The important story about the critical national mid-term
elections 15 months away is that the party nominees
have not yet been selected, and in many cases, not yet
recruited or announced, in those races most likely to be
closely contested. With each cycle, of course, campaigns
for U.S. house and senate seats begin earlier and earlier.
This is primarily due to the increasing demands for raising
large sums of campaign funds, especially in senate races.
Most incumbents who do not plan to seek re-election
announce their intentions early (so as to enable their party
to find a suitable candidate to replace them). Already many
congresspersons and senators have announced their
retirement, but there will almost certainly be more. Some
who have announced they are running might also later reveal
they have changed their minds. Running for high office has
become more and more stressful. As we have also learned in
recent cycles, too-close-to-call races on paper can become
very one-sided if a nominee turns out to be too controversial
or obviously inept.
The important story about the current state of the so-called
Obamacare legislation is that its unpopularity remains as
strong as it has always been, notwithstanding the Obama
administration’s delays, modifications and executive orders.
The way this legislation was passed and signed into law
created a national public attitude that seems impervious
to any attempts to make it more palatable.
The important story about the poll numbers favoring
Hillary Clinton as the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee
is that not a single rival has yet indicated their interest in making
a race against her. (Vice President Joe Biden is thought to be
interested, but he will be 74 years in 2016, and even though
well-known, does exceedingly poorly in polls.) As I have pointed
out before, Mrs. Clinton was in a similar position in 2009-10
when she also then seemed to be the inevitable nominee. Not
only is her indisputable high name recognition a major factor
in her current lead. The key point to remember is that
Democrats will want to retain the presidency in 2016 if they
can. Polls in late 2015 and early 2016, when more will be
known about the Republican presidential field, will be far
more instructive about whom Democrats will nominate.
The important story about the current immigration issue
is that a consensus appears to have been reached within the
Congress to legislate some reform this year. Those on the
left who want complete and instant “amnesty,” and those on
the right who want no reform and to send back undocumented
residents to Mexico, have very little public support. It is true
that the Democrats have a very different view of reform than
do the Republicans, but the GOP controlling the U.S. house
means that significant compromise will have to take place if
any reform is to take place. There will be two different bills
this year, and some Democrats are bragging that “if they can
get these bills into conference,” they will win. GOP House
Speaker Boehner points out, however, that there can be no
conference unless he agrees to it.
The important story about the recent birth of Prince George,
great-grandson of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is that
the current monarch shows few signs of slowing up, George’s
royal great-great grandmother lived to be 100, and his
grandfather and father are slated to take the throne before
he does. Of course, nothing can be predicted, but this royal
family has a tradition of ruling as long as they live. It is
quite possible that Prince George will be the first king in
history to have his coronation as a centenarian.
And finally, the important story about so-called global
warming is that some serious scientists are now predicting a
new ice age instead. While there is evidence that the Arctic
polar ice cap has been melting, there has been new evidence
announced that the Antarctic polar ice cap is growing!
(Will this mean there will be a lot of illegal immigrants
showing up in South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand?)
Copyright (c) 2013 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.