Mr. Minnis. Will he lead the FNM into the 2017 general elections?

Hubert Minnis - Leader of the Opposition

By Jerry Roker for Bahamas Press

There is a story once told to me many many years ago, about how the late Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield, while on a campaign stop in the South Andros constituency, at the time represented my his political nemesis the late Sir Lynden Pindling, was asking a voter for his support. He told the voter that it was time for a change and to make that change he needed the voters vote. At some point Sir Cecil continued by saying : “…And after you vote for me and we win, I will be Prime Minister.” The voter then responded by saying: “Cecil, I don’t mind voting for you, but Pindling gatta be Prime Minister!”

This story always come to mind, when I observe the performance of PM Christie on the international stage as he represents our country and by extension the region as the sitting chair of CARICOM. I cannot imagine Opposition Leader Minnis measuring up to this standard. That is not to say that Dr. Minnis doesn’t have the intellectual depth to do so. I believe he does. What he lacks is presence and charisma and articulation. And it is for these reasons, members of his own party are literally cannibalizing him, as they get the same feeling many in the public have. I believe Dr. Minnis is in some respects being judged too harshly. He deserves a chance to fail. He can’t be worst than the hand-picked leader the party had going into the 2002 general elections.

Certainly, on the intellectual front, in my view Dr. Minnis has a comfortable edge. As it relates to presence and charisma, both would have a challenge getting a date with the town beauty on a Saturday night. You need money to fight general elections. Because the other gentleman and his family probably still have strong connections to the UBP faction of the FNM, Dr. Minnis is at a disadvantage here.  Dr. Minnis has, by his organizational skills and strength of character, created a safe “Montagu seat’ in the west. This speaks volumes about him as a person. He certainly did not wish himself into being such a formidable force in Killarney. And for this he deserves the appropriate credit. At the national level, it’s a totally different ball game! And I am not certain he will be the starting pitcher in the biggest game of his political life.