The 2016 Presidential Election: The View from 30,000 Feet

Queen Hillary officially threw her crown into the ring last Saturday.  Let the games begin.

I hear it was a good speech, with a touching topper being a little vignette about her mom’s childhood.   I hear Hillary touched lots of issue bases as well.   Maybe not a home run, but she gets credit for a line drive double at least.

That is unless you can’t stand her to begin with.  Her and her husband, Bill, the potential first FGOTUS.   (doesn’t work as well as FLOTUS or POTUS, but that mirrors the unshaped nature of what would be a ground breaking, possibly risque role, that of first gentleman).  

Who among us that remembers the Lewinsky scandal can think of “cigar” in the same way as before?  But it certainly is interesting to contemplate POTUS Hillary and FGOTUS Slick Willy, isn’t it?   A curiosity factor that might sway the vote of the Kardashian and Housewives of Almost-Every-American-City fans, as yet an untapped demographic.

My tone might suggest I’m one of those who can’t stand the Clintons.  But that would be wrong.  It is not that I love them but I do respect their abilities not only as politicians but as rulers.   What I can’t stand is what the Republican party has become ( a few election cycles ago I would have voted for John McCain for president had not GWB grabbed, maybe stole, the nomination).

Whatever.   The key illumination was flashed decades ago by that now dead but once larger than life character/writer/womanizer Norman Mailer:   “Americans don’t vote for someone, they vote against someone else.”

And I’ll be voting against all those Republicans out there.    If either Bush III or Ohio Governor John Kasich survive the endless night of the long knives otherwise known as the Republican primaries I might think about it a bit, but I’m still likely to vote for Hilary.

She is at least as smart and as tough as those guys with much more experience of the inner workings of Washington and other capitals around the world, in short the  most capable.

I still like and respect President Obama, but my sad conclusion is that he is too professorial to be a great president, especially in these chaotic, confusing times when it comes to the world order.  Far preferable to a gun slinger like “W”, who shot our way into the Iraq mess, but still not quite up to shining in an admittedly impossible job.

I’m hoping Hillary is the best of both.  At least, no one is better prepared to be our next president.

As for her campaign thus far, I like the slow roll out.  What’s the rush?  Who’s queen here anyway?  From 30,000 feet she’s all one can see.   Everyone else needs growth hormones.  So, keep em guessing, all those detractors in the press and the other party who are just waiting for more targets to stab.

And one thing in her favor is her trio of democratic challengers, who are more sparring partners than detractors, especially Bernie Sanders, the foremost, the rarest of politicians in that he says largely what he thinks, and has for many years.  But he is a self-proclaimed Socialist.  Reminds me of the book The Scarlet Letter, though his is “S”.   Sort of a Democratic version of Ron Paul, with that sort of chance.

Let the Republican phalanx  of candidates slash and dash each other playing king of the small hill (sorry Carlie, but like Charlie Tuna…) .   Mount Hillary will await for the survivor.  Most important for the queen right now is to craft an image that is fresh and fun (I mean, within reason here), to counter Clinton fatigue and the image Republicans will continually paint as “a third term of Obama’s failed policies” along with being one Clinton too many, old old hat.

Here’s the big picture:   Most of us already know who we will vote for as president.   Either Hillary or almost anyone but Hillary – we probably need to set some parameters lest we include Charles Manson and such, perhaps drawing the line just past Donald Trump, but you get the picture.

There are tons of polls, but I can’t find one that simply asks:  If the election were held today, who would you vote for?  Hillary or someone not Hillary?  I’d be interested in what they’d come up with.

I agree with those who argue that there are really very few “independent voters” these days.  The Dem-leaning, but relatively  impartial professor, columnist, etc. Larry Sabato estimates real independents to be around 5%.  Things have become too polarized.  When the bullets are flying, you are either on one side or another.

I’m a case in point.  I think of myself as independent, but I’m really a Democrat by default.    Hillary has my vote barring some truly icky skeleton popping out of the Clinton closet. (Please, Bill…..no.)

These next 17 months of trench political warfare which most of us will come to loath is aimed not at we vast majority of decideds, but at the 5%  of the fully fickle. If you have followed this blog for years perhaps you recall my story about my bartender friend Bob, who made up my one person poll prior to the 2012 election.

As to the question of who he was voting for, he said:  “Well, I don’t like Obama, but Romney is a Mormon and they’re really scary.  Maybe I’ll vote for my dad.  He’s a good man.” I think in the end Bob wound up not voting.

In any case, think of him in upcoming months as you are being strafed by attack ads through your TV screen or hand grenaded via your mail box, its not aimed at you.

It’s all Bobs’ fault.

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