So, as we watch the S.S. Obama take torpedo after torpedo and sink into the inky abyss just like the Lusitania did so many years ago, perhaps it is time to look ahead to 2016.
As things move forward it appears Jumpin' Joe Biden will run, but he has two problems. One, he is irrevocably tied to a president whose popularity currently has all the aerodynamic properties of a blacksmith's anvil, the second is Hillary Rodham Clinton. Lets face it, if she wants the nomination she is going to get it. Nothing less than severe health problems, or a public mea culpa during which she admits she personally offed Vince Foster will stop Mrs. Clinton from winning practically every democratic primary.
Once a general election rolls around things get iffier. The GOP will hammer her on the Benghazi debacle and claim her husband is pulling the strings behind the scenes. There will be ugly push polls hinting at her sexual orientation and Bill's run amok libido. And, truth be told, as smart as she is, there is an undeniable air of arrogance and disagreeability to her. Couple that with a self immolating Obama administration and any number of people who are simply uncomfortable with the idea of another Clinton in the white house and you have an opening the GOP could take advantage of.
Of course the republicans have problems uniquely their own. While Mrs. Clinton's real struggle would be during the general election the GOP will be waging open civil war during the nominating process.
There is no telling how many will enter the ring before the Iowa caucuses. Rand Paul is sure to be one, but the Jr. Senator from Kentucky is surrounded by the same aura his old man was--it is the dull blue shimmer which accompanies all complete losers. Two of the other, more prominent, names at the moment are the mad Canadian, Ted Cruz and the soon to be re-elected governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie.
Every indication at this time is, while Christie would make the better presidential candidate, he might be so unacceptable to the far right he'll never make it through the GOP convention.
In a story by NBC News, former George W. Bush press secretary, Ari Fleischer is quoted as saying of Christie, "Republicans don't trust him." Well some republicans, as in the tea party twits--you know the ones who have an inordinate amount of pull during the primaries.
Yes, those photos of him shaking hands with Barack Obama in the aftermath of super storm Sandy--those sound bites of him thanking the president for the quick federal response--sent many true believers into apoplectic rages. Charges of treason and blasphemy were shrill and common. The ferocity of the right wing reaction shook Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallon so much she made sure she wasn't seen anywhere near Obama when he arrived here the following May to inspect tornado damage in Moore.
Governor Christie has other issues with the right, especially the evangelicals. He has signed legislation outlawing therapy for gay teens which is designed to cure them of their sexual orientation. His opposition to same sex marriage in New Jersey seemed perfunctory at best and while he has been quoted as saying, "life is a gift from God," he hasn't pursued any legislation which would slap draconian restrictions on abortion providers like more conservative governors have.
Make no mistake about it though, Chris Christie is a republican through and through. He despises unions and has referred to union leaders as, "political thugs." He has also portrayed public sector unions as, "corrosive" and claimed the New Jersey state teacher's union was, "out of control." A while back, in a moment which fulfilled every Sheldon Adelson wannabe's wet dream, he vetoed a measure which would have restored higher state taxes on everyone in Jersey who earns a yearly income of $1,000,000 and more.
The last NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Christie has a 38% positive rating among all republicans. Among self described conservative republicans it dips to 31%. Cruz, on the other hand, has a 39% positive rating among all party members and it goes up to 40% among those same conservatives, while his negative rating is only 11%. Among the conservative faithful, Christie's down side is 18%.
The truth is, while Cruz might be able to win a state or two north of the Mason-Dixon Line during the GOP nominating process, it is hard to imagine Christie winning anything at all south of it.
NBC quoted Mississippi republican national committeeman Henry Barbour as saying, "I'm a member of the club who thinks that somebody who agrees with you 80% of the time is your ally, not a 20% traitor."
Yes, your sentiment is all fine and good, Brother Barbour, but selling that notion to the tea party yokels out there is another animal altogether. Especially after Teddy Cruz has spent months whipping them into a xenophobic fury.
No matter what it won't be pretty on the republican side. Blood will run in the streets and prisoners will not be taken. If Hillary Clinton is in, the deal is done on the democratic end. However, if, for some unfathomable reason, she decides not to run there will be a scramble that will make the opening rush of Wal-Mart shoppers on the Friday after Thanksgiving look distinguished and orderly.
Tomorrow night Christie will be handed a second term by New Jersey voters. Look for his show to hit the road shortly thereafter. The big banner on the side of the bus will read, "I Can Win A Blue State."
At this early juncture however, I believe I'll take Cruz and give the points. He has the bright, sharp, and unwavering gleam of sheer lunacy the uber conservatives know and love. That and they aren't going to put up with what many of them perceive as just a rounder version of Mitt Romney. They have been down that road before and the results weren't to their liking.
It is a gray Monday here on the southern plains. The air reeks of rain, although none has fallen yet. Can someone say martini?
I thought so.
Over and out.