Who’s afraid of Grace Poe?

By: Raymund Fernandez August 19,2015 - 11:07 AM

The headlines read that she said the Liberal Party should not wait for her to decide if she will run as running mate to Mar Roxas. We are used to nebulous political statements of that sort. They say neither yes nor no. And so we must wonder why it should even credit for a headline. But stranger things have happened in our country.

And issues like these are always settled in the backrooms rather than in newspaper headlines. Money is usually involved.

Poe is only stressing how this decision is hers. It is a form of flexing one’s muscle, or preening, or showing how one’s fluids fly higher and the longer distance than the other. Nothing really worth talking about in this age of gender equality. We are better off resolving why Poe’s popularity has skyrocketed since she intimated her intention to run for a national post.

There was, of course, Binay. Poe is by far more good-looking judging by any facet of the person, physical or metaphysical. Then, there is the myth about her, how she rose from an abandoned baby to within striking distance of the highest office in the land. We like that. Despite the fact, it means more in the sense of myth and legend than anything else. She was after all adopted by two of the greatest film stars at one time in our history, spent the greater part of her life in the land of dreams, the home of the brave–the United States. She does not exactly qualify as being poor. But who among the politicians here does? You do not get to within striking distance of the presidency unless you are at least well-to-do or have rich “friends” to back you.

We do not know her. She seems to come out of nowhere. What does she think of anything? That is her weakness, we are told. No! That is her mystique. She is not your typical candidate.  She seems not of the political elite. And if we measure by the travel of world politics, that fact seems now quite a phenomenal feature of the kind of candidate people want.

It seems the world has grown tired of old politicians with old names and old habits we have come to detest. Ho hum! How boring they seem to us now? In this age of cataclysmic climatic events, economies flushing down the toilet, we want candidates who shake the earth, rock the boat, or at least give us good entertainment, failing anything else. Not that any sane person could ever really take him, but take Donald Trump.

That is the pull of Grace Poe. That is what the Liberal Party (LP) is afraid of. Given that the Liberal Party, when you look at them, projects exactly that image of the political elite, old names, old politics, old habits, like bees that gather around the honey-hive, or flies that hover around you-know-what.

And this is why Grace Poe is so attractive to  LP. She gives them a new look, like new tricks for a mangy old dog. But if she does not run with them, what can they do? Grace is right. They should not wait. They should by now already float their alternative.

Time now for the Liberal Party to search for the most unlikely candidate, somebody unknown, and entirely unexpected. Time now for the Liberal party to hire a good casting director. Though they must take care not to project the image they have entirely succumbed to the concept of politics as show-biz. Magic does not work if it gives itself away even before the spell is cast. How difficult is that?

Thus, they must project their candidate as deriving from the inevitable logic that this current matrix of factors results in the unique opportunity to field finally a really “good” candidate, not coming out of traditional Philippine politics, not deriving from the political elite; a candidate entirely deserving but who would not otherwise have been considered for vice president were it not for the uniqueness of the situation; and of course, the Liberal Party’s purest intention.

But such an act cannot be played well unless the actor believes the role so much he or she actually means it. Think method acting, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, etc. To do this well, the Liberal Party must believe this is opportunity to man up and propose an authentically good and deserving candidate. This process must serve as the best example so far for democratic selection, one that exceeds even the current election standards. How difficult is that?

There are many people here who qualify that way. There is no question about it. It is impossible that such a person does not exist unless the Liberal Party believes there is no decent person left in the country. How difficult is that?

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TAGS: climate change, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, Liberal Party, Mar Roxas, newspaper, politics
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