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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Caucuses Insights from Pravda

My friend Andrej Matisak, Deputy Head of Foreign Desk of the newspaper Pravda, in Braatislava, Slovakia often asks me to comment on US politics for his readers. I have been to Bratislava, the capital city and Nitra at the Agricultural University on a wonderful academic trip.  Shortly after that Slovakia and the Czech Republic split up into two countries but I was assured by high government
officials that it had nothing to do with my trip!

Andrej asked me about the possibility of alternative candidates to Hillary Clinton. My answer was that if other Democrats such as O'Malley, Warren, Biden, Webb, or Schweitzer want to run in 2016 they need to prepare for that possibility NOW.

Of course, Vermont Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders has been to Iowa and New Hampshire with huge reception by liberal Democrats and Independents. I think these alternative contenders need to be ready in case Clinton implodes and "e mail Gate" proves to be a serious problem.

Right now Clinton seems hard to knock off the mountain. But, like a spare tire, several of them need to identify and hire campaign staff, raise funds, appear at some events, try to help the Iowa and New Hampshire Democratic Parties with fund raising.

The Republicans are ok but they need to concentrate on finding a good candidate who can attract independent voters in November and who has a great sense of organization for a national campaign. THEN they need to have their themes for attacking Clinton ready if & when she begins her campaign but I think July & August when people slowly start to get interested in elections. Others think Clinton will announce in May to begin to excite the Democratic base which has been languishing without a political arena so far.

Question: "After the failure in 2008, how ready is Hillary Clinton right now?"

Hillary Clinton is surely learning from her 2008 mistake in Iowa of taking a caucus victory for granted and letting Barack Obama walking away with a shocking, surprise victory in Iowa. She needs to campaign in all 99 Iowa counties perhaps on an awesome bus tour.

You know she won almost every big state in 2008 but she came out wounded from Iowa by Obama's victory. Obama put his head down and pushed forward to every state in the country until he gathered enough delegates to be the formidable Clinton.

However, I see no Barack Obama to face Hillary Clinton in 2016.

If she repeats her success in the big states after a victory in Iowa and New Hampshire she will glide to the nomination and can keep her ammunition money and attacks on Republicans dry and use it strategically. It would be a monumental campaign with Clinton vs Bush or Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz.

I believe that a Clinton/Cruz race would be an especially bloody and nasty campaign.

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