Saturday, February 13, 2016

The 2016 Election: Don''t be Too Quick to Crown Trump or Clinton

Here’s what we know after Iowa and New Hampshire going into Nevada and South Carolina. It looks like it won’t be Bush-Clinton. It undoubtedly will not be JEB bush for the Republicans while Hillary Clinton is increasingly shaky for the Democrats. The Democrat got trounced in New Hampshire, 60% to 38%, and may have actually lost Iowa. The Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party will not release the Iowa raw figures. The Chair had managed Hillary’s Iowa campaign in 2008. Hillary is under pressure to shake up her staff. The staff is not the problem. Hillary Clinton is the problem. She’s a tone-deaf candidate, who few trust, and is skating on thin ice around an indictment. She is becoming as inept a candidate as Governor Mitt Romney four years ago. Americans on both sides of the aisle are disillusioned with the government. Yet the choice on the Democratic side is between two senior citizens, 1) a former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State and 2) a member of Congress for 25 years. The Republicans currently feature a billionaire (?) real estate developer, two Senators, a sitting governor, a retired governor, and a retired surgeon, who is sadly, rapidly fading. Money supposedly corrupts today’s political system. Yet the billionaire has spent very little, and the big spenders, Hillary Clinton and JEB Bush, are floundering. Senator Sanders has recently been out-raising Secretary Clinton with small donations. The Democrats cry out against Citizens United and the Koch Brothers, but they eagerly accept contributions from lobbyists who work for the Koch Brothers. The Democratic campaign features a battle between self-proclaimed progressives, one of whom is an avowed socialist and proven progressive, and the other who veers between moderate and progressive depending on how the wind is blowing. The faux progressive prosecutes the “Republican War on Women,” but aided and abetted her husband’s misogynist behavior. The Republican campaign has mostly featured a circular firing squad to decide who will come in third. Senator Rubio and Governor Kasich have one major advantage over the other candidates. They offer a positive, upbeat message. Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz are chronically negative while Governor Bush looks uncomfortable trashing his opponents. The Donald and the Canadian American have both succeeded by attacking illegal immigration. Americans have been concerned about the wide-open Southern Border and are now dearthly afraid of radical Islamic terrorism with attacks in Europe and the United States. Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton face tremendous challenges with Republicans, Independents, and even many Democrats in November if they continue to support open borders. Secretary Clinton is wrapping herself around President Obama in an attempt to resurrect the Obama Coalition, especially the African American vote in the Southern primaries. She is also trying to avoid an indictment by the Obama Administration. The late, magnificent Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, in the 1992 Florida primary referred to Governor Bill Clinton as a ‘pander bear” who would “say anything or do anything to get elected.” He repeatedly held up a stuffed panda bear to symbolize Bill Clinton. He added “The American people are going to find out and decide how cynical and unprincipled Bill Clinton is.” Secretary Clinton is channeling her inner Bill Clnton. The two Democrats are also endorsing Black Lives Matter and echoing the claims about an unfair justice system with too many Blacks in prison. They also believe the solution to economic inequality is to adopt policies that will increate inequality. The odds still favor Secretary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, but they are shrinking. The Republican race is settling. The race is to be third in South Carolina. Governor Christie “mugged” Senator Rubio in the debate before the New Hampshire Primary, but lost politically as he dropped out of the race. Today’s Republican debate provides Senator Rubio the opportunity to redeem himself. If he succeeds, then he will become the best chance to beat out the top two. Let us remember that President Reagan lost badly to Walter Mondale in the first 1984 debate, but came back to decisively defeat the former Vice President in the subsequent debate. Governor Bush’s hasn’t found a successful strategy in this campaign. The American people see him flounder, which is not the leadership they seek this year. Governor Kasich soared in New Hampshire, essentially camping out in the state, but this is not the year for a compassionate conservative in the South. He hopes to survive until the Michigan primary. The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia today should change the dynamics of the race. Republicans need to understand that they must nominate a candidate with a real chance of winning in November rather than a flaky soul mate; to wit Donald trump or Ted Cruz.

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