International

Finally, America chooses between Clinton and Trump

Judgement Day: Donald Trump and his wife Melania cast their vote in New York on Tuesday. — PHOTO: REUTERS  

Voting began on Tuesday morning in the U.S. to elect its 45th President after a nearly sleepless night through which the Democratic Party, led by President Barack Obama, sought to shield its candidate Hillary Clinton from the threat posed by Republican challenger Donald Trump, at the end of an acrimonious campaign.



It was well past midnight when Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump made their closing speeches, in North Carolina and Michigan, respectively. Large queues were visible in eastern States by early morning, and 42.6 million — nearly 10 million more than in 2012 — people had already voted by Monday evening, indicating a possible spike in participation this time.



Regardless of who wins, history will be made. If Ms. Clinton wins, she will be the first woman President of the country; if Mr. Trump (70) wins, the presidency will be the first public office he will be holding .



Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump made their closing speeches in North Carolina and Michigan, respectively. Large queues were visible in eastern States by early morning, and 42.6 million — nearly 10 million more than in 2012 — people had already voted by Monday evening, indicating a possible spike in participation this time.

In some States, voting began at 6 am and in some others, at 7 am. In the crucial State of Florida, around 6.5 million had already voted by Monday, which is more than the entire voting in 2000.

Hispanic factor

The increase in Hispanic voting being reported from many parts of the country is widely expected to favour Ms. Clinton. Opinion polls indicate an advantage for Ms. Clinton nationally, but closer contests in battleground States.

Ms. Clinton voted in New York on Tuesday morning, while Mr. Obama, who had cast his vote two weeks earlier, went to play basketball.

Both candidates have invited guests to “victory parties” at venues in Manhattan, separated by 2 km. One will give a victory speech and the other will give a concession speech close to Tuesday midnight here.

No other sitting President in recent past campaigned for a successor like Mr. Obama has and in Philadelphia on Monday night, it was his 17th appearance for Ms. Clinton.

“I’ve always bet on you. And America, I’m betting on you one more time,” he said. “I am betting that tomorrow you will reject fear and you’ll choose hope.”

Sitting Presidents and the candidates have a complicated equation usually. In 2000, Democratic candidate Al Gore had distanced himself from Bill Clinton; at the beginning of her campaign, Ms. Clinton had sought to keep a distance from Mr. Obama by stating that she is “not running for Obama’s third term.”

By the end of it all, it was Mr. Obama leading the charge against Mr. Trump.

While Ms. Clinton packed a punch in her final assault with Mr. Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, husband Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton in tow, Mr. Trump’s counter-attack was lonely but fierce.

He signed off his campaigning in the blue collar State of Michigan, asking Americans to “unite as one nation, under one flag, under one God.”

“Today is our independence day,” he said, as it was already Tuesday when he spoke. “We will close the history books on the Clintons and we will open a new chapter. We are only hours away from a once-in-a-lifetime change,” he said.

Mr. Trump voted in Manhattan at about 11 am on Tuesday, accompanied by his family members — his wife Melania; daughter Ivanka Trump; and Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner.

Asked by a reporter whom voted for, Mr. Trump said: “Tough decision.” Asked whether he would concede if the networks call the election for Ms. Clinton, he said: “We’ll see what happens.”

“Michigan could be the one State that wins us the White House,” the candidate’s son Eric Trump said.

Mr. Obama had also campaigned in the State on Monday.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 8:06:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Finally-America-chooses-between-Clinton-and-Trump/article16440251.ece

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