Seven contenders, four independents, three political parties, one goal, the highest office in the land. With under four weeks to go until polling day the media is awash with rants and raves, polls and plaudits and above all else a desire to sell stories and dig into the past.
Mary Davis’s recent earnings have really thrown to light the lack of either real experience or credibilty the woman has as a contender. Her connection to Bertie Ahern and complete inability to mention anything other than the Special Olympics leaves her clutching at straws. One must commend her accomplishment with the Special Olympics which was a fantastic occasion but asides from that she is truly lacking in political weight and experience.
Gay Mitchell, without a shadow of a doubt, seems a decent enough man albeit lacking in any form of inspiration or energy. He comes across as a gentleman mildly disillusioned with this campaign and often left wondering as to why he is truly here. His reference to his working class childhood and background on the Late Late Show debates was a poignant moment and an attempt at moving beyond the comfortable middle class political image to a man more in touch with modern Ireland. He will struggle to find true support outside of Dublin.
Michael d Higgins is without a shadow of a doubt a true contender in this election, his vast experience both in academia and politics and global affairs makes him a worthy candidate and a man who has true support from a party in power. Higgins’s core vote will come from elderly and rural areas and he is not afraid of saying what’s on his on mind. His political machine and financial clout will keep him in this race until the end, coupled with his strong advisory team and clean record,
Martin Mc Guinness really blows this election into the world media in a way Norris almost accomplished. His terrorist past and inability to answer the tough questions leaves him lacking in so many areas. He is an accomplished politician and a talented speaker and a man who should never be under estimated, a master stroke by an ever growing and astute Sinn Fein who have tapped into the unease in modern 21st century Ireland.
Sean Gallagher, the farmer, the politician, the tv star, the social worker, is there nothing this man can’t do? The answer seems to be run and inspire a presidential campaign, Gallagher has a vast amount of ability yet leaves the ordinary neutral voter unphased. His work and career in this country is impressive and he deserves to be in the running but unfortunately he lacks the final gloss or quirky trait to push him into the true dog fight.
Dana Scallon is both a controversial and mildly inspiring figure who does not know when to give up, whether this is commendable fighting spirit or plain ignorance is up to the voter. Her resolute catholic views and staunch traditional approach make her appealing to the older generation and the rural vote of which she is battling it out with Higgins. This looks like another failed attempt by Dana but none the less she deserves credit for throwing her hat in again and again.
David Norris, the peoples choice, the Irish Rocky, call him what you will he is still the stand out candidate in this election. With or without controversy he is the most talented speaker and one of the most experienced politicians in the field. His habit of waffling and being overly out spoken at times needs to be reigned in. These letters have overshadowed first his campaign and now his comeback but he needs to keep pushing through and it looks like a two horse race for the Aras between himself and Higgins.
As a conclusion, the men with the most experience will be the contenders, Norris, Higgins and Mc Guinness, all three bring something different to the table, my heart tells me Norris but the intelligence and political know-how of both Higgins and Mc Guinness will make this a vastly intriguing race till the bitter end. Good Luck to all.