Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Post-Iowa: No Real Winners Yet

Lots of ink being split and voices braying on what the Iowa primary results mean. My simple take is that Trump needs to win New Hampshire (NH) big or his patina of invincibility – remember he can shoot someone in the middle of NYC and not lose support? – will wash away. Without that, people will begin to consider more carefully what he actually says. Now, Trump is very smart. He might yet rise to the occasion but he will become a longer shot.

Rubio – billed by some as the “real winner” – is now target #1 of the remaining “moderate” candidates. (Rand Paul – the one Republican of principle – sadly dropped out today.) The “moderates” will try to tear Marco a new one to drag him back down. Rubio seems a lightweight but if he manages to hang on and do well in NH, he may suck the rest of the air from the not-so-crazy-as-Cruz side of the spectrum.

Cruz may think he can survive a loss in NH and go on into the South. Hillary may hope so because if Cruz can win votes there, she'll win more in November from the non-white-extremist majority down that way.

Hillary lost in Iowa despite her technical tenths of a percentage point “win.” She has issues, including apparently the fact that she earns few points for transparency. Once, when I worked in the White House, she served me tea as I was accompanying the visit of the First Lady of Argentina upstairs in the private quarters. Mrs. Clinton was very gracious to include me as if I was also a guest.

I admit to liking Bernie because of his razor-sharp focus on inequality, our number one problem (globally as well as in America). Some say that since Bernie – a “socialist” – cannot possibly win in America, a vote for him is wasted. But if he wins in NH, he just may get enough wind in his sails – and votes from the under-45 – to make it a long race.

Now Jeb, and I won't say poor Jeb. I personally believe he was the Bush – if we had to have one – we should have gotten in 2000. But that is a low bar. He apparently has received too much money to simply bow out just because it's clear he has bombed out. If you walk away from the $150 million plus he's been given, the investors will not be pleased. Bush may hope that Rubio stumbles in NH and he gets a second look. So he may actually have to crash and burn before dropping out. Better for all if this happens in New Hampshire.

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