Last October I watched my first Democratic debate and handicapped the candidates. It wasn’t pretty. After the New Hampshire (NH) primary, it’s time to look at my predictions and look again into my political geek crystal ball. I will leave bit of my former analysis in italics, so you know where we have been.
Coffee? Check. Dogs sleeping behind me? Check. Tool cranked up on Spotify? Check. Here we go.
Tulsi Gabbard –Evidently, she is trying to keep us out of wars that we have been fighting for a decade by giving a wink and a nod to dictators.
Good lord she is still here. There is something strange about this white suited cyborg. She is a FoxNews favorite and is cozying up to the Libertarian Party. I can’t shake the notion that she wants to be a third- party spoiler.
Andrew Yang –His sane claim that “it’s the automation stupid” should have been a billboard on the highway to the debate site.
This guy was fun, and we need more jokes in national politics. The things he is right about will plague us for generations. “Yang Gang” Best supporter name ever.
Tom Steyer – “In case you didn’t notice, I’m a billionaire who bought my way onto this stage.”
I suppose he proves a billionaire can be earnest. He is going to make a little trouble in South Carolina (SC). For the life of me, I still can’t figure out why he is doing this. He may be too rich to wise up and leave.
Julian Castro – “I don’t get it. I check all the boxes. Why don’t you like me?”
If you put a Tweet on a scale it has no weight, pretty much like Castro.
Cory Booker – “We are having the wrong debate!! Be nicer!!”
These are angry times. People don’t want to be talked out of their seemingly righteous anger. Mostly, America said that we don’t want vegan president. Rational choice.
Kamala Harris –Turns out she was once a tough prosecutor but feels kind of bad about it.
She a black woman who went to SC over and over, but nobody noticed. Someone handed her the keys to the car and she immediately lost them. Still, she is my favorite for Vice President. She would hold the Woke Left at bay with a white guy at the top of the ticket and is a vicious political elbow thrower. Her and Pence on a stage would be glorious television.
Beto O’Rouke –Nothing says a winner like losing.
I see that Beto has opened up a chain of Texas burger joints called: Hubris r’ Us
Amy Klobuchar – Man, she was really rocking the “non-socialist” world for a few minutes there.
She’s still here? OK, I didn’t predict she would be a spoiler in NH … for Mayor Pete. There is a planet where her personal story and ideas are a winner. But women don’t vote for women for president and she has no national organization. NH is probably the apex of her campaign. Pity.
Pete Buttigieg –Black voters don’t like married gay people.
Damn he has the campaign chops. His ability to create broad based campaigns in Iowa and NH is a potential national template but nothing has changed the way black people feel about gay people. It may be the only thing that the Sunday morning hat ladies share with white evangelicals. I’d love it if this weren’t the case. He is about to hit a wall in the south.
Bernie Sanders –Bernie is an actual fanatic, in all the most awful paint your team name on your belly and get drunk at the game ways.
I highly recommend Rick Wilson’s book “Running Against the Devil.” Bernie is the Trump of the left. He is surrounded by a cadre of fanatics who would rather destroy the republic to make a point than win the White House. Many of them never really liked America anyhow. I run for the hills when political candidates yell about “revolutions” or “movements.” That is cult talk. He looks good in Trump head to head polls now but wait until the Trump machine drops a billion dollars of attack ads on his head. Sorry kids, America doesn’t want to be socialist and you don’t vote. The voter profile in swing states skews over 40 years old. Trump wins going away with 45 states. Bernie would have reverse coattails taking down Democrat control of the House with him. In the end, he is a nihilist.
Joe Biden –I can even forgive his mangled syntax and old dude references. But the guy is just too damned old.
I wanted him to be better but every time I see his now translucent skin under the TV lights I cringe. He knows how to go right at Trump but as a candidate he is a dead man walking. He knows it. He isn’t stupid. If there had been a way to save face and drop out last night, he would have pulled the rip cord. My heart always sinks when I see a formerly great ball player stay one season too long and embarrass themselves at the plate when they can’t catch up to a fastball. Whiff….
Elizabeth Warren – All her “live wire” 70-year-old routine is as distracting as an angry wasp at a summer picnic.
Turns out when you offer the Woke Left Bernie-light they say no thanks and pull the full strength original out of the cupboard. She has a 1,000-person unionized national campaign staff. You are about to hear about layoffs as the money dries up, the hospice care of a campaign. She is from the state next to NH, spent more time there than any other candidate and got creamed. In a normal year, she drops out last night. A week ago, she replaced yelling “fighter” with whispering “unity.” Rejecting your core message to save your campaign is always a loser.
And the “new” guy.
Mike Bloomberg –
You will know what he is all about when he shares a debate stage for the first time. That first TV impression is make or break. Word is he has the best campaign money can buy. We don’t how hard he is hitting the airwaves everywhere else because Oregon isn’t important. I don’t have a problem with him being a billionaire. He started with nothing, had a world beating idea and executed perfectly. That is exactly how that is supposed to work. Nobody else, almost reflexively, gets in Trump’s head better than this guy. There is something to that New York toughness. Bloomberg is everything Trump only claims to be. Trump has the very best Republican political machine with a billion bucks now. Bloomberg can actually say, “Fuck off … me too.” He has a boatload of baggage with women and criminal justice that the left is going to unload on him. They actually HATE the guy. Can they get over themselves and vote for him in a general election? He may be the Democrats last hope, they just don’t know it yet.
So, there it is, Jimbo’s state of the race. After the inevitable failure of the impeachment trial, I wake up most days feeling like we are on the edge of losing our democratic republic. Just in the last week Trump is talking and acting more and more like a dictator. He and Barr are putting a thousand cuts into the rule of law. In terror of his Twitter account and bathing in the graft, the Republican party no longer exists. They are Trumpists now and have signed on to sail that ship into more power or all die in the storm. They have made the binary choice. Their survival is now completely in Trump’s hands.
Spend some time watching the cable business channels. Business is all in on Trump and now has to protect their investment and quarterly profits. If the Democrats nominate an actual socialist, they will unleash a furious tsunami of money to kill the opposition. No one seems to be hedging their bets. My take is that, whether Trump wins or loses, we are in for an economic reckoning after the November election. Retired folks get defensive in those portfolios.
I am a tear in the eye patriot and a believer in the aspirational goals of American founding. I tossed aside a successful career to finish my working life with a decade of public service. Second best thing I have ever done. (Sally #1) From childhood, I live and breathe American history and politics. I wrote a damn MA thesis on the resiliency of American institutions. But there were two things I could not anticipate. Social media and the emergence of a ruler who is a narcissistic sociopath. I am in shock how quickly an opposition party would abandon core principles. Just didn’t see that one coming.
Every day, I work to keep my psyche above water, focus on what is real around me, what I can try to control. I mostly succeed. Becoming an exhausted, demoralized opposition is what a tyrant covets the most. Stay in the damn game!!!
Today my overriding fear is the Democrats are going to find a way to fuck this up again. They have yet to prove me wrong.