On my way to work this morning I watched a clip on Youtube, where the good folks over at TYT were discussing the actions of senator Elizabeth Warren. This was not the first time Uygur and the rest promoted the senator, and considering the coming elections you can be sure that it won’t be the last. The hype seems to know no bounds, and the host of that show in particular is acting like it’s 2008 and Barack Obama has not yet failed him. See the whole thing here.
I don’t necessarily mean this as criticism, but the way these kinds of stories are appearing more and more in the media lately makes it blatantly obvious that were are entering early stages of the election season. The other side is doing the same thing, I recently read (here) that an activist group supporting senator Rand Paul paid for Google adds criticizing Jeb Bush.
All of this paints a clear picture of internal battles within both parties. The heir apparent of the democrats, Hillary Clinton, has been preparing for the coming election for a while, consider for example the times #readyforhillary or something like that has appeared on twitter. The Clinton machine is so well-funded and has so many supporters that it may simply steam-roll its way to the nomination. In either case, Warren is the only obvious challenger to Clinton, and either she will make it or she won’t, if I had to wager money one way or the other I’d reluctantly bet that Clinton makes it but with a narrow margin. The interesting stuff, however, is not happening among the democrats, but in the more open field of the coming republican primary.
There are plenty of names on the GOP roster that may or may not become important in the coming months. Rand Paul is the most obvious one, but Jeb Bush will probably make a run for it, and I suspect Ted Cruze will do so too, as may Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and we may even have the somewhat dubious pleasure of seeing the reemergence of Rick Santorum. The last name won’t make it of course, neither in the general election if it came to that nor even through the primary, but one can always try.
I suspect that these people will be divided into two groups, the “real” conservatives, if you will, against the neocons. Paul and Cruze will belong to the first group. Cruze will probably never be president, but whether he drops out early or not in favor of Paul is a more open question. Paul is simply more electable, any way you put it, even though they may to some extend appeal to the same people. I wrote an article once (read it here) about how Paul was interviewed by Bill Maher of all people. Paul is trying to appeal to tea-partiers and liberals at once, Cruze is utterly unable to do the later.
Christie, Rubio and the rest will form the other block. None of this is a surprise to anyone, the neocon/libertarian schism has been obvious for a while. But I believe that a lot of people underestimate how big of a role foreign policy will play in the coming months. There are two thoughts of school in the republican party when it comes to foreign policy, perhaps best represented by the polar opposites of the former congressman Ron Paul and the former presidential candidate John McCain. They will clash in the election, especially if the general elections turns out to be between Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul. This clash will be intensified by the combination of the current situation in the middle east being what it is and the american public being tired of war after thirteen years. This means that the neocons will call Paul a dangerous isolationist and Paul will call Clinton a hawk while Clinton will first deny being a hawk and then claim to be a better hawk than the neocons, and so it will go in wider and wider expanding circles.
Whether anything good will come of it I don not yet know, but it promises to be interesting. In 2012 I followed the american presidential election, and especially the GOP primary, as other people follow sports, and discussed it with my friends in much the same way. It was said of that primary that it was one of the ugliest so far, with the candidates pulling no punches when it came to smear eachother with dirt. Now that the stage is being set for 2016 I predict that things will be even more intense. After the primary things may either quiet down or get worse. if the main show turns out to be Clinton versus Bush, I fear that the voter turnout may end up begin quite low. I would however enjoy seeing a Paul versus Warren race, with some principle on either side, regardless of what one personally thinks about the politics of those two.
At some point next year I will start posting rather regularly here about how the whole thing is going, because we all know that it will start in 2015, if it hasn’t already. Brace yourselves, election season is coming.