Who can now stop Trump? It’s not Kamala, but there is a woman who can

The more people mock Joe Biden for his dire performance in the presidential debate, the more I have the urge to sympathise with him. We live in a society committed to rooting out “isms” wherever they may be, so why is ageism still a gladiatorial sport? Then again, the leader of the free world probably does need to have fewer catatonic moments than Biden appears to. Which is where his replacement comes in, a longed-for necessity if Donald Trump is to be kept out of the White House. Kamala Harris is a no-go. So who?

Enter Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s stalwart Democratic governor, alone in a sea of Midwestern Republicans who like trolling her for being a woman and for being, well, sane. More than sane: experienced, reasonable, sparky, and not senile. She’s a tough cookie, as you need to be to be to survive in American politics, especially as a woman (Trump referred to her merely as “the woman in Michigan”). Her sensible stay-at-home orders for the first four months of Covid garnered a kidnapping plot against her, death threats, legal cases, harassment and more. She wasn’t cowed.

Whitmer is sensible on most topics, from the environment (keen on supporting renewables in America’s oil-guzzling motor industry heartlands), to childcare, to gun control and the biggie for me: abortion. She vowed to “fix the damn roads” in her home state, and actually did it. She focusses on infrastructure and she improves it, rather than relying on geopolitical and cultural alignments to win fans.

I think of her as a Democratic Nikki Haley with pizzazz and probably more intelligence, a good egg though Haley is. Sometimes it takes a woman, and a middle-aged woman, to fix a problem. And America has a huge problem: perhaps the biggest it’s ever faced. It’s time to bring in the cavalry, the kind with good cheekbones and luscious brown locks.

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