KLINE UNEXPECTEDLY RETIRES
The announcement by Minnesota 2nd District Republican
Congressman John Kline that he would not seek re-election in
2016 was a surprise to most political observers. The powerful
chairman of the U.S. house committee on education is a close
friend and ally of Speaker John Boehner and a congressional
leadership insider. The 2016 race in MN-2 now goes from safe
GOP to toss-up with slight lean to the Republicans. There will
now almost certainly be a number of candidates from both
parties in the race, but Mr. Kline had no obvious political heir,
and the DFL (Democrats) no obvious frontrunner. This could
become one of the closest and most hard-fought races in the
nation in 2016. Watch for political fireworks ahead.
FIORINA WILL BE BIG DRAW IN
NEXT GOP DEBATE
Now likely to be the 11th participant in the next Republican
presidential debate at the Reagan Library in California on
September 16, west coast businesswoman Carly Fiorina will
probably the most anticipated debater in the GOP crowd,
especially after she easily won the “also-ran” first debate in
Cleveland and has been so effective as a critic of Democratic
frontrunner Hillary Clinton. She will have to share the stage,
of course, with some other big personalities, including Donald
Trump and Chris Christie, as well as early popular voter favorites
Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Scott Walker, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush.
Ted Cruz also is an aggressive debater and it should be quite a
DEMOCRATIC PARTY AVOIDING
Presumably to protect Hillary Clinton’s lead, Democratic National
Committee (DNC) leaders have so far appeared to avoid debates
among their announced candidates for president. Former Maryland
Governor Martin O’Malley brought the issue up at the DNC summer
meeting in Minneapolis, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took
up the issue soon afterwards. Mrs. Clinton is not known for either
her public speaking or debating skills, and her supporters
understandably want to shield her from too much TV exposure.
Should Vice President Biden enter the race, the DNC would find it
difficult to continue the ban. Mr Biden is a good speaker and debater,
and would probably insist on more debates than now scheduled.
The lack of Democratic debates also allows the GOP to dominate
the free TV airwaves and the headlines, something that might
enhance GOP voter turnout in the primaries and the general election.
IRAN DEAL TO AVOID
With the announcement by retiring Democratic Senator Barbara
Mikulski that she would support the Obama administration’s “deal”
with Iran, it now appears almost certain that the deal will go through.
While U.S. house and senate Republicans, joined by a very few
Democrats have a maioriy in both houses against the deal, opponents
lack the two-thirds majority to override a certain presidential veto.
Some observers, however, have called it a Pyrrhic victory for the
Democrats since from now on any failure by Iran to keep its word
on the deal could make those Democrats who vote for it very
vulnerable to voter backlash. This is exactly what happened to many
Democratic incumbents who voted for the unpopular Obamacare
legislation in the mid-term elections in 2010 and 2014.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY FOUNDERS
The two founders of today’s Democratic Party, President Thomas
Jefferson and President Andrew Jackson, are being erased from the
annual dinners of many state Democratic Parties. This is presumably
happening because both were slave owners. So was George Washington,
the “father of the nation,” and Benjamin Franklin, “the brains of the
American revolution (although Franklin later freed his slaves). If this
trend continues, our history books will have the nation’s beginning
mostly created by anonymous persons.
SOME REPUBLICANS WORRY THAT
TRUMP WILL HURT PARTY
Many establishment Republicans are worrying out loud that the
candidacy of Donald Trump will hurt the party’s ticket in 2016.
Trump has just now signed a pledge that he will not run on a third
party ticket, but the GOP establishment remains in an anxious
state since early frontrunner Jeb Bush continues to fade. Some
political observers, however, are suggesting that Mr. Trump will,
on balance, help Republicans in 2016. Either way, actual voting
remains almost five months away.
Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.