Trump cannot stop himself making it about him at the very moment it should be about her.

Last week I wrote that I had watched the second Clinton/Trump debate and wish I hadn’t. I presumed that experience had taught me a lesson and that I would give the third debate a miss – I was wrong. No sooner had I returned home from appearing on RTE Radio One’s Late Debate show last night, but I found myself switching over to CNN and settling in to watch the pre-debate coverage. I am glad I did. Last night’s third … Read more

#USDebate: “Expectations and standards are now so low that not imploding is an achievement.”

Last night I stayed up to watch the second Clinton Trump debate. I really wish I hadn’t. It was truly awful. It did not merit the word debate. There was no engagement or exchange of ideas or views. Even as a blood and gore spectacle it failed as it delivered neither. Instead, there was a tired and turgid trading of insults, charges and counter charges. The “Town Hall” audience went largely ignored, though Clinton did at least make some attempt … Read more

Remain must look to more trusted and well-regarded figures to get #EURef over the line

Shortly before polling day in last year’s Marriage Equality referendum one of the Irish national daily newspapers ran an opinion piece by a marketing/messaging expert evaluating the Yes and No campaigns to that point. Though he had several criticisms of those of us on Yes side and even suggested that the Yes campaign was putting the outcome in unnecessary doubt, the subtext to his article seemed to be: this would have been a whole lot better if he had been … Read more

Post #GE16 reality: Lashings of false and ultimately unproductive negotiations?

Introduction As we enter into the final week of what has been, so far at least, a flat and turgid election campaign; a few things are becoming increasingly clear. The first, and most important, is that there is no route available for this government to be re-elected. At the start of this campaign I predicted (on Twitter) that Fine Gael would win about 62 seats and Labour would get 15 or so. With these numbers and the help of a … Read more

Labour TD wave and cheer as Kelly shoots them in the foot…

SHOOTING ACCIDENT: Derek Mooney​ argues that the best chance many second placed FG TD in a constituency who came in after a party front runner have in the next election is the demise of a sitting Labour rival. Mishandling of the ‘rent certainty’ issue only makes those Labour TDs more vulnerable.

Perhaps it is no surprise that people are not fixated on constitutional issues…

You can almost hear the conversation between the Government Spin Doctors on Wednesday afternoon… “It’s only a pointless TV poll about the North… Who cares? No one in the South knows who Stephen Nolan is. Let’s send out Jimmy Deenihan… sure, what harm can he do…” To be fair to MoS Jimmy Deenihan his “No, really” reply to the question if the Republic could afford Northern Ireland if there was unity tomorrow has not done any real or lasting harm. … Read more

The Legend of Enda of the (wild whild) Wesht…

TALL TALES: Enda’s ‪#‎armygate‬ saga has had pundits of all hues falling over themselves to explain, or even excuse, how and why An Taoiseach went to a recent EPP gathering in Madrid and told a story about the Irish Defences Forces being on standby to protect ATMs back in 2012.

Whatever Sen Power says now, Fianna Fail’s Leadership took a strong stance

Averil Power’s announcement this morning that she is resigning from Fianna Fáil is bad news. It will hurt the party and hurt the many people in Fianna Fáil who have supported her over the past few years. Though I doubt Averil would have counted me as a particular friend, we did serve together as Ministerial Advisers for about six years. In that role I got to see her working up close. I saw how committed and dedicated a worker she … Read more

My thoughts on how @yesequality2015 won #MarRef so convincingly

These are early thoughts only. They are some crude (and at times rambling) musings penned on the morning after the night before, but it is based on reviewing some notes put together back in late February for the Yes Equality campaign. Though this list is by no means exhaustive, here are four key elements which I see as essential to the success of the Yes Equality ground and air campaigns. My analysis, though that is an over glorified to describe this, … Read more

Could Micheal Martin can be the next Jack Lynch?

On Sunday night last I accepted Slugger’s invitation to wrote a piece on why Michael Martin can be the next Jack Lynch. The task seemed quite straightforward and timely. November 10 was the anniversary of Lynch’s first election (in 1966) as Taoiseach, what better opportunity to compare the two Corkmen and reflect on their similarities. Yet, almost two days after accepting the request, I was still finding it difficult to write the piece. So why the problem? Without a doubt … Read more