Saturday, May 23, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 21

On Memorial Day Weekend, most Americans are not too focused on the long Presidential contest but it continues to look like 2016 will hold much to be interested in for both parties' nomination battles, as well as the general election.

For Republicans, one needs a spreadsheet just to keep track of all those who are running or expected to run. That list now includes former New York Governor George Pataki, who might have been one of the more prominent names in the party over a decade ago. Now, he will struggle to build name recognition and receive media attention, after having passed on running previous times. One figure who will not run is former diplomat John Bolton, who has now twice flirted with a GOP bid a couple of times, but it should not be considered too much of a surprise that he will not become a first time candidate. I still expect the same to be said about Donald Trump, although he continues to make noise about how serious he is about running, mostly while bashing the other GOP candidates. It is worth noting that Trump has given lots of money over the years to the Clintons, and has previously endorsed their political efforts. Might the over the top right-wing Trump of the past several years really have been in cahoots with the Clintons all along?

There was not too much real news made on behalf of the GOP field over the past week. It is looking like many candidates are now planning to skip this summer's Iowa Republican Presidential Straw Poll, a once giant event that served as a winnower for the field. Now, several candidates are taking a cue from the last two eventual GOP nominees and will be skipping the effort in Ames. Among those taking a pass, will be the winner of the 2008 Hawkeye Caucus, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is mostly in the news this weekend for the way he has defended a prominent supporter, reality tv's Josh Duggar, who was also a religious conservative lobbyist, in the wake of a scandal due to disgusting acts he committed as a young teenager. Huckabee made a valid point in saying that good people can make mistakes when they are underage and should not be judged their entire life based on them.

While other primary debates had already been held at this point in the calendar over the last couple of cycles, the first GOP show will not be until August, and Fox News has apparently set guidelines in which only the top 10 candidates based on polling and organization in key states will be allowed to participate. Other networks may split up the debate between different groups. There are lots of novel and perhaps humorous ideas as to how to go about dealing with the issue of so many Republican candidates vying for attention, but at least ABC News' George Stephanapolous will not be allowed to moderate one this time. The current newsman, who came to prominence through his roles in the 1992 Bill Clinton campaign, and later serving in the White House, came under fire for not disclosing contributions he had made to the Clinton Foundation while grilling on air an author who raised questions about the charity's practices.

One could probably write several books about all the questions that continue to swirl around Bill, Hillary, and for that matter Chelsea Clinton, regarding the Foundation, speaking fees, what has been disclosed, and just how rich they have gotten off of them. The email scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State and statements she had made earlier this year continue to come to light as more information seems to contradict past statements and have led to various questions about Benghazi as well as the back channel relationship she was conducting with Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton crony, who had been banned from the Obama Administration over hard feelings from the 2008 primary campaign.

It is accurate to say that the average undecided swing voter is not putting much effort into looking into all these Clinton stories now and in fact the details  may be too complex for low information voters to ever go to the trouble to examine. This past week, Hillary Clinton finally took a few questions from the media, in which she basically sidestepped anything difficult and gave very rote answers. That may be able to continue for a time, but the heat is sure to increase, from the media, the GOP, and the other Democrats.

Time has been on Hillary Clinton's side for a while, but it is also unsustainable. While she looks like a near lock for a spot on the general election ballot, I maintain that she is a weak candidate who has gotten off to a very shaky start. The more that questions surround her past and the state of her campaign, the harder it will be for her to shake a perception that she is perhaps a bit less honest than even the low esteem that some voters hold for all politicians. The way unfolds slowly, but the narrative builds.


At 6:57 AM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Which gives the GOP a good chance of winning back the White House next fall!

History says the party out of power wins the Presidency!

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey: We also need your updates on the 2015 Governor contests in KY (open), LA (open) & MS!


Post a Comment

<< Home