Saturday, June 06, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 23

I should begin by revisiting something I wrote last Saturday.

I wrote that Vice President Joe Biden was keeping a low profile in recent months and that I hoped it was not related to the health of his son. Unfortunately, I heard a few hours later that Beau Biden (whom I should have noted was the former Attorney General of Delaware and not current) had passed away from brain cancer at the age of 46. What a terrible tragedy, for a family that has already suffered great losses before. Before last Saturday, I had not heard much talked about regarding the seriousness of Beau's condition, although it seemed like his planned run for Delaware Governor in 2016 was not really off to a start, and it did make me wonder if his health was more serious than publicly stated. I feel really bad to have heard the news shortly after last week's post. No sitting President or Vice President has had a child die since John Kennedy's two day old son.

Politics aside, I feel like all Americans should be thinking about the Biden Family this week, especially the two young children who had to mourn their father with television cameras rolling. (GOP Presidential contender Ted Cruz made a horribly timed joke this week about Joe Biden, for which he apologized.) Beau Biden, beyond his public service, was a veteran and a Bronze Star winner. I watched bits of his funeral service on television today and it was very moving, even the eulogy by Barack Obama. The tributes offered by Beau's sister Ashley and brother Hunter were very profound and painted a picture of their brother that really put him in a great light.

One wonders just how far Beau Biden might have attempted to rise in politics had he not been saddled with such a terrible disease. I think about how when Joe Biden was about the same age, after a failed 1988 Presidential bid, he nearly died from a brain tumor, but rebounded to continue his career that years later had him as Vice President. Most political observers still do not expect Joe Biden to make a final bid for the White House in 2016, and his family grieving may be part of the equation, but some will of course wonder if this situation might make him feel more compelled to give a run a shot. Despite all the justifiable criticism of him personally and politically, Joe Biden deserves a lot of compassion right now from Democrats and Republicans alike.

With the human component of the Biden news part of my thinking today, it feels difficult to segue into Presidential politics, but I will briefly cover a few events. Lindsey Graham formally announced his campaign, as did Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican running as a Democrat, and Rick Perry, a former Democrat running as a Republican. Graham is running as an unabashed national security hawk, while Perry, who along with Graham are the only Presidential candidates in the GOP field to have worn the uniform, surrounded himself with prominent former Navy Seals. The most news that came from Chafee's announcement was that he wants the U.S. to adapt the metric system.

Otherwise, we now know that Jeb Bush will formally kick off his campaign on June 15th in Miami, a city where fellow candidate Marco Rubio and his wife apparently have gotten a lot of traffic tickets over the past twenty years. Most of those were Mrs. Rubio's however. It is hard to believe the New York Times considered this a huge deal. I can only imagine how difficult it might be to drive the speed limit in South Florida, considering all the elderly drivers taking it slow.

Briefly, there were some really bad poll numbers out this week for Hillary Clinton in regards to falling general election leads and eroding trust and belief in her honesty. She made news, probably deliberately, towards the end of the week by accusing various Republican candidates and potential candidates of supporting voter suppression. She called for a national twenty day early voting period, which many states already have, and which is further ironic considering her own state of New York has no early voting at all. She is clearly trying to gin up her base. Republicans, such as Ohio Governor John Kasich pushed back hard at her remarks. I think Hillary Clinton and her supporters will want twenty days of late voting after they lose.

Pop culture news was a big part of the week as well, specifically relating to a former American Olympic hero, who claims to identify with the Republican Party. A banner headline on MSNBC caught my eye this week which said, "Republican Candidates Silent on Caitlyn Jenner."

You have got to be kidding me.


At 4:40 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Expecting both Perry & Graham to aggressively play their military experiences in the USAF to their advantages by saying it's important that Americans have a President, who's served in the military!

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey, expect announcements from LA Governor Bobby Jindal (R) & WI Governor Scott Walker (R) on whether they're running for the White House in 2016!


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