uncomfortably in the shadows of leadership - and craved for the top jobs.

Hillary was the frustrated first lady in a White House run by her husband Bill. During that time, she was marginalized - remember healthcare? - and humiliated - remember Monica?

Similar adjectives applied to Gordon Brown who was Treasury Secretary in a government run for ten years by his rival, Tony Blair. By all accounts Gordon and Tony got along like a pair of hissing alley-cats. And Gordon, like Hillary, was forced to wait. And wait. And wait.

Mr. Clinton and Mr. Blair - love them or loathe them - were never short of warmth, real or contrived.

Hillary and Gordon, by glaring contrast, have always appeared to lack the same touchy-feely quality. Ten long years passed before Blair bowed out and Gordon was allowed to take over. More than seven long years have elapsed since Bill Clinton's presidency came to an end.

In politics time isn't the great healer. The wrinkles are harder to hide and the rankles become glaringly obvious. Hillary and Gordon have waited in the wings with ill-concealed impatience for their stab at power.

Perhaps the waiting game immunized them from reality. For they are now refusing to recognize an uncomfortable truth. Whatever their qualities, however much they believe in themselves, voters in my country and in yours simply do not like them enough.
By Ed Boyle