Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Is it 2016 already?

Looks like the 2016 Presidential race is already heating up...cue the civics geek posts!!! By now, you all know that my love of the sport of politics is pretty intense, and this cycle is going to be a 2008-style doozy. Open seat, huge divisions, lots of's like an 18 month Christmas!!!

So, first of all, I am going to make a somewhat bold prediction: Hillary Clinton will not be the Democratic nominee. I'm not sure that I am totally sold on that, but it is too easy to simply say that she won't win, so I am going out onto a smaller limb and saying that she won't even be nominated. I don't know who will beat her (Jim Webb? Elizabeth Warren?), but I don't think she wins the nomination.

The reason? Because, quite simply, the left will decide who gets nominated, and the left doesn't like her. They don't trust her, and they haven't, in the nearly 30 years that they have known her, ever seen a whole lot that excites them about her. She's never been at the forefront on any social issues, she is an unabashed war hawk, she has almost no tangible accomplishments, and her campaign will almost certainly be funded by the same people who funded her 2000 and 2006 Senate and 2008 Presidential campaigns: New York-based financial services executives and lawyers. Or, in Liz Warren shorthand: "Wall Street".

She is currently the favorite mostly because she seems to be the most likely to win, and because it looks like she will be the left's de facto choice in a general election. But that support is really shallow: for now, they kind of tolerate her, but they would LOVE to have a candidate who reflects better on the issues that they care about. You know what else? She is old, uninspiring and she is a habitual liar (even on the scale of politicians!). I don't know whether Elizabeth Warren will run, and I think she is almost certainly unelectable...but she is the kind of candidate that the left WANTS to support, not the kind (like Hillary) that they feel an obligation to defend even when she does the indefensible (private email, for example).

And seeing the two of them on a stage together would be disaster for Hillary. Clinton will try to seem measured and unoffensive and diplomatic and inevitable. Warren will be fiery and she will speak eloquently and passionately about all of the things that Democrats believe and wish they could say in the same words that she uses. She'll rip into the big banks that everyone of those voters hates (sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly) and force Clinton to defend some incredibly unpopular institutions - institutions that paid for her campaign.

So, my outrageous prediction of the day is that Hillary consistently polls at astronomical levels well over 60%, regardless of who runs against her. Then, sometime late this year, as the electorate in Iowa and New Hampshire engages, that support will start to dissipate, and then it will collapse spectacularly as the voters in those states become the first to challenge her coronation. Write it down!

On the Republican side, it is a much more interesting race because there are so many disparate candidates. Ted Cruz is in. Scott Walker will be in. So will Rand Paul. Marco Rubio probably. Jeb Bush almost certainly. Christ Christie maybe.  Governors, retired governors, moderates, conservatives, libertarians...this race will have them all!

My guess is that Christie, Bush and Rubio will get the initial press, and will be over-rated by the pundit class. Christie because they know him in New York and they assume that what the GOP really needs to win is a moderate (they're wrong), Bush because of his family name (truth be told, he would have been a much better President than his brother, but the ship has sailed) and Rubio because he is a fantastic orator, has a great story and looks exciting. Rand Paul will also get a lot of attention, but he will prove a little more worthy of it...he is a different kind of voice in this race.

The national media will scoff at Scott Walker as a small-time provincial voice with a lazy eye and no college degree. They will ignore his proven appeal as a dyed-in-the-wool conservative who wins elections in a progressive state. They will scoff at Cruz, calling him a reactionary bible-thumper, ignoring his consistent message, underrated eloquence and remarkable debate skills.

As long as we are making all kinds of predictions, I will guess that they all run (maybe not Christie), and that Rubio and Bush fade first. Paul will have a solid base of support, but he will spook too many on the right with his Libertarian tendencies. Republicans aren't going to like seeing him co-sponsor sentencing reform bills with Corey Booker any more than Democrats are going to like Hillary Clinton telling them that we can't make friends with Iran.

When it is all said and done, I think Walker and Cruz will be the last two candidates standing, and I'm not totally sure who wins. But, that's my outrageous, uninformed prediction for the day, and I am going with it!*

*Subject to change at any time for any reason:-)


Jenica said...

First, super happy you're blogging again.

Second, Scott Walker is a nightmare. I shudder for the uneducated future of my state.

Accidentally Me said...

Jenica - Thanks! And I'm not saying I'll vote for any of these people, or that anyone else should. Just that it is really easy for the New York Times to dismiss candidates, especially conservative ones without Ivy League credentials, but it's a lot harder to beat them in elections.

Walker, for his obvious flaws, has now faced a fairly liberal electorate three times, the last of which included a massive effort from left-leaning outside interests to oust him, and he's won all three times. Whatever he's selling, voters are buying in large numbers.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I think I heard a stat that this last election was the first time since Nixon was elected that a Bush wasn't on the ballot. So, for that reason alone, I'm hoping for a Clinton-Bush election. hahaha.

Accidentally Me said...

If it is Bush against Clinton, I am moving to Switzerland!