It was as inevitable as night follows day – Key is now being compared to Trump. This pathetic attempt is care of a Germany-based expert on New Zealand politics. No, I’m not kidding
Geoffrey Miller is a New Zealand political analyst and researcher lecturing at Germany’s Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet Mainz
John Key and Donald Trump – worlds apart? Think again. Political commentator Geoffrey Miller looks at five surprising similarities shared by the New Zealand Prime Minister and the US President-elect.
Highly pragmatic – and willing to compromise
US website Politico identified 15 instances of backtracking by Donald Trump in the 15 days after the November 8 election – ranging from his much-vaunted wall with Mexico turning into a fence, to abandoning prosecution of Hillary Clinton over her private email server.
Like Trump, Key has a long history of pragmatism over ideology – dating back to his early days as Opposition leader when he replaced Don Brash.
Key immediately dropped National’s opposition to the Maori seats in Parliament, promised to keep New Zealand nuclear free and pledged to keep Labour’s flagship policy of interest-free student loans.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Key has kept in touch with public opinion and has not been afraid to backtrack when he senses the government is on the wrong side.
Both men are secretive about their exact net worth, although the 2016 NBR rich list estimated Key’s wealth at about $60 million.
Trump’s personal wealth is assumed to be in the billions.
Whatever the exact figures, both men are clearly among the richest in their respective countries.
That’s right. A few million and billions are the same.
Today, the vast majority of modern politicians in New Zealand and the United States enter politics at ever younger ages and overwhelmingly see public office as a career, not a calling.
Self-advancement is their primary aim – and as such, they prefer not to “rock the boat” or get offside with their party hierarchy.
Key and Trump both buck this trend.
Both men are inherent risk-takers – in business and politics.
Key? A risk taker? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. He got all stubborn with the flag referendum, but every other occasion he runs wherever David Farrar tells him it is safest to run to. No. Key is a pragmatist, not a risk taker.
John Key and his son Max famously spent time with Barack Obama over a round of golf in Hawaii in 2014 – gaining face time in a personal setting with the US president which is afforded to few others.
While Trump shares few other similarities with Obama, golf is at least one common interest.
However, for Trump, golf is even more of a personal obsession, allowing him to mix the business of golf course developments, his own personal relaxation and using a round as a way to size up new allies.
Trump recently said: “Golf is a great game for getting to know people…you can never ever get to know people at lunch or dinner like you can on a golf course”.
In this respect, Key is cut from much the same cloth as Trump.
Like Trump, he has recognised the function of golf as an elite pastime to cultivate connections with people who matter – as proven by his success in ultimate success in gaining a tee time with Obama.
Golf has been the elite’s way of getting deals done way before Key and it will be way after Trump. It allows people to have a chat without the suffocating formality of sitting in a room and having several dozen policy wonks going into cardiac arrest every time you say something.
So anyway, according to this academic, if you play golf, occasionally take a risk instead of playing it safe, you have made yourself independently wealthy, and are willing to stop banging your head against a wall when you see yourself stuck, then you are exactly like Trump. Or Key.
What a pointless analysis. You might as well add both men have been seen wearing trousers and they speak a form of English.
– NZ Herald