The Sanders Earthquake

Yesterday I wrote a post about my concerns that Bernie Sanders would be taken apart by the rightwing attack machine should he win the Democratic nomination. While the response was mostly positive, many Sanders supporters dismissed my concerns as either the hysterical rants of a Hillary Clinton shill, or at odds with current inter-party polling match-ups that suggest Sanders would defeat GOP frontrunner Donald Trump handily in a national election. Still others argued that Sanders is leading a new political earthquake that will destroy all in his path.

So today I want to speak to that reaction. I base my concern about Sanders viability on my experience of having lived through the presidential elections of 1972, 1984, 1988, and 2004, when liberal candidates got defined by their opponents and ultimately trounced by their GOP opponents. (I don’t count 2000 because Al Gore won the popular vote.) I’ve seen people on Facebook dismiss those examples as being out of step for this year. Their arguments range from “no one could’ve beaten Ronald Reagan in 1984” to “Michael Dukakis was a weak candidate” to “young voters are being energized by Sanders and will turn out in record numbers.” Let’s look at each of those claims.

Continue reading The Sanders Earthquake

Democrats Need to Consider Worst-Case Scenarios

Regardless of what party you’re in or which candidate you support, it seems to me the presidential election comes down to one question: Which Democratic candidate can best withstand the GOP attack machine?

Regardless of whether Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or John Kasich win the GOP nod, demographics and electoral college math suggest that Democrats are positioned to win in 2016 if their nominee can withstand the harshly negative general election campaign to come. There are two competing and somewhat equally plausible theories about that. In choosing a nominee, Democrats should envision each theory’s worst-case scenario and carefully game it out.

So let’s look at the two very precarious “nightmare” scenarios out there – be it Hillary Clinton’s negatives overwhelming her or Bernie Sanders being caricatured by the opposition.
Continue reading Democrats Need to Consider Worst-Case Scenarios

Episode 19: Palin Blooms as Bloomberg Looms


Segments:

Michael Bloomberg considers a possible run

Ted Cruz’s college roommate takes to Twitter

The Des Moines Register endorses Rubio and Clinton

Sarah Palin enters the fray

The O’Malley factor in Iowa

 

Supercharging the Hillary Playbook

It’s amazing that in a nation of around 247 million adults, there’s 400 million opinions on the Clinton-Sanders campaign. (Maybe the extras are just fake Facebook profiles.)

So let me make it 400,000,001.

Since October, Hillary Clinton has been slipping. That doesn’t mean a death knell for her candidacy; far from it. But what Clinton has to do is look at what is working for other candidates this year and try to duplicate a little of that magic recipe. Here’s a few thoughts on how to update her playbook:

Continue reading Supercharging the Hillary Playbook

Episode 18: Two Debates, Two Weeks to Go

Segments:

The Democratic Debate

Bernie’s single payer plan

Who’s the weaker national candidate?

The GOP Debate

Bernie’s black endorsements add “street cred”

What a Trump presidency might look like

Clinton vs. Sanders on Healthcare: Who’s Right?

After hearing the Clinton campaign’s criticisms of Sanders’ single payer proposal, I wanted to get real the facts. This WaPo factcheck article suggests that the Clinton claim is true and that Sanders’ claim is “mostly false.”
 
And this blurb from Sanders’ own website puts it in very clear English (emphasis added):
“Bernie introduced The American Health Security Act of 2013, which provides every American with affordable and comprehensive healthcare services through the establishment of a national American Health Security Program that requires each participating state to set up and administer a state single-payer health program.”
 
So, yes, Sanders’ proposal would send Medicare-for-All to the states to administer. And as we’ve seen to date, Republican governors very well may refuse to play along.
 
You may like Sanders’ overall proposal or you may be concerned about its viability. But it’s clear that the Clinton criticism of it is true and valid.

Episode 17: Cruz On His Heels; Trump on Mount Rushmore


 

Segments:

Does Donald Trump have the ground organization to cash in on his poll numbers?

Is Canadian born Ted Cruz qualified to be president? 

What’s so special about Martin Van Buren?

Was President Obama’s Town Hall on guns a success for the president?

Will the gun issue be a decisive factor in the fall election?

Does Congress’s vote to repeal Obamacare mean anything?

Our predictions.

Enjoying the Political Super Bowl

I’m watching the movie “Anomalisa” yesterday (save your money). And you know how your mind wanders during a bad movie? So my thoughts start wandering to politics and the primary campaigns and all the angst and vitriol people are spewing over it all. “Hillary is corrupt!”… “Trump is a fascist!”… “Bernie’s a socialist!”… “Rubio wears high heels!”… “If my candidate doesn’t get the nomination, I’m voting third party and moving to Switzerland!”

And it suddenly occurs to me, I don’t really care that much who wins anymore. That’s right. I have officially stopped caring. And the universe is suddenly looking a whole lot brighter.  😃

Continue reading Enjoying the Political Super Bowl