Nuestra Señora Presidente


Hillary has over 50 percent of the unobligated Democratic convention votes that need not follow state primary results. I often wonder why we elect a President directly (save territories) when electoral votes determine the election. I do feel certain that the U.S. moves on a centrist bent.

F.D. Roosevelt was a NYC Democrat reviled by his own Southern party mates but liked by the rest of the country, giving him four terms as President. Midwest’s Harry Truman the schoolteacher was a salve to redeem and reverse “excesses” of the New Deal. Jimmy Carter of Georgia and Bill Clinton of Arkansas were Southern Democrats but they were more Democrats than southerners so we saw a massive exodus of conservatives into the Republican Party.

As a student in Dallas in the late ’60s, to be a Republican was to be a Lincoln liberal from the north, Puget Sound to New England.

CA Republican Reagan had a clean movie image and a populist charm that sat well with everyone. The Bushes are New England Republicans but they moved to Texas and were into oil. Anyone who does not consider the enormous influence of oil in American politics, the U.S. adventures in the Middle East, southwest and central Asia, ze won’t understand U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Bush did, and conservative northern money with southern-Democrat-turned-Republican populist votes lent their support. Dick Cheney and Halliburton oilfield services allegedly played marionette behind George II and helped advance the oil cause, justifying an invasion of Iraq that turned part of Baghdad into a little Houston.

I was in school in Kentucky and Texas late ’60s and early ’70s, lived in and related to Chicago ’70s and early ’80s, survived Vietnam, Nixon and Watergate. Poor WH intern Monica! I was ushered into blue-collar optimism that the U.S. votes contemporaneous to its informal but discernable public direction. A person of color (a quaint phrase) and a woman (feminist since 1920 liberation) vied to be next in line in the White House. It was a question of when and who will go first.

Obama’s mother was Kansan, British more than the plains. President Obama was born and raised in Hawaii by grandparents while his biological father of Luo ethnic tribe of Kenya-Tanzania went about his own educational advancement. Obama, Illinois senator and a standout speaker at a previous Democratic Party convention, qualified both as a “black” Democrat, ripe for the gains of the ’60s civil rights’ movement.

Hillary Clinton was an aggressive female and, though more experienced than Obama, the office was more welcoming to an African-American than to an uppity woman. Besides, she had been a part of a conjugal White House, and the Clinton name was as much a liability than an asset. 

Obama made the successful trip to the Oval Office against McCain and Palin and smart enough to get Hillary as Secretary of State. The Democratic Party rivalry was only skin-deep (pun intended) and conflicts were more with faithful followers than between the political protagonists. Hillary held her own at State, even after the Benghazi attack that resulted in the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Obama got his second term against an overly confident Romney-Ryan team.

We are less than a year away from the November 2016 presidential election and it looks like we will get a female President. The Republicans are too disheveled with Trump trumpeting himself into arrogant machismo and Carson the Surgeon visiting right-wing enclaves, though a Trump-Carson team would make great entertainment. He-he!

A Hispanic will follow a woman so Rubio can count on smart quips to be remembered but needs to broaden his base so he is acceptable among Latinos and Asians, and also southern-Democrats-turned-Republicans, along with the hoi polloi of Chicago, L.A., NYC, and Seattle. He’ll have the U.S. southwest if he plays his cards right. Marco Rubio and John Kasich are seen as a formidable duo this election. (Ryan is poised on second base.) Ted Cruz and Chris Christie are dismissible.

Carly Fiorina does not hold much of a candle on the feminine vote, losing to Barbara Boxer in a California U.S. Senate election. Booted out of Hewlett-Packard in 2005, she associated with the McCain-Palin team, tainted since as a “loser.” 

Independent Bernie Sanders votes with the Democrats in Congress, offering ideological addition from the left to the platform but too advanced in age to be a VP candidate. He and Elizabeth Warren make credible partners but they are both from the northeast. Warren’s vaunted street smarts is under radar but her voting record has integrity and gives preferential treatment to those of less means and power in American society.

That leaves Hillary Clinton. Two years younger than I, health against her, Bill as first husband will find the role-change awkward, but Hillary keeps her own counsel, neither swinging too far left nor too far right. Her choice of VP will be very telling. But we have a candidate of the middle.

Meet our next U.S. President.

Jaime R. Vergara | Special to the Saipan Tribune
Jaime Vergara previously taught at SVES in the CNMI. A peripatetic pedagogue, he last taught in China but makes Honolulu, Shenyang, and Saipan home. He can be reached at

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