Sunday, August 09, 2015

GOP Debates/Candidates/Hillary

How do I feel about Trump? Listen, the man is an egomaniac and a clown and cannot win the GOP nomination, much less the Presidency. But I like what he brings to the early election cycle: a bit of recklessness, a bit of showmanship, a bit of aggression, and the willingness to shake up the field. Commenters and pundits and people who find him crass, vulgar, etc, I think miss the point a bit. He creates competition, he makes others hone their political skills, he brings up issues that are not otherwise being talked about, and he engages people not traditionally involved with politics. I believe these to be all good things. The political class is calcified, in my opinion, and Trump is like adding some vinegar to help clean it up.

From what I've seen, my favorite candidate is Carly Fiorina. I watched her get interviewed by Chris Mathews this morning and she gave the best answer to the economy and tax code questions that I've heard from any candidate. She said the 75,000 page tax code out to be 3 pages. She said the overly complicated code benefits the rich and well connected because of their armies of lawyers and accountants. She wants to cut taxes and Wallace said, well, isn't that just trickle-down economics -- isn't that what Hillary Clinton is going to attack you about -- and Fiorina said, look, I lived in California for 12 years. And in every single state where progressives make policy, the gulf between rich and poor has grown. Their policies don't work. And man, she's not wrong. But can she last? I don't get the impression she gets much support from the GOP money people and will be crushed by Jeb Bush. I don't see why she isn't more mainstream -- but maybe she isn't very connected politically speaking.

Ron Paul - did not do well in the debate in my opinion. He comes across like Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons and has this arrogant smirk on his face. When one-on-one, however, he comes across much better.

Jeb Bush - seems to be the establishment candidate and more likable than his brother, but maybe not more lovable, if that makes sense. I got the impression a lot of people loved GW (and a lot hated), but Jeb maybe doesn't arouse passion in the same way.

Scott Walker - has a little bit of a sleepy eyed, unhealthy look I think. Also, is he short? I don't know. He doesn't convey Presidential, although his answers in the debate were pretty good. He might be too conservative for a mainstream election.

Marco Rubio - I think he comes off a little young, and maybe like a rookie and too boyish. I don't think his line about paying off student loans four years ago was endearing - at least not to me. I feel it makes him seem simply too young and frankly, unsuccessful.

John Kasich - I found him to have an endearing, coach-like, teacher-like demeanor. I did not know him before, but I doubt he will win over the GOP establishment.

Ben Carson - I enjoyed hearing him speak, but he seems like an incredible long shot and I can't imagine how long he will last.

Rick Perry - comes across as maybe not too intelligent, which is not a good thing.

Ted Cruz - he comes across as smarmy and perhaps untrustworthy to me, although I have no idea whether this is true or not. I actually think his biggest problem is visual - he seems like a bad guy in a cartoon.

Chris Christie - I'm not entirely sure what makes this guy a Republican, to be honest. Seems like a very okay candidate who I imagine Hillary would crush.

Mike Huckabee - Was more impressive in the past. He strikes me as having gotten a little weirder as he's gotten older.

My basic thoughts on Hillary: America knows who she is and does not love her. She's had a million swings at the plate, it seems, and does about average or even a little below average. She has a cult like aura around her, which makes her supporters see her with rose-tinted glasses and they do not grasp how unappealing she is to regular people. This makes her overconfident and can be partially to blame for her losing the candidacy last time around. I don't think she is a particularly good politician. How many elections has she won? One? As Senator to New York because those goobs are star fuckers. What is her signature anything? Being an "involved" first lady? I feel like when you dissect Hillary, her failures are more notable than her accomplishments:

1. As first lady: Hillarycare
2. As Senator: Her vote of support on the Iraq War
3. As Presidential Candidate: losing her lead to Obama
4. As SoS: Benghazi and email scandal

What are her accomplishments? Being a woman and being part of the Clinton machine? Knowing a lot of people? I sense her best accomplishment has been to stay politically relevant for a really long time. And I guess she is able to possess some type of aura of political power. Maybe because I'm in LA and far away from Washington, I see that like Varys the Spider sees it - a magic trick and a shadow on the wall. I just think there's a reason she's never been able to break through in the past, despite having numerous opportunities.

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