Predictions on politics have a shorter shelf life than seafood, where often within hours a poor choice of words, a photo disaster or a gotcha media moment topples the top contender and clears a path for another to race ahead. That said, here’s my impressions thus far.
My “feelings” so far place Bernie Sanders 15 minutes of fame amongst the far-left fringes and major malcontents on the left as a boon to Hillary Clinton. Yes, his brand of leftist moonbeam socialism will doom him in the Democratic primary and clear the path for Hillary, unless some unforeseen scandal from her past derails her or she self-destructs from her pathological penchant for mendacity. Of course, with the amount of money and media manipulators on staff, she can rest easy that barring a scandal from her past gaining traction, she still remains the inevitable Democratic nominee.
The GOP on the other hand is positioned to implode, despite the happy talk about how it’s wonderful to have so many great candidates. The very fact that so many candidates have jumped in speaks to a party that has lost its way. To highlight how far the party has strayed from its base, Donald Trump’s rise in the polls should clue in even the most short-sighted GOP party hack that they’ve got a huge problem.
For decades, GOP party flacks flapped on and on about how they want to turn the GOP into a big party tent and attract more women and minorities. The party goes out of its way to appease and play to certain constituencies (especially trying to court the Hispanic vote), but the party routinely betrays its conservative base, in both big ways and small. Donald Trump, hardly a conservative or even a Republican, daring to speak out against illegal immigration, tapped into a deep-seated well of resentment within the conservative base. His appeal has everything to do with his challenging the PC orthodoxy rather than the cautious, careful positioning that the other GOP hopefuls continue to engage in.
In the end, Trump seems to me more sideshow than serious contender, but other contenders would do well to pay close attention that they must work hard to earn the trust of large segments of the GOP base by being authentic and honest. All this parsing and repositioning will doom most of the GOP field. Let’s hope the field narrows quickly, because with so many candidates and the Donald Trump sideshow, no GOP candidates are gaining the national name recognition or attention necessary to build support within the GOP, let alone among enough independents to win.
Amidst the littered GOP field, the Democrats, even with the Queen of Mendacity as their candidate, have a much easier path to the White House.