Here we go again. Iowa caucuses tonight. Presidential elections are always fun – remember 44 and 2012, and also because “A man on the scent of the White House is rarely rational. He is more like a beast in heat: a bull elk in the rut, crashing blindly through the timber in a fever for something to fuck. Anything! A cow, a calf, a mare – any flesh and blood beast with a hole in it.” as Hunter S Thomson wisely said. Here is a cheat sheet and the 2016 elections calendar.
I’m pretty bad at predictions, discounted the upstart junior senator in 2008. But this looks like Rubio’s year on the GOP side of things, despite orange colored Trump and Bush junior and ruthless Mr.Cruz. With the democrats it’s an old dilemma. Love Bernie, would hate to see him lose, but maybe Hillary is a better general election candidate. Maybe Hillary will be able to get more stuff done working with Republicans, reaching across the aisle. Maybe Hillary has an unfathomable breadth and depth in understanding policy. Maybe Hillary will move some of the progressive wins of this last Obama decade forward. Maybe I’m making the same mistake I made in 2008. Maybe fuck it and #GoBernie!
Feb 1, 2016 – Iowa Caucuses
Cruz wins the GOP race in Iowa (Cruz- 28, Trump – 24, Rubio -23). Rubio coming in at close 3rd is the real winner though. Orange colored Trump finishes second and surprisingly didn’t throw a tantrum. One time winner Huckabee drops out of the race. Jeb Bush’s gets a paltry 3%. Democrat O’Malley drops out.
Clinton and Sanders neck and neck. Its a tie! 50-50. Bad night for democratic and republican establishment. Somewhat of an embarrassment for democrats since they couldn’t get to full results on time. Not that it matters since Iowa splits delegates proportionately.
Bernie comes out swinging and gives the fist. Says want to launch political revolution.
Themes: Angry middle Americans
Seems like there is no country for old men in the grand old party. Traditional pace and logic of the primary election cycle has been upended by the emergence and longevity of ‘non-establishment’ front runners – Trump and Cruz. This was the time of year when Gingriches and Trumps of the world fall by the way side and the establishment centrists like Romney or Bush or Rubio emerge the obvious choice. Atlantic in an excellent piece of opinion points to deeper fault lines within the American polity that is getting more pronounced and real.
The angriest and most pessimistic people in America are the people we used to call Middle Americans. Middle-class and middle-aged; not rich and not poor; people who are irked when asked to press 1 for English, and who wonder how white male became an accusation rather than a description.
You can measure their pessimism in polls that ask about their expectations for their lives—and for those of their children. On both counts, whites without a college degree express the bleakest view. You can see the effects of their despair in the new statistics describing horrifying rates of suicide and substance-abuse fatality among this same group, in middle age.
And CNN asked some of Trump’s supporters why they vote Trump. Some of the answers were not pretty –
Rhett Benhoff, a middle-aged white man at a December Trump campaign event in Raleigh, North Carolina, said discrimination against whites is “absolutely” real. “I mean, it seems like we really go overboard to make sure all these other nationalities nowadays and colors have their fair shake of it, but no one’s looking out for the white guy anymore,” he said.
Among Trump supporters, suspicion and anger toward the Black Lives Matter movement run deep. These people say the group’s name and slogan seem to convey that black lives are more important than white lives. “I think it’s bulls—,” said Ziegler, the 61-year-old diehard Trump fan who attended his Columbus, Ohio, rally. “All lives matter. You know this is bulls—- about black lives matter — doesn’t all lives matter?”
Themes: Donald Trump
Nobody in the world is new to Donald Trump, nor to that thing that lives on Trump’s head. It is true Trump has said horrible things about minorities, women and everyone who is not Donald Trump. In case you haven’t figured out yet, the below profile from Vanity fair will help. Trump does not hate minorities nor love poor white people, he neither respects women nor anyone else. Donald Trump is indifferent to anything that is not Donald Trump.
The fear of boredom has always loomed large in Trump’s life. He has a short attention span. He even gave the appearance of having grown bored with his wife. He told me he had grown weary of his deals, his companies, “New York phonies,” “Palm Beach phonies,” most social people, “negative” writers, and “negatives” in general. “You keep hitting and hitting and hitting, and after a while it doesn’t mean as much to you,” Trump told me. “Hey, when you first knew me, I basically had done nothing! So I had built a building or two, big deal.” read here
Random: New Hampshire
2012: Mitt Romney(R)
2008: Hillary Clinton (D), John McCain (R)
2004: John Kerry (D)
2000: Al Gore (D), John McCain (R)
1996: Pat Buchanan (R)
Eve of New Hampshire, field is down by O’Malley, Huckabee, Santorum and Rand Paul.
Random: Rubio slips
Rubio flubs in the last GOP debate before NH. This could be the moment, momentum changed for Rubio, and if Jeb Bush or Christie or Kasich gains in polls or even wins NH from the non-loony side, one shouldn’t be surprised. Christie and Bush had strong debate performances tonight.
The debate’s sustained attacks forced Rubio into a defensive crouch most of the night, as the third-place Iowa finisher turned in his shakiest performance on the national stage. By the evening’s end, sweat was visible on his brow.
Marco Rubio knew exactly what he was doing on Saturday night. The problem was he flubbed it. Rubio awkwardly pivoted four times to a well-rehearsed line that President Barack Obama “knows exactly what he’s doing” as he tried to drill home the idea that he’s the inevitable general election candidate – an unforced error that his rivals pounced on and that quickly went viral.
“There it is. There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody,” Chris Christie charged. (politico)
Even as Trump has a double digit lead nationally, republicans seem to strongly believe Cruz and Trump will falter soon, and Rubio will emerge as the true front runner. Like good old days. That seems to be the reason why Bush, Christie and Kasich campaigns seem to have trained their guns on the Florida Senator since his strong finish in Iowa. Rubio is not helping his case by coming off as compromising, shallow and grandstanding.
Feb 9, 2016 – New Hampshire Primary
It’s a rout.
Sanders 60%-Hillary 40%. Trump 35%,Kasich 16%, Cruz, Bush and Rubio at 11%.
Establishment candidates are sinking. On the republican side, Kasich comes second and will try to claim the mainstream republican label, though South will test his claim.
Trump and Sanders win big in the granite state. On expected lines but Hillary’s loss is sure to get her campaign think twice before claiming they’ll clinch the race by March. Democrats voters seem to vote with their hearts, since a ‘weak and weird’ Republican field will according to democrats anyway throw the general election their way. Atlantic writes on the Democrat revolution –
But few would have expected the party to consider, for its post-Obama future, a candidate like Sanders, who is in many ways the opposite of Obama’s gauzy, transpartisan, future-oriented, multiracial appeal. Sanders is sharply ideological, beloved mostly by white liberals, and represents the party’s 1960s protest-movement past more than its techno-utopian future.
Feb 20-27, 2016 – Nevada and South Carolina
Alright. The uncertainty and the drama is over – its Donald John Trump vs Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton in 2016.
Donald Trump swept Nevada and South Carolina, and Hillary won by a landslide in South Carolina and secured a handsome win in Nevada.
The Grand Old Party is staring into the abyss, asking whether this is how the party of Abraham Lincoln dies? Donald Trump goes against the grain of the tax cutting, pro-immigration, small government, pro-business establishment of the Republican party, and is winning by landslides. Even in the south. On the democratic side, the race became just boring with Hillary winning the African American vote by a landslide and shellacking good old Bernie by 50 points in South Carolina.
Nov 7, 2016 – Eve of election
Nytimes on Johnson-Goldwater ’64. Deja vu.
Obama speaks in Ann Arbor –