I did not think I would become a Trump fan, but it has happened. This does not mean that I will vote for him, but I appreciate him the way I would if John Stewart and Sacha Baron Cohen created a satire on the United States Presidential campaign. Trump's campaign is a mirror that keeps reflecting.
Tonight the Republicans are having their last debate before the Iowa Caucus. Donald Trump will win even though he is not going to attend. Trump will also defeat the media. Trump will organize a competing event and other news outlets will cover his event while Fox covers the debate. Almost every news agency will criticize Trump for treating the media and women unfairly... and then the media will reward Trump. Why does the media turn on each other?
Trump has often behaved rudely and been given a pass... but this is not unusual for politicians and candidates. Governor Christie is known for mistreating journalists who do not run favorable stories. (Nearly every President limits journalists too.) What do the other journalists do when some of the press is shunned by the powerful politicians? Just watch tonight when Trump is covered at his other event.
I have been able to predict the last two Presidential campaigns, but I am stumped with this one. I predicted Obama/McCain one year before the Iowa Caucus. As soon as Geffen switched from Hillary to Obama, I thought Obama would win. I also thought that McCain was the rational choice for his party. Even when McCain's poll numbers were in the single digits, I still thought McCain would win. (I didn't predict Palin, but it made sense.) In 2012, I figured that Romney would win the Republican nomination and lose to Obama.
Despite being stumped, I still have ideas about this campaign, and I thought I would write them down again.
- It is best to understand Trump by pretending that Sacha Baron Cohen and John Stewart are organizing his campaign. This does not mean that Trump is faking or silly. I think too many people underestimate Trump's intelligence.
- Cruz must win Iowa to stay relevant. HOWEVER, if Cruz wins Iowa, he becomes irrelevant. Quick, name the last two Republican winners of the Iowa Caucus. Besides, Trump is correct. Nobody likes Cruz.
- Bush has no energy. At first I thought Trump was joking, but have you heard Bush refute Trump? I start to feel sorry for Jeb. He sounds like he is whimpering. (it is so bad, I felt guilty typing that.)
- If it weren't for Cruz, I would say Nobody likes Christie. Instead, Nobody likes Christie and his mop. He took his storm success and turned it into a mess.
- Rubio? He attacks Trump, Cruz and Bush. I don't know what he supports. I think he loses because he attacks everything.
- Kasich should win. He is a successful Governor of Ohio. He really should win. He is positive and smart. He is by far the best candidate from both parties. He really should win. If I bet on these things, he is the guy I would want to choose, and know that I am going to lose. He will probably make a charge in New Hampshire and surprise people, but not enough.
- Paul. He is smart, which seems to count against him this year.
As for the other side, Clinton's problems from 2008 still exist. Now she has new (email) issues. Fewer people remember her as the dynamic speaker from the early 90's. I saw her speak in 1994 and told myself that if she ever ran for President I would support her. I probably would have been willing to work for her. Then Lewinsky happened and nothing has been the same.
Before Lewinsky, some of us argued that people in positions of power should not abuse their authority. A US President is the ultimate position of authority. An intern is a vulnerable position. Was their relationship consensual? Probably, but it's murky. Was it "private?" Well, that is murky too, because some of us were taught that
The Personal is Political.
I don't think Hillary and the rest of the country know how to resolve that part of our history. Hillary tried to do the right thing, but she was stuck. Lewinsky probably did something wrong, but she was also wronged. Politicians who were known for cheating and infidelity were accusing Clinton of perjury? People on the Left are still unhappy with the investigation. People on the Right are still unhappy with the Clintons. The issue was also never resolved by people who experience abuse by people in positions of authority.
Hillary seems to be searching for herself. She seems scarred, as I imagine she would be. Gore lost, because he couldn't escape Clinton's shadow. The Lewinsky scandal still affects our past, because it affects part of our country on so many levels. We want it to go away just as The Republicans want The Irag War to go away, but it won't. It's too big and too many people were complicit.
Does this mean that Bernie has a chance? No. He won't be President, unless he becomes VP and someone dies, but that is doubtful.
It still feels that someone else will step up. Nobody feels ready. Maybe Blumberg jumps in; maybe there is another surprise, but I can't see it. That's what would make it a surprise.
This is still the year of Trump, and he keeps surprising me. Keep your eye open for Sacha Baron Cohen. It will make the campaign more interesting and more educational.