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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Soothsaying 2016

I keep getting asked to predict 2016.

Predicting an election this far out is a sucker's bet.

There are far, far too many variables in play - and at this point in time at least 50% of those variables are unknowable unknowns.

As I said, making a prediction now is a sucker's bet.

But then, I am a sucker for this sort of thing.

At this point, given the skimpy data, the few candidates who've actually declared, the fickle mood of voters, the sullen demeanor of the country, and a roll of the ten sided dice for good measure...

... I suspect the final duel will be: Hillary vs Jeb.

I can’t hazard even the vaguest guess as to who their Seconds will be.

As noted many times: Hillary Clinton is a hawkish corporate social liberal and she brings along a lot of baggage.

However, Clinton’s baggage was acquired by the very experience that makes her such a strong candidate. If she didn't have any baggage, she wouldn't even be in the race. If she and her advisors thought for one second that she couldn't resoundingly overcome her critics and turn her past to her advantage, she wouldn't be running.

Because whatever else Hillary Clinton is, she's a savvy, shrewd, cunning, and experienced politician who relishes being in the ring.

And she tends to eat her enemies kicking and screaming.

Jeb Bush shares a similar background - with the added advantage of his family's political dynasty.

And you should never underestimate the power of family and connections when it comes to politics.

Bush is a hawkish corporate social conservative who has his own load of baggage.

He hasn't declared yet, but a lot of people - including me - think he will once the unelectable fanatics blow their collective wads.

Jeb's best strategy is to let the Tea Partiers and the Libertarians flash loud and crazy – hell, get Ben Carson in the race –  let the traditional GOP establishment begin to panic at the thought of Hillary Clinton (and they are, they are. When you float the idea of Dick Cheney for your party’s candidate, you're panicking) then step in as the "sane," reasonable, proven conservative candidate. 

The conservative press and the NRC are largely ignoring Paul, Cruz, and Rubio, they don't take any of them seriously.

I think they're waiting for Jeb Bush.

As I said, a sucker's bet and there's still plenty of time for a charismatic unknown to emerge on both sides.

But if I was forced to put money on it now, I'd place my bet on Clinton vs Bush.

Whatever else 2016 is, it'll be interesting.

60 comments:

  1. The big issue is whether she can weather the storm of "Stop Hillary!" and not fold like a house of cards (no pun intended)

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  2. I would love to see a Clinton/Warren (or Warren/Clinton) ticket, but I'm afraid they wouldn't be electable right after having a black president.

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    1. Actually I would love to see Clinton / Sanders, but I fear he is too far to the left for most people.

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    2. Clinton/Reich would be my choice. Clinton is the only one out there who can pull in the money, and Warren is exactly where she should be.

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    3. Completely agree about Elizabeth Warren. We need her in the Senate. Robert Reich is a great idea for VP.

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  3. "Hillary Clinton is a hawkish corporate social liberal"
    "Bush is a hawkish corporate social conservative"
    "Whatever else 2016 is, it'll be interesting."

    Interesting? If you enjoy circuses, I suppose. Then again, considering that the American people have literally no say in U.S. foreign policy, nor will any candidate rock that boat, we might as well just focus on the social aspects of our elected representatives and embrace the circus.

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    1. I took it to be a reference to the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

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  4. I think your Magic 8 Ball is a good one. I will be interested in how it plays out. There is a part of me that wishes people would take John Wayne's attitude after the election, though: "I didn't vote for him, but he's MY president."

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    1. It's a nice thought, but if, for instance, Tail-gunner Ted were to be elected President, I would not claim him. Not that I think that will happen, but guano does occur.

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  5. Who in their right mind would vote for another Clinton CROOK?

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    1. who would vote for another bush?

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    2. I would. And my crook is a LOT less crooked then yours. So there.

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    3. I would seeing as how I'd prefer her to the cabal on the other side of the aisle who want nothing more than to take this country back... back 200 years.

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    4. In their "right" mind. I saw what you did there!

      I guess depending upon the definition of crook, if one votes for a presidential candidate, one votes for a crook. One doesn't get to that level of the political arena without some larceny. Just as having to be capable of taking another human life may be necessary for a soldier to defend comrade or country.

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    5. The natural follow-up question would then be "Who in their right mind would vote for yet ANOTHER Bush?"

      If those two are going to be the candidates that will be pushed on us as the "only viable candidates", I see a whole lot of people really taking a long look at abandoning the Republicans and Democrats, and start checking out (and donating to) 3rd Party candidates.

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    6. I guess I missed any *conviction* of Clinton of a crime. The best you can accurately claim is "alleged crook." But that applies to just about everyone, including you, me, and Jim.

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    7. I like how you think and thank you for saying it.

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    8. Stuart in CincinnatiApril 19, 2015 at 7:25 AM

      When a guy named Clinton left office, the country had a budget surplus, and we had people watching alQuaeda, Both Bushes left in economic chaos, And Dubya certainly took his eyes off the ball re: terrorism. But most importantly, I don't think Ruth Bader Ginsberg will make another 6 years, she's had too many cancer scares already. We cannot let Jeb Bush pick her replacement.

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  6. Two things - 1) I saw a lady in a 20 year old beater of a car with a "Ben Carson 2016" bumper sticker on it. I pointed at her and laughed. 2) It was interesting in 2012 and will be even more so to watch whatever candidate gets the GOP nod try to run back towards the center after having to unpack a whole lot of crazy in order to get the nomination. That will, ultimately, be their undoing. You can't run on these insane policies in a general election. The majority of this country lies between moderately liberal and moderately conservative. Hillary can run a primary as a moderate liberal, but nobody can win the GOP primary as a moderate conservative.

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  7. You're probably right, but it'd be a heck of a lot nicer if there were more than a few weeks between these elections you keep having every two or four years. :)

    I hope they have real races for both parties, coronations don't end well in nations that have some democracy.

    Earl

    P.S. not that Earl, I'm the other one.

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  8. Hilary's supporters are her worst enemy. They did a good job of alienating the "Obama Coalition" on the day she announced. What's with her logo?m

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  9. Nope, I am not embracing the circus, but accept that it is part of the game. In the meantime, the Middle East once again is on the verge of exploding in a big way, Congress is playing politics with it all, and the majority of voters' debates center upon whether any candidate has a social conservative or liberal tendency. That in itself shows the across-the-board ignorance of the electorate. Once again, I consider insanity to be contagious and the vectors are peachers and politicians.

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  10. VS any republican, I would.

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  11. I am not thrilled with those choices, but I suspect you're right. They are center [party] candidates (if you allow that the center has shifted right drastically in the past 25 years), and they have the monied interests behind them - or will when it becomes necessary.

    I disagree that it will be interesting, unless you're referring to the monkeys flinging poo sort of interesting. What would truly be interesting is if any one of the people running decided to be entirely honest about their agenda and/or discuss things of actual interest to/impact on the American people. I just don't see that happening.

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  12. I agree. For all that we say that we want "new people" or "fresh blood", we always seem to go with name recognition, i.e., the names that have been around for decades.

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  13. Once again, the electorate must choose between the evils of two lessers.

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    1. Cthulhu for President, when you're tired of picking the lesser of two evils. :-)

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    2. the electorate must choose between the evils of two lessers.

      I like that phrase - I'm Australian and it applies to this country as well.
      Politics seems to have moved so far to the right that we will need that SpaceX rocket just to find it

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    3. Over The Pond, here in The UK, we are in the same position at the moment. General Election fever. Thanks for the laugh!

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    4. Indeed, but here is the thing; not voting for the lesser of two evils automatically elects the most evil. I think I shall take my chances with Hillary.

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  14. Clinton, is more centered than she is liberal, I like Warren it would be an interesting Ticket? but what about Kerry? With the country loving vets atm, his decorated pass, his experience and He is after all a pretty damned good Sec of State. I am not sure of him running for President again, but maybe the balance on Hilary's ticket?

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    1. Kerry would just get swiftboated again. Seriously.

      I also have a working theory (can't prove it, but it's been right so far) that JFK was the last liberal from Massachusetts with good hair that would ever be elected President. All the others - Dukakis, Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, Mitt Romney - have failed spectacularly.

      Now, if they find a bald guy from Massachusetts to run, he may have a chance. But the good-hair guys are doomed.

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    2. I doubt that he would be able to get swiftboated in this pro-vet atmosphere.That is why I think he may have a shot.

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  15. Well, I did find out that yesterday Hillary had a chicken burrito bowl for lunch. And the others in her party had a Blackberry Izze drink, a soda and a chicken salad. I also was informed that she wore a bright pink shirt and dark sunglasses. She carried the tray with all the meals all by herself herself! This was important so earth shattering an event that it had to be reported in The New York Times. And that is how we can expect the next 18 months to go, though I am sure that this completely fatuous reporting is simply the media exercising their keyboards in anticipation of much more cutting reports on equally important and serious aspects of Hillary Clinton, the candidate. I know I will probably end up gouging out my eyes and ears by the time this is all over. God help us all.

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  16. You are probably right about the end game. Not sure that it will make much difference who wins. I feel that the system is broken, and that corrupt wealth are probably pretty much in control. I think that what has been shown in the last 6 years, is that the office of the President can be circumvented. Wealth = power = corruption = broken system. This has gone on through out history.

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  17. Amen to that, brother.

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  18. I guess you're going with the odds makers

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  19. My criteria for selecting a presidential candidate to vote for is pretty simple: "Will this person, in my opinion, make a better POTUS than this other person?"

    I will take into consideration their political past, and the planks in their political platforms. Pretty much everything else is irrelevant. That means any so-called "scandals" dealing with money, sex or whatever stupid decisions they may have made as a kid or young adult.

    Make no mistake though. I will not matter just how bad the choices get, I will vote for someone.

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    1. At this point, I think how they will do as POTUS is less important than who they will nominate to SCOTUS.

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  20. Until, if ever, the Republican Party returns to some semblance of sanity, I will vote for whichever candidate the Democrats nominate.

    People who "voted their consciences" and voted for Nader brought us the Bush Supreme Court and "Citizens United" and the other unspeakable decisions of Roberts and his gang of criminals.

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  21. Everyone will need to make expansive room in their larders for all the extra popcorn that will be needed. This election is shaping up to be a epic cluster f*ck of unexpected insanity and silliness.

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  22. I'm guessing we'll see the emergence of third-party advocates soon enough.

    There's one problem with that, from the Democratic side.

    It's a vote for the Republican candidate, which is to say whichever raving lunatic happens to emerge from the clown car bloodbath closer to intact than the rest.

    We have a fundamentally binary political system in the US. Is it ideal? Not necessarily, though it is our reality, and to deny it is nearly as effective as fulminating nonstop against the presence of Baltimore. (It will still be there without regard to your feelings on the matter.)

    And the Presidency is more than the President. It's cabinet secretaries. It's agency and department heads. It's judicial appointments. Those matter, far more than most people take the time to think.

    And other elected officials matter too. From the school boards and city councils on up to Congress, and everyone in between. That's the infuriating part of this. Democrats look almost exclusively to saviors in the Oval Office, while the Republicans seize the legislatures and get the redistricting power, which creates their dangerous feedback loop.

    "Better than" matters, and in our current situation, it matters more than usual.

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    1. So important and true. Too bad more voters don't get this.

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  23. I was recently speculating that the RWNJ parade might be an actual intentional coordinated act to make the "real" candidate look like a centrist. More or less a Republican establishment false flag opertion (why yes, I am an occasional conspiracy theorist, why do you ask). Otherwise, it's really hard to understand how people who have managed to succeed in business to the extent that they have millions of dollars to donate to a campaign could possibly be behind these people.

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    1. Well they clearly have too much money. Tax the SOBs more.
      pablo

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    2. That's how I view the clown car: It is all cover for John E Bush to appear "moderate" and "sensible". That's why Senators Cruz, Rubio and Paul have any money behind them right now.

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  24. Well, I agree Clinton vs Jeb is probably the chosen line-up. And I agree that Clinton is a corporatist, but I disagree that' she's really a social liberal. She runs from the Left but governs from the Right. Or rather she runs from the triangulated Left and governs from Murky Hillaryland wherein the objective is whatever is good for Hillary.

    The truth of the matter is that is just doesn't matter who sits int he White House anymore. It just doesn't matter. At best heads of state anymore are a provincial governors for the World Banking/Oil/War-i-teer conglomerate of Plutocrats and Oligarchs.

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    1. Oh it matters. Just think about the upcoming Supreme Court nominations!!!
      Pablo

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    2. And the power of the veto over a Congress that may be controlled by the tea party.

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  25. Elizabeth Warren would be a dummy to run. She's far more powerful and influential as a Senator than a candidate. If we haven't realized, Democrats aren't the most loyal. If you disagree with that, think back to the mid-terms elections where too many Dems distanced themselves from Obama, for their own political interests.

    Jim Wright---I'm wondering what you think of Jim Webb (http://www.webb2016.com/on-the-issues/) He's someone I'm keeping my eye on.

    I'm "mild" about Hillary. I don't remember anything astonishing about her '08 campaign and I dislike her being anointed the party nominee. What is she bringing to the table--besides Bill?

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  26. 2016-Clinton vs Bush
    Fuck it. Lets just start handing out tittles and get it the fuck over with.
    "And you should never underestimate the power of family and connections when it comes to politics."
    Yup. Fuckin'- A right. It is a powerful thing that inherited power.
    Whether is from daddy, brother or spouse. Currency to be spent.
    And with all the humility and wisdom that com with inherited wealth.
    Democracy my ass. We WANT to be serfs.

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  27. I've heard the theory that the reason the Republicans lost the last two elections was not because McCain and Romney were too conservative but because they were not conservative or nutty enough. The base stayed home. The base is more likely to be enthusiastic about the nutty ones, more likely to knock on doors and make phone calls for them.
    Of course, the people who put forth that theory are rather nutty themselves.

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  28. Strange women handing out swords 2016 continues.

    You've picked out the two candidates with the highest name recognition. Hunh.

    BTW, the infamous chart, with analysis by Sam Wang's Princeton Election Consortium.

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  29. Sigh. Even if we can't elect a third party candidate, I wish we could hear what they have to say in the MSM. Go ahead, throw your vote away!

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  30. I completely agree it'll be Jeb against Hillary, and I bet it'll be Jeb in a close one. There are still a lot of people out there who actually thought that George W. Bush was a great president, and Hillary is too damaged and too abrasive. Obama was articulate, polished, deeply charismatic, and had little baggage. The one thing that I haven't seen anyone on the Left say, though, is that if Hillary wins, there will be the same old Pub obstructionism that has bedeviled Obama's two terms. Same if it's Elizabeth Warren, which it probably won't be. You saw how they treated her as SecState; you haven't seen nothin' yet compared to what hell they'll unleash if she's elected president.

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  31. A Clinton/Grayson ticket. Grayson as in Alan Grayson (D-Fla). He's a people's politician and is not afraid to step up to the plate and shove back if need be and could very well temper Hillary's hawkish corporate baggage. Or at the very least, help her carry some of it. He's a new face more or less which could prove interesting and could help Hillary gain some serious momentum.

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  32. November 2016 is far away, but if I HAD to bet, I'd bet on Hillary Clinton vs. Scott Walker.

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