Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 20, 2015--Election Update

I can't believe myself--it's fully 15 months before the election and six months before the Iowa caucuses yet I am obsessed with presidential politics. Almost equally interested in what is happening in both parties.

Friends are as well. And it's all because of Donald TRUMP and Hillary Clinton--one on the ascendancy the other soon, in my view, who will be in free fall.

None of this interest has to do with policy matters, either domestic or international, but is because of their larger-than-life personalities and how what three months ago would have been unthinkable is now feeling unexpectedly likely.

For example, I just got a phone call from a family member, a very progressive and politically savvy woman who for eight years has been a passionate supporter of Hillary Clinton's, who left a message saying, "Are you ready for President TRUMP?"

She was not mocking my interest in him (my interest in his remarkable political standing not an interest in hoping he wins the nomination and the election) but is herself coming around to the view, not uncommon among liberals, that TRUMP is trumping the field in some profound way, as opposed to doing so because of his entertainment value--it is because, some say in explanation, August's dog days are hot and everyone is looking to do some escaping.

But he may turn out to be the Republican real-deal because at least half the GOP electorate want a non-politican to win (almost 50% of Republicans polled in the most recent Fox national survey, with their numbers rising, support one of the three non-politicans--Trump 25%, Carson 12%, Fiorina 5%).

Say goodbye to Bush and Walker and Christie and Perry and Santorum and Paul and Cruz and Huckabee and whoever else is running. Half of them will be gone or dead in the water before Iowa. Expect the GOP race to come down to TRUMP, Kasich, and Fiorina. If you want a preview of one of the finalists, keep an eye on whom the Koch Brothers begin to bet.

On the Democrat side, the e-mail controversy continues to fester. Actually get worse. You know the details. How now it appears that hundreds of Clinton's e-mails likely contained classified information (a potential crime) and soon investigators from the FBI no less will have their hands on the 30,000 (30,000!!) Hillary deleted because they were too personal--about her yoga classes, Chelsea's wedding, and the like. Would you be surprised if quite a few of them contained a smoking gun? We'll know by the end of September.

In spite of this, all the Internet and cable news political junkies are saying Clinton's lead is insurmountable and that there is no way that even crazy Democrats are going to have Bernie Sanders representing their party come November 2016. That would guarantee a Republican president. Though they did go for George McGovern and Mike Dukakis.

So that means Joe Biden will soon get into the race and, considering the mediocre competition, be nominated.

A related sidebar--of those Hillary supporters you know, are any enthusiastic about her candidacy, saying that she will make a good much less a great president? Or are they saying they're for her because she's a woman? That having a female president is long overdo? If anyone said a similar thing about, say, Andrew Cuomo--that's it's time we had an Italian-American president--that person would be shouted down. And rightly so. But such is the still sad state of things in regard to gender. I get it but hate it.

Thus, I am predicting a TRUMP-Biden race with the outcome a tossup.

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