President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is not known for speaking softly on matters concerning the US. But in a recent interview with Aljazeera, he showed some pragmatism when he wouldn’t rule out any of the US presidential candidates. The next US president will emerge on November 9, in what has become a nailbiter.
He said Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Duterte, who has been called Asia’s Donald Trump also said that Donald Trump would make a good candidate (isn’t Trump a candidate already?)
He however reserved his biggest praise for Vladimir Putin of Russia. He described Putin as his idol.
Duterte, Putin and Trump are seen as populist, combative politicians of a roughly similar mould. But of the three, Donald Trump has not gotten the ultimate political price in his country, the presidency.
Trump faces difficult opposition in his presidential quest from the hard-as-nails Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is not your regular soft opponent herself. Rather, she is a foreign policy hawk who hasn’t shown fear in standing up to Putin in the past.
In this election she has also proven her mettle, even Trump has admitted that she is a very though opponent for any candidate to have. So she is no stranger to strength.
While both candidates are strong candidates, pushing for a muscular foreign policy, Trump would rather make the US more restrained in international interventions, avoiding confrontations with world powers like Russia.
Trump wants to avoid the kinds of fiascos that US interventionism has wrought on countries like Iraq and Libya.
On her own part Hillary Clinton firmly sees the role of the US as that of the world’s policeman. She believes the US should do more not less in the world.
We shall know what the American voter decides on these two favourites of Duterte, next Wednesday.