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Distance brings perspective, and Edward Luce stands out as one of the few perceptive, dispassionate commentators on this year's presidential election.  --  Writing on the day after, the Financial Times of London's chief commentator on U.S. affairs sized up Super Tuesday and concluded:  "It is all over barring the delegate count."[1]  --  "On Tuesday night, the outlines of the 2016 election started blurrily coming into view.  --  On one level it will be a conventional battle to win the hearts and minds of the squeezed U.S. middle class.  -- Yet it will also be the strangest match up imaginable.  --  It will be the first election where one candidate claims he paid the other to attend his wedding (Mr. Trump married his third wife, Melania, in 2005.  The Clintons were there).  --  It will also be the first between a man and a woman.  --  Alas, that is unlikely to lift the tone.  --  In addition to everything else, 2016 will be a battle of the sexes."  --  Below are some excerpts from the article...


1.

[Extracts]

U.S. election

Global insight

STRANGEST CONTEST SET TO BECOME REALITY AS BATTLE OF SEXES LOOMS

By Edward Luce

Financial Times (London)
March 2, 2016

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/83343cce-e034-11e5-b072-006d8d362ba3.html (subscription required)

 

It is all over barring the delegate count. 

. . . [I]t is hard to imagine a better [Super Tuesday] outcome for Mr. Trump.  He won seven of the 11 states but lost just enough to guarantee the rest of the field will stay in the race.  That ensures the anti-Trump vote will remain split.  Mr. Trump has a clear poll lead in each of the five winner-take-all contests that take place on March 15 . . .

The two winners are certainly acting as though it has begun . . .

. . . Oddly for a race between two near-septuagenarian grandparents, it promises to be unusually nasty.  Mr. Trump has made clear he sees Mrs. Clinton’s marital history as fair game.

There were also signs of where the heart of the battle will be fought.  To a greater degree than usual, Mr. Trump focused on “America’s forgotten middle class” and asked where Mrs. Clinton had been in the past twelve years while their wages stagnated.  If anything, he sounded even more anti-corporate than Mrs. Clinton.  U.S. companies would no longer be able to rip off taxpayers by shipping jobs overseas, he promised. . . . much of his rhetoric was to the left of Mrs. Clinton’s.

In the next fortnight, the Republican establishment will make a last-ditch effort to find anyone but Trump.  The search is almost certainly doomed . . .  [A]t least half the Republican establishment fears and loathes Mr. Cruz more than it does Mr. Trump. . . . [Mr. Rubio's] hopes are rapidly fading.

. . . [T]he 2016 election [o]n one level . . . will be a conventional battle to win the hearts and minds of the squeezed U.S. middle class.  Yet it will also be the strangest match-up imaginable.  It will be the first election where one candidate claims he paid the other to attend his wedding (Mr. Trump married his third wife, Melania, in 2005.  The Clintons were there).  It will also be the first between a man and a woman.  Alas, that is unlikely to lift the tone.  In addition to everything else, 2016 will be a battle of the sexes.