Well, it looks as if Jeb Bush is not taking my advice and withdrawing from the 2016 presidential race, simultaneously calling on Dame Hillary to do the same. (No more Clintons! No more Bushes!)
I know – you’re shocked.
Actually, Bush seems to be doing pretty well, sitting on top of the latest polls this morning with co-Floridian Rubio, at least according to the Wall Street Journal whose headline blasts “Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio Solidify Front-Runner Status.” Not only that, both men are faring well with Republican voters of virtually all stripes form moderate to Tea Party.
This could be an indication that GOP voters are more interested this year in winning than anything else. And indeed, the policy differences between the Republican candidates are not gigantic in the grand scheme of world politics. With the exception of some of the views of Rand Paul, who is falling in the polls, they are basically negligible. Every single one of them is calling for border security, stronger defense, balanced budgets, etc. There’s going to be a lot of parsing going on at the debates.
Of course, you wouldn’t know that by reading the comments sections of news reports and blogs. One fellow on this site – shall we be kind and call him “over-heated” – even compared Rubio to Yasir Arafat. Somebody better warn Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Journal points out three of the candidates are coming up on the outside, as we say in horse-racing – Huckabee, Carson and Fiorina. (Rick Perry is also making a mild run.) The Mad Voter has been a strong supporter of Carly’s who has been one of the more articulate voices on the Republican side, if not the most. And who could say anything bad about Dr. Carson? He has already found his place in Heaven, being the first to separate Siamese twins. Whether that qualifies you for the presidency is another matter, but no one can question Carson’s moral center. And I liked him a lot when I met him in Iowa.
As for Huck, I’m more doubtful. To be blunt, I think his brand of social conservatism would be lethal in a general election.
But – surprise-surprise – the real policy differences are turning out to be on the Democratic side. The Dems are coming out of the closet and running a genuine socialist for the first time in years – Bernie Sanders. Misguided as he is, you have to applaud Bernie for his honesty. And Democratic voters are impressed – at least those in New Hampshire. In the latest poll, out of nowhere, Sanders is only 10 points behind Hillary in that first primary state (41-31). As Joseph Curl correctly points out, “Hillary has a serious Bernie problem.”
And I’m beginning to think that problem is fatal. Everyone knows Hillary is a liar of the first magnitude. Ask any Democrat whether they think Hillary is honest and they will do anything possible to avoid the question, even her most ardent supporters (who are dwindling). And to keep up with Sanders, she is having to veer hard left, which doesn’t exactly mesh with her, to put it mildly, lavish lifestyle. The Democrats may be left without a center-left candidate who can win the general.
So here’s a prediction. At some point, Joe Biden is going to get into this race and, despite all his well-known fumbling, will be the most formidable candidate they have.
(Hey, what’s a blog post without a wild prediction. As Groucho would say, if I’m wrong, I’ve got others.)