Jack Tame: Between rock and hard place

Michelle Obama, right, is supporting Hillary Clinton to be the US’s first woman president. Photo / AP
Michelle Obama, right, is supporting Hillary Clinton to be the US’s first woman president. Photo / AP

It's the correspondent's dilemma.

Two years since the first major candidates starting jostling for their party nominations, I have to make a pick.

It's a good problem to have, of course. I'm lucky. I know it.

Because I have lived in New York for the past five years as the ONE News US Correspondent, TVNZ has kindly offered me the choice of where to be when the election results roll in.

Corin Dann, the ONE News political editor, is travelling to the United States as well to be with the other camp.

Team Clinton or Team Trump? For both of us, it's a win-win/lose-lose bet.

Four years ago I was with Romney. "Who?!" You're wondering. Exactly my point.

Despite most polls showing him to be well behind Barack Obama leading into election night, the Republican candidate was apparently blindsided when the 2012 results came in.

Boston that night was cold and quiet. An optimistic man tried to hawk off stacks of "Romney Victory" badges as Ohio and Florida went to the Democrats. Mitt Romney's volunteers had their party credit cards cancelled before he'd even made his concession speech - they couldn't so much as charge for their cabs home.

As a dejected supported trudged out into the Massachusetts night, I asked for his reaction,

"America is over," he said.

America is over.

I wonder what that guy would say now.

Romney opposed a President Trump during the primaries (despite accepting Trump's endorsement four years ago) and tried to rally other Republicans against him. Something tells me the Republican election night crowd will be rather different at Trump's HQ.

I sat on the decision. I backed-and-forthed. Corin was his gracious, patient self.

What would you choose? Where would you be? How do you even go about making the decision? I compared the two candidates' rallies, which I've attended in states from Iowa to Pennsylvania, from Florida to New York City.

I compared the political conventions. I keep a keen eye on the polls. Trump's rise has been perhaps the single most extraordinary political campaign in modern American history. Win or lose, his is an incredible story.

But Clinton would be the first woman President. And in four years, will the circus endure? In the end I went with one simple question: who, at this late stage, is the Presidential candidate most likely to win the White House?

Trump has defied the pundits at every opportunity and yesterday's FBI announcement may prove a deciding twist. I may live rue these words but I still expect Clinton will be the next President. Gulp

Jack Tame is on NewstalkZB, Saturday, 9am-noon.

- NZ Herald

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