Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sander's Sandbox

Bernie capturing nearly 85% of the under 25 vote is historic.  Closely correlated is his success with first time voters.  His policies have obvious appeal to young voters who are usually more idealistic.   Oddly, the iconoclastic Senator, may also benefit from herd mentality.  Millennials intimate connection through social networks may turn majorities into super majorities.  But while politically oriented networks may concentrate the vote, the key question is whether they expand the vote.

Bernie's electability argument hinges on the answer.  So far the answer is no.  Eschewing voters in the center Bernie argues that he can bring millions of new voters into the system, ensuring his election and fueling his political revolution.

Compared to the last contested Democratic primaries in 2008, in 2016 there are less voters, and less first time voters.  Voters age 18-24 have increased marginally from 11 to 12 per cent of the electorate.  As a general election candidate Bernie is not bringing in enough new voters to offset those he is losing.  Ironically, notwithstanding his opposition to SuperPacs, GOP SuperPacs are spending millions in support of Bernie.

Friday, February 12, 2016


John and Sally,  23 year old McDonald's workers are talking during  their break.  "When we voted for Bernie I thought I would be able to go to college.  I never expected the Trump/Cruz ticket to carry 40 states.  Sally replies, "I thought if I had to take a fast food job I would get 15 dollars an hour.  Now there is no minimum wage."  "Yea, and what about Julia,  she is having a child after being raped, and has no paid leave and no insurance," says John.  When the Supreme Court allowed banning of abortions she was trapped."

The PBS debate, won handily by Hillary,  shows why Bernie would suffer a crushing defeat.  He became visibly cranky after softball attacks by Hillary.  If he thinks he suffered a low blow, he is not ready for the constant right wing kidney punches by Karl Rove and others.  When Hillary claimed his policies would be a 40% expansion of the federal government, he did not deny it.  Not a problem in the Democratic primaries, but enough to ensure his defeat in the general election.

Voting against both wars in Iraq, one right vote and one wrong vote, is not enough to qualify him as Commander in Chief.   His one note economic message stands in stark contrast to her 8 octave aria.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chill, Bill

Bill is frustrated.  He knows as a politician, and as a spouse, that Hillary is best prepared to win in November, and govern in January.  A message candidate has caught fire and he wants to stomp him out.

Women gender equality pioneers and role models including Gloria Allred, Madeline Albright, a bevy of female senators, and yes, Hillary, are also frustrated.  Their success has freed women millennials to ignore gender and past contributions to the cause.

But rather than risky attempts to put out the fire, Bill and the campaign must patch and reinforce the Southern and Midwestern firewall.   This is why they built it.  Hillary will need Bernie and his supporters in the fall.  Now is not the time to burn bridges.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Giving Rubio the Boot

Much has been made of Rubio's Florsheims,  but the worrisome boots are on the ground.   Rubio is adamant about sending troops to the Middle East.  The self proclaimed candidate of the future, is poised to repeat the errors of the past.

Only in this 2016 alternate universe, with a hyper nationalist egotist and an ultra conservative conniver atop the leader board, could Marco be the great Latino hope of the establishment.  He won as the Tea Party candidate in Florida.  

Hopefully after being stomped by Christie in the ABC Debate, he will soon do the Walker walk, existing stage right.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Case for Kasich Redux

Back in September I predicted that battle for GOP establishment support would narrow to Kasich and Rubio, with Kasich prevailing with superior political instincts and acumen.

For some time it  I was seemingly whistling into the wind, a wind that became a gale force after Iowa.  Now that the stepford  candidate stood exposed on the ABC debate stage, the wind is at my back.

Tuesday could see a second place finish by the Ohio governor.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Penny Pinching Billionaire

In August I pointed to Trump's cheapness as a barrier to his presidential ambitions.  More recently, we witnessed and discussed the role an under financed ground game played in his loss in Iowa.  The esteemed blogger for PoliticalWire, has reached the same conclusion.

Trump Risks Little of His Own Money

Donald Trump “once boasted that he could someday be the only person to turn a profit running for president. He may be closer than anyone realizes,” the New York Times reports.
“What remains is a quintessentially Trumpian endeavor that blurs the line between campaigning and brand-building and complicates Mr. Trump’s claims that he is funding his own White House campaign. About three-quarters of Mr. Trump’s total campaign spending has either gone to reimburse his own businesses or has been covered by funds from grass-roots donors… Virtually all of the money Mr. Trump himself has put into the campaign was lent, rather than donated outright, meaning that he could potentially sell enough hats and T-shirts to pay himself back down the road.”

Who Won the 5th Debate?

If you read the online polls, it was Sander's sand box.  Those polls are meaningful, but do not answer the top line question.  The polls mean that Bernie is popular with the young, who are heavier internet users, and may also reflect an enthusiasm gap.

Thursday Bernie preached to the choir, while Hillary spoke to the world.  Fire and brimstone dominated the 1st third of the debate.  He railed against the sins of Wall Street and the outsize hubris of the big banks.  Campaign money is the root of all evil, he bellowed.  The chorus said verily it is so, and pointed at Hillary for taking the tainted money.

The last 2/3s of the debate were hers.  With the first question on foreign policy she visibly relaxed and took control.  She was enjoying herself.  Bernie's economic message is powerful and concise, but her breath and depth of knowledge is dazzling.