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    Election 2016 Tag

    Readers have likely already seen montages of major Dems lavishly praising FBI Director James Comey after he announced in July that he wouldn't be recommending the indictment of Hillary Clinton. Those same Dems turned on Comey with a vengeance when this past Friday he announced that the FBI was looking into newly-discovered emails that could be pertinent to its investigation. Morning Joe took the flaying of Dem hypocrisy to another level today, setting its montage to Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were." And when the camera cut back to the set, there were Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, overcome by mock emotion, wiping their eyes. The pair, along with Willie Geist, proceeded to sarcastically scald the way the praise expressed by the Dems was "unconditional," how "it is a love that a mother has for a child," etc.

    Last week, my beloved husband took me on a much needed birthday vacation in Maine. Despite the fact that I was trying to ignore the 2016 election insanity for a brief time, I couldn't entirely escape it. When we hit a tourist shop in Kennebunkport, Maine, we were astonished by the amount of 2016 election paraphernalia already on sale. For example, despite the array of opinion on the GOP nominee in the Legal Insurrection comments, I think we can all agree on this:

    Here's one plausible scenario for Cruz's prospects in a general election. It's worth reading the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:
    ...[T]he assumption is that Cruz cannot improve his image among the broader electorate, but that's hard to know for sure, because he's never had to do it. While opinions on Clinton are deeply entrenched after her decades in the public spotlight, Cruz isn't as universally known and has more of an opening to get a second look. Cruz would enter the general election campaign with a reputation as an extremist, which the Clinton campaign would do everything to play up. But the risk of such a strategy comes if Cruz is able to defy such a caricature during the election among voters getting to know him for the first time. To quote Shakespeare's Prince Hal: "By so much shall I falsify men's hopes/And like bright metal on a sullen ground/My reformation, glittering o'er my fault/Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes/Than that which hath no foil to set it off."
    In other words, Cruz is much less of a known commodity to most voters, and he is therefore more likely to be able to improve his image if he can just soften up just a bit.

    I realize that at this point polls don't matter too much, if at all. But they still interest me, because they're the best evidence we've got about public opinion. They can also tell us something about trends, and the trend for Hillary right now appears to be down. The newest national poll is from Fox, based on phone interviews that were conducted from Jan 4-7 and featuring 1006 registered voters, the vast majority of whom said they intend to vote. For Republican respondents the margin of error was 5%, which is rather large. For the entire survey, the margin of error was 3%, which is more typical but still worthy of note when the figures are close. It's very interesting to see what's happening with the projected head-to-head battles of some of the Republican leaders against Hillary Clinton. Mostly the results seem to preserve the patterns each candidate has already established for quite some time, with Rubio doing the best of all (a +9 lead, more than he's had before). Cruz is next with a +7 lead (also bigger than he had before), and Trump has a +3 lead.

    I have the deepest respect for Thomas Sowell and his work, and this column of his is no different:
    It is easy to understand why there would be pent-up resentments among Republican voters. But are elections held for the purpose of venting emotions?... Elections...have far more lasting, and far more serious — or even grim — consequences than emotional venting. The actual track record of crowd-pleasers, whether Juan Peron in Argentina, Obama in America or Hitler in Germany, is very sobering, if not painfully depressing... Despite many people who urge us all to vote, as a civic duty, the purpose of elections is not participation. The purpose is to select individuals for offices, including President of the United States... An election is not a popularity contest, or an award for showmanship. If you want to fulfill your duty as a citizen, then you need to become an informed voter. And if you are not informed, then the most patriotic thing you can do on election day is stay home. Otherwise your vote, based on whims or emotions, is playing Russian roulette with the fate of this nation.
    Sowell is correct. But--- But elections will always turn partly on emotion.

    We all know that Hillary Clinton is the first female frontrunner candidate of a major party. That is, she's long been the frontrunner, and remains the frontrunner, although who knows how long that will continue. I believe that the only thing that can stop Clinton is an indictment, or the entry of Elizabeth Warren into the race. That's how shallow the Democratic bench is and how much the public (especially Democrats) seems to thirst for another "first," as they did with Obama. The first woman president is the next logical step for them, and Hillary seems (or seemed until recently) to fit the bill. That's one of the reasons Carly Fiorina is an especially good foil for her. I don't doubt, however, that if Carly were to rise in the polls and become a strong possibility for first female president, the attacks on her as "not a real woman" would become the drumbeat of the opposition.

    Polling released by Rasmussen Tuesday show's the "Hillary meter" dropping dramatically. Rasmussen explains:
    Last month, we introduced this year’s edition of the Hillary Meter to regularly update public perceptions of the former first lady on her march to the White House. Why a Hillary Meter and not one for, say, Jeb Bush or Donald Trump? Because for one thing, Clinton is far and away the leader in the race for next year’s Democratic nomination, while the winner of the Republican race is anyone’s guess. Secondly, the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State is an internationally known and highly polarizing figure – greatly admired by many on the left, extremely disliked on the right – who may end up being the nation’s first woman president.
    The Hillary Meter is not indicative of who surveyed likely voters want, but rather who they believe will win. Also of note is that individuals surveyed are likely voters and not registered voters. Likely voters tend to (but not always) have a lower propensity for election day turn out. Though the Huffington Post argues that if 2014 is indicative of future elections -- that distinction might not make much difference any longer.

    Hillary's email delete-o-rama and foreign funding issues aren't going away as quickly as the Clinton's had hoped. Left without anyone on the bench, the Democratic party is scrambling at the eleventh hour to cobble together a contingency plan. Then, out of (relative) obscurity emerged the most generic, milquetoast, cisgendered candidate conceivable -- former Maryland governor, Martin O'Malley. Yesterday, O'Malley sat down with George Stephanopolous. Platitude upon platitude, common sense this and common sense that, a quick jab at Hillary and an excruciating answer to an incredibly elementary foreign policy question, and that's what you get with O'Malley. Prior to his Perry-esque oops moment, O'Malley not so subtly upped his game by saying it's time for "new leadership and new perspective" when Stephanopolous mentioned the Governor's previous support of Mrs. Clinton. "Let's be honest here. The presidency of the United States is not a crown to be passed between two families." Zing! O'Malley struggled to name the single greatest national security threat to the United States. "The number one responsibility for the president is to protect the people of the United States of America. Would that there were only one threat. There are always threats," said O'Malley, obviously trying to buy himself some time. Stephanopolous persisted, and cringeworthiness reminiscent of Miss South Carolina's answer in the Miss Teen U.S.A. pageant, ensued. "The greatest danger that we face right now on a continuing basis in terms of man made threats is um... nuclear Iran and related to that, extremist violence. I don't think you can separate the two."

    If you're not at a point in your day where you can handle a Bill Clinton bobble head teetering around in high heels and a dress, click away now, because the "Bill for First Lady 2016" meme factory is back. Anyone with a TV or internet connection knows that political ads are, for the most part, boring, demographic-specific, and safe. But this pro-Hillary 2016 group's new efforts to create excitement around another Clinton candidacy is anything but. They put a Bill Clinton bobble head in drag...and it's part of a bigger strategy to GOTV:
    We are a national online grassroots movement of young Americans to support Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and make "herstory" by putting a woman in the White House. With a focus on creating youthful viral videos, catchy campaign memes and sharable social media content, as well as live "Bill" campaign events in cities and on college campuses across the nation, BillForFirstLady2016.com PAC (Political Action Committee) is a strategic effort to move, motivate and inspire younger voters to get involved.
    Let's get this over with:

    "The faces of the Republican Party's most ambitious members are changing," says the latest MSM mini-mashup of the GOP's 2016 presidential hopes. In the same breath, after describing Republicans' sweep of the midterms, comes the inevitable chaser: The GOP's success may be misleading, however. I've watched the Republican machine during the past two presidential election cycles, and based on those observations, I'm not going to hold that one against the AP. One of our greatest talents as professional conservative politicians is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory---and we have enough second place trophies to prove it. For more than a few reasons, though, 2016 could be different. More from AP's Big Story:
    Long criticized as the party of old white men, the GOP's next class of presidential contenders may include two Hispanic senators, an Indian-American governor, a female business leader and an African-American neurosurgeon. In a group that could exceed a dozen Republican White House prospects, all but a few are in their 40s or 50s, while one of the oldest white men is a fluent Spanish speaker whose wife is a native Mexican. The diverse group is a point of pride for those Republicans who have long pushed for a welcoming "big tent" party. "This is a diverse nation, and we need to be a diverse party," said Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive and only Republican woman openly weighing a 2016 bid. "That doesn't mean we sacrifice our principles, but it means we need to look like and understand and empathize with the nation." Republican strategists hope that a more diverse slate of candidates will help appeal to a growing minority population that has given Democrats a decided advantage in the last two presidential contests.
    I love the fact that we have candidates willing to get out there and use the "D-word." And by "D" I mean "diversity," which is going to be the magic word in 2016 not only as we discuss issues of race, gender, and economic status, but as we build strategies to reach and corner the market on blocs of voters who have never supported Republicans until now.
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