Award-winning D.C. journalist Ron Fournier spoke at a meeting of the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida Friday afternoon.
Fournier, who writes for the National Journal, related personal stories involving past presidents and the current state of affairs in American politics. His main focus was on the current anger of the electorate with the approval rating of both parties below 40 percent, and Americans suffering from fatigue of the “phoniness” and “institutions” involved with the process.
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is using that anger to his advantage.
“I called him and said this race is not going be about Donald Trump.” Fournier said, deeming him a “combed-over vessel” for those angry voters. “It’s scaring the bejesus out of me that he could president.”
Fournier was critical, yet fond, of presumptive Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, someone he’s known for years along with her husband, former President Bill Clinton. However, he thinks Clinton’s handling of the personal email controversy reinforces why people don’t like politics.
“She’s not being real, she’s not being honest,” he said. “Those are facts and whether you’re Republican, Democrat or independent all sides are doing it.”
As for a Jeb Bush vs. Hillary contest, Fournier said it won’t make the electorate feel any better about presidential politics. He then advised both candidates to stop running from their respective dynasties.
With partisan politics, Fournier told the audience that one or both parties could go away. He also describes the “perfect presidential candidate” as a Latina, thriving in the Silicon Valley technology field.
“She’s building her social networks right now,” he said.