Saturday, September 05, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 36

Politics and the Presidential race on Labor Day Weekend of 2016 is likely to look different than the current situation on this Labor Day Weekend.

In the Republican Party, having never won an election appears to be the prime quality that people say they want in a candidate. Is that really going to last or is it more of a protest movement. I happen to think many people are picking candidates in polls more because they want them to be successful in the campaign narrative at this point in time than to actually be President. That might be the case with Ben Carson, who despite running a fairly low key campaign in regards of national attention, has really taken off in polls and is now a solid second nationally. While I have a lot of respect for Dr. Carson, I do find his ascent to be somewhat perplexing, but at least he is not Donald Trump.

The Summer of Trump rolls on, unabated. It is hard to deny that there are credible polls that show him not only leading the GOP field nationally and in practically every state, but that he runs close to or ahead of Hillary Clinton nationally at this point. A Survey USA poll out yesterday puts Trump ahead of any Democrat who might be nominated. Things like this might lead me to wonder about the scary concept of what I would do if faced between a choice between Trump and Clinton next November.

The most significant Trump news of the week is that he signed a loyalty pledge (something I suggested months ago), along with the other candidates, which pledged that they would not run third party if not nominated and that they will support the eventual nominee. It is not legally binding, and Trump might change his mind, but this is probably his excuse not to, if he does not become the GOP nominee, as I do not think he will. Nonetheless, I think this act of "loyalty" is probably going to help him a bit more in the short term..

In the meantime, he continues to create controversy on the campaign trail, as his battle with Jeb Bush intensifies. When asked by a reporter from the Spanish-speaking media, Bush, a fluent speaker, answered a question about Trump in Spanish in which he repeated that he is not a conservative. That led Trump to criticize Jeb Bush for using Spanish in America, while campaigning for President, putting aside the fact that 99 percent of the public statements Bush makes happen to be in English. There are probably many people on the right who do not want a candidate to speak in Spanish, and bemoan the concept of immigrants not speaking English, but clearly, Jeb Bush's approach to the Latino community make him a far stronger general election candidate.

Trump also had a conflict with radio host Hugh Hewitt, who asked him some very detailed foreign policy questions that he was unable to answer (although another "outsider" Carly Fiorina was able to) and Trump accused him of asking unfair gotcha questions and said his inability to identify specific names of figures associated with Islamic terrorist organizations is irrelevant because he will hire the right people to worry about stuff like that. Frankly, Trump's devoted supporters are not going to care about his ignorance at this point., but as we get closer to the actual voting, the standards may rise for those who will look at Trump as a potential President.

Hewitt, whom Trump of course attacked on Twitter after the interview, is scheduled to be a panelist at the next GOP debate, later this month, on CNN. That could produce some fireworks. Fiorina got some good news this past week regarding the debate, as CNN changed the qualification criteria, which means she is likely in, while somebody like Chris Christie may be out. Rick Perry will definitely not be in the prime time debate and signs keep pointing more towards him leaving the race before too long. Trump has even taunted Perry by stating it is a matter of fact that he is leaving the contest.

Of course, Democrats are also running for President, although nobody gets nearly as much media coverage of Trump. The news however for Hillary Clinton regarding her email server continues to get worse and the drip drip drip sound is impossible to ignore. The staffer who set up the server is said to be taking the Fifth. That's a significant development, and while Clinton is in interviews expressing that she had bad judgment in setting up the system, she is not apologizing. The fact that Donald Trump, amid everything, is leading her in polls ought to send a cold shiver down the spine of Democrats.

Joe Biden has still not made a decision about his intentions, although he is now wrestling publicly about the choice in speeches, which seems like classic Biden. Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, who has endorsed Clinton, a former Senator from his state, has now said he would be conflicted if Biden got in the race.

In their heart of hearts, Democrats have to be disappointed that Donald Trump is at least for now, pledging loyalty to the GOP. Of course, a lifelong loyal Republican like myself really does not want him in the party, but politics are sure weird on Labor Day Weekend 2015, and it is important to keep an eye on the big picture.

Just who will be the two people I will be writing about a year from now?


At 4:35 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Trump, Carson, Fiorina will FADE sooner or later: just watch!


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