Archive of Articles in the "2016 Elections" Category

Friday Talking Points -- The Circus Comes To Town, Once Again

[ Posted Friday, June 16th, 2023 – 17:35 UTC ]

President Joe Biden got some good economic news this week, as the official inflation rate fell to only 4.0 percent. This is down from last year's high of 9.1 percent, and is a significant achievement. Most economists will tell you that's still a bit too high and that 2.0 percent is the goal they're shooting for, but 4.0 percent is getting pretty close to that goal, you have to admit.

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It's Not How Many Get In, It's When They Get Out

[ Posted Thursday, June 1st, 2023 – 16:08 UTC ]

Can Donald Trump be defeated in the Republican presidential primaries? The safe answer, if one were inclined to place a bet at this stage of the game, is a pretty clear "No." Trump is absolutely dominating the GOP field, and only one challenger has made any sort of splash in the public polling. In what will no doubt become a recurring theme, I read today the first article bemoaning how many challengers are now jumping in the race to try to de-throne Trump (titled, amusingly enough: "Return Of The Republican Clown Car"). Dire warnings that the 2024 race could mirror the 2016 race are already being muttered, as more and more Republican hopefuls either officially toss their hats in the ring or just contemplate a run from the sidelines. But to me, the crucial question which will determine if any one Republican can beat Trump or not won't depend on how many of them run, but how many of them are still left running when the voters start to head to the polls. Because if Trump is to be beat, the only way it will happen is if there are only a few candidates left standing by Super Tuesday. Ideally: Trump and one other. Any more added to the mix would reduce the chances of any one of them would have of actually besting Trump.

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Let The Real GOP Nomination Fight Begin

[ Posted Wednesday, May 31st, 2023 – 14:35 UTC ]

The dynamics of the Republican presidential nomination race are about to drastically change, from a contest where one candidate punches down on all the others (who are all mostly terrified to punch back in any meaningful way) to an actual political fight where at least one candidate in the race doesn't quiver in his boots at the thought of attacking the frontrunner as forcefully as he can. Because Chris Christie is about to make it official and jump into the race.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Waiting Game

[ Posted Friday, May 26th, 2023 – 16:31 UTC ]

We began the week waiting, and we are ending the week waiting. All week long, rumors have leaked out about the status of the budget negotiations between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden, with both sides spinning madly to impress their bases, but we end the week with no deal actually inked.

However, we may be close. At least, that's today's big leak. It seems like both sides have agreed to some topline numbers with various face-saving things thrown in so they can both claim at least a certain degree of victory. Whether this actually works or not is still an open question.

Members of both parties are doubtlessly going to howl when the details are publicly released, and then they'll accuse their own negotiators of "giving away the store." But others will accept the face-saving spin and push forward, most likely. That's usually the endgame for such sticky negotiations, at any rate.

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From The Archives -- The GOP Race At The Bottom

[ Posted Thursday, May 25th, 2023 – 17:16 UTC ]

Sorry folks, but there will be no new column today. I had to deal with some real-world stuff (car, etc.) and also will be preparing for tomorrow's column later, so I just didn't have the bandwidth to write a new one today. But there seem to be an adequate number of people commenting on how bad the Ron DeSantis "failure to launch" event was yesterday, and the temptation to write about it again would probably have been too much for me today, so I guess the rest of the internet already has that subject adequately covered.

Instead, just because I was curious, I went back eight years to May of 2015, just to see what I was saying about the state of the presidential horserace back then. I came across this column -- published eight years ago tomorrow -- where I reviewed the state of the Republican nomination race. Astonishingly, there was one prominent name missing. Which means I have to live down having written the following line, back then: "[Donald] Trump would be (quite obviously) nothing more than a vanity candidate...." We all had to eat a few words in 2015, and that was just one early embarrassing example from my own keyboard, I fully admit.

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And Then There Were Two

[ Posted Wednesday, May 24th, 2023 – 16:46 UTC ]

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is now officially a candidate for president of the United States. He filed paperwork earlier today, and he will be making his campaign launch announcement in a fairly unconventional way (perhaps even as we write this) on Twitter (with Elon Musk). His entry into the race is not at all unexpected, and will have come as a surprise to precisely no one. He's essentially already been running since at least last year. But by announcing, DeSantis has now made it official -- the race for the Republican nomination is now a two-man race.

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Sadly, Nietzsche Was Right (About Trump)

[ Posted Tuesday, May 9th, 2023 – 15:29 UTC ]

In 1888, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote a book of aphorisms which contained the following: "Aus der Kriegsschule des Lebens. -- Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker." This can be translated into English as: "Out of the war-school of life. -- What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger." In a different book he wrote in the same year, Nietzsche refined the thought a bit, speaking of "nature's lucky strokes... among men," and saying of such lucky individuals: "He divines remedies for injuries; he knows how to turn serious accidents to his own advantage, that which does not kill him makes him stronger."

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Don't Count Chris Christie Out

[ Posted Wednesday, March 15th, 2023 – 15:31 UTC ]

When pundits handicap the possible Republican presidential field these days, several names almost always lead their lists of those who have not yet declared their candidacy (but probably soon will): Ron DeSantis (of course), Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, and Tim Scott. These are all the current favorites, and all have been at least making some moves towards actually declaring and running. Then there's a second tier of possibilities that usually gets mentioned as well: Chris Sununu, Glenn Youngkin, and maybe Kristi Noem or Greg Abbott to round things out. But for some reason, Chris Christie is almost always treated as an afterthought -- someone barely worth a mention in a tertiary list that might be called: "Oh, these people also might run, too." I've always thought this was a mistake because it seems to me that Christie is all but champing at the bit to take on Donald Trump.

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Happy Groundhog Day

[ Posted Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 – 17:20 UTC ]

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone! Or, to be more accurate, I should wish everyone a happy Groundhog Day, since I speak not of a small, furry weather prognosticator but instead of the movie of the same name which starred Bill Murray. For those of you who have just woken up from a multi-decade coma, the film subjected Murray to living the same day over and over again in a time loop. Which today certainly has some significant flavors of, you have to admit.

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"Russia, Russia, Russia" Investigation Ends With A Whimper

[ Posted Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 – 15:39 UTC ]

The left had the Mueller investigation. In response, in 2019 Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr launched a counter-investigation, led by Special Counsel John Durham, which was theoretically supposed to prove that the F.B.I. (and the entire "Deep State" working within the federal government to bring Trump down) had committed heinous crimes that were entirely political in nature. This was, according to Trump, all going to expose "the crime of the century." In August, Trump was still hopeful, sending out the message on social media: "The public is waiting 'with bated breath' for the Durham Report, which should reveal corruption at a level never seen before in our country." Here's a spoiler alert for Trump: It won't.

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