Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Inevitability, Hillary, and the GOP Field

That Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016 is to some extent a foregone conclusion, her supporters long ago having closed their eyes to her gigantic flaws as they click their heels together hoping that it will someday again be 1993. As much as I am buoyed by the possibility of Joe Biden getting in the race and by Bernie Sanders' picking Hillary apart from the left, the answer seems baked in at this point from the Democratic side, leaving us with the now 17 strong Republican field to provide any real mystery for the politically news-starved.

It is the size of that field that interests me today, and its "free market" connotations.  Here's what I mean.  In the 1992 election, George H.W. Bush looked like a sure thing, riding high from ridiculous numbers gained as a result of the victory in Iraq and what appeared to be his able stewardship of the country.  The free market--as expressed by the Democrat field in that year--judged him as too strong a candidate to take on, and some of the lions of the party sat out the election, including Cuomo and Kennedy.  This opened the way for a talented young Governor from Arkansas who made the most of an economy that went into the tank and an "inevitable" opponent caught flat-footed by the events of the day.

As I look at 2016 developing and see 17 intelligent Republicans vying for the nomination (and whatever you think of them, they are at the very least, intelligent), I am reminded of that "free market" again.  Only this time, the market is responding against the prevailing wisdom of Hillary's inevitability, at least where the general election is concerned.  The "market" is speaking, and it is saying--no, screaming--that Hillary is beatable.  Very beatable.  Which is something I have been saying about Hillary for some time now.

Watch her CNN interview from yesterday.  Having hand-selected this first real interviewer from among the wedding guests at a senior aide's nuptials two weeks ago, Mrs. Clinton was handed a series of un-followed-up softballs and STILL managed to come off as untrustworthy and evasive.  She has absolutely none of the likability of her husband and all of his untrustworthiness.  This is not a formula for great electoral success.

Democrats have hitched their wagons to this breathing offense to truth and honesty, who lies to us with a straight face and expects the willing press corps to act as co-conspirators.  So far, with success. It will be interesting to see the extent to which the press is able to sublimate its professional duties and interests to serve its aggregated individual political preferences.


"The Hammer" said...

Dec 31, 1992 9.41 trillion
Dec 31, 1991 9.02 trillion
Dec 31, 1990 8.91 trillion
Dec 31, 1989 8.85 trillion

As you can see the economy did not "tank" during the GHWB years. There was a slight downturn in 91-92 as a result of a meddling Congress and George Mitchell holding up legislation (for obvious political reason of course, the press sounded the alarm like it was 1929, HUGE surprise).
George I lost that election because of Ross Perot (who had a major Woodrow for the Bushes) pulling 19% out of the Republican's ass. Clinton or the economy had nothing to do with it. .

The Conservative Wahoo said...


A couple of things.

There was a recession in the early 90's and unemployment peaked in the summer of 1992. Recessions tend to be good times to say that the economy was in the tank.

Perot's candidacy was at least in part about economic dissatisfaction. I reference you to the aforementioned recession.

To say that the economy had "nothing to do" with GHWB's loss is a position you won't find a lot of company in taking.

TigerHawk said...

On the popular vote, Clinton beat Bush 41 by roughly 45MM to 39MM, with Perot picking up 19MM. If Perot sucked votes from Bush at roughly twice the rate he took them from Clinton, which is plausible but not definite, Bush would have won the popular vote. I don't have the energy to look state by state, but once might imagine that Bush might have squeaked through on the Electoral College vote as well. It does not feel like either result is a slam dunk, and I do not have the time or inclination to figure out whether Perot tipped the '92 election or not.

Regardless, the Electoral College map is much more daunting for the GOP today (see my post of a couple of days ago). One might say that in the end the Republicans can pick up a few "blue" states, but I think that the GOP (and especially conservatives who do not spend a lot of time reading the stuff on the left) underestimate the extent to which liberals and even many moderates will crawl across broken glass to prevent a GOP sweep of the federal government. Why? Because of the social issues -- abortion, LGBT rights, immigration, the environment, and so forth. If Obergefell reminded everybody of anything, it was that controlling the presidency is essential to getting the right judges on the federal bench. So, as I've said before, the Democrats could nominate Jimmy Carter and George McGovern and the Republicans could nominate Abe Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower, and the GOP would still have a very tough election ahead of it. Nothing will change until the right decides that it is going to fight hard for votes from people who live in cities. Without that, I think the Republicans have a 25% chance in 2016, at best. And that depresses the heck out of me.

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