Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day

So January 20th 2017 is here and today is the day that Donald Trump gets inaugurated as President of the USA, replacing Barack Obama. The whole election campaign was divisive and since Mr Trump got elected that division seems to have just grown bigger. I am not going to get into the political rights or wrongs of any candidate but it’s a done deal and Donald Trump will be President for at least the next 4 years, whether people like it or not. 

But back to myself and how this looks to me. I love the pomp and ceremony of state occasions and I have been lucky to have attended and photographed 2 Presidents being inaugurated back home in Ireland as well as photographing 4 Presidents of Ireland while attending state events. 

I won’t get to watch today as work gets in the way but I will try follow on social media and see some highlights tonight on TV. It’s an interesting time here in the USA and the whole political landscape could be about to go into a period of flux but more than likely the status quo will remain for a while but I will be a very interested spectator to see how it all unfolds. 

Good luck to Mr Trump as president as he has his work cut out bringing divided public opinion together and running a country that is so diverse. Will he live up to his promise to ‘Make America Great Again’, I sure hope so or at least gives it his best shot. 

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Trumped! 

Trumped! 

Yesterday was election day in the USA and I put up a post on my blog about it. Well last night we watched CNN, occasionally switch to Fox News, to watch as the results from the Eastern States came in and it was an interesting watch. 

CNN actually broke each state down to counties and watching as states numbers changed as various counties declared voting results made for an intriguing night of TV. Some states were firmly in the red corner (Donald Trump) while others were firmly blue (Hillary Clinton) but some fluctuated all through the count from red to blue back to red and back to blue before setting on the final result. Florida was a prime example, the lead switching a few times until late in the night when it finally settled on red. 

So the results are all in and Donald Trump is the new US president, and even now his election is polarizing opinions. The fact that both candidates were not particularly liked, Trump has his work cut out now unifying a nation divided. His speech after the results were known was the first time he gave a speech that was something along the lines of presidential rather than just soundbites. Maybe this is the first speech he didn’t actually have any input into and the Republican party gave him the the speech to read. 

There is a lot of resentment to Mr Trump here in the USA, he has insulted muslims, women, disabled and immigrants in the race to the presidency so it will be interesting to see how he plans to build bridges with these rather large sections of the US community. One thing I find intriguing is that Donald Trump will now make nominations to the US Supreme Court that could overturn some of the more forward thinking laws. Could same sex marriage be one of those that states look to overturn? The Supreme Court will ore than likely become more conservative in the coming years. But all this probably means very little to the average man on the street but most people prefer to live on a country that is equal for all, or do they? 

Now the race is over the next couple of months will see Donald Trump waiting to take office in January and the unknown of what he will do once in office becoming the known. As a recent arrival in the USA I will follow it with great interest and hopefully can continue to give some insight and commentary on it. Politics is changing, the electorate is changing and how polls are being used is becoming outdated. All this make for interesting things. 

America missed a chance to elect it’s first female president and it makes you wonder how long till an opportunity to elected a woman to the highest office in the land comes along again. How long did it take Obama to get into office after Jesse Jackson ran for the office? Maybe Michelle Obama will be the first woman to successfully run for president in 2020 or 2024? Just throwing that out there. 

There is fear among Americans this morning, especially some of the groups I mentioned earlier, but America and its citizens have been through worse and came out the far side. So maybe the Trump presidency won’t be totally bad but it needs to plot its course carefully so as to bring all members of society on the journey over the next 4 years. 

Lots of questions in this post as there is a lot of unknown after last night’s result.

Till next time, Slán. 

A little bit of politics! 

A little bit of politics! 

Well the day has come for America to chose its next President. I am unable to vote but the day that I can will probably come just in time for the next election. Either way anyone eligible to vote should get off their ass and get out and exercise that right to have a say in who will lead the USA for the next 4 years. 

This has been a strange presidential race, especially as a newcomer to the USA watching and learning all about Electoral College votes, primary voting, nominations etc. I knew a lot of it from watching election coverage back home but to have ringside seat living here in the USA is a lot different. 

Every day there seems to be a poll saying the lead is widening, narrowing or changing hands. Two of the most opinion polarizing figures are going head to head in the battle for people’s votes. Depending on who you believe, which news network you watch or which websites you peruse, one candidate should be in jail, indicted or just locked up and the key thrown away, while the other is an unqualified buffoon, a spoofed and out and out liar with zero substance. Both say they will make America great again which kinda means they admit it’s not now. How they will manage this is at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. 

I have an opinion on both candidates, both major parties, as well as the other minor parties but this isn’t the place for it. But tonight myself and my wife will be interested spectators to the news coverage of the results. My wife voted early this morning and I know her grandmother will have been looking over her shoulder to see did she vote for the first woman to be US president or not. I am not privvy to who she voted for but I reckon it wasn’t for the buffoon! 

Use your vote and whatever happens it has made interesting viewing and I am sure the story won’t end today. Now if only I could get a press pass to photograph the Inauguration in January! 

So a few little things 

So a few little things 

I have always said I would keep this blog non political but I can’t let the first presidential debate of the 2016 election campaign here in the US or the upcoming election go by without some comment. But first let me lay out some background about where I stand, politically. I have never followed or subscribed to any political party, I don’t particularly like any politician, and I use my vote in any election carefully, judging candidates on simple criteria. Are they kinda sane, normal, have reasonable policies that I can live with and are they, at least on paper, a decent person. 

Now all that doesn’t mean I get the candies choose elected or that I pick the best one, but it does mean I am happy with my choice, and that’s what it boils down to, my choice to choose who to vote for in an open democratic vote. So onto the debate that took place in the US last night. I have followed US politics probably since the Reagan years with only a slight interest in the Carter era, well I was young so it really was only a passing interest. As I got older my interest in politics grew but it has always something I held personal and private and I will continue to hold it that way except for the odd post here as the election looks closer. 

Anyway, the first debate took place last night between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Let’s just say, as a newcomer to the US, I really don’t have a favourite out of the 2 but listening to them both over the last few months, I do know which one I would prefer in the White House. Last night’s debate was interesting to watch from my point of view. 

I posted the following on FB this morning and I think it sums up last night quite well….. “So my opinion of the first debate I listened to and watched a bit of. Let’s use a boxing analogy, Trump was throwing wild haymaker punches in the hope one would land and deliver a knock out blow but they all missed there target, he managed a few glancing blows but nothing serious, Hillary was jabbing to the stomach, not doing a lot of damage but hurting her opponent and that damage could become apparent as the fights go on, the Ref was useless, allowing needless stray punches to be thrown. I would call it 60-40 for Hillary but possibly a bit closer, maybe 55-45. Sure I may be way out but it’s my first US presidental debate to hear, oh and I fell asleep at about 10.30 so missed a chunk at the end”

This morning have been reading various news reports on the debate fron both sides of the Atlantic and it seems that Hillary shaded it but Trump supporters will say he did. So just like the upcoming election, no killer blow yet and to close to call. Will it go to the wire? I don’t think so but the next 2 debates will be interesting and Trump will need to learn a lot from last night and Clinton will need to hammer home her advantage.

As the election gets closer, a little over 6 weeks away now, things will heat up, the debates more heated and verbal blows delivered in the hope of securing that one big hit that will sway the electorate on November 8th. Whatever happens between now and then, this Irish immigrant in Atlanta will be watching, reading and listening with interest.