Presidential politics – Democrat edition

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Presidential politics - Democrat edition

By Steve Eggleston

If one is a his­tor­i­cal fatal­ist like me, for­mer Florida gov­er­nor Jeb Bush’s entry into the 2016 Repub­li­can pri­mary sig­nals the end of the 2016 Repub­li­can sea­son and likely the begin­ning of the next com­pet­i­tive pri­mary con­test. As James Taranto of The Wall Street Jour­nal noted a long time ago, there is a Next In Line prin­ci­ple in the Repub­li­can Party, which has existed unbro­ken and almost unmod­i­fied since 1956. In order of suc­ces­sion, it is the sit­ting Pres­i­dent, sit­ting Vice Pres­i­dent, a fam­ily mem­ber of a for­mer Pres­i­dent (intro­duced with George W. Bush in 2000), for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent, and the per­son who placed sec­ond in a pre­vi­ous open primary.

How­ever, do not let that stop you from vot­ing in Pete’s Poi­son Poll, now in its third round. Bush and Rick San­to­rum, who fin­ished sec­ond in the 2012 pri­mary, are 2 of the 8 remain­ing con­tenders for the “stay-​at-​home-​in-​2016″ title.

On the other side of the aisle, there is an inter­est­ing corol­lary. Since 1960, unless one is a sit­ting or for­mer Pres­i­dent or Vice Pres­i­dent, those who were well-​known prior to the pre­vi­ous Demo­c­rat con­ven­tion have not won the Demo­c­rat nom­i­na­tion. In fact, Hillary Clin­ton fell vic­tim to that his­tor­i­cal trend in 2008 after being declared the pre­sump­tive nom­i­nee at this point in 2007.

Fast for­ward to now. Once again, Clin­ton is declared the pre­sump­tive nom­i­nee. This time, she doesn’t have some­body who began to catch fire at the 2012 Demo­c­rat con­ven­tion the way Barack Obama did at the 2004 Demo­c­rat con­ven­tion to con­tend with. Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden seems dis­in­ter­ested in tak­ing the pro­mo­tion. She even man­aged to keep the Great Pro­gres­sive Hope, Mass­a­chu­setts Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren, on the side­lines even though there was a mas­sive push from the Left to get War­ren into the race. One would think she has a clear road to the nomination.

Instead, her cam­paign has been founder­ing. The Mys­tery Machine tour of Iowa was so poorly-​received that she relaunched her cam­paign last week. Out­side of The New York Times, even the press is less than enthused with the campaign.

Mean­while, the sup­posed “token” oppo­si­tion from Ver­mont Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders, a self-​avowed Social­ist, is begin­ning to prove to be more than a mere dis­trac­tion. The first crack was at the Wis­con­sin Demo­c­rat con­ven­tion, where Sanders fin­ished within a cou­ple of per­cent­age points of Clin­ton in a straw poll. Then, a pair of polls came out of New Hamp­shire that put Sanders within strik­ing dis­tance of Clinton.

Hon­estly, I’m sur­prised, and not just a bit dis­turbed, that it is Sanders and not for­mer Mary­land gov­er­nor Mar­tin O’Malley that seems poised to deny Clin­ton a sec­ond time. O’Malley is young and has a gov­ern­men­tal exec­u­tive back­ground, two things that seem to be pri­or­i­ties on the Repub­li­can side of the aisle. He was also reli­ably lib­eral his last few years in office, but I guess that purity of neo-​Marxist thought is more impor­tant to the Democrats.

I’ve said since Clin­ton first thought about enter­ing the race that, if she failed to keep the field clear, she would not be the Demo­c­rat nom­i­nee. It’s begin­ning to look like his­tory will repeat itself once again.

By Steve Eggleston

If one is a historical fatalist like me, former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s entry into the 2016 Republican primary signals the end of the 2016 Republican season and likely the beginning of the next competitive primary contest. As James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal noted a long time ago, there is a Next In Line principle in the Republican Party, which has existed unbroken and almost unmodified since 1956. In order of succession, it is the sitting President, sitting Vice President, a family member of a former President (introduced with George W. Bush in 2000), former Vice President, and the person who placed second in a previous open primary.

However, do not let that stop you from voting in Pete’s Poison Poll, now in its third round. Bush and Rick Santorum, who finished second in the 2012 primary, are 2 of the 8 remaining contenders for the “stay-at-home-in-2016” title.

On the other side of the aisle, there is an interesting corollary. Since 1960, unless one is a sitting or former President or Vice President, those who were well-known prior to the previous Democrat convention have not won the Democrat nomination. In fact, Hillary Clinton fell victim to that historical trend in 2008 after being declared the presumptive nominee at this point in 2007.

Fast forward to now. Once again, Clinton is declared the presumptive nominee. This time, she doesn’t have somebody who began to catch fire at the 2012 Democrat convention the way Barack Obama did at the 2004 Democrat convention to contend with. Vice President Joe Biden seems disinterested in taking the promotion. She even managed to keep the Great Progressive Hope, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, on the sidelines even though there was a massive push from the Left to get Warren into the race. One would think she has a clear road to the nomination.

Instead, her campaign has been foundering. The Mystery Machine tour of Iowa was so poorly-received that she relaunched her campaign last week. Outside of The New York Times, even the press is less than enthused with the campaign.

Meanwhile, the supposed “token” opposition from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed Socialist, is beginning to prove to be more than a mere distraction. The first crack was at the Wisconsin Democrat convention, where Sanders finished within a couple of percentage points of Clinton in a straw poll. Then, a pair of polls came out of New Hampshire that put Sanders within striking distance of Clinton.

Honestly, I’m surprised, and not just a bit disturbed, that it is Sanders and not former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley that seems poised to deny Clinton a second time. O’Malley is young and has a governmental executive background, two things that seem to be priorities on the Republican side of the aisle. He was also reliably liberal his last few years in office, but I guess that purity of neo-Marxist thought is more important to the Democrats.

I’ve said since Clinton first thought about entering the race that, if she failed to keep the field clear, she would not be the Democrat nominee. It’s beginning to look like history will repeat itself once again.