Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Presidential Derby Starts to Take Form

Friends, candidates from both major political parties
have begun to declare their candidacies for the
presidency. Although it is very early in the proceedings,
your observant Peasant has a few thoughts to share about
each of the so far declared entrants.

On the Democrat's side of the track, Hillary Clinton very
recently (and quite expectedly) tossed her hat into the
ring. The former First Lady, ex-U.S. Senator, and ex-
Secretary of State was picked by political observers to
be the Democrats' presidential nominee in 2008, and it
was thought that her party's nomination was hers to lose;
boy did she ever lose the nomination! Not as adept nor as
smooth a campaigner as her husband Bill, she stumbled
and bumbled while Barack Obama picked up steam and
speed, leaving her in his wake while he zoomed to the
nomination and to victory in the general election.

This time around, Clinton taped her declaration speech
and transmitted it online from her recently established
campaign website. Quite fitting for Hillary, as she has
never been comfortable hobnobbing with everyday
Joe and Jane America; this is one of the things that sunk
her in 2008. Declaring her quest for the White House
online is one thing; campaigning heavily online will
not aid her cause, however. To be elected the leader of
our country one must go forth and meet the very people
whom one must gain the consent to govern. That means
one must look each voter one meets in the eye and listen
intently to what is on their minds. And Hillary is such
an elitist she cannot bear to be within one arm's length of
any of the peasants! 1952 and '56 Democrat presidential
candidate Adlai Stevenson was this way as well, and look
how he fared.

Then there's her considerable baggage that she lugs around,
most troubling being Benghazi. And many voters, even
Democrat voters, don't relish the idea of having the Clintons
return to the White House, albeit in a role reversal. Hers will
be a rocky road to the nomination, to be sure.

Oh, and a new rock in her path: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders,
self-proclaimed socialist who caucuses with the Democrats
in the Senate, his presidential candidacy very recently.
The farther-left party faithful are gleeful because at the very
least he will likely force Clinton to tack leftward.

The Republican side has had three candidates make it official:
Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio have all
declared. All are strong conservatives, the first two have
many supporters among Tea Party activists. Rubio, however,
lost some luster with the Tea Party folks over his somewhat
softer stand on immigration reform. While not in favor of
all but rendering our immigration law and our borders meaning-
less, like the Obama regime and the Democrats, Rubio has
caused some concern with his own ideas on the subject. That
said, Rubio still toes the conservative mark on taxes, spending,
defense, foreign policy, and abortion, so he still has more than
a little good will and a fair amount of support among the broad
spectrum of conservatives around the country. Rand Paul is
also strong on fiscal matters, and favors abolishing the IRS,
as did his father Ron, who was a presidential candidate both
as a Republican and as a Libertarian, having been nominated by
the latter party. Like Ron, Rand has a libertarian streak in his
conservatism. But also like Ron, he has a foreign policy that some
say means pulling back from our commitments abroad to the
point of isolationsim. This kind of foreign policy may have made
sense over a century ago but would not serve our interests nor
aid our allies, what with the way our world is today with the
spreading danger of radical Islam. Ted Cruz is strong on both
foreign policy and immigration, while being reliable on the
fiscal issues.

And there are some other GOP possibles for the White House who
have yet to declare, including my state's Gov. Scott Walker.
Lots to come, to be sure.

Meanwhile, this is what we now have for certain. Stay tuned.


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