Saturday, August 01, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 31

This full post will appear later today, but first a quick message for Scott P.

You are free of course to leave comments on here. Your comment in 2009 was taken down because you made profane remarks which had nothing to do with the topic being discussed. That was told to you at the time. On that very same thread, someone else on the left (who you knew) left several comments and I engaged in a civil back and forth with them.

Ok then. There are now 17 officially announced GOP candidates for the Presidency, who are considered "major contenders" by the basis of their standings in polls, resumes, and willingness to be talked about by the media. A certain former IRS Commissioner, who is also a Republican candidate, obviously must feel very left out, but the field is likely now settled at 17, even though the Duggars would probably keep going.

On Thursday, all of these candidates are expected to converge on Cleveland, a large city in a key swing state, whose Governor happens to be one of the candidates. It is also the city where the party will formally nominate their candidate next summer, but first, Fox News will present the first debate of the cycle. In prime-time, the top 10 candidates, based on the polls will take part in a two hour debate. Before that, the other seven will have a bit of a kiddie table or Junior Varsity debate before Prime Time. Next week, I will do my best to discuss the performances of all the candidates.

While the Republican field is set, chatter is building that the Democrat field of five may not be. More emails continue to be released, showing that despite prior denials, Hillary Clinton did have classified material on her private email server. Of course, these are just the emails she did not bother to destroy, much the way that NFL Quarterback Tom Brady destroyed his incriminating cell phone. With that in mind, it is going to be virtually impossible to find a "smoking gun" in regards to criminal activity by the former Secretary of State, but all these stories continue to take a toll on her poll numbers, especially on questions regarding her favorability and how honest and trustworthy she is. Yesterday afternoon, her campaign took the opportunity to release some health records and tax information in what was considered an attempt to distract from the email mess.

 Some horse-race polls featuring her against major Republican candidates, not named Donald Trump, are starting to inch away from her as well, even if she remains narrowly ahead in some. It is hard to argue that her campaign has been a rousing political success thus far, and that is a big part of the reason why talk is persisting that Vice President Joe Biden is planning to enter the race. He may be seen by many as a viable fallback option if Clinton continues to falter. There is even talk about the current Secretary of State, John Kerry, who is a few months younger than Biden, making another attempt at the White House. This could all get very entertaining, but for now, Bernie Sanders, a self-professed socialist remains Clinton's biggest challenge to the nomination. The Chairwoman of the Democrat Party, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Congresswoman from Florida, went on television this week and was amazingly unable to articulate differences between Democrats and socialists. Republicans of course would say there is very little difference.

The focus of the upcoming week is likely to be on Republicans though, and on one candidate in particular. Donald Trump, is now solidly ahead in most national and state polls. This flies in the face of those who felt he would immediately begin to slide in the wake of his John McCain POW remarks from a couple weeks ago. I myself said it would be a gradual decline and I stand by that, but a lot of people remain surprised and mystified as to why "Trumpomania" continues. As a Republican and as an American, I am not exactly heartened by this development, but I think I can at least understand some of the reasons behind it and I can see the big picture as to how unlikely it is that Trump's standing will last.

First, let us acknowledge that it is a vast minority of people in these polls saying they support Trump. The field is very crowded, so he certainly is ahead. If there were somehow a national primary this month, he would be a threat, but that's not the way it works. Despite Trump's inflammatory right-wing rhetoric and appeal to some elements of the Tea Party, these polls show him as the favorite of "moderates" in many circumstances. The internals of these surveys also seem to indicate that Trump's supporters tend to be apolitical and lower-information voters than those backing others or saying they are "undecided" at this point.

Trump is celebrity and has high name recognition. He is also talked about in the news every day. Saturday Night Live must be bemoaning the fact they are off for the summer as more and more stuff comes out about Trump, from a long-ago and since recanted allegation from his first wife Ivanka in which the word "rape" was used to a fight Trump had a few years ago with a female attorney over a breast pump. To the folks who get their news from TMZ, this stuff is all gold.

I happen to believe that many of these people who say they support Trump are likely to not vote in the GOP primary process and may not even be registered. However, it would be unwise to recognize that what he says does have appeal to many people, whether rightly or wrongly. Even if they are not sold on him personally, they like what he is saying about the political process. He is "different" and more "authentic" to these anti-politician folks and while I could go on at great lengths as to why Trump should not be considered authentic, the fact that does seem so different is causing him to stand out. He is trolling the political process and voters who hate politics are right now rewarding him for that. So much time remains to see just how this Trump thing will work out. Everything that happens in the debates involving him will get a ton of attention on Thursday and into next weekend. A top campaign strategist for John Kasich said that comparing for this debate is like comparing for an auto race where you know one of the drivers will be drunk.

Will this Cleveland debate live up to the hype? Will the candidates go right at Trump? Will he really go after them? Will Jeb Bush take the advice to try to remain above the fray for the long-term benefit even if he gets criticized in the short term for doing so? Time will tell on all these questions, but Trump is not going to eventually be the next President nor the nominee of the Grand Old Party. As the saying goes, "This too shall pass."


At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, thanks Corey for the clarification.

I don't remember my comment being profane but maybe I'm a bit more PG-13

Scott P

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Corey said...

It was definitely a lewd comment on the post I had praising President Bush upon leaving office. As mentioned, another person offered remarks very critical of what I wrote and I did not delete those. I would never not publish any comment here because of political reasons. I will have standards though in regards to language.

Now, as this may be the only to communicate with you at the moment Scott, I do want to just bring up another matter from years ago that you referenced on another blog that I am not able to respond to.

You mentioned something, also from years ago, that I had forgotten about, but after reading what you wrote, I thought back and from what I remember, I do think that I was at least partly at fault for how I responded. I would like the chance to express that and to apologize if a comment I made in anger was made to come across in a way that I did not intend.

However, I responded in an emotional way because of a very cheap shot you took at me on an old blog. You may very well not remember it, and I am not going to get into it here on this format. If you really wanted to revisit this, I am sure there could be a way we could do so, but I just wanted to say that since you brought it up, I regret how I probably responded and never had any malicious intent.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey & Scott P: I do NOT see the Trump hype lasting very long because I see his numbers tanking once he starts getting questioned on policy matters because at some point, people are going to get sick & tired of his ranting & raving!

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey, can you post your takes on Thursday's primetime debate on Fox News?


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