Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hillary Clinton: “liar,” “dishonest” and “untrustworthy.”

I don't know when the summer leading up to a presidential election has ever been more interesting (read "strange") than this one. I think someday America will probably have a female president. There, I've said it. But this woman, who has been running for president most of her adult life, now faces the end of the trail.

Hillary Clinton
The smart money on the Democrat side got behind Hillary Clinton early. Then a radical socialist named Bernie Sanders started making headway and he began to nibble away at the Clinton lead. Strange that someone even more polarizing and radical than either Obama or Clinton could make that kind of headway.

Now comes news that her fund raisers are reporting less than enthusiastic support from traditionally reliable sources. Some are aching for Vice-President Joe Biden to get into the race, and even President Obama has reportedly "given his blessing" for another Biden run at the presidency. So much for forgotten pledges to Bill Clinton, who campaigned for Obama in exchange for a Hillary endorsement someday. The political calculus these days for me has become increasingly mystifying, and well, just strange. But some have suggested the Biden pick as VP was a cool political strategy on Obama's part because it insulated him from impeachment - no one would want Joe Biden as the replacement POTUS. Yes, strange.

Yesterday Hillary boasted that she already had 25% of the "super delegates" on the Democrat side already locked up, and she was certain the nomination would be hers. Well, time will tell on that one. Strange she could be so self-assured when her favorability ratings and her polling numbers keep dropping like a rock. She thinks the "fix" is in, but she may just sink her own ship that is beyond fixing.

On the Republican side all the air in the room is being sucked up by Donald Trump. He has been dissed, dismissed, and disassembled a thousand times piece by piece this summer by all the pundits who claim he has "no chance" of winning the nomination, much less the presidency in November 2016, and yet his ascendancy cannot be denied. Strange that someone so bombastic, arrogant and off-putting could somehow tantalize the electorate the way this man has.

Jeb Bush was the presumptive nominee a few weeks ago until Trump got into the race, and since that first debate Bush has been dropping. Three of his fund raisers have already abandoned the ship. That's very strange, given the inevitability of another Bush/Clinton match-up predicted by the political punditry earlier in the summer.

Someone I read yesterday on Twitter suggested to the DC establishment that if they want to stop Trump they should just endorse him. Strange that you've never heard that strategy enunciated in politics before this year. But these are not normal times. The disfavor into which the Republican establishment has dropped keeps finding new bottoms.

The Republican field is deep this year and filled with what one would presume is a talented field. One would think the GOP hierarchy would be licking its chops in glee. Experienced governors and ex-governors with tremendous accomplishments in the field this year would be a campaign organizer's dream come true. Talk about an embarrassment of riches! But this year things are different. Things are very strange this year.

Donald Trump
Topping the early primary polling, of course, is Mr. Trump, followed now by retired brain surgeon Ben Carson, and retired HP CEO Carly Fiorina. It depends of course on who's doing the polling, but the strange thing about the ascendancy of Trump, Carson and Fiorina is that they are political outsiders. It seems Republicans have forsaken their party champions and taken leave of their collective conservative and time-tested reasoning ability and their rational and measured sense of propriety. That's strange indeed to think Trump could be the standard bearer for conservatives.

But maybe, just maybe, what's happening is a collective disenchantment with leadership in the GOP. They made bold promises about standing up against Obama. Republicans swept control of both houses of Congress in 2014, with high hopes the promises made would be promises kept. But their perception seems to be that they got nothing of what they bargained for from either Boehner in the House or McConnell in the Senate. One senses the makings of an uprising in the base.

Maybe in part that's what might explain Trump's ascendancy. His scorched earth policies and rhetoric - maybe the best word is "hyperbole" - have swept across the land like a raging wildfire of pent up anger, especially over illegal immigration. Many are warning of what happened in pre-World War II Europe as millions promoted and embraced Adolph Hitler in the name of German nationalism. That idea, however, seems a little strange to me, since Obama would resemble more of a dictator than Trump. But I said this was a strange summer.

Nevertheless, there are those who see all the familiar earmarks of what's now happening in America in our desperate search for a savior who can deliver America. "Making America Great Again" has struck a responsive chord and Trump has found legs with his slogan this summer. Granted he's a little light on the specifics of HOW he's going to do that, but it seems a refreshing alternative to what Obama has given us in his "transformational change" of nearly everything in America.

People are saying they've had enough of politicians and their promises, period. Somehow, almost mystically it seems, Trump has managed to differentiate himself from lifelong politicians and their promises. He says outrageous things that would doom any other politician and he gets away with it as his poll numbers continue to soar! And that's very strange.

Here's the essence of all this: There was a poll last week that caught my attention. It was done by Quinnipiac, and summarized by Breitbart. The participants in the poll were asked to give the first word that came to their minds when Clinton, Trump and Bush were mentioned.

The top three words used to describe Hillary Clinton were "liar," "dishonest" and "untrustworthy."

And that might be the first thing I've read this summer that was not strange.

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