Saturday, May 30, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 22

As May comes to an end, the official campaign announcements of Presidential candidates are coming fast and furious and that pace will only accelerate in June.

This past week saw the formal speeches of two of the biggest GOP winners from Election Night 1994, as they mounted long-shot bids for the nomination, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and George Pataki of New York. The latter appears to be planning a run based on his executive experience, including of his state during 9/11/01, and at nearly 70 years old would be the oldest candidate in the Republican field. He looks a bit younger though and while I do not believe he has any hope of winning the nomination, I think he is actually pretty impressive as a speaker. It is possible he will be the only GOP candidate that is pro-choice on the issue of abortion. Santorum, a long-time social conservative, appears to be running as a friend of the blue-collar worker, a constituency that has gravitated towards Republicans in recent years, but he might find himself competing with Mike Huckabee of Arkansas for the mantle of economic populism in what is generally a conservative, pro-business party.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, who wrote some very unusual stuff back in 1972 about gender roles and rape fantasies formally entered the Democrat race earlier this week, and today, former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, an ambitious politician with a questionable record, kicked off his campaign. Both are of course competing with Hillary Clinton of New York, who has yet to hold her first official campaign rally-style event. Polls show that both are far behind, but they seem intent on running as far to the left as possible, which is going to be pretty hard to do against Clinton this cycle. Right now, the seventysomething "nutty professor" looking Sanders seems to have garnered the most support in polls, but if Democrats are pragmatic, O'Malley will look to win over a lot of support. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island is due to formally kick off his campaign in the days ahead, while Vice President Joe Biden has kept a very low profile in recent months. Once can hope that issues surrounding the health of his oldest son, the Delaware Attorney General, are not too serious.

A slew of other Republicans continue to seek out support in their field. Next month, Jeb Bush of Florida and John Kasich of Ohio are expected to formally announce their campaigns. Kasich has yet to show much of an impact in polls outside of his home state, but has the potential to rise down the road. In the wake of bad headlines two weeks ago, several polls out this past week have not been kind to Bush. Nonetheless, he is considered to be leading in money and is believed to be putting together a strong organization across the country. He and his supporters will have to hope that once he formally becomes a candidate, he can become more of an obvious force in the race. For now, Marco Rubio, also of Florida, continues to be seen as someone who has gotten off to a strong start as a candidate, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin is believed to have considerable support as well.

Backs and forths between the various camps continue as this week saw Bobby Jindal of Louisiana attack Rand Paul of Kentucky over his lack of support for renewal of the Patriot Act, which is currently being debated in the U.S. Senate, as well as shameful comments by Paul in which he said that Republican foreign policy hawks are responsible for the creation of ISIS in the Middle East. Paul is obviously trying to stake out his own unique space in the primary, but is clearly not at all that different from his father on those issues. He can expect to receive much push-back on foreign policy and domestic security measures once the debates get underway from a slew of candidates, including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who is about to announce his candidacy.

Finally, there are many indications that celebrity businessman Donald Trump of New York is actually about to announce he is running for President, after teasing runs going back as far as 1988. He has events scheduled, including in New Hampshire, and has apparently signed up supporters in key states. Is this really going to happen? Maybe he is going to have his big announcement speech just to say he will not run because he is more powerful outside of the White House than any President could be anyway. If he does run, he is likely to spend his time in the GOP debates attacking the other Republican candidates, while being conspicuously quiet about Hillary Clinton. Will the media catch on to that and start to ask questions?


At 7:06 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey, you do know that Beau Biden died last night!

Second: Trump will NOT run, he's a sideshow just like Santorum, Fiorina & Carson including Paul.

Third: Pataki had his chance in 2008 & 2012, but he didn't run!


Post a Comment

<< Home