Saturday, April 25, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 17

Time is short today, so this week's look at the Presidential contest will be brief.

The Republican field remains large and may in fact get larger. Last week, Ohio Governor John Kasich took steps to enter the fray and suddenly, there are signals that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder might also be highly interested. As a Republican, I have to say that I am impressed by the depth and strength of the field. To be sure, there are candidates who have no chance of winning the nomination, let alone a general election, but successful Governors from important states running for President, has to be a good thing for us. Time will tell how such a crowded field will affect the horse race aspect of the race down the road, but as someone who currently supports Jeb Bush, I cannot complain about the presence of other options should the former Florida Governor falter politically. Kasich and Snyder, along with current candidate Marco Rubio and expected candidate Scott Walker all have the possibility of being very strong general election contenders as well as very good Presidents. I would want to include Bobby Jindal in that as well, but his political standing might be on the downswing. All of these candidates and potential candidates will have to endure the pressure and scrutiny of a high-profile national race. While Wisconsin Governor Walker remains high in early polls, some of his maneuvering has led to questions about if he might have trouble down the road. This week, he speculated about placing limits on legal immigration, which is a position that would be very hard for mainstream Republicans to defend.

Republicans of course have many options and who will ultimately prevail as the nominee is about far from certain as any GOP primary since before World War II. Democrats remain certain that Hillary Clinton will eventually be their candidate. While she is certain to face primary opposition, most expect her nomination to be a mere formality, and thus they have really put all their eggs in one basket, to use a cliche.

The concept of "scandal" has surrounded the Clinton power couple since 1992. A new book, entitled "Clinton Cash" is expected out shortly, and this week there has been much talk about its findings will show serious breaches of ethical, perhaps even criminal conduct on behalf of Bill and Hillary Clinton in recent years. I certainly do not have time to outline the chargers, but they would relate to Clintons and their family charitable foundation being enriched by foreign governments financially in exchange for special favors, including by official acts of the Obama Administration via the actions of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

As is typical when the Clintons are accused of wrong-doing, they and their supporters have attacked the sources as being politically motivated right-wing operatives. They have not gone out of their way to categorically deny the chargers that the book is expected to lay out, but have said things along the lines of "there is no shred of evidence.." Of course, all the evidence may have actually been shredded, at least electronically.

Ultimately, these will be matters for Congress, the federal government, the media, and other candidates, in both parties, to look into. Time will tell if the voters will care about these serious allegations or if they will be seen as "politics as usual." Those of us on the right certainly have experience with Clinton Scandals being sort of dismissed by the citizenry.

There is no doubt though that public opinion surveys have shown that Hillary Clinton's ratings in terms of being "honest" and "trustworthy" are quite low, and have taken a hit in light of the email scandal. As the saying goes, "the narrative continues." If this new book by Peter Schweizer is seen as credible, Hillary Clinton is going to have even bigger problems, politically and otherwise. 

Democrats publicly profess confidence that none of this will amount to much and will be seen as "old news" by the time they expect Hillary Clinton to be their official standard bearer next year. Of course, they better hope they are right, because unlike the GOP, they do not have a deep field of candidates to fall back upon.


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