FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The New Electoral Season

by CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI

“Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved, and they actually paralyze what slight powers of cerebration man can normally muster.”

— James Harvey Robinson, The Human Comedy

Herewith an update on the presidential election of 2016.  Although it may seem to some a bit early to focus on such things given the fact that it is less than one month since the last election, news events suggest the next campaign is in full swing. The new season started less than a week following the election.

On November 11, 2012, a piece by Steve Holland published by Reuters had the eye catching headline “2016: Who’s in play?”  For those suffering political withdrawal it was like a drink from the fountain of eternal campaigns.  It named 6 Republicans who might become candidates with a brief description of their qualities and 5 Democrats with similar descriptions.  The named Republicans were Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal and Condoleezza Rice.  The Democrats were Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley, Mark Warner and Andrew Cuomo.  With the publication of those 11 names political junkies get an idea of whom they should be tracking during the next four years.  Of course, there is still the possibility that an outsider not yet identified will enter the arena but anyone who hasn’t already made his/her intentions known will be at a distinct disadvantage.

In addition to the identification of candidates by Mr. Holland, another indication of presidential intentions can be found by keeping track of who’s going to Iowa. A visit to Iowa by a politician gives a clear indication of the visitor’s interest in things presidential since no one goes to Iowa in November as a tourist.  In connection with the 2016 presidential election, the first politician to indicate his interest in being the next president of the United States (rather than simply being identified in the Reuters piece) is Marco Rubio of Florida.  Before all the recounting of disputed ballots from the 2012 election had been completed, he packed his suitcase, left sunny Florida and went to Iowa. He said he was going to Iowa to participate in a birthday celebration for Iowa governor Terry Branstad who turned 66.  Mr. Rubio carefully explained that his visit had nothing to do with any presidential ambitions.  According to Governor Branstead, the event raised more than $600,000, more than the governor said he “had raised before in any single event.” Observers said this was the first chance Mr. Rubio had to “woo” Iowa voters and the governor said he “hit a homerun.”  Although it is too soon to anoint him the Republican nominee since the other five may also be planning on heading for Iowa, being the first to make the pilgrimage it certainly gives him a leg up, more especially since he hit a “homerun.”

I would be remiss if I did not address the equally important question of who is likely to be the Democratic candidate out of the five identified above.   For the answer to that question we turn to the Buffalo News.  Six days after the election the paper made its formal endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.  And Hillary didn’t even have to go to Iowa. In an editorial published exactly one week after the election the Buffalo News said “it’s not too early to be thinking about who would make an excellent candidate for the presidency in 2016.”  Since the editorial was accompanied by a picture of Hillary Clinton it was not necessary to read to the end to figure out of whom the editors were thinking.  For the slow of wit, however, the editors made it plain when, after listing all her accomplishments the editorial concluded:  “For the country’s sake, and because she clearly is the best candidate, we hope the competing factions in national Democratic politics will coalesce to make her the nominee.”   With than endorsement virtually clinching it for Hillary (if the suggested coalescence takes place as one would hope) the country will be spared a divisive and extended campaign on the Democratic side.  That will enable the country to focus all its attention on the Republican contest and if Republicans are as tired as the rest of us at the prospect of four more years of campaigning they might decide to reward Marco for his early visit to Iowa by simply agreeing that he will be their candidate.

The only downside to such early selections would be that they deprive us of the opportunity to learn what the positions of the other candidates might have been had they been permitted to participate.   Given the lack of substance in the 2012 campaigns and the likelihood of a similar lack in connection with the 2016 election, that is a small price to pay for political silence.

Christopher Brauchli is a lawyer in Boulder, Colorado. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu

 

More articles by:
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
Russell Mokhiber
Dems Dropping the N Word: When in Trouble, Blame Ralph
Jeffrey St. Clair
Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Renee Parsons
Blame It on the Russians
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is it the Cops or the Cameras? Putting Police Brutality in Historical Context
Howard Lisnoff
The Elephant in the Living Room
Pepe Escobar
The Real Secret of the South China Sea
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Yarmouk: A Palestinian Refugee’s Journey from Izmir to Greece
John Laforge
Wild Turkey with H-Bombs: Failed Coup Raise Calls for Denuclearization
Dave Lindorff
Moving Beyond the Sanders Campaign
Jill Richardson
There’s No Such Thing as a “Free Market”
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Moves Against the Gulen Movement in Turkey
Winslow Myers
Beyond Drift
Edward Martin - Mateo Pimentel
Who Are The Real Pariahs This Election?
Jan Oberg
The Clintons Celebrated, But Likely a Disaster for the Rest of the World
Johnny Gaunt
Brexit: the British Working Class has Just Yawned Awake
Mark Weisbrot
Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Both Bad Politics and Bad Strategy
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000
Corrine Fletcher
White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail