Saturday, August 6, 2016

I'm getting a little tired...

...of hearing about:

A) Hillary Clinton's high "unfavorables";

B) The (very effective) Republican meme that "both candidates are equally bad (so why not just vote for Donald Trump?)" and;

C) How any other Democrat would be absolutely "crushing" Trump right now or how any other Republican would be absolutely "crushing" Mrs. Clinton right now.

First let me say that I am not some Hillary Clinton sycophant or apologist. I never cared for the Clintons personally (still don't) but respect the jobs they've done as president, US senator and secretary of state. If anything, I'm an Obama Democrat. I was a passionate supporter of his in the 2008 Democratic primary and the general election and would happily vote for a third Obama term. If you don't believe any of that just go back and read anything I've written in this blog since I started it in the fall of '08.

Now, then, while I don't have any hard evidence or metrics -- or anything else, besides my gut -- to back up the following, please hear me out.

As for the first two arguments, that Hillary Clinton has high "unfavorables" and that the two candidates for president are "equally bad," let me just say: Come on!

One candidate has been in public life for over 40 years, was First Lady of Arkansas and later the United States, served for eight years as US Senator from New York and then four as US Secretary of State. Clinton has been an integral part of two very successful, two-term presidential administrations.

The other candidate is plain and simply unfit to be president of the United States. (Please don't make me go into all the reasons why -- I haven't got all day.)

As for the next argument, that any other Democrat would be "crushing" Donald Trump right now, well, Clinton is "crushing" Donald Trump right now.

And, who, might I ask, would have been that mythical Democratic candidate who would be running away with the race right now, Joe Biden? Please. While Ol' Joe is a likable enough back-slapper and baby-kisser (aka US Senator), he's not nearly "big" enough for the Oval Office. (There's a reason Obama handpicked Hillary as his successor -- she's the most qualified for the job.) If Biden had run, I'm convinced his best poll numbers would have been on the day he announced. And instead of people asking "Is Hillary too dishonest to be president?" they'd be asking "Is Biden smart enough to be president?" Don't forget, Biden has run for president at least two times before and gotten absolutely nowhere. Everybody looks great until they announce.

How about Bernie Sanders? If you're too liberal for the Democratic nomination, how on earth could you win the general?

Elizabeth Warren? Not quite as liberal as Sanders but probably still too liberal for the country as a whole. I like Sen. Warren (and Bernie too, for that matter), but she would be a niche candidate: her schtick is banking/finance. Does she have any opinions at all on, say, foreign policy? Not that I know of. Also, like Biden, I'd bet her best numbers would be on the day she announced.

Finally, Republicans seem to believe that if they'd only nominated someone like Sen. Marco Rubio or Gov. John Kasich (who only won one state, each, in the primaries if I remember correctly) or some other conventional candidate, he or she would be "crushing" Mrs. Clinton right now. Well, here's the deal: I think almost any Democrat would be leading almost any Republican this year. Why? For at least these three reasons: the economy is still recovering, President Obama's approval ratings are over 50 percent and the Democrats just plain have a natural advantage in the Electoral College.

It's fun to talk about the election -- it's my favorite spectator sport. But, really, it's probably all preordained. You watch: on election night all the talking heads will be marveling at how similar the 2016 map looks to the 2012 and 2008 maps ("Who woulda thunk it?"). The big stories will be how Pennsylvania failed to turn red (!) or how Arizona and/or Georgia failed to turn blue ("Go figure!").

So let's just stop all this nonsense. Hillary Clinton is the best person for the job and Donald Trump is a symptom of a very, very sick Republican Party. She'll get elected easily in November, serve two (mostly) successful terms and tee it up nicely for Tim Kaine in 2024.

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