Friday, September 25, 2015

Random Election 2016 Thoughts (Clinton and Bush)

Hillary's done for all intents and purposes. Once Biden jumps in, she will slide to a distant third place behind him and Sanders, and maybe even down into O'Malley/Webb/Chafee 1% territory.

But she's never gone gracefully, and never has Bill. Every scandal, they start by denying it, then grudgingly admit it but say there was nothing wrong with it, then say they "take responsibility" but still pretend they didn't really do anything wrong, then pout when there are consequences. Obama beat her in 11 straight primaries in 2008 and she still waited to concede while her gang talked up the possibility of breaking the Democratic national convention and pulling out a win. She'll drag it out, at the expense of her party's chances of holding the White House, taking back a Senate majority, and gaining seats in the House.

Her stubbornness in the face of defeat (not the possibility of defeat, actual defeat) is one of her problems. The other two are related:

  • Nobody likes her; and
  • Nobody trusts her.

At least nobody who hasn't been on her payroll forever. The left Democrats don't like her because she's a centrist. The conservative Democrats don't like her because she's a centrist. The centrist Democrats don't like her because she makes centrists look bad.

Nobody trusts her because she lies like a rug, thinks she's above the law, acts surprised when she's told that's not the case, and is sort of like Mitt Romney when it comes to actually taking a position on anything -- she is always saying whatever she thinks people want to hear, except when it means saying she was wrong or she's sorry.

Yes, she raised big money at the beginning of her campaign, but that was because the big money Democratic donors bought the trademark Clinton "inevitability" hype. Now they're noticing it was BS and looking for another horse to back; that's a fourth problem.

Which brings us to Jeb Bush, who has two of the same four problems.

Bush isn't really unlikable. Watch him some time. He's sort of modest, self-effacing, wonkish. Those qualities may not make for a great candidate when you've got a self-promoter like Donald Trump blocking your path to the White House, but he doesn't personally make my gorge rise like Clinton does.

Nor is he likely to prove as stubborn, to the detriment of his party, as Clinton. When and if he reaches a point where it's clear he isn't going to get the GOP's nomination, he'll pack it in, endorse another candidate, and soldier on for the party. I do predict that he won't do so until after the New Hampshire primary at the soonest, though, and then only if Kasich or Christie is the one pulling ahead, or likely to do so on the strength of his endorsement. If one of the "not a chance in hell of winning the general election" candidates (Trump, Carson, Fiorina, Huckabee, et. al) is still surging, he may stay in on the reasonable supposition that that is what's best for his party.

He does have a similar trust problem -- because of his last name, his brother's disastrous presidency and his father's tendency to go weak-kneed as president when pushed by Democrats in Congress.

And he does have the problem that the big money he raised as "inevitable" has probably dried up (3rd quarter FEC reports aren't due for nearly a month) based on him being back in the pack so far.

But his prospects are far better than Clinton's, because he at least has prospects. Hillary Clinton will never be president.

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