Looking at 2016

I don’t know who the nominee will be – and that goes for both Democrats and Republicans.

To be sure, I don’t expect a surge for Lincoln Chafee on the Democrat side and Hillary is still polling way ahead…but, then again, she was polling way ahead at this time in 2007, as well. She’s a lousy candidate and no one likes her. Her campaign slogan should be, “Let’s Get it Over With: Hillary, 16”. That she has the inside track to the nomination and an even money shot at being elected President shows how empty and meaningless the Democrat party has become, and how confused and divided the GOP currently is. Hillary is the front runner and the likely nominee, but she’s so terrible that anything can happen…and if a credible female candidate enters the race, she’ll lose the nomination (Warren is the most likely – but she might be cagey enough to realize its a tall order to win with the Obama millstone around Democrat necks…maybe better to wait until 2020).

Other than that, there isn’t much else to be said about the Democrats. They won’t have any new ideas; they won’t run on a specific set of policy proposals; they are all creatures of the Establishment and won’t dare change anything. Whoever wins the nomination won’t win it on merits, but just on appearances…which is why Hillary is so far ahead: she’s a woman. Were she male (or never married to Bill Clinton), we’d never have heard of her.

On to the GOP side. Geesh, what a mess, so far. In no particular order:

Donald Trump: certainly the most interesting person out there but he’s never going to win. It is useful to have him shaking things up and the GOP Establishment should pay attention to why Trump is shaking things up: he’s talking about things our Establishment is too chicken to talk about. To be sure, there are better ways to talk about things, but if we never even raise the subject we’ll never get anywhere. We do need someone with Trump’s willingness to mix it up, but without Trump’s baggage.

Chris Christie: his moment was 2012 when everyone was casting about for a credible Not Romney. He should have jumped in then – he could have won the nomination, and might even have beaten Obama. If he lost the nomination to Romney in 2012, he’d be the front runner in 2016…and even if he lost in the general to Obama, he’d still have a shot at it in 2016. He missed his moment – and that embrace of Obama after Sandy will never, ever be forgiven by the GOP base. He could win the New Hampshire primary, but I don’t think he’ll win much beyond that. But if he does and he goes up against Clinton, I’d figure his chances at winning the general in the 10% range. He’s too Establishment and has no real way to differentiate himself from Hillary.

Jeb Bush: I like him. He’s a good man. He’s a good executive. But he is also way too Establishment and the fact that his last name is Bush and the fact that he and his family are close, personal friends of the Clintons means he is an absolute, bet your last dollar on it loser in the general. But I don’t think he’ll last too long in the primaries – he won’t win Iowa, probably won’t win New Hampshire, will not win South Carolina and with Rubio competing with him in Florida, I don’t see much chance for him there, either. 0-4 is not the way winning candidacies roll forward.

Lindsey Graham: are you kidding? I mean, seriously: what on earth makes him think that a Senate back-bencher who routinely ticks off TEA Party types can win the GOP nomination? Or that the eventual nominee would pick him for VP?

Ben Carson: arguably the first or second smartest person in the competition, and that goes for both sides. A lot of great, common sense. Never ran for office before. Won’t win a primary. Slight possibility of a VP pick.

Mike Huckabee: might win Iowa. Won’t win anything else. Evangelicals love him, but will want to back a winner. Huckabee ain’t it.

Rand Paul: Not a person to be President. Sorry, but his dad’s craziness just makes you wonder how far the apple fell from the tree. To be sure, he is clearly a lot smarter than the old man, but you still wonder. Any GOP President who doesn’t make him Attorney General and eventually put him on the Supreme Court has done a great disservice to our Republic; but he’s not my guy for President and I don’t think he’ll do well in the primaries outside of Iowa where his dad’s legions are probably still available for caucus night.

Rick Santorum: he’s actually just about what anyone would want in a conservative, Republican President. Have to admit that as a Catholic I’ve got a lot of liking for the former Senator. In less insane times, he’d probably have a good shot at it – but he’d be ripped to shreds in the general by an Establishment (GOP and Democrat) who would fear his overt social conservatism and populist rhetoric. By August of 2016 the Establishment would have the LIV thinking that Santorum would revive the Inquisition.

George Pataki: a bit like Santorum in that he’d be a good candidate for less insane times. He was a pretty decent governor and he would have some appeal in the Northeast which would help the GOP in the general election. He’s far more substantial on every level than any of the prospective Democrat candidates and if we were to have a race based upon reality, Pataki would be able to win. As we’re in Progressive la-la land we need, however, someone who can better stand up to the lunatics who are running the asylum.

Rick Perry: what’s not to love? Long term governor of a big State with massive economic success behind him while being someone who has been both tough on border security while also being humane about illegal immigrants. He might surprise us all and emerge from the pack. It would be a difficult thing to do – and if he does it, he’ll prove formidable in the general election. The question is given the embarrassing wealth of talent and appeal from the various GOP candidates, just how does Perry shake off his 2012 melt down and gain traction? I don’t see how he does it – if he does, then he deserves to win.

Carly Fiorina: where was this version of Carly when she was running for Senate in California? She’s just brilliant in her attacks on Hillary and the Democrats. Great stuff and the base loves it – and will love it more as the primaries approach and everyone starts to pay more attention. Can she make the jump from failed Senate candidate to successful Presidential candidate? I doubt it.

Ted Cruz: just a great, great man who demonstrates the enduring strength of the United States. But firebrands have a hard time of it in Presidential primaries which tend to sift out such people. Cruz is no more conservative than Reagan, but Reagan wasn’t a firebrand. There is actually a way to do this, and I don’t think Cruz is doing it right. To be sure, he’d get my enthusiastic support if he’s nominated, but I think he’s a person too easily slandered by the left. It’d be difficult to imagine him getting to 51% in the general election.

Bobby Jindal: you all know I like the man. He’s been a successful everything-he’s-tried. He was thumpingly re-elected to the governorship and has presided over the utter destruction of the Democrat party in Louisiana. With Carson, he’s either the first or second smartest person in the field. He’s got a good reform record and in spite of Progressive attempts to paint him as some sort of traitor to his ethnic background, race-based attacks on him will probably fall flat – people just won’t buy it. But does he have the grit to really go toe to toe with the Democrats and their MSM lapdogs? We’ll only find out if he’s the nominee – and to get there, he’s got to strike early. By the time the votes are tallied in Florida, he had better have won a contest or he’s probably out of the race.

Scott Walker: he destroyed the left in Wisconsin. Three times. He’s frozen college tuition for four straight years. He’s ending tenure. He broke up the government unions. And he’s done it without antagonizing anyone but kook leftists. If he wins Iowa and then wins New Hampshire, it might be all over but the shouting in the GOP contest…the Establishment will swing behind him while plenty of TEA Party types will also come over to him. Of all the GOP candidates, I think he’s in the best position to win in the general, especially if matched with Governor Martinez or Senator Rubio as VP.

Well, that is how I see it for now – I’ve no dog in this hunt, really. We’ll all have to see how it goes.


18 thoughts on “Looking at 2016

  1. Retired Spook July 14, 2015 / 7:29 am

    It would be refreshing to have a President who could deliver a speech without a teleprompter.

    I waffle back and forth as I hear each of them speak and dig into their backgrounds, but Walker has never fallen far from my top spot. I think his success as governor of a blue state will simply attract more swing voters than any other candidate. He’s actually done what most of the other candidates only pay lip service to.

    • Cluster July 14, 2015 / 7:44 am

      Walker is definitely is a top tiered candidate and I did like his announcement speech yesterday. There is a huge amount of talent on the GOP side and it will be fun to watch this campaign unfold. I like Rubio of course, but am also interested in Walker, Fiorina, Kasich, and the guy that I have been liking more and more is Cruz. Ted Cruz is off the charts in terms of intellect and he has an impressive ability to counter the media and the progressive narrative.

      In re: to Trump – isn’t it refreshing to hear a very successful businessman speak his mind rather than a failed community organizer lie?

    • M. Noonan July 14, 2015 / 11:20 am

      I admit to taking more and more of a shine to Walker – he does appear to have all we want. Blue collar background (he’s probably the least wealthy of all candidates…in fact, I’ve read that given his mortgage and other things, he’s got negative net wealth…as all too many Americans these days have…so he understands what our lives are like). Clearly intelligent. Strong but non-threatening (gotta get those LIVs, you know?). Clearly knows how to drive the left nuts and beat them like a drum without being offensive. Genuine reforms to his credit – most crucially gutting public sector unions, but ending teacher tenure and keeping U of Wisconsin tuition down is crucial as it will show the American people he understands what they really care about (that tuition thing will help greatly with Millenials burdened by student loan debt…if he can craft a plan of debt relief which doesn’t come across as just a hand-out, he’ll win the youth vote).

      Among the many reasons Our Lord told us not to hate our enemies I figure one of them is that if you hate them, you’ll eventually screw up fighting them…and the left hates Scott Walker. They will go too far, just as they did in the recall battle. It will be a Progressive clown show if he’s the nominee and he’ll only benefit from that.

  2. Cluster July 14, 2015 / 8:21 am

    Re: the Iran deal and Obama’s continued acquiescence to middle east despots – Newt Gingrich lays it out well here:

    Now, through these strategies, the Iranians are on the verge of a triple victory over the United States: an agreement that will legitimize Iran as the dominant regional power, substantially expand the amount of money it has to support terrorism and other military efforts, and smooth the path to its becoming a nuclear power.


  3. Amazona July 14, 2015 / 9:37 am

    I think Cruz would be the best president, but Walker would be excellent. I go back and forth on Rubio—-right now I like him, but he has not been consistent and I am not really confident that he would be able to stick to whatever it was that drew me to him.

    My real problem with Cruz and Rubio (and Jindal) is that I am just not the kind of conservative who can casually dismiss a part of the Constitution that is inconvenient by saying “You know, that just doesn’t really matter that much to me”. To me, when it comes to the Constitution, you’re either in or you’re out. So I feel confined by that Constitution when it comes to voting for someone who is not Constitutionally qualified for the office, no matter how impressive he or she may be.

    It is fixable. If the three men who are now in the crosshairs of the Natural Born Citizen controversy (and it is not a real controversy now, as the Left are lying in wait hoping we will nominate one of them so it can be dragged out, pumped up, and presented with great hoopla as not only a question of eligibility but of hypocrisy on the Right) would just get together and figure out what or who is the legal authority to officially, legally, define the term and get the matter settled once and for all and then appeal to that authority for a resolution, it would not only go away, it would set up the Right as a steadfast supporter of the Constitution even when it is not convenient.

    But right now I cringe when I see the cheerleading for Rubio or Cruz, because I can see the Left in the background grinning and pulling strings, gleefully watching us thin our support for people with no huge baggage like eligibility to weigh them down because we are just ignoring the issue. If the Right would say to Cruz, and Rubio, and Jindal, “This is YOUR problem. Fix it but until you have, we can’t consider you as presidential candidates” they would be working on it, Squeezing your eyes shut and murmuring “maybe no one will notice” is not only not a good campaign strategy for the Right, it is one that could very easily put another Dem in the White House.

    • Retired Spook July 14, 2015 / 9:51 am


      You and I seem to be the only ones who are bothered by the failure of our political system to define once and for all the citizenship eligibility for a presidential candidate. Most people simply don’t care. We have largely become a society where rules are simply suggestions, to be used or ignored depending on which choice is the most politically expedient.

      • Amazona July 14, 2015 / 9:59 am

        I am much more bothered that some self-styled “conservatives” have the same attitude toward simply ignoring or dismissing whatever parts of the Constitution might get in the way of what they want as the Left has—the only difference is which parts of the Constitution get kicked to the curb.

        I am also bothered by the belief, which I am confident will be borne out if we nominate Rubio or Cruz even for the VP spot, that the Left will suddenly burst onto the scene with a carefully crafted and quite melodramatic attack on the Right, using the Natural Born Citizen thing some on the Right felt disqualified Obama. They will shriek till our ears bleed that we are nothing but hypocrites. And I will have to agree.

        Catholics are familiar with the term “Cafeteria Catholics”—that is, people who stroll along the line of Catholic dogma and pick and choose which to adopt and which to ignore. Nancy Pelosi is a great example, promoting abortion while posturing as a Catholic.

        Now we seem to have Cafeteria Conservatives: “I’ll put the Second Amendment on my tray but I’ll pass on the eligibility requirements—they don’t look that appetizing.”

      • M. Noonan July 14, 2015 / 11:13 am

        You do have a good point, even though I disagree that “Natural Born Citizen” excludes Cruz, Jindal and Rubio – but you’re right that the left will shamelessly drag all that out, mostly as a means of dividing conservatives. Such attacks will be most effective against Cruz as he was born outside the country while Rubio and Jindal were most definitely born on United States territory. It is something to take into consideration as we decide whom to nominate – not decisive, in my view, but one of the things to be concerned about. We’ll know better how Cruz, Jindal and Rubio are as campaigners as the primary moves forward…in other words, we’ll see if they’ve got the stuff to deflect such attacks and that will help us decide our pick.

      • Amazona July 14, 2015 / 12:28 pm

        Mark, I think you may be confusing “NATURAL Born Citizen” with “NATIVE Born Citizen”. It is a common mistake, even made by some Supreme Court rulings. However, if you go back into the archives and read the extensive debate on the subject a few years ago, and read the links provided, you will find a vast body of evidence that the term NATURAL born citizen was in common usage around the time of the Revolutionary War, and was clearly meant to describe someone whose citizenship came to him through his parentage.

        The arguments at the time were clear: That this country should never run the risk of having a president whose father had allegiance to another country. The effort to avoid this was to say that a requirement of eligibility was to be born to a father who was a citizen at the time of the birth. The Founders felt very strongly that any president of the United States had to be someone who grew up as an American, and they felt that having parents, or at least a father, who was already a citizen would help guarantee that.

        Therefore, according to the standard usage of the term when it was put into the Constitution, a NATURAL born citizen had to be born to parents, or at least to a father, who was already a citizen. A NATIVE born citizen was, and is, one whose citizenship is conveyed solely through the place of birth rather than through heritage.

        The problem shared by Cruz, Rubio and Jindal is that their fathers were not citizens when they were born. I believe they all became citizens, but after their sons were born. So while the birth PLACE of any of these three men might make them NATIVE born citizens, only the citizenship of their fathers at the time of their births would move them into the more restrictive definition of NATURAL born citizen.

        As a side note, we have seen what happens when we have a president who did not grow up as an American and whose biases and loyalties seem to comply much more closely with those of his father than of someone with an inborn sense of BEING an American. The Obama presidency ought to be a lesson to us, about the wisdom of the Founders and their foresightedness.

      • M. Noonan July 14, 2015 / 7:17 pm

        I don’t read it that way – but here’s the thing: the more one thinks about the candidates, the more all of us have to gravitate to Walker for a variety of reasons.

      • Amazona July 14, 2015 / 10:54 pm

        Mark, if you read the contemporaneous writings of the era (Revolutionary era, that is) it is not how someone reads them, it is WHAT THEY SAY. The words say “father is a citizen”. Hard to read it any other way.

      • M. Noonan July 14, 2015 / 11:04 pm

        Granted – but it isn’t what the Constitution says; the Constitution doesn’t define the term – and the 14th Amendment determines who is an American citizen.

        Be that as it may, I think everyone is drifting towards Walker in 2016 and so the point will be moot.

  4. Amazona July 14, 2015 / 9:51 am

    Here are a couple of observations on Trump. For more, I suggest going to RedState.com

    Bill S. is a contributor to RedState, and here is how he begins his commentary:

    “In the tech industry, many of us refer to a lot of the new technologies that come down the line as “bright, shiny objects” – things that tech people look at that are new and potentially interesting but rarely turn out to be anything other than an attention-grabber and a distraction from more important things. Applied to the election season, this should sound familiar. But if you’re missing the analogy..here’s a reality-check, people: Donald Trump is this week’s bright, shiny object, and he is not going to amount to anything but a couple of magazine covers and some (once again) very disappointed, misguided individuals who thought he was The Great Conservative Hope.”

    I think the reference to Trump as nothing more than “a bright shiny object” is spot on. Bill S. goes on to quote Jonah Goldberg:


    Now, before I go on, let me clarify a few things. I get it. The base of the party is angry. They’re angry about Obama’s lawless chicanery on immigration. They’re angry about the GOP’s patented inability to cross the street without stepping on its own d*ck and then having to apologize for it. They’re angry that the Left’s culture warriors are behaving like an invading army that shoots the survivors even after they’ve surrendered. They’re angry that Republicans have to bend over backward so as not to offend anyone, while Democrats have free rein (and at times free reign) to do and to say as they please.

    Enter Trump, stage left. He makes no apologies. He’s brash. I can understand why some see him as a breath of fresh air. If you want to give him credit for starting a worthwhile debate about sanctuary cities and illegal immigration, fine. I think that argument is way overdone, but certainly reasonable enough.

    Maybe you just like him. On that, we can respectfully disagree, as there is no accounting for taste. Perhaps you just like his musk and the way it assaults your nostrils, which is fitting, given his line of cologne. Fine.

    I, on the other hand, find him tedious, tacky, and trite. He’s a bore who overcompensates for his insecurities by talking about how awesome he is, often in the third person. Jonah can’t stand that.

    You see the next Teddy Roosevelt and all I see is someone who talks big and carries a small schtick.”

    “Tedious, tacky and trite”. Pretty much sums it up…………………

    • M. Noonan July 14, 2015 / 11:10 am

      Obama is a lawyer. Justice Kennedy is a lawyer. Eric Holder is a lawyer. Hillary Clinton is a lawyer. Harry Reid is a lawyer. Now, to be sure, one of my very good friends is a lawyer and is probably a lot smarter than me (or, indeed, most people), but lawyers don’t impress me much in politics…I’d rather have an AG who understands the Constitution. Rand Paul does.

      • Bob Eisenhower July 14, 2015 / 1:13 pm

        Two things:

        1. Twenty-five US Presidents were attorneys, including Lincoln, Jefferson, Madison, Adams (both of them) and Jackson. I cannot disqualify someone for being a lawyer, no matter how much I despise lawyers.

        2. I would elect Rand Paul to any post

      • M. Noonan July 14, 2015 / 7:15 pm

        Just saying that being a lawyer doesn’t in itself mean anything worthwhile.

    • Amazona July 14, 2015 / 12:32 pm

      There is no requirement that a Supreme Court justice has to be a lawyer. I’m not sure about the A.G. but as we have seen a lawyer who flaunts his combination of ignorance and disdain for the law, I’m not sure that merely being a lawyer is enough. If the A.G. is an executive, the head of his department, he hires people below him to do the work. The CEO of General Motors doesn’t have to know how to design a car or attach a steering wheel.

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