Tuesday′s New Hampshire primary results, along with last week′s Iowa Caucus outcome, did much more than hand Donald J Trump his first election win. They gave the 2016 presidential candidates a cold slap of REALITY! Yesterday, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie finally faced that reality and are dropping out of the presidential race. Neither had any chance at being the GOP nominee from the very beginning. Fiorina couldn′t even win a senate race, let alone run companies like HP or Lucent very well. As for Christie, between ′Bridge-Gate′ and his Obama bromance, most Republicans were not going to support him. One wonders when Jim Gilmore will see the folly of his efforts? The next two victims of harsh reality may be Ben Carson and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Hillary Clinton campaign appears to be in crisis mode. They barely won in Iowa, if they actually did, and got hammered in New Hampshire. The gender-card and alleged electability are insufficient reasons to what may be a majority of Democratic Party voters. This certainly was the case in New Hampshire. The honesty and trust factors are also responsible for her poor showings in both early elections. Her message of experience does not stand up well to scrutiny, either. One quick look at Libya and Syria are testaments to her legacy as an ′expert′ on foreign policy. A report this morning shows that over 400,000 Syrians have been killed since the civil war began, encouraged by Hillary and Obama. About 11.5% of the country′s population has either been killed or wounded. In Libya, The Islamic State and other terrorist groups have a firm foothold, threatening Southern Europe, especially Italy. With refugees pouring in from both nations, one would think that NATO needs to step in and take some form of serious action to prevent total chaos from happening.
Then there is the Clinton baggage. Bimbo eruptions, Travel-Gate, FBI-File-Gate, Whitewater, the Mena airport, Hillary-Care, etc., and those were just from the first Clinton administration of the 1990s. Now we add to that emails and Wall Street. Who knows what else is lurking behind a curtain? How the DNC allowed themselves to get into the mess they are in is amazing! The only candidate they had with any ′Main-Stream′ appeal was Jim Webb and he′ll be announcing a possible run as an Independent. One would think that some wise leader of the Democratic Party would beg him to jump back into the race? Start a Super PAC for him and give him another shot at the big prize. We could be looking at a 1964 election in reverse with the Democrats being blown right off the map if either Hillary or Bernie Sanders is the nominee.
On the Republican side, South Carolina is being readied for a ′blood bath′ as the remaining contenders pull out all the stops to destroy each other. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are already airing negative TV ads while Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio exchange jabs. Watching Jeb! and ′Roboto′ go at it is like watching a wet noodle fight. Neither of them are very inspiring. Cruz and Trump are waging a real dogfight. Ideology versus Pragmatism. Some say its a fight between Conservatism and Nationalism. But, of course, neither candidate really represents either option. Cruz talks a lot about the Constitution and religion, but his ties to the Establishment and the oligarchs are wide and deep. Trump′s definition of being a Conservative is to conserve and keep that which you value. That may be too simplistic for John Locke or William F. Buckley Jr., but it explains a lot about Trump.
This morning I was watching ′Morning Joe″, as I now always do since my semi-boycott of Fox News started, and watched part of a focus group questioned in South Carolina by Mark Halperin. The basic message was that the folks did not believe Donald Trump was very religious and comes off as a bit crude. However, they did believe that he will be the inevitable GOP nominee. As much as Donald Trump has been a public figure for the last 40 years, including the past decade or so with his own popular TV series, few seem to really know his background. My advice to the Trump campaign would be to air a bio-ad, focusing on his childhood years attending the Protestant church led by Pastor Norman Vincent Peale, whose book and message of ″The Power of Positive Thinking″ has hammered into Trump for many years. That is the religious anvil on which Donald Trump was forged into a man.
I suspect that many Evangelicals are unaware of this aspect of Trump′s biography. If they did then they would have a much more favorable opinion. As for The Donald being ′crude′ or having a ′nasty tone′, Trump has explained that away as well. He′s fighting for the biggest job in the world against 16 other opponents. Not to mention a massive structure of Super-PACs, party officials, and other obstacles. This is much closer to ″Thunderdome″ than a beauty contest. Only one person is going to come out of this exercise standing. Trump has said in several recent interviews that his ′tone′ will change as the process proceeds. Here again, his childhood, including his teen years attending the New York Military Academy, show Trump is well-heeled in discipline.
As for Ted Cruz, I have detailed his close ties with The Establishment in previous articles. Both he, and his wife, Heidi Cruz, are no strangers to the Oligarchs. Only in recent years, with the rise of the Tea Party, has Ted Cruz rebranded himself as a ′Constitutional Conservative′. Whether he is sincere in this ideology or not, there is no doubt that he is under the influence of the Powers-That-Be. Especially ′Big Oil′ and Wall Street. Most of his well-funded campaign and Super-PAC money comes from those factions of The Elite. There is actually very little difference between Cruz and others like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. They may play different roles in the kabuki dance that is Establishment politics, but all three are merely puppets, highly controlled by the Oligarchs. In this respect, they are no different than Hillary Clinton!
So Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie announcing that they are dropping out of the presidential race is no surprise. It was bound to happen. If not now then certainly after the first Super Tuesday primary in March. The Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire primary results showed that their campaigns just failed to catch on. After the next two contests in South Carolina and Nevada, there will be little time to adjust and modify. I do not see Ben Carson lasting much longer, either. At some point his money will run out. If there are to be any surprises in the next two states, it will be with both turn-out and the breadth of the support base. Trump has proven that his base in wide and can draw many new voters, just as Bernie Sanders has. Hillary, Cruz and the rest of the remaining contenders have bases that are smaller and shrinking. November is starting to shape up as the pinnacle battle between Capitalism and Communism. Which way will the nation go?