Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Presidential Candidates, Summed Up in Brief

Dan, my blogging adversary and friend from Las Vegas days (we've each since moved away) posted his quick takes on the presidential field thus far, on his much more successful blog, Las Vegas Badger. I thought it was an interesting idea, so here is my take.

Hillary Clinton: It's hers to lose, but the attempted "death by a thousand cuts" by her opponents may hurt her.
Lincoln Chafee: Has gone from Republican to Independent to Democrat. . .and made little splash in any of them.
Martin O'Malley: Who?
Bernie Sanders: The anti-Trump speaks completely unfiltered, but does so with substance.
Jim Webb: Eh.
Joe Biden: Prone to blunders, but a good guy. Won't win.

Jeb! Bush: Just say no to a third Bush.
Dr. Ben Carson: Completely inexperienced, and a bit of a nutbar.
Chris Christie:  Four years too late, too much scandal, and rude to boot.
Ted Cruz: Crazy dad, pandering, smarmy and unctuous son. Plus, too much religion in the politics.
Carly Fiorina: Only claims to fame are spectacular failures.
Lindsey Graham:  Closest (almost said closet) thing to a GOP candidate I'd vote for, and I still wouldn't vote for him.
Mike Huckabee:  No preachers for president please. Anyway, his media back catalog of crazy will sink him.
Bobby Jindal:  Religion in politics is his stock-in-trade, and he's not ready for prime time.
John Kasich: A former FOX "News" guy for president? No thanks.
George Pataki: Not crazy enough to stand out in this field.
Rand Paul:  Plagiarist chip off the old block, but not really a libertarian.
Rick Perry: Oops.
Marco Rubio: Stay thirsty, my friend. Try again next time.
Rick Santorum: Fluke runner-up last time will get nowhere this time.
Donald Trump: A bullshitting buffoon who will make a mockery of the entire field, but might make them look normal by comparison.
Scott Walker: Bland and boring, has his fans but will only rise to the top if it's by process of elimination.
Jim Gilmore: Who?

There are others, but I doubt they're worthy of notice.

Personally, I'd like to see Hillary Clinton win the nomination, and the general election. She would have been fine with me last time, if I hadn't liked Barack Obama (and his supporters) more. She's capable, smart, tenacious and tough. Bernie Sanders would be terrific too, but I'm afraid if he won the nomination, he'd lose the general election (too Socialist, irascible, elderly, unkempt and Jewish for the general public, I fear). I love him though, and you'd better believe I'd vote for him over any GOP candidate. Martin O'Malley made no impression on me in particular, and both Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb may trend too Blue Dog for my tastes (besides having little to no zazz). Given my choice in a perfect world? Senator Elizabeth Warren for the win, any other Democratic candidate (but preferably a younger heir apparent) for Veep.
This team would be fine with me too.

I fear that Jeb! Bush will win the GOP primary having both the most well-known name, and generally being in the more sane column. I think having the last three Republican presidents all from the same family, with one of them having served two terms as Vice President in the one before that, is just too much. Way too much. Even if the previous Bushes had been terrific at their jobs. Instead, we had a middling Poppy and a disastrous Dubya. Jeb!'s motto should be, "Third Time's the Charm?"

The win in the general will depend entirely upon the mood of the country at the time, and just how well anybody can keep the momentum going through these next two summers. Ugh. That's a long slog. And we just can't know what will be going on politically. It's a tough hat trick for one party to extend a two-term presidency into another four or eight in the White House. But the rules are different in this 24/7, post-Citizens United, rapid news cycle era. At present, there's just no way to know.

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