It is time that Hillary Clinton take hold of her campaign and right the ship. No one is pleased at how her numbers are sliding in polls or that she is in a tight race with Bernie Sanders, a candidate that no elected member in the party thinks can win the White House.
The Clinton campaign needs a new approach to messaging. So it comes as well-received news that there are now staffing and strategy changes to be expected following the loss that is surely coming her way Tuesday in New Hampshire.
There had been reports a review of the campaign had been planned after the first four primaries, but it is clear that timetable needs to be altered.
President Lincoln fired generals and revamped war strategy over and over. Such moves are not signs of weakness but assurance to others that when one thing is not working it requires stepping up to make the fixes that does allow for victory.
I applaud Clinton for making the tough calls.
There has been some speculation over the past week as to why Chelsea Clinton should not be fodder for journalists given she is the daughter of a presidential candidate, and also has made some less-than honest attacks on Bernie Sanders. Some still consider Chelsea off-limits for reporters, and she has made every effort to enforce that goal.
I think one can make a most plausible case as to why Chelsea should be a topic for reporters to write about. If I were an editor there would be no rule against writing about her.
But there are times when I feel lines need to be drawn when it comes to family members of candidates. One of those deals with Barbara Bush. She is now coming under political fire from Marco Rubio.
The Republican presidential race has gotten so heated that not even the candidates’ moms are off-limits anymore.
With two days to go until the New Hampshire primary, a voter who lives in this heavily Republican town provided HuffPost with a jarring direct mailer that he received from Conservative Solutions PAC — the super PAC that is backing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
The mailing features a photo of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) wearing a superimposed golden crown and pictured next to the bejeweled and white-haired Queen Elizabeth II, who bears an obvious resemblance to the candidate’s mother, Barbara Bush.
And in case the intended link between the current queen of England and former first lady wasn’t clear enough, the mailer includes an old quote from Jeb Bush’s mother below the photo of Queen Elizabeth: “‘We’ve had enough Bushes.’ –Barbara Bush.”
It comes as no surprise that I am predicting Chris Christie is now on the last day of his campaign for the Republican nomination. Following the votes cast on Tuesday the New Jersey pol will go back home and not be heard of again until allowed a speaking role at the GOP convention.
One of the reasons Christie will become a footnote in the story of this election cycle is due to his character flaw. More to the point he is a bully, and no one likes that type of a person. That is not the sort voters want to see every night on the news from the Oval Office.
The reason Christie has upped the nasty is due to his internal polling showing there is no way out of the pit he is in. The only thing left is head for the gutter.
But when Christie talks about everybody else, he sounds like the race’s belittling schoolyard tough guy. He’s promised to “kick [President Obama’s] rear end out of the White House” and to “beat [Clinton’s] rear end.” Then, in Saturday night’s Republican debate, Christie laid into Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for using canned talking points, rattling Rubio so badly that he used the same talking points again. And then again.
“Everybody’s got a plan until you get punched in the face,” Christie said.
Christie said Sunday that the rough rhetoric was something he’d planned all along.
“You all are the junior political analysts here. I do this for a living. I picked when I want to do it,” Christie said in a news conference after reporters questioned why he had waited so late to take on Rubio. “I had a strategy all along.”
If that’s true, then Christie was following an especially daring strategy. It required him to spend more than 60 days campaigning in New Hampshire, fall into sixth place here, then — with first place seemingly out of reach — unleash a last-minute barrage aimed at the second-place candidate.
When a reporter asked if Christie would drop out if he lost in New Hampshire, Christie’s braggadocio dropped a little. His response was, in effect, that it depends on what you mean by losing.
Indeed, Christie’s advisers seemed to be hoping merely for a finish in the top tier, so Christie can go on to South Carolina — but that’s a place where he is not projected to do well.
If it felt like flying by the seat of my pants when placing Iowa Caucus predictions into print it feels like I am stark naked in front a church when placing these thoughts about New Hampshire into this blog post. It should be noted I was clearly in the ballpark and seated behind the batter with last week’s predictions. Time will tell where I land with these. (Writing them on a Sunday Night means lots can happen to shape last minute voters come Tuesday. Having said that here we go with my usual reminder, please no wagering.)
First up some summations with a listing of how I view the results at the end of this post.
Prior to Saturday night’s Republican debate it was my thought that at least two of the establishment candidates would end their campaigns after Tuesday. Now it seems to me that only Chris Christie will have to stop his barnstorming after what I feel will be a poor showing in the primary. Needless to say he had a mostly good debate that resulted in causing panic and concerns for at least one candidate, Marco Rubio.
There is no way to put enough spin and polish on Marco Rubio to remove the lack of awareness that seems to pour from him in equal parts to his sweat. How he was not able to hear what he was saying on the debate stage means one of two things. Perhaps both. 1) He was over-rehearsed and not in control of his own messaging or, 2) is not the A-rated candidate that some wish him to be. It should be noted, again, I have him as a most viable vice-presidential pick but not ready for a prime time presidential contender.
The most solid performance at this past weekend’s debate, and the candidate who has wowed newspaper editors across The Granite State, is John Kasich. He has a personality that is so opposite Donald Trump’s that it almost leaps up and asks to be humbly considered for the highest office in the land. Kasich blends and connects so well with the voters. He has a clear conservative perspective but delivers views with moderate inflections that places him apart from the angry nature of the red-meat candidates.
Since Jeb Bush also has much to offer his party, but has been unable to move the needle to any noticeable extent, it seems logical to suspect that voters are moving to seek another candidate who can reach the middle part of the GOP and win the White House this year.
Therefore I predict the news coming out of New Hampshire Tuesday will be two-fold.
The first news story will be why, even though Trump will place first, did he not have a better showing? I do not think Trump will secure the percentage that every poll suggests he will. I fall back on the rationale that those who seek entertainment at his rallies are not necessarily voters. There is also a time to be serious about electing a leader, and this is the time when voters sober up and think long-term. When doing so Trump’s support softens. Though he wins it will be scored as a loss. The media narrative will drive this forward based on the facts.
The other major news story coming out of this primary will be the impressive demonstration of Kasich power as he plows his way to second place. If we thought the week between Iowa and New Hampshire was fun–and Lord knows it has been!– wait to see the way we bounce about in the ride to the balloting in South Carolina. With Ted Cruz, Bush, and Rubio all feeling some reason for hope–though it may be delusional hope–there is nothing to do but watch it unfold.
On the Democratic side there is going to be a very hard knock for Hillary Clinton even though the final result will be a great deal closer than once feared. In Clinton’s match-up with Berne Sanders she will lose by 7%. She will stand with spirit despite the loss and head to more solid electoral states. Bernie’s best night of 2016 will be over once the plane takes off from New Hampshire.
For the GOP……
(For the remainder I only list them in how I believe they will finish.)
Have fun watching the results on Tuesday!!
With the thermometer today reading 44.7 degrees in the shade at the back of our house meant that in the sunshine on the front side it was a perfect day. James brought up a couple of the lawn and outdoor furniture from the basement. I made some tea. We then grabbed a book to read and the next thing we knew nearly three hours had passed. We chatted with some folks in the neighborhood that had not been seen since last fall while restocking our needed supply of Vitamin D.
There is some mighty cold weather slated to rush over our state come late Monday and then stick around all week. That is to expected, after all this is winter in Wisconsin. But what a pure and unexpected delight today to have a short taste of what is to come in just about six weeks.
The moral of the story is, of course, when spring knocks on your door be prepared to say “Welcome!”
It probably comes as no surprise that letters are sent and phone calls are made from this home to elected officials about all sorts of concerns and issues. Contacting our leaders has been going on for a very long time.
I firmly believe that in 2000 the presidency was stolen by the Republican candidate for office, George Bush. Following his inauguration in 2001 the following letter was sent to Hillary Clinton. She had just been elected to the U.S. Senate and we were most enthusiastic about that achievement. We spoke from the heart with this letter.
Sharing this letter now is meant to underscore the fact we believe in Hillary Clinton. We know she is a progressive who is also pragmatic and can get things done for this nation. There are no perfect leaders, but there are reasoned and skilled ones. Hillary is such an example.
January 27, 2001
Dear Senator Clinton,
Congratulations on your recent victory in the New York Senate race! You have experiences with the important issues with which our nation is now confronted; you will be a much-needed asset to the very divided United States Senate. We are proud of you.
Please know that as you work with your colleagues to insure passage of progressive initiatives, millions of Americans, like us, support you and believe in your ability and desire to bring positive change to this country.
As a gay couple living in Wisconsin, we often feel that the right wing of the Republican Party has too large a hold on the policies originating from Washington. If legislation which would protect gay and lesbian couples and their basic human rights, that all Americans are supposed to be guaranteed, has not yet been introduced in the Senate, we ask that you lend your reasoned voice to these initiatives by both sponsoring such bills and speaking out forcefully and publicly in support of such measures. We feel strongly, because you enjoy a certain level of national credibility and public recognition already, that we can all benefit; you are no ordinary freshman senator and we encourage you to be aggressive in your endeavors.
Our concerns extend beyond our own self-interest. It is also our hope that you will be a voice of reason, a determined voice, in the United States Senate as you continue to push for a comprehensive health care package. All Americans deserve the right and dignity that comes from knowing they have access to medical attention when the need arises, and before. It is a national shame that our country, for economic and political reasons that we feel have no merit, does not consider basic health and well being to be an integral part of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
In addition, we encourage your vigorous opposition to any legislation that would not protect the environment, such as oil drilling in the Alaskan wilderness. We believe that you should also strive to continue the Clinton administration’s commitment to a fiscal policy that pays down the national debt, and champions a tax policy that benefits the lower and middle-classes.
We do not believe that elected officials should vote in the much talked about “bi-partisan spirit”. That simply means that the Republicans, who lost the national popular vote by over one-half million cast ballots, would still get to implement their policies despite the electorate’s rejection of those ideas in November. We owe this new President nothing and it would be a pity to see all that the Democrats have achieved under your husband’s auspices be reversed by an administration not duly elected by the American people.
In that light, please find enclosed a memento of our recent anti-inaugural party. We, along with countless others, firmly believe that the wrong person was administered the Presidential (and Vice-Presidential!) Oath of Office on January 20th. We truly love our country and wish the new administration the best; however, we are not convinced of the ability of the new President to lead the nation anywhere but astray.
For all of these reasons and more, we are brought back to you and the role that you can play in our country’s future. As supporters of you and your policy goals, please alert us to ways in which we can assist you, even though we are not from New York State. We look forward to seeing your name on the ballot in four years as you successfully campaign to become our nation’s first female President. We are here in Wisconsin to help you.
There was a series of back-and-forth between Marco Rubio and Chris Christie tonight that left the Florida senator wondering what hit him.
“Marco, the thing is this, when you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person”.
Rubio struggled to fend off the string of searing attacks from Christie but in the end was left baffled and bleeding.
It is not news to politicos that Rubio has a very canned presentation. It is much akin to Broadway shows where every hand move or foot step is choreographed. Rubio has the ‘perfect’ answer to any question but it is all part of his over-rehearsed and staged response. It had no authenticity.
Tonight Rubio was called out on his stale performance by Christie. What was most shocking however to the American audience was the demonstration by Rubio of what Christie was calling attention to–it was like luring a large fish to a wiggling worm. Rubio seemingly was not even aware he was just repeating his same trite lines.
This is going to impact the race in New Hampshire where the public is still weighing the candidates and pondering their vote come Tuesday. What they saw tonight from Rubio will blunt his rise in the polls and prolong the lives of Kasich and Bush. Both came out of this debate in much better shape than perhaps they even hoped. Part of that reason is due to the flopping on the stage of the sweat-soaked Rubio.
Moral of this political story is never be cheesy on the national stage. Someone is more than likely to call attention to it and send you packing.