Tag Archives: Republican nomination

One view of Trump … from Down Under


I took the liberty the other day of reaching to the other side of the planet for an opinion on Donald Trump.

A fellow I met 15 years ago is a smart and savvy political observer and commentator. Peter Adams used to work as a broadcast journalist and he’s been an astute observer of American politics for many years. He lives in Adelaide, Australia with his wife and children. He remains keenly interested in happenings in this country and we have stayed in touch over the years.

So, I asked Peter: What’s the word on the street in a major city Down Under about Trump’s Republican nomination candidacy? He responded with this:

“Much of the TV coverage is devoted to his rather strident rhetoric, while the press/online coverage is already looking at why he won’t get the formal nomination.

“As indicated, we won’t switch on until the primaries next year …  so in the meantime we’re enjoying Trump as some sort of political comic relief.

“The fact that he’s even dishing out on Fox News hosts means he adheres to the concept of equal opportunity …  i.e. he’ll offend everyone!

“If the political process and media scrutiny don’t get him, satire will. Someone will rise to harpoon him much like Tina Fey did to Sarah Palin.

“A disaster was averted and the world got a bloody good laugh along the way.

” …Trump should be given every legitimate avenue the Republican Party allows to make it abundantly clear to its electoral colleges and the American people why he would be a domestic and foreign policy disaster and would reduce the US to an international laughingstock. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, they’ll eventually do the right thing … once every other option is exhausted. The Democrats will be licking their lips with delight at all of this. Hillary brings enough political baggage with her to fill a jumbo jet, but The Donald may well provide the lucky break that helps turn her career.

“But from there, I can only imagine the weapons-grade political conniving she’ll bring to the Oval Office.”

Strange, isn’t it, how the view from so far away looks so much — to my way of thinking, at least — like the view from right here?


Huck needs to cool the rhetoric

“We are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity.”

That was the Rev. Mike Huckabee in a conference call to conservative activists. The one-time Baptist preacher and former Arkansas governor is going to announce soon his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination and this is going to be a theme of his second White House campaign.

Honestly, he needs to settle down.


Huckabee and a host of other GOP candidates are roiling the party’s base by using scary rhetoric, declaring that there’s a phony war against Christians in the United States. Rick Santorum says it. So does Bobby Jindal. Same for Scott Walker. They all oppose same-sex marriage and suggest that this issue is pretext for the war against Christian belief in this country.

I once considered Huck to be a fairly reasonable man. He ran for president in 2008 and acquitted himself fairly well during much of the GOP primary. He’s gotten a bit overheated in recent years. His statement now about the threat of “criminalizing” Christianity goes beyond what’s reasonable discourse.

He knows that’s not going to happen. Ever.

In this supercharged political climate, it plays well among the party’s base, which seems to believe anything that its political leaders say out loud.


'91 percent chance' Graham will run

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News Sunday today there’s a “91 percent chance” he’s going to run for the Republican presidential nomination next year.

Ninety-one percent chance. Not 90. Not 95. The odds are now at 91 percent.


Surely I’m not the only American wondering where the senator came up with 91 percent.

It’s usual for politicians to round these numbers off to the nearest zero or to the nearest 5. Isn’t that how it goes?

Sen. Graham, an Air Force reservist and lawyer when he’s not legislating in the U.S. Senate, must be from some school that suggests you should be as precise as possible when using numbers of any stripe.

I guess that includes numbers that set hypothetical odds on whether you’re running for president.

There’s also a 91 percent chance, therefore, that he’ll have to answer to critics within his own party that he’s too, um, “moderate” to suit their taste. He’s declared climate change to be the real thing and actually favors comprehensive immigration reform, according to the Huffington Post.

This might be the deal breaker among the hard-core GOP base: He’s actually endorsing some of President Obama’s Cabinet nominees and judicial appointees.

The chances of the hard right wing of his party forgiving him for those views? Zero.


O'Malley is right; pass him the 'crown'

Martin O’Malley wants to be president of the United States.

Look for the former Maryland governor to announce his candidacy soon for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. The man who once supported Hillary Clinton’s desire to be president now says the presidency isn’t some “crown” that should be passed between two families.


He refers, of course, to the Clintons and the Bushes.

Actually, O’Malley is getting way ahead of himself.

It seems likely that Clinton will run for president again; Jeb Bush is likely to seek the GOP nomination.

Are either of them locks for their parties’ nomination? Hardly.

Clinton once was a lock. She’s still the strongest Democrat out there, but her grip on the nomination has slipped bit since the email controversy broke a few weeks ago.

Bush hardly is a cinch for the GOP nomination. He’s got his own baggage, chief among it the memory of his brother’s recent presidency.

The burden now falls on folks such as O’Malley to prove why they deserve to be seen and heard. It’s not just about candidates with recognizable names.

As this “crown” business relates to the Clintons, it’s good to remember that Bill Clinton wasn’t exactly from a filthy rich family when he ran for president in 1992. He came from fairly humble beginnings, as did his wife.

Still, I’m willing to listen to candidates such as O’Malley make their case, as I am willing to listen to the thundering herd of Republicans getting ready to run for the White House.

Bring it on!


Mitt won't run! Oh, darn

What? Mitt Romney has decided against running for president in 2016?

I’m crushed, I’ll tell ya. Crushed!

I was hoping against hope that Mitt would make a third go of it, trying to make up for the mistakes he made in the 2012 campaign. Believer as I am in redemption, Mitt was the perfect guy to try to right what he do so terribly wrong.


Now he tells supporters he wants to clear the decks for “new leadership,” that the Republican Party doesn’t want to hear from him in 2016.

I’ll honor his decision. My trick knee tells me Ann Romney had a lot to say about it. She had said “no way” to a third run for the White House many months ago. I didn’t think Mitt could persuade her to change her mind. Hey, they’ve been married a while and I’m sure Mitt knows how hard it is to change his wife’s mind once she makes a declarative public statement.

A Romney candidacy would have set up a bruising battle among the “establishment wing” of the Republican Party, pitting him against, say, Jeb Bush and maybe John Kasich in the fight to win over the more reasonable GOP faithful.

Bush is more likely now to run with Mitt out of the way, so it’ll be Jeb vs. The TEA Party wing of the GOP, which at the moment seems to comprise a much larger number of combatants.

Oh well. Thanks for teasing us, Mitt.