I’m going to be breaking from my usual themes occasionally over the next year to talk about the presidential election. I really can’t help it, I’ve been a political junkie for actually longer than I can remember- my mom tells me as a three year old, I was fascinated with watching “the Watergate” on TV. My promise in my coverage: I have my leanings (solidly Democratic). But my analysis will be fact-based, to the chagrin of both leftie friends and rightie friends. You can look back at my postings from 2012 to get an idea of what that will look like.
However, to keep it in synch with my more usual blog themes, this first entry will be in the form of a list. The thing about Presidential politics is, there’s a lot of noise in media coverage that tends to drown out the signal. Before Nov. 1 of the year before the election, it isn’t even worth paying attention to, really, because the early speculation is based on so little, empirically, and early numbers aren’t indicative of much of anything. Here’s a few things I’ve been able to avoid talking about by not writing about it until now:
1. 4 whole candidates! First, and in an originally 22-candidate field, the value of this is not to be overlooked, by waiting I’ve avoided having to talk about Chaffe, Perry, Walker and Webb at all! Especially relieving, because I would have thought Walker had a decent chance at the Republican nomination, so it’s nice not to have to endure the daymare that would have been.
2. Joe Biden. I love Uncle Joe! Always have. He was actually one of my two preferred candidates at the start of 2008 (the other was Bill Richardson, which goes to show you what I know). But it would have been a long shot for him, and explaining that to people imbibing the latest media narrative would have grown tiresome. Now I don’t have to!
3. Arguing about Bernie Sanders. I actually can’t win with Bernie. My small cadre of rightie friends starts in on the whole tired socialist trip whenever I talk about Bernie. And my Progressive friends call me a cynic when I try to talk realistically about his chances (which have been, and remain, low according to every reliable indicator). Then I have my mainline Democratic friends who try to convince me that Bernie is worthless or even dangerous and Hillary is golden. By not writing about the election until now, I’ve at least had some break from this argument.
4. Dismissing Trump. My early take was that he would be gone before voting started, and certainly would not be in the top three by Super Tuesday. I’m glad I didn’t have a chance to write more about this, because I’m starting to question my premise. Nate Silver at 538.com, who I put a lot of stock in, still thinks Trump is ultimately doomed, because he’s so unpalatable to the party power brokers, and they have numerous opportunities in the process to derail him one way or another. It’s a solid argument. But, now that he’s been in the lead for three and a half months straight, is polling first or second in the three first primaries, and actual voting starts in 90 days, I’m a little less sure. I still don’t expect him to be the nominee (my current best guess is Rubio), but he’s actually in this thing for real.
More to follow!