Hillary Clinton should be more like Ed Balls, says Labour heavyweight

Written by David Singleton on 4 November 2016 in Diary
Diary

Former defence secretary Geoff Hoon applauded his former colleague’s exploits on Strictly.

Hillary Clinton will comfortably win the presidential election next week if she models herself on Ed Balls, a former Labour cabinet minister has declared.

Geoff Hoon told Total Politics that in the final few days Clinton needed to "get across what Ed gets across on a Saturday evening, that he’s actually quite a normal bloke".

And Balls agreed with his former colleague: "I think that she definitely needs to do that."

The pair were appearing together at Westminster discussion about the presidential election, hosted by Ladbrokes.

Hoon served as defence secretary under Tony Blair and transport secretary under Gordon Brown. He left the Commons in 2010 and has since spent much time in the United States, becoming a keen student of the U.S political system.

The former defence secretary also told the event that he never really bought into in the much-hyped so-called special relationship with the US.

Sir Winston Churchill first used the term “special relationship " in 1946 a year after the end of the Second World War. It has been used by successive prime ministers to justify the UK's closeness to Washington, but Hoon admitted:

“I don't really believe in the special relationship. I can say that now, I probably couldn't say it before – simply because it's a relationship of interests… I don't think it's something we can take for granted.”

Asked what Clinton could do to secure victory over Donald Trump, he said:

“The Americans are voting for a head of state and there’s a degree of emotion in that which you don’t see in British politics… They are not necessarily voting on rational lines and she has got to demonstrate to the American people that she’s one of them. She needs to get across even in the last few days that actually she’s a very approachable, intelligent, comfortable person to be with….

“Even now if she can get across actually what Ed gets across on a Saturday evening, that he’s actually quite a normal bloke, he can make fun of himself, he’s relaxed and he’s a human being. If she can do that, I think she’ll win comfortably.”

Sitting alongside him, Balls agreed: “I think that she definitely needs to do that.”

But the former shadow chancellor added that Clinton needed to go negative with her campaigning in the last few days.

He said: “There are message carriers, senior Republicans as well as Democrats, who are appalled by the idea of Trump being president. So what she needs is Michelle Obama and people on the Republican side going out doing very heavy ‘can’t left this man be president’. You’ve got to remind people who will be president if you don’t vote for Hillary.”

Also at the Ladbrokes event, Balls and Hoon were educated about the fluctuating odds of Clinton and Trump getting into the White House – and of Balls winning this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture by: Andrew Harnik/AP/Press Association Images

 

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