Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Now On To Nevada

The Globe tells me to “skip Nevada” because the results aren’t expected to make a major impact on the race for the nomination, so.... 

"Many top Republicans worry Trump could opt to continue his candidacy as an independent, splitting right-leaning voters between himself and the GOP nominee, and essentially gifting the election to Clinton. But on Tuesday night, Trump rejected the notion he would run as an independent when pressed by a debate moderator.

Yeah, he won't be doing that now (or maybe he will if they steal it from him), and Clinton may not be getting a gift after all.

Some party strategists and operatives gathered here for the debate said privately that a new dynamic had gained steam within the party, as Cruz had begun to peel away some Trump supporters. Cruz, who recently topped polling in Iowa, could emerge as the “compromise conservative” among some voters and even scattered elements of the establishment.

That's laughable in the face of the latest narrative.

But party insiders admit that, as more moderate Republicans struggle to unify, the primary season has spiraled into the unpredictable.

In print but not on web:

The debate took place in The Venetian, a hotel and casino on The Strip owned by the Las Vegas Sands corporation, whose chairman, Sheldon Adelson, is a conservative billionaire being courted heavily by Republican candidates eager for his oft-generous campaign donations."

Courted heavily by everyone except Trump, and the debate was about foreign policy, huh?

(Btw, his newspaper endorsed Rubio)

Will GOP candidates’ strikingly hawkish stances alienate voters?

Once friends, Cruz and Rubio now on the attack

Yup, getting ugly out there (really, the petty insults from the paper need to stop).

Rubio’s supporters look to Nevada for strong, early showing

He has Mormon roots that leaves a crack in the door for him, and his age can't hurt, either.

And his opponent in the general??

"Hillary Clinton’s global expertise a test for GOP hopefuls" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  December 14, 2015

WASHINGTON — As the presidential campaign focuses on terrorism fears and foreign policy, Republican candidates are scrambling to bolster their credentials with briefing sessions and overseas trips.

Has it? Most of what I've read is garbage.

Their ability to project authority at a foreign policy-themed debate Tuesday in Las Vegas could be crucial to the GOP’s hopes of capturing the White House.

Donald Trump scheduled what apparently would have been his first trip to Israel, but then canceled it after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States, an idea that has reaped international scorn.

How deliciously ironic! Netanyahu is exposed as an absolute hypocrite given Israeli treatment of Palestinians and the building of walls, rejection of refugees from the wars for them that the rest of the world must absorb, and Trump gets a point if he pisses of Bibi.

Trump frequently states that he is a friend of Israel — and even cut an ad for Netanyahu’s campaign in 2013 — but appears to be the only Republican candidate who has not visited the Holy Land. (There is no public evidence of Trump traveling there in the past; his campaign did not respond when asked multiple times).

Okay, he's a gamble at best.

Republican strategists say that the party is more than ready to take on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who traveled to 130 countries as first lady, US senator, and secretary of state. They contend that her record on foreign policy reveals ineffectiveness, even damage to US interests abroad. They plan to argue that the world became even more unstable on her watch. But the party will need a nominee who can level those critiques with a degree of credibility. 

And that candidate would be....?????

Among some of the top Republican foreign policy advisers, there is growing apprehension that the party’s current front-runner would be ineffective at exposing the weaknesses they see in Clinton’s record.

“Trump, to the extent that he has cachet, is appealing to voters just based on xenophobia and bluster and nativism,” said Peter Wehner, a former adviser to President George W. Bush who is now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “There is no coherence, there’s no world view there. It’s just stuff that he makes up at the moment.”

Not that he has any feelings regarding who is nominated. 

C'mon! That's the "expert" they turn to for analysis? 

That last bit I highlighted reads like a Globe, btw.

“If Trump were the nominee, Clinton’s experience would help her, because I don’t think Trump could articulate the case very well against her,” he added. “If the choice is between someone who is a failure as a secretary of state and someone who comes across as a madman, who are you going to choose? You’d go with the failed secretary of state.”


That's our "choice" come the fall?

So sayeth a Bush mouthpiece. 

What does THAT SAY for the PROCESS, 'eh?

Btw, a lot of ties between Clintons and Bushes that account for so many strange doings in the world of politics, 'eh? 

Secrets must stay secret! 

Btw, my definition of a madman is a guy who starts a mass-murdering war pushing WMD lies, know what I mean? 

Who did their "expert" work for again?

Many Republican analysts initially expected this presidential campaign to be marked by a vigorous debate within the party between those espousing isolationist views and those arguing for a more robust American presence in world affairs.

But because of the recent terrorist attacks, many now believe the party will gravitate toward candidates who articulate a vision for more US involvement.

Yes, strange how those false flag, staged and scripted crisis drills gone live resulted in a massive shift in debate to being in favor of war or more war.

Senator Rand Paul, perhaps the most passionate for cutting military spending and reducing the America’s global footprint, has struggled to gain traction. 


Mitt Romney discovered the perils of a foreign trip in 2012, when he had a gaffe-filled journey to London, Jerusalem, and Warsaw that raised questions about his ability to represent the United States on the world stage. In London, he said the city may not be prepared for the Olympics (triggering tabloid headlines of “Mitt the Twit”), while in Jerusalem he offended Palestinians by suggesting “culture” is a reason for their economic woes.

I'm sure I could go back and find my posts, but why bother?

Romney’s partisans argue that many of his warnings about Obama’s policies in Russia and the Middle East proved accurate during his second term. But symbolism — and public stumbles — proved to be more pivotal.

Not only would we have been better off --

uh-huh; I don't think anything would have changed, and it sure would have been watching him be eviscerated by the right had he tried to do immigration reform -- which he would have done. The agenda is set; president's only execute it. That's why Bush begat Clinton begat Bush begat Obama and nothing changed. The agenda of empire was advanced again with three new wars 

-- but the mask would have come off. The corporate government of America would have had a CEO. But more on that in the future.

“There’s great value in the trips when done right, and great risk when done wrong. And we proved that in 2012,” said Kevin Madden, a top Romney adviser in 2012. “The images beamed back, with the controversy generated and headlines that resulted — it put us in a two-week news hole at a crucial time.”

The textured history of the current candidates’ travels can reveal much about them and their interests, far beyond the photo ops they will be soon seeking. The Globe requested from the campaigns lists of foreign trips that the candidates had taken throughout their lives. Those accounts were bolstered by reviews of Senate travel records and news reports.

Each of the candidates has been to Canada and the United Kingdom. Most have been to France, Italy, Germany, and Japan. Senator Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and Senator Ted Cruz have all been to Afghanistan. Only Bush and Huckabee have been to Iraq.

Ben Carson, who has struggled to speak fluently on foreign affairs, is perhaps the most well-traveled. He’s been to nearly 60 countries. He practiced medicine in Perth, Australia; he has a school named after him at Babcock University in Nigeria; and he operated on Zambian twins in South Africa. Even in a Republican presidential field with two Cuban-Americans, he is the only candidate to see that country beyond the inside of Guantanamo.

And he's soon done. 

Did they even ask him a question about torture the other night?

Trump, during his travels, arrives with as much pomp and circumstance as a president....

He's already being treated like one?


And NOT SO FAST, Globe!

"The Sanders campaign, when discussing the Clinton firewall, prefers to describe it as including not just states with large black populations, but also Nevada, which has a Democratic caucus Feb. 20, a week before South Carolina’s. Nevada has a large Latino population and lots of unionized casino and hospitality workers.

Illegals can vote? 

And if so, why wouldn't they be voting for Bernie?

Clinton’s campaign launched its first Spanish-language radio spot in Nevada on Friday, and Bill Clinton was dispatched there Friday and Saturday to pump up enthusiasm

What a come down.

Tad Devine, one of Sanders’ top strategists, said internal campaign polls in Nevada, which he declined to share with the Globe, show that Sanders is beating Clinton among Hispanics under 50 years old. We can really test the firewall starting in Nevada,” Devine said."

Did Hillary's campaign go up in smoke in New Hampshire?


"After N.H., supporters fear Clinton is out of touch" by Annie Linskey and Tracy Jan Globe Staff  February 11, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. — Hillary Clinton’s stinging 22-point loss in the New Hampshire Democratic primary prompted fretting Wednesday among the party elite, and raised the stakes for the caucus in Nevada.

Her backers worried that she is failing to meet the challenge of voters who want a total reboot of Washington politics.

“We got caught in a tsunami,” said Lou D’Allesandro, a New Hampshire state senator and a longtime Clinton ally. “The Clinton campaign never really grasped in totality the anger and the sentiment of the voters.”

Though Clinton expected to lose the first-in-the-nation primary, the gaping margin was far beyond what most predicted and further legitimized Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy.

There is that word again.

Representatives of the Clinton organization, including campaign chairman John Podesta, held a half-hour conference call with members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation Wednesday morning, seeking suggestions as the campaign moves into Nevada and South Carolina.

“I said they need to tighten up who the messengers are,” said Representative Richard Neal, a Springfield Democrat. “There were a couple issues that threw us off at the end,” he said, an apparent reference to criticism by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and feminist icon Gloria Steinem of young women who are backing Sanders rather than helping Clinton become the nation’s first female president.

Blaming the messenger and not the message?

Clinton will have to correct course quickly. The Nevada caucus looms Feb. 20, followed a week later by the South Carolina primary on Feb. 27. Then comes Super Tuesday on March 1, when 11 states vote, including Massachusetts.

It's Sanders as of now, but Trump if something goes wrong. 

Or maybe no one at all. Maybe I sit this one out and let others take the blame for participating.

Democratic strategists say Clinton can put her campaign back on track with resounding victories in Nevada and South Carolina. But if she falters in those states, sirens will begin to blare within the Democratic party.

I think they are already.

There are some signs of danger for Clinton in Nevada, once viewed as the start of Clinton’s “firewall,” but where her campaign is now tamping down expectations.


Polling in Nevada is scant and unreliable, with the last poll in December showing Clinton leading by 23 percentage points. Political observers in Nevada expect Sanders to narrow the gap, even though Clinton has locked up many of the establishment endorsements, including from the state’s Latino politicians.

Which will probably help Bernie in the land of billionaire casino owners and $lave labor.

“The whole world has changed since then,” said Jon Ralston, a Nevada political analyst, citing Clinton’s surprisingly narrow win in Iowa and stunning defeat in New Hampshire.

While Sanders was six months behind Clinton in establishing a campaign organization in Nevada, he is expected to spend twice the amount on advertising than she has, with a $1 million ad buy for the coming week, according to Ralston.


Gotta steal another caucus? 

Bernie going to let it go like he did Iowa?

Clinton’s first chance for a fresh start before a mass audience arrives Thursday night, when she meets Sanders for the next Democratic debate in Milwaukee.

Sanders, too, immediately began shifting gears, and flew to New York for a breakfast with civil rights leader Al Sharpton.

That kind of overshadows everything.

Well, almost everything.

The pair discussed the plight of families who have been poisoned by the water in Flint, Mich., and he has been invited to meet with additional civil rights leaders later this month.

“My concern is as the first black family in America moves out of the White House, the concerns of blacks don’t move out with them,” Sharpton said in an interview with MSNBC.

Sanders raised more than $6 million in the 24 hours after his victory speech, in which he proclaimed the beginning of a political revolution and called on his supporters to go online and donate money. The response was so strong that the website of his fund-raising vendor, ActBlue, slowed to a crawl.

Clinton’s emphasis on her deep government experience and her plans for achievable, incremental progress toward Democratic goals like universal health care has given Sanders — who is calling for a broader “revolution’’ — ample opportunity to portray her as part of the problem in Washington.

Isn't she, though?

There are signs that Clinton was already shifting her message, heeding calls to show more passion and connect with everyday people. In her New Hampshire concession speech Tuesday, the former first lady, US senator, and secretary of state positioned herself as an Obama-esque agent for change — for minorities, seniors, women, immigrants, gays, and lesbians, and working families.


Desperation on the cusps of madness!!

“Who is the best change-maker?” Clinton asked her cheering supporters, promising to “work harder than anyone to actually make the changes that make your lives better.”


Btw, the answer is the machine at Cumberland Farms.

Clinton surrogates are fanning out across the country to court minority voters. African-American mothers will campaign for her in Charleston, S.C., where nine were shot to death at a historic black church last year, to highlight her record on gun reforms. On Thursday Bill Clinton is heading to Tennessee, which votes March 1, to urge Democrats to vote early.

But relying on racial politics for a win in the more diverse upcoming states might not be enough for Clinton.

The Clintons are going to go low and inject race (apparently, the one white person killed by police yesterday doesn't matter -- in the safest year for police on record) and gun control into the campaign? 

The "Bernie's a bigot" strategy?

New Hampshire exit polls showed that Sanders won nearly every demographic group, including women, independents, and voters under 30 years old. The only group that favored Clinton were women over 45 years old.

It doesn't look good.

Sanders “is connecting with voters and important chunks of the electorate that exist in every state,” said Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist who isn’t affiliated with either campaign.

Clinton, she said, must find a way of talking to these voters. “She needs to go out and make a very strong case for her vision of where America is going and why she is going to be the best leader,” Dunn said.

Dunn noted that Clinton has structural advantages beyond her popularity among African-Americans and Hispanics. Call it the final firewall: Clinton already has the support of more than half of the so-called super delegates.

These are party leaders and elected officials from each state who have votes in the Democratic convention that are not tied to how their states voted.

Super delegates represent 712 of the 4,763 delegates who will select the Democratic nominee. A candidate will need 2,382 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.

So far, nearly 360 super delegates say they will support Clinton, compared with 8 who say they will support Sanders, according to a survey by the Associated Press.

Winning via super delegates isn’t a great outcome for Clinton because it could leave the already angry base even more convinced that the system is rigged against them.


"Democrats, Republicans look down long road to the nomination" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff  February 11, 2016

BEDFORD, N.H. — After a bruising New Hampshire primary that saw wide victory margins, both parties head to South Carolina and Nevada conflicted about their presidential front-runners and facing nominating contests that could stretch for months.

The crushing victories by billionaire Donald Trump over his Republican challengers and by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont over former secretary of state Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side served as clear rebukes to each party’s establishment, as candidates with more traditional resumes finished far behind them. The results sow even more deeply the uncertainty about the parties’ trajectories.

After finishing far back in the pack, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina both suspended their campaigns Wednesday, further thinning what was once a vast GOP field.

Also Wednesday afternoon, Sanders’ campaign announced it had raised $5.2 million in the 18 hours since the last polls in New Hampshire closed, a formidable sum that signals the self-described democratic socialist’s durability.

Both races now shift south and west. Republicans vote next on Feb. 20 in South Carolina, a state both more conservative and more ideologically diverse than New Hampshire. The same day, Democrats hold caucuses in Nevada.

Trump is looking good in South Carolina.

From there, the parties flip, with GOP caucuses in Nevada on Feb. 23 and the Democratic primary in South Carolina on Feb. 27. On March 1, known as “Super Tuesday,” voters in 13 states, including those from both parties in Massachusetts, will make their picks.

“People are starting to pay attention,” Governor John Kasich of Ohio said in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday, after a strong second-place finish in New Hampshire. “And they’re either going to like me or they’re not.”


Christie, who staked much of his remaining political capital on New Hampshire, picked up the support of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker last Friday. But Christie still finished a distant sixth on Tuesday.

Perhaps his most lasting imprint on the race will be the damage Christie inflicted to Senator Marco Rubio of Florida in Saturday’s debate. Rubio had claimed momentum from a third-place finish in Iowa, but Christie focused much of his energy on denting the first-term senator in New Hampshire.

Feel like that was his assignment and this whole thing was a staged production to support a preconceived narrative. Sorry.

Sanders has trailed Clinton by double digits in polling in the next states to vote, but backers are hoping his New Hampshire victory can turn that tide.

“There’s a sense that the inevitability factor’s gone,” said former South Carolina Democratic party chairman Dick Harpootlian, who backed Bill Clinton in 1992 but went with Barack Obama in 2008 and this year is supporting Sanders.

After the initial flush of early campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, the primary now shifts to states where the candidates have spent significantly less time. In South Carolina and Nevada, the electorates are also more diverse than the largely white first two states.

In South Carolina, former Florida governor Jeb Bush is leaning heavily on his family name in hopes to convert his fourth-place finish in New Hampshire into momentum. The campaign on Wednesday released a radio ad featuring former President George W. Bush endorsing his brother.

Sanders, whose win over Clinton outpaced expectations, also moved swiftly to shore up his support among the Democratic base. On Wednesday, he met the Rev. Al Sharpton in Harlem, an overture to African-American voters.

Both parties appear headed for historically unpredictable primaries, voters in both bases having soured on the chosen candidates of their respective party’s establishments.

In every election since 1968, Republicans have nominated a candidate who placed first in either Iowa or New Hampshire. Senator Ted Cruz placed first in the Iowa caucuses and third in the New Hampshire primary. Trump placed second in the caucuses and first in the primary.

But it's a, you know, unpredictable year.

But both men are antithetical to the GOP establishment in policy disagreements and personal style. But mainstream Republicans remain divided over which candidate to back as an alternative.

Kasich banked much of his bid on New Hampshire, and secured second place here by a healthy margin. But he has heavy competition for like-minded voters, including from Bush and Rubio, and critics say his campaign is ill-equipped to thrive in states further down the electoral calendar.

On the Democratic side, two states have now voiced skepticism about Clinton’s candidacy.

She also faces doubts about her trustworthiness: Exit polls here show that Sanders won about nine of 10 voters who said honesty was important to them.

And you never get that back once it is broken. There is always some doubt.

Sanders won voters of both genders and, as in Iowa, dominated among younger voters, winning among those under 30 by a margin of 84 percent to 15 percent, according to exit polls.

Isn't that the crowd that swept Obama into office?

But Sanders is now moving onto safer territory for Clinton, where her family’s long history with party powerbrokers can provide an advantage and where Sanders’ relatively new national brand remains unknown.

Oh, he's a "brand" now -- as if we are being marketed and sold something!!


And indeed, we are!