Tag Archives: Democratic Party primary

Are we witnessing a comeback for the ages?

I’ve heard more than one pundit in the past few hours say that Joe Biden’s recovery from near political death is the most astonishing comeback they’ve ever witnessed.

I have to concur.

The Democratic presidential candidate who was given up for dead, who was considered little more than political road kill just 10 days ago, is now possibly on the verge of winning his party’s presidential nomination.

Politico reports that if Biden banishes Bernie Sanders in next week’s Michigan Democratic primary the end might be at hand for Sanders’ campaign.

I don’t want to oversell or overstate what we witnessed during last night’s Super Tuesday tidal wave, but Biden’s return from the near-dead is truly astonishing.

Sanders isn’t going to slink away quietly. He is going to fire up his attacks on Biden. He will challenge Biden’s vote on the Iraq War, on his trade votes, on the nature of his political donations.

Sen. Sanders, in my view, is going to ratchet up what I believe is a “class war” pitting the rich against the not-so-rich. He seems to be labeling Biden, a working-class hero to many voters, as some sort of puppet of the elite within the Democratic Party.

Biden ran the table across the South. He picked off Minnesota, Massachusetts and Maine. Sanders appears to have won California.

Next up is Michigan, which now appears to be the sort of “firewall” that kept Biden from combusting in South Carolina.

I am one American voter who wants Joe Biden to keep on winning.

Biden fits the bill for this old man

Joseph R. Biden Jr. got my vote today for president of the United States.

It is no surprise to readers of this blog. I waffled, wavered and wiggled a bit during the run-up to today’s Super Tuesday vote. In the end, though, I happen to fit into the demographic that is drawn to this fellow’s candidacy.

I once thought he was nearly finished as a candidate:

Painful to acknowledge … but ex-VP Biden likely is finished

I am an older voter. I am a white guy. I consider myself to be a patriot. I am a veteran who once went to war for my country. I am retired. I live a quiet life in North Texas with my bride of more than 48 years. I am a one-time firebrand who once wanted to change the world with my single vote; that was a long time ago and I have grown out of that desire.

My keen interest today is in restoring the presidency to what I have grown up understanding it to represent. I believe Joseph Biden would do that for me.

We have been “treated” to more than three years of chaos, confusion, controversy … and contempt for the norms associated with the exalted office. I am tired of it and I want the presidency returned to the dignity the office demands.

I won’t belabor the point I have made already about Donald Trump’s unfitness for the office. I want to make another point, though: It is that Joe Biden, despite his verbal clumsiness and occasionally weird rhetoric, is profoundly fit to deliver the presidency from where Trump has dragged it.

As I ponder now where this primary race heads after today, it is my hope that Biden can collect more support along the way and that he can parlay that support into a presidential nomination … and then election.

Rising star flames out

There once was a time when I thought sincerely that Democrats needed a fresh face, another Jimmy Carter-type to jump out of the weeds to capture the nation’s imagination. Then he or she could wrestle the presidency away from the most unqualified man ever to hold the office.

Pete Buttigieg kinda fit the bill.

Now, though, he has flamed out. The former South Bend, Ind., mayor has suspended his campaign for the presidency.

He leaves another center-left lane open to others on which to travel. It might be tailor-made for Joe Biden to gather up Mayor Pete supporters for his own political bandwagon.

Why didn’t Buttigieg catch fire? Hmm. Well, my sense is that this incredibly bright young man — Harvard and Oxford grad, Navy intelligence officer who saw duty in Afghanistan, multilingual — simply didn’t have a defining message.

He spoke for months about governing in a way that would “do things in a new way.” I found myself asking: What things do you want to do and in what way do you intend to do them?

Now he’s stepping aside, leaving the field to others with a far more realistic chance of being nominated.

At some level I am saddened that Buttigieg couldn’t catch fire. He did score a bit of a victory only in that he is an openly gay man who managed to gather up some delegates to the party’s nominating convention. Hey, that is no small feat! But he said he didn’t want to defined only by his sexuality.

Indeed, Pete Buttigieg has much to offer. The good news, though, is that time is on his side. I’m betting Mayor Pete will be back.

Just like that, Bloomberg becomes a factor

What in the world is happening to the Democratic Party’s presidential primary race?

Joe Biden has gone from proverbial hero to zero in the span of one calendar week. Pete Buttigieg has become one of arguably three co-leaders in the Democratic race for president. The “democratic socialist” who lost to Hillary in 2016’s race for the nomination, Bernie Sanders, is in the lead these days. Amy Klobuchar, fresh off her stellar performance in the nationally televised Iowa joint appearance, also is in the hunt.

And then we have Michael Bloomberg, the zillionaire who is skipping the early primaries in preparation for the March 3 Super Tuesday lineup of mega-state primaries, which include Texas and California. He has spent a couple hundred million of his own dollars (which will hardly make a tiny dent in his personal fortune) on TV ads and is now emerging as a legitimate factor in this primary contest.

What’s more — and this is my favorite part — he is getting under Donald John Trump’s skin. He is annoying the living daylights out of the current U.S. president. So much so that Trump is now tweeting his snark aimed directly at Bloomberg.

Sitting out here in Trump Country — that would be the Dallas/Fort Worth suburbs of North Texas — we are being fed a steady diet of Bloomberg TV ads. I think my favorite ad is the one featuring former President Obama touting how “Mike Bloomberg is a leader” who “gets things done.” The ads don’t constitute an endorsement by Obama of Bloomberg; they happen to be part of the public domain and Bloomberg’s campaign has appropriated the video of the 44th president saying those nice things about the former New York mayor. However, you have to believe the ads are infuriating the former Democratic frontrunner, former Vice President Biden, who is seeking to trade on his status as Obama’s wing man for the eight years preceding Donald Trump’s election as president.

Is Bloomberg going to emerge as the man to beat for the Democratic nomination? If the alternative is Bernie Sanders, I damn sure hope so. The party is courting disaster if it nominates the socialist-leaning Sanders as its standard bearer.

How many other twists and turns along this trail await us?

Just not feelin’ ‘The Bern’

Allow me a moment or two to vent on what I see possibly transpiring within the fight for the Democratic Party presidential primary campaign.

It is that I am baffled at the support that Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to draw among those who want to defeat Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president.

Sanders is an independent from Vermont who is running in a party to which he does not belong. He is an avowed “democratic socialist,” a fellow who wants to redistribute the nation’s wealth. He wants to take money away from the “top 1 percent” who he says control everything in this great country.

He wants to make college education free for every American and favors something called “Medicare for All,” which in my mind is unaffordable.

He cannot campaign without lacing his rhetoric with the notes he pulls from that song sheet.

Sen. Sanders has lost me. I cannot back this guy. Yet he enjoys amazing support in Iowa, New Hampshire and possibly in Nevada … three of the early-primary states.

He is focusing more attention now on Texas, which has a March 3 primary on what is being billed as Super Tuesday.

Being more of a center-left kind of voter, I am inclined to look more seriously at candidates who seek to straddle the stripe that divides liberals and conservatives. I continue to long for a more compromising environment in the federal government.

It is clear to me that Donald John Trump isn’t the individual who can unite this country. He is campaigning to his base, firing ’em up at rallies and firing off epithets at his foes.

Bernie Sanders isn’t going to unite this country, either. He’s now making ad buys in Texas, seeking to elevate his profile here. Will the young folks who have glommed onto this fellow’s message now put him among the Democratic Party leaders in Texas?

I am among those voters who want to defeat Trump, who still appears all but certain to survive the impeachment trial under way in the U.S. Senate. I just cannot buy into the notion that Bernie Sanders is the guy who can do it.

Democratic POTUS field thinning out as it should

You cannot refer to U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as a “top-tier” Democratic Party presidential hopeful, because were she such she wouldn’t be announcing her withdrawal today from the 2020 race for the White House.

She joins Montana Gov. Steve Bullock as the most recent presidential wannabes to call it a campaign.

This in-and-out business with the current field of Democrats vying to be nominated to run against Donald Trump is getting a bit difficult to track. Harris and Bullock never got traction. Neither did Beto O’Rourke, or Tim Ryan, or … whomever else has come and gone. There remain a boatload of others who should call it quits and leave the contest to the actual frontrunners.

Then we have these late entries. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in because, he says, the current field is too weak to take on Trump. No one stands out as someone who can defeat the president; so, Bloomberg says he’s the one. He surely can outspend Trump, given that his personal wealth dwarfs that of the president, who has boasted about his own filthy richness. And then we have former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, whose entry baffles me. I don’t know what he brings to the campaign that isn’t already personified in many of the others.

As for Harris, she was another one who entered the contest with high hopes and high expectation. She’s now about to be history — in terms of the presidential campaign.

I will await the further culling of the field as these joint appearances continue and the Democratic National Committee keeps setting the bar for inclusion in these events even higher.

Moreover, I am looking forward to the Democratic Party getting a nominee who can deliver a knockout blow to the fraud who masquerades as president of the United States.

Painful to acknowledge … but ex-VP Biden likely is finished

It hurts to say what I am about to say, but here goes.

As much as I like and admire Joseph R. Biden Jr., I am concluding that his time has past and that he is not the right man at this time to become the next president of the United States.

The former vice president remains the frontrunner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. To be honest, I do not yet know how I will vote when the Democratic primary parade rolls into Texas in the spring. Biden’s presence on the ballot likely will complicate my choice.

I have become afflicted with a bit of “joint candidate appearance fatigue,” which means I did not watch the latest one Wednesday night. I have heard about Joe Biden’s latest gaffe, when he said he has earned the endorsement of the “only” African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate; he was referring, I presume, to former Sen. Carol Mosely-Braun … but she isn’t the only one elected. The other African-American female senator stood on the podium along with Biden; her name is Kamala Harris.

This kind of stumble-bum rhetoric is grating on me. I don’t doubt Biden’s mental acuity. I believe he remains intellectually intact. I also believe he gets too worked up, too excited, wound too tightly to offer measured and reasonable pronouncements at all times.

I believe Democrats should nominate someone on what I would describe as the center-left portion of the spectrum. That would be Biden. Except that he keeps tripping over his own tongue. I do not want that in the next president.

I once posited that Democrats need to look for a newcomer, someone who jumps out of the tall grass, someone no one had heard of before the start of the current election cycle. That someone also should stand toward the center, but lean a bit left.

The individual who seems to fit that bill is Pete Buttigieg. He is intellectually sharp; he is a political moderate; he has executive experience as the mayor of a smallish American city; he is veteran who has served in a war zone.

I don’t want a flaming lefty. I don’t want a socialist, or a “democratic socialist” or someone who is trying to make some sort of a statement to be nominated and then elected. Nor do I want yet another billionaire business mogul.

We have a long road to travel. There will be plenty of twists, turns perhaps even a crackup or two along the way.

Perhaps the former veep can pull it together. However, the seeds of doubt are beginning to sprout.

Obama won’t endorse in Dem primary? Smart move, Mr. President

Former President Barack H. Obama has made it clear: He will keep his hands off the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest; there will be no endorsement coming from President No. 44.

Is that a slap in former VP Joe Biden’s face? Does that mean Obama secretly — or openly — wishes Biden wouldn’t run? No. Not in the least.

What it tells me is that the former president is keeping his options open while his fellow Democrats battle it out for the nomination and for the right to face off against Republican incumbent Donald J. Trump.

Obama is following a time-honored script. Don’t endorse in primaries; keep your cool; wait it out … and then offer your support to the nominee!

That isn’t how Donald Trump has handled a lot of down-ballot races, most notably starting with the 2018 Alabama U.S. Senate race. At first he endorsed incumbent senator, who then lost the GOP primary to that wacked-out judge, Roy Moore. Trump then endorsed Moore for election over the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones, who then defeated Moore in the 2018 general election.

Trump has gotten his finger nails dirty in other intraparty races, too.

It just isn’t customary.

Barack Obama must have a favorite or two among the Democrats seeking to run against Trump. He’s going to keep it to himself.

Can anyone blame him for wanting to keep his proverbial political powder dry? I cannot.

What’s with this ‘national poll’?

polls

More often than not I’m going to look carefully at public opinion poll results.

In this election season, we’re being inundated with them. Republican-leaning polls say one thing; Democratic-leaning polls say another. I prefer to look most closely at polls unaffiliated with either party, or certain ideological think tanks, or media outlets I know to have bias in either direction.

But one recent poll has me wondering: Is this one even relevant to anything?

Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 25 percentage points nationally, according to a poll released by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

The relevancy issue?

Well, consider a couple of things.

They’re both running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, which means that they’re not going to face each other in a national election. Therefore, they are battling state by state: Iowa, then New Hampshire, then South Carolina . . . and on it goes.

They’ll get to Texas in early March.

Therefore, whether Clinton beats Sanders by a single percent or a million percent in a national poll doesn’t matter one bit.

How are they faring in each state?

The poll does compare the candidates’ chances against a potential Republican nominee and it shows Clinton faring better against the GOP foe than Sanders.

That’s relevant, I guess.

However, these polls pitting one candidate against the other running in the same party primary simply doesn’t register with me.

 

Is HRC 'likable enough' to get elected?

A young U.S. senator, Barack Obama, uttered arguably one of the signature lines of the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primary campaign when he told fellow Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “You’re likable enough, Hillary.”

I’m betting that Clinton didn’t appreciate the “compliment.”

Now, eight years later, she’s launching another bid for the presidency.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/04/12/clinton-campaigns-challenge-make-her-likeable/

And as the Wall Street Journal reports, her task is to make her “likable enough” to get elected president of the United States next year.

As the WSJ reported: “She needs to try to humanize herself, because in some ways she’s kind of become a cardboard cutout figure,” said Douglas Brinkley, a history professor at Rice University.

So, the campaign begins anew for the former first lady, senator and secretary of state.

Many in the media refer to her simply as “Hillary.” Just a mention of that name and you know to whom the reference is being made. Does the first-name familiarity make her likable? Hardly. I continue to believe she needs to translate likability into authenticity.

She remains a political powerhouse. The strength, though, doesn’t always connect with voters in a tangible manner. Clinton at times appears evasive, which hardly lends itself to likability.

I will be among millions of voters looking for signs that she’s capable of understanding the problems, worries and concerns of average American citizens. If she does, she’ll prove she’s for real, that she’s authentic.

And likable.