A wry view of the US presidential candidates….

It seems to have been going on for ever but the truth is, it hasn’t even started yet. I am of course, referring to the greatest political show on earth, the US presidential election.

This year’s crop of hopefuls contains demonstrates once again the diversity of America’s millionaire class. In addition to middle-aged white guys, there is an African-American, a Jew, a Latino and a Canadian, who is also a Latino. Why there is even a woman.

Let’s take a look at the leading runners and riders, starting with the Democrats.

 Bernie Sanders –He’s got a great platform: world peace, a greener planet, free healthcare, free college education and getting tough with corporate tax dodgers. Who wouldn’t vote for that? Well lots of people actually, especially in America. His biggest problem is he a socialist, a political insult in America only marginally better than liberal, and almost as bad as the ultimate put-down – Muslim.

Verdict: Will start well but won’t last the distance

 

Hillary –this gal is a seasoned pro and like Madonna is known only by her first name. Her main selling point is her experience –she has already done two terms as president while Bill was busy doing, er, other things. She would walk through brick walls to gain the presidency with Terminator-style single-mindedness. It was a surprise when Barack Obama beat her eight years ago. Everybody thought she had been turned to liquid metal, but like Arnie – she’s baaacck.

Verdict: tenacious opponent that will be hard to beat. Evens

 

The Republicans

The GOP field is much wider and funnier – let’s look at the leading contenders.

 Jeb Bush – you have to pity poor Jeb. Imagine sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner and you’re the only one that has never been president – that’s real peer pressure. His surname seems to be his sole claim to the job but even his own mother reckons there have been enough Bushes in the White House. She’s tired of her husband and son calling each other ‘41’ and ‘43’ and can do without a ‘45’.

Verdict: Long shot. Might be the go-to candidate if the party can’t decide on any of the others.

 

Ben Carson – has based his candidacy on the idea Black Presidents are like buses – you wait over 200 years for the first one and then two arrive at once. He has no experience in any political office but is a brain surgeon, which is downright scary – who knew doctors were this dumb? Anybody who thinks the Pyramids were grain stores is too stupid to be on a TV game show let alone become president.

Verdict: No chance. The Good Old Boys in the South will not tolerate two black president in a row even if he is more conservative than they are. There would be another civil war first.

 

Ted Cruz – appears almost sane at times. He professes deep faith which should gather the evangelical vote and his Hispanic background might help with a community the Republican Party seems intent on antagonizing. He should give a good account of himself but his Canadian birth could see him sidelined for the nomination. The Democrats only need to call upon The Boss, a confirmed supporter, to re-release his single, Born near the USA and Ted’s campaign will sink without trace.

Verdict: Worth an each-way bet.
Donald Trump – the Teflon Don has re-written the laws of political physics. Outrageous remarks that would bury most candidates just make him more popular. He wants to build a wall along the Mexican border citing the Great Wall of Chinese as his inspiration because it was excellent at keeping illegal Mexican immigrants out, though not so good at repelling Mongol hordes. If it gets built in the middle of a river as he proposes, it might be possible to see it from space in the same way Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house. His staff are secretly polling proposals for concentration camps and if the numbers are good he will release a policy document, The Final Solution to the Muslim Problem.

Verdict: What could possibly go wrong?

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  • New Yorker

    I agree with most of your pithy analysis except for Cruz and the Hispanic vote because he is an anti-immigrant immigrant. At this point Hillary looks like the likely next President. When compared to the others she is probably the most competent with the better policy positions. The Republicans have a big Trump problem: If he is the nominee, they lose; if he is not the nominee and runs as an independent, they lose.

  • Turgon

    Surely the best outcome would be Hilary then after her Jeb Bush. Then we could have Chelsea Clinton, then another Bush and so on producing a dual alternating monarchy. In a couple of generations we could ensure a Bush married a Clinton and their children could rule obviating the need for elections at all.

  • eac1968

    Since Hillary looks like a shoo-in for the democratic nomination, the interest for me at this stage is who will clinch the GOP top spot. It doesn’t really matter though – as always, I’ll be casting my overseas postal vote for the democrat ticket, which I hope is Clinton. Mainly because I think it is well past time that a woman got the job.

  • Turgon

    But is she a woman or a 12 foot tall blood drinking shape shifting lizard alien (presumably a female one)?

  • From Oxford, where Bernie’s older brother Larry lives, it looks different. The Sanders campaign is like the Obama 2008 campaign, engaging lots of young supporters who flock to knock on doors, create feelthebern.org and downloadable free canvassing apps. Given wins in New Hampshire and Iowa, it will mushroom like Obama’s did.

  • eac1968

    Well, that depends on which bat-sh1t crazy web commentator you adhere to. Try the Cassiopaeans for a laugh – they’ll go for the lizard every time!

  • npbinni

    There are three left standing for the Republicans: Trump, Cruz and Rubio.
    Republican Dream Teams would be a Cruz/Haley or Rubio/Fiorina. The Dems only have two old and decrepit white people.

  • npbinni

    ‘…which I hope is Clinton. Mainly because I think it is well past time that a woman got the job.’

    Even if she is a compulsive liar and Bill’s womanising enabler?

  • npbinni

    ‘he is an anti-immigrant immigrant.’
    I think that is quite unfair to Cruz. A straw man, in fact, that doesn’t exist.
    Cruz is an anti-illegal immigrant immigrant.
    If people obey the rules and regulations then they should be allowed to become citizens. If they flout the law, why should they have that right? Europeans have to obey the law and follow procedure, why not Mexicans and central and south Americans?

    I would love to hear how Clinton is the most competent: Libya? Russia? Benghazi? Or maybe you reckon the successful facilitating and concealing of Bill’s lady-friend peccadilloes and abuses count as competence.

  • eac1968

    Even if she is a compulsive liar and Bill’s womanising enabler?

    That’s a typically misogynistic comment. Let’s blame the woman for the man’s infidelity. OK, so Bill can’t keep it in his trousers. And the cynical view is that Hillary stays in the marriage for political reasons. Maybe that is so. But then again, maybe when she took the vow ‘for better or for worse’ she actually meant it?

    I think the rest of the world would be far safer with an intelligent woman like Hilary, faults and all, than with, say, Donald Trump. He makes any wrongs Mrs Clinton has committed look like child’s play. He is downright dangerous. Also, it is frightening just how many right wing Americans think that he’s smart, some of my own family members included (The one’s who voted for Paul Ryan!)

  • tmitch57

    Since no one has voted yet except in the fundraising primary, all the candidates who haven’t dropped out yet (Perry, Walker, Jindal, Pataki) are still standing. I believe that both Bush and Rubio will last until the Florida primary, which will be a must win for both of them. Unless all the moderates in NH decide at the last moment to consolidate around one candidate, Kasich, Rubio, Bush, and Christie will all split the moderate vote leaving Cruz and Trump as the two viable candidates for the nomination.

  • tmitch57

    She did more than merely stay in the marriage–she actively collaborated in and coordinated the trashing of any woman who accused her husband of impropriety.

  • tmitch57

    There are in fact four major hispanic communities in the U.S. in descending order of size: Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Salvadorans. There are major antipathies between Mexican-Americans and Cuban-Americans. Mexican-Americans are found throughout the U.S. but predominantly in the Southwest. Cuban-Americans are mainly located in southern Florida. Puerto Ricans are found in New York, New Jersey, and Florida. Salvadorans are found predominantly in California and the Washington D.C. area. Cruz would probably do well with Cuban-American voters but not with Mexican-Americans or Salvadorans.

    Cruz is opposed to illegal immigrants not legal ones.

  • tmitch57

    Trump is much more like Mussolini than like Hitler in both his mannerisms and his educational background and professional accomplishments. Hitler was a high school dropout whose one talent was demagogic oratory. Mussolini was a successful editor with some claim to being an intellectual. Trump is a very successful realtor who knows how to manipulate government, the media, and investors.

  • New Yorker

    Where do you place the Dominicans? There are many Mexicans in the NY metro area. There are Cubans in NJ and NY. It would not surprise me if Cruz got a small percentage of Cubans and nearly no other Hispanics.

  • New Yorker

    Cruz would probably want to deport any immigrants that are not in the US legally including about 50,000 Irish illegals. He is against any assistance for so-called illegal immigrants, some eleven million people, and thus I consider him anti-immigrant.

    Are you aware that in the 19th and 20th centuries large numbers of Irish entered the US illegally? Illegal immigration has often been overlooked in US history; it has never been a clear-cut matter.

    Hillary Clinton was a very good Senator for NY and a fairly good Secretary of State. When you bring up Benghazi it is difficult to take you seriously: Have you heard of the many investigations of Benghazi? There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton would be the most competent person for President compared to the others running for the job. It is also a huge benefit that her husband was a very successful President.

  • Croiteir

    Why not email her – I am sure she would explain

  • Brian O’Neill

    A bit unfair. Hitter was a good painter. He could do two coats in one afternoon…

  • Ernekid

    None of the Republican presidential nominee candidates would survive a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

  • npbinni

    Bill abused the women. Hiliary protected him.

    An ‘intelligent woman’ wouldn’t leave national secrets exposed on a poorly secured server for America’s enemies to discover. Now that’s what you call ‘dangerous’!

  • npbinni

    ‘so-called illegal’ – living in denial.

    ‘fairly good SoS’ – name one accomplishment!

    ‘Benghazi’ – the hearings clearly show Hiliary as an out and out liar. She told lies to the loved ones of those who were killed, and the truth to her daughter and foreign representatives. Despicable is only a euphemism to describe her actions.

  • the rich get richer

    I’d go for Berni Sanders myself but Is? that going to happen in America ?

    So it will probably be Hillary and at least she has a link back to a successful presidency (well i think so).

    The Republicans appear to be mad, which at least is better to know before the election than after.

    A little socialism (democratic) would be no bad thing for america. Ah , I am back to Sanders.

  • the keep

    Don’t rule out the Republicans they know how to win elections. I suspect they want to face Mrs Clinton as they know she will automatically inspire wavering republicans to go out and vote Republican.

  • Pete

    Seems a pretty sexist reason. Why should gender be relevant?

  • MalikHills

    You know I have been following US and British elections since Jimmy Carter got elected in 1976 and Maggie Thatcher in 1979.

    Every time. Every time without exception. Every single bloody time a candidate for office in either country has espoused quite simple, basic conservative, right-of-centre policies, policies that don’t conform to the usual clapped out left-of-centre tropes of the media and establishment, I have heard some quivering-lipped lefty say “ooh, I am afraid of him, he’s a fascist”.

    Every single time.

    Reagan came and went, Bush 1 and 2 came and went, Thatcher came and went, Cameron is in office now, someone like Cruz could conceivably be in office next year, all around the world right-of-centre conservatives hold power in major nations, and they will all eventually go.

    And guess what? There still has been no fascist take over, and there never will be, ferfexake give it a rest with the fascist analogy already it’s well played out.

  • Brian O’Neill

    “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross…”

  • Colin Lamont

    Really? I think Cruz would deliver Florida for the Republican ticket if nothing else.

  • tmitch57

    There are other smaller hispanic communities, but they are much smaller numerically than the four I mentioned. Dominicans are mainly important for Major League Baseball.

  • npbinni

    There was no such thing as ‘fascism’ in 1835!

    I thought you would have known that, Brian. But maybe history isn’t your thing.

    In any case, surely the Democrat KKK were/are those with that kind of attitude, not the Republicans.

  • Greenflag 2

    its worse that that -the GOP don’t have anybody among the candidates who can defeat Clinton .Barring a major misstep by Clinton its all over before it even starts . Sanders will do well in the primaries but may not have the resources to overcome Clintons long standing popularity with African Americans , Hispanic and Jewish voters She will also draw out women voters in significant numbers . Bernie Sanders contribution will be to move the national debate to the radical alternatives that are needed to restore some semblance of equality for the 200 million Americans who have been left behind over the past 20 years while the banksters and corporations carry on screwing everybody they can both in the USA and elsewhere and get away with it with the established political class keeping their eyes wide shut as usual .

  • Greenflag 2

    Pity Sarah Palin is not in the race . She would add some much needed gravitas to the GOP race for nomination . Although her geographic skills may be as deficient as Carson’s foreign policy skills or her diplomatic skills less crass than Donald Trumps at least she talked like a human being unlike the current batch of wackos which is the kindest thing that can be said . The GOP to cut it short are in the deepest doo doo of their own making , As the Obama ‘birthers ‘ now turn their gaze on Cruz the Canadian its hilarious to see that which being but taught returning to plague the teacher as it were !

  • Greenflag 2

    Sinclair Lewis was an American writer who was around at the time of the Great Depression in the 1930s . In the 1930’s there were many in the USA who were not at all opposed to either Hitler or Mussolini’s totalitarian experiments with non democratic forms of government . When one looks at the current batch of GOP candidates there are quite a few who’s views would put them to the right of Hitler and Mussolini .

  • Turgon

    From a very quick google search (other search engines are available) the Sinclair Lewis Society at Illinois State University cannot find a record of Mr. Lewis saying this but think it possible. More relevantly Mr. Lewis was born in 1885 and died in 1951 which makes it relatively unlikely that he made the statement in 1835. npbinni’s point is also rather a good one.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Yes I know he did not say it, I never said he did. It does say his name in the image but it was the first one I grabbed from Google images.

    I am well aware of the history of them image. I picked up the fridge magnet in Nevada years ago.

    No matter who said it it is a great quote and and great image.

  • Brian O’Neill

    As Alan Bennett said in history boys. “History it’s just one f*cking thing after another…”

  • Turgon

    So you reproduce an image with an inaccurate attribution of a quote and an inaccurate timeline. Then when challenged you admit that you knew this was inaccurate and try to deny that you meant it to be taken seriously.

    As a senior member of the slugger team and as a moderator, that is rather a poor show and an even poorer excuse…. when in a hole etc.

    Nonsense like this does neither your nor slugger’s credibility any good at all.

  • tmitch57

    That is precisely what all the Democrats and their bien pensants thought back in 1980 when Reagan beat Carter by a comfortable margin.

  • Jack Stone

    The American electorate in general has also changed quite a bit.

  • Jack Stone

    Actually, having seen a few of them in a museum recently, Hitler really should have stuck with it. they weren’t too bad. I have always found it interesting that Churchill and Hitler both enjoyed Watercolors and Landscapes.

  • Jack Stone

    Are you implying that Hillary Clinton knew about the Lewinsky affair (which would fly against all evidence to how Hillary reacted when she found out in 1998, after the affair) or are you referring to the dismissed charges brought by Paula Jones?

    There has never been any evidence that she had any knowledge of any affairs while it was happening and the stitches Bill had to receive seem to point in the opposite direction.

  • npbinni

    pathetic deterioration in slugger standards. what is the world coming to when mick allows such garbage?

  • npbinni

    so, give us an example of ‘experiments with non democratic forms of government’ proposed by any of ‘the current batch of GOP candidates’!

  • Greenflag 2

    We had it in Ireland in the 1930’s as the Blueshirts went off to fight for Franco against the Spanish Republicans . Tricolour and Cross and the Bishop and Pope’s blessing . Sinclalr Lewis knew his America . Anyway the USA in 2016 is virtually a corporate fascist state -minus the exotic trappings .

  • Greenflag 2

    They won’t /can’t experiment until they are elected . But once in well the deportation of 12 million people (illegal immigrants ) should do wonders for the American economy not to mention provide millions of dollars in contracts for private contractors to ’round em up’ and probably billions in overtime for federal agents .

    Wackos the lot of them and I mean no disrespect to the town of Wacko in Texas 😉

  • Greenflag 2

    And how to lose Presidential elections .
    If they are to have any hope of winning this one they’ll have to find a candidate from outside the present candidates . But that would divide the party/parties even more . Naw this one is lost believe me .

  • Greenflag 2

    Berni will change /is changing the debate and will probably not win the nomination . I prefer him to Clinton but he is relatively unknown to the hispanic and african american voters who are used to the Bill and Hillary show 🙁

  • Greenflag 2

    And two countries in two days .

  • DOUG

    Reminds me of 3O Rock, when Alec Baldwin refers to Bill Clinton as ” President Inter-Bush “

  • tmitch57

    She blamed the whole impeachment controversy on a “vast right-wing conspiracy” instead of acknowledging her husband’s perjury. She also trashed the reputations of Paula Jones and other women who accused Bill of uninvited sexual advances.

  • npbinni

    I must say, you have a very vivid although somewhat warped imagination.

  • Jack Stone

    The Impeachment controversy was a manufactured issue. There is no question that Clinton wasn’t guilty of Perjury (
    In order to be perjury, the statements have to be material. The judge ruled it immaterial and dismissed the Paula Jones case.). Kenneth Starr used illegally acquired evidence (from Linda Tripp’s illegal wiretap). What about Whitewater? What about Julie Hiatt Steele? Most of it was the definition of a right wing witch hunt.

  • Greenflag 2

    Trump is clown but probably not too dangerous at the end of the day . Rubio is a bought man and nobody knows much about those who have bought him -but Cruz is scary . Truly as in South American dictator scary !

  • tmitch57

    Clinton himself admitted to perjury as part of the deal to keep his legal license. Perjury is lying under oath–if a judge decides to rule that it isn’t material that is his business. Tripp wasn’t being paid for wiretapping Lewinsky and didn’t do it as part of her job, therefore she was not an agent of the police and hence the wiretapped evidence is admisable.

  • Jack Stone

    Wrong. Clinton plead to civil contempt of court for misleading testimony for which he served a suspension from the Arkansas Bar Association and a $25,000 dollar fine. There was never criminal charges. He never admitted to lying under oath but to giving misleading and evasive answers which were prejudicial to the administration of justice. These were a Bar Association proceeding and not a criminal trial.

    Perjury is a crime defined under US Code. Here is the statute quoted “having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true”

    Do you see the part where it says “any material matter”? If the matter is immaterial to the case then the accused cannot have perjured himself. In the Paula Jones case (which was dismissed) the judge ruled that Clinton’s consensual relationship with Lewinsky was immaterial to the issue of sexual harassment of Paula Jones. Thus, the special counsel appointed did not seek federal perjury charges after Clinton’s time as president.

  • npbinni

    see what i mean? you’re delusional!

  • the keep

    Not so sure, the Democrats would be brave to select her as they know she would bolster the Republicans and with all the baggage she has good grief. I suspect the current Vice President would walk into the white house if he put his name forward

  • Greenflag 2

    Check in again after November election . You ‘ll discover your delusions were just that !

  • Greenflag 2

    The current VP decided not to run – He left it too late and simply could’nt catch up on Clinton . So its over twice -the democratic nomination and the presidential election . All that will matter post the Presidential election is how many wacko parties the GOP will fragment into – RIght wing nut jobs , Evangelical fundamentalist , Xenophobic anti immigrants , Corporate warmongers and the the Wall St gangsters -Southern racists and NRA ideologues may spread themselves amongs all the above . A combination of all the ‘Angries ‘

    There is only GOP politician who has a 50% chance of defeating Hilary but that politician is not running .Most probably because that politician knows that electoral defeat would’nt look good on a future run for the presidency .

    Its already over mate . The GOP have to start planning for 2020 assuming they still exist as a party by then of course !! You read it first here . I rarely make political predictions but on this one I’ll make an exception .

  • Greenflag 2

    Its not 1980 and Reagan was a genial old fart who could get voters to cross party lines from Democrat to Republican . Theres not one GOP candidate in 2016 who has that political capacity . They have spent the last 8 years bashing Obama and healthcare and defending the corporations and the 1% against the vast majority of Americans . Politics is so polarised now compared to 1980 that its more like the 1860’s than the 1980’s .

  • Greenflag 2

    GIven that Florida has a GOP Governor who had to plead the Fifth 57 times to keep out of jail over a major private health insurance financial scandal . At one time the Florida Governor saw himself as a future President . He may yet end up behind bars . Cruz is too scary even for Florida .

  • tmitch57

    Here is the dictionary definition of perjury from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
    ” the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to
    what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath : false swearing.”

    He certainly violated the dictionary meaning.

  • Jack Stone

    Wrong again. Omission of a key fact, because the question was never asked, isn’t perjury (Bronston v. United States). Clinton told the whole truth. Under oath, he had testified in the present tense that he had no sexual relationship with Lewinsky. (that was the whole part on the meaning of “is”) If their sexual relationship was only in the past, then he answered the question, and never lied under oath nor left anything out by omission. Bill Clinton is a lawyer and knew what he was doing.

    So, to be clear, he was accused of perjury but judged not guilty by the senate. The special counsel who had the ability to charge him with perjury did not, instead worked out a plea deal where he never admitted to lying under oath or not answering a question by omission. He admitted to being deliberately misleading in his statements. You said Clinton admitted to perjury, he did not. In fact, what he did admit to was carefully worded in such a way to make sure it did the opposite.

  • Greenflag 2

    Assuming that the GOP have small majorities in the House and perhaps Senate, and Clinton is elected President, then the USA is in for another 4 years of stasis as veto politics return where they left off under President Obama and before him under ex President George Bush . Congress will decline further as a respected institution and political polarisation will increase further with the extremes on the right becoming even more extreme while those on the left will see necessary financial and economic reforms delayed , postponed or abandoned . Another major stock market collapse and populist totalitarian solutions may present themselves as the only way to make America ‘Great ‘ again 🙁

  • Greenflag 2

    it’s well played out .

    Open your eyes . Look at China -totalitarian one party rule in cahoots with private corporate capital and a compliant trade union free workforce . A dash of xenophobia when it suits and a new Pacific Empire on the rise . Check with the Vietnamese , Indonesians ,Laotians etc in the region and its a re run of Poland , Czechoslovakia , Hungary , Greece etc pre WW2 .

    Just because they are nominally communist doesn’t mean they can’t be fascist imperialists . I know -I know – They can’t be because they make all the stuff you and I buy in Tesco or Aldis or Walmart etc etc .
    Oh yes they can .

  • Greenflag 2

    Its looking a lot closer in Iowa than the Clinton camp expected . Be prepared or a surprise . Its probably needed anyway in order to make Hilary’s eventual coronation look like an actual competitive election . Good for publicity now that the people are sick to the gills of the American idiot farce that has become the GOP nomination campaign ;(

  • Greenflag 2

    Well she’s no Thatcherite ideologue so that might help . Here we are 20 years post John Major and the pound is collapsing again – Norman Lamont help us ;(?

  • Greenflag 2

    Generally Hillary Clinton is well regarded in Ireland. She’ll win by a mile an Irish mile .

  • Greenflag 2

    Not a hope . Trump has 47% Republican support in Florida -Cruz is 12% with Jeb Bush around 8% and the others nowhere . Cruz has to look elsewhere for nomination votes . His latet addition of Sarah Palin will do him no harm at this stage .