Saturday, August 17, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 # 33

As summer 2019 approaches the homestretch, there are lots of stories in the news these days, and plenty for news junkies to talk about, thanks to 24 hour cable network and online social media. Thus, I am only going to briefly touch a few of the matters I can immediately think of.

Of course, Donald Trump dominated much of the news as usual. Some people love him, many others hate him, and a whole bunch of people are just fatigued with it all. With that in mind, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, now the lone Coloradoan in the race for President, is saying he will be a chief executive that people will not have to even think about for weeks at a time. That sounds nice.

This is where it can be mentioned that former Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper ended his never got off the ground campaign this week and is now widely expected to run for the U.S. Senate in his state where Democrats feel he is best equipped to flip an open seat. Others in the field such as Steve Bullock of Montana and Beto O'Rourke of Texas are saying they will not follow suit and run for Senate. O'Rourke made comments this week, in what appears to be at least the second "re-launch" of a campaign that began a few months ago, that running for the Senate was not good enough for him.

Many candidates are upset that billionaire Tom Steyer appears likely to make the next debate stage, while others will not qualify. There are three remaining "major" Democrat candidates, including a current U.S. Congressman who have yet to qualify for any debate and are all but certain to never achieve that. What do they think can possibly happen for them at this point?

This week saw pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong waiving U.S. flags and clashing with police. In spite of this, Trump has refused to speak out in favor of the pro-freedom movement. This is sad but hardly surprising. He seems to have a soft spot for hardline regimes such as the one in China. Any U.S. President should be at the forefront of advocating for those who wish to live in freedom. Obama failed once upon a time when it came to Iran and Trump is failing when it comes to China .This is of course with a trade war that greatly rattled the stock market this week and now apparently tariffs are on hold after all. It's hard to know what the story is from the Trump Administration on a daily basis.

The incumbent will continue to Tweet though and speak at rallies. This week in New Hampshire, he misidentified a supporter as a protestor and from the podium told them they had a "weight problem" and needed to exercise.  Wow. That would be like Bill Clinton yelling at someone to be faithful to their wife. As to be expected, Trump also this week re-Tweeted conspiracy theories suggesting that Bill Clinton was responsible for last weekend's "murder" of Jeffrey Epstein .(Authorities have ruled the death a suicide but questions remain.) Clearly, there is not any line that Trump is unwilling to cross. His lackeys go on television and merely say that Trump wants everything investigated.

Trump's overall approval ratings continue to be middling but fairly consistent. His supporters tend t think he is on the path to reelection while many Democrats fear that might also be correct. Still, recent polls, including one this past week from Fox News, show Trump's reelection topline number as remarkably bad and with some Democrats such as Joe Biden and even Bernie Sanders way ahead of him. Biden continues to make weird gaffes on the trail and Sanders is seen as unelectable after a general election campaign, but there is clear evidence that the American people actually want someone different as President.

It is clear though that despite any effort put forth by Bill Weld, that Trump is not endangered in his party's nomination process. Still though, there was some action on that front this month. Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (who lost his Congressional renomination primary last year to a Trump backed opponent) is saying he is inching closer to challenging the incumbent. Whatever one may think of Sanford, he, unlike Weld, is a genuine conservative.

Also, a Washington Post Op-ed appeared this week by former one term Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, calling for a primary challenge to Trump from the right. When questoned this week, Walsh did not directly rule out a bid himself, although I think that is unlikely, as he would have to give up his syndicated radio gig (based out of a Chicago station.) Also, poor Joe Walsh happens to look a bit like the late Jeffrey Epstein.

This is all very interesting to me. Walsh was a Tea Party insurgent who won one of the most shocking upsets in the country in 2010. Two years later though, he was a fairly political goner even though I voted and campaigned for him when I was thrown into what would have been his district via redistricting.. The district was far too Democrat though at that point, especially for a brash headline seeking right-winger.

As a radio host, Walsh continued to generate controversy and strongly supported Trump's general election win in 2016. In the years since, I have sometimes listened to portions of his program and have given him great credit for trying to be consistent on matters. I disagree with him on much, but admire the way he has been willing to not just toe the Trump line like just about every conservative talk radio host. Some months back, he broke with Trump entirely and he spends much time being highly critical of Trump, as a conservative. Most of his radio audience and the people who call into his show disagree with him, but Walsh does not back down. He all but apologized in this week's Op-Ed for some of his past rhetorical misdeeds and said he regrets helping pave the path for Trump.

After years of being dismissive of Walsh, I am really grateful for his voice these days, both on the radio and elsewhere. I am prouder now to have once supported him than I was 7 years ago. Will voices like his increase in the weeks ahead?

"The Mooch", aka Anthony Scaramucci, who once lasted 11 days as a top White House aide under Trump, has now turned completely on his former friend as the two fight each other on Twitter. He is calling for someone to replace Trump as the Republican standard bearer and suggesting (as Trump does of Biden) that some mental decline is taking place in the man.

I have found recent comments by Scaramucci about Trump's narcissism and how he views other people merely as objects in his way to be quite on the money. The Mooch also said the other day that Trump will look at polls in March next year and quit the race. I sort of wish he would have kept that prediction to himself. Could that actually happen? I very much doubt it.  Don't toy with me Mooch.


At 6:13 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey: I didn't see your analysis on the late former LA Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D), who passed away on August 18th, 2019.

Let me know if you're going to post a full analysis on Governor Blanco & her legacy in the Pelican State.


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