Skip to main content

HANDICAPPING THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION - JULY, 2015

Political pundits make predictions. Then they change their minds. Then, at the last minute, they change their minds again. And the only way that you'll know whether they were right or wrong at any point during the process is if Jon Stewart (or the replacement guy) does a piece about it on The Daily Show.

I'm going to handicap the American Presidential primaries and election. In the primaries, I'll call the Favorite, the Long Shot, the Wild Card, and my Prediction. And at the bottom of each segment, Republican and Democrat, I'll repeat my initial take on those four categories so you can rate my ability to prognosticate. I'll post about every month until the winners have emerged.

DEMOCRATS
It won't be a coronation but it's hard to bet against Hillary. Is the country ready to elect Bernie, a self-proclaimed Socialist? I don't think so. Not after eight years of a Communist like Obama. (That's sarcasm, in case you missed it.) Can a dark house, like O'Malley or Webb, match Hillary's money and name recognition? I don't think so. Is there a better political pro to have in your corner than Bill? I don't think so. Am I going to bet against Hillary? I don't think so.

I don't dismiss Bernie lightly. He strikes a chord. But I'm with Barney Frank, a guy with certified Progressive credentials. There's really not that much space between Hillary and Bernie, Barney says. I believe him. He's worked with both for years. Therefore, the inevitable animus of a primary fight will only hurt the Democratic Party and its chance to elect the next President. Without primary opposition, Humphrey beats Nixon and, maybe, Romney beats Obama.

The Wild Card is, of course, Elizabeth Warren. She says that she's not running. If she did, she'd certainly suck the air out of Bernie's candidacy. She'd be the female alternative to Hillary for women that Fiona will never be. And you have to admire a woman with the flexibility to be a Texas Republican in the 20th Century and a Massachusetts Progressive in the 21st. But I believe Warren. I don't think that she'll run. This time.

O'Malley and Webb are good men. Chafee has an interesting history. Biden is...Biden. And there are others. But I'm going to have to live with this for the next several months. So...

Favorite: Hillary Clinton
Long Shot: Bernie Sanders
Wild Card: Elizabeth Warren
Prediction: Hillary Clinton

REPUBLICANS
While the Democrats present a clear front-runner in Hillary, the Republicans can barely hold their noses long enough to proclaim Jeb Bush their favorite. Hillary may have baggage, but Jeb has steamer trunks - his grandfather, his father, his brother, and his conservative credentials will all be dragged into the mix. (If you don't know Grand Dad's story, you really need to do your research. It's fascinating in the way that the Kennedy story is fascinating. That is to say, cringe worthy.)

It should be noted that, as is the case with Hillary, in addition to name recognition Jeb has the second of the most important pieces of the puzzle in hand...money. In fact, he has raised almost twice as much money as Hillary for his campaign and his Super PAC combined.

After Jeb, anybody who claims insight into the Republican field is blowing smoke. Could Scott Walker or John Kasich be the next Mike Dukakis? Is Rubio too young? Huckabee too Christian? Cruz too crazy? Paul too Paul?

Trump? Look, The Donald is just smart enough to understand that he doesn't stand a chance of being nominated. But any publicity is good publicity, especially when you can solicit contributions from the average Joe to pay for it. Ben Carson? He's creating buzz but, just as the country is not ready to elect a men who calls himself a Socialist, so the country is not ready for two black Presidents in a row.

Don't forget, Rick Santorum was the last man standing against Romney in the last go round and he actually won eleven primaries. And, since Huckabee is the most likely alternative of the Christian Right, the two of them combine as my Long Shots. I have to admit that it's just too early to choose between (among?), in order of likelihood, Walker and Kasich and Graham and Cruz and Rubio and Paul...I promise that I'll narrow this one down in future.

Favorite: Jeb Bush
Long Shot: Rick Santorum / Mike Huckabee
Wild Card: Any Current/Former Republican Governor/Senator Not Named Christie or Perry
Prediction: Jeb Bush

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days. Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December. The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the f

THREE YEARS IN FRANCE - AN AMERICAN EXPAT'S REFLECTIONS

Have you wondered what it might be like to pick up and move to another country? Americans are lured to retirement havens in Mexico, Costa Rica, or Panama. They say that Eastern Europe is beautiful, safer than the evening news might suggest, and relatively inexpensive. Southeast Asia is hot, but it's cheap. Remember, though. I'm not talking about investigating a vacation home, time share, or other form of shared ownership. I'm talking about a permanent, sell out and ship the furniture sort of  move. For most Americans, the thought has never crossed their minds. Think about it. Think about moving from one state to another, from one town to another, even from one neighborhood across town. Add the need to learn a new language - if you aren't multilingual already. Add the need to deal in a new currency and the need to learn the ins and outs of currency exchange. Add metric measurements. And a new healthcare system. And a new bureaucracy to navigate. Daunting? You betcha!

AU LAVOIR, COLOMBIERS - RESTAURANT REVIEW

We live in a town that doesn't do very much to encourage growth or tourism. The streets are rough and bumpy, the tinted glass has been broken out of the street light nearest our house since we moved in three years ago, and the fountain in the square was activated this week for the first time since we arrived. Oddly enough, many of us like it that way. Quarante is a quiet little village, not on a main road to anywhere, but with a fine baker, two excellent butchers, and a bar that serves edible if not exciting food. We could use an ATM (cash point, money wall...) and a gas (petrol) station but otherwise, most of us are happy that Quarante is a backwater. Colombiers, on the other hand, seems determined to do everything possible to turn itself into a crowded, overdeveloped, cash hungry example of all that folks like us are looking to avoid when we move to the rural south of France. Ugly apartment blocks? Check. Newly constructed condos with a 'view', meaning you can see a tin