By QMC, USN (Ret)
I hold in my hand tonight’s Top Ten List.
Well, the political season is in full swing, and things have just about sorted themselves out, right?
Not right? We don’t know who the candidates are going to be yet? Well, that’s okay, especially when you consider:
Simple Fact of Life #1: People can just about always be counted on to act in their personal self-interest.
Why, this is even true of politicians. This is especially true of politicians. Which naturally brings us to:
Simple Fact of Life #2: Regardless of what happens in the election, our next leader will forget about his/her promises and follow the path of least resistance, as long as it appears to lead to a good legacy.
Sure, that kinda sucks for the rest of us, but what should we do about it? We should do the only reasonable thing that we can do. Have some fun with it.
So, my idea of fun, at least at this particular moment, is to make my bold predictions about who will represent the major parties in the presidential election. Just one teeny-weeny problem with that. I have no clue who will end up with the Republican nomination. None. Zilch. Nada. On the other hand, I am quite confident that I know who will represent the Democrats in November, and that will be …
Oh, come on now, we’re here to have some fun, right? So I have to make you, at the very least, scroll down a ways to find out. Or, if you’re really a fun-loving sort of individual, you might want to read through as I present, with my (so-called) reasoning:
The Top Ten Most Likely Democratic Nominees
Okay, I need to re-calibrate my idea of fun. But this is all that I’ve got right now. And you can have some fun thinking up new synonyms for the word insane. So, here goes:
#10 Michelle Obama (See, you’ve already thought up 2 new words for “nuts”)
Yes, I know this is a long-shot pick, and, like most of the people on this list, would require a whole lot of well laid plans to crumble into ruins, and would be the result of an act of desperation. And I know that she has recently stated that she would never run. But I’ll give you a few things to consider:
It’s my impression that many people who hold strong political views tend to spend much of their lives in what I call the echo chamber. That is, they spend most of their time talking to, and hearing from, people of similar opinions. I don’t think that most of those in the conservative echo chamber realize how wildly popular President Obama remains among a large percentage of the population. He has said that if he could run for a third term, he would probably win. That might be the only thing that he has ever said that I agree with. If the party process falls apart, and Barack doesn’t feel like giving up his nice government housing, it could be a way that he wouldn’t have to.*
(*More on this and other things at the end)
#9 Chuck Schumer
When things fall apart, a senor member of Congress is always a reasonable fall-back. Chuck is the most likely, but if he didn’t want the job, it could be Dick Durban, or even Nancy Pelosi.
#8 Andrew Cuomo
A more likely fall-back would be a Democratic, blue-state governor. There are others (Gerry “Moonbeam” Brown ran back in some other millennium), but Cuomo is the best generic example.
#7 Bernie Sanders
So, now it gets interesting. With only two people still running for the nomination, you just might be wondering how one of them only made it as high as #7. My reasoning is simple: Bernie is the Democratic Donald Trump. Except he’s not nearly as good at being Donald Trump as Donald Trump is at being Donald Trump. So I don’t think that he has as much chance of surviving the process. He’s not a party regular, and the establishment types, not sure if they can control him, despise him, and would prefer anyone else on this list, although they kind of have to pretend that they’re OK with him for now, for appearances sake. But make no mistake, the Democratic Party, which is much better than the GOP when it comes to getting things done, will make him go away before it’s too late. I believe that they have a plan,* it’s just yet to come to fruition.
All that being said, there is a miniscule chance that he hangs on, and the Democrats are stuck with him. Good news for the Republicans.
#6 Elizabeth Warren
The Democrat’s dream candidate. The one who has it all. The one who could have had the nomination sewn up by now. All of the proper liberal policy positions; great speaker, with great media persona; correct genitalia for this cycle’s “historic” quota; no serious baggage to speak of. And smart. Really, really smart. And therein lies the problem, and why she’s not higher on the list.
I think that she’s smart enough to know that POTUS is the hardest, most underpaid job in the country. I mean, you have actual responsibilities in that job. For her, the minor ego rush that she would get would not be worth giving up the almost as ego-fulfilling, easiest, most overpaid, zero actual responsibility job of being a U.S. Senator. So, despite a constant flow of people begging her to run, she has constantly said no. But if it all falls apart, and the party can’t find another acceptable candidate, I wouldn’t put it past them to nominate her, maybe even without her approval, and almost dare her not to accept. She would easily defeat any Republican in the general.
#5 Hillary Clinton
So how is it that the front-runner, the presumptive nominee, barely makes it into the top half of my list? Several reasons, starting with the fact that she is an extremely flawed candidate. Other than the vagina, she lacks everything that Senator Warren has. A history of flip-flops on policy. Lousy speaker, with terrible media presence. And baggage, lots of baggage. Baggage from Arkansas. Baggage from Bill’s administration. Baggage from her time as SecState. There isn’t a van line big enough to move all of her baggage.
But most important, I believe that Barack Obama doesn’t want her to succeed him as president. It’s widely thought that the Obamas and the Clintons don’t like each other, and she represents the old guard of the party. He would rather have his successor be one of his loyalists, someone he can count on to complete his “fundamental transformation” on his terms. And remember that baggage? Obama can make her go away any time that he wants to.* When the time is right, I believe that he will. Her removal will set the stage for any of the other names on this list, other that Sanders, who might still beat her without any skullduggery, to move into place.
On the other hand, there are those that say that Hillary knows where enough bodies are buried that, despite all of her problems, she is untouchable. I’m not one of those who say that, but I’ll give that theory enough credence to leave her in the top half of the list.
#4 Al Gore
Yes, I know that I’m dredging up a name from the past, but he had been mentioned at the start of the cycle. He is beloved by many of the liberal Hollywood elite, who can throw down big bucks, and draw huge crowds to rallies, generating a lot of media coverage. And remember one other thing: Besides the 90+ year old Jimmy Carter, he is the only eligible Democrat who has actually won (sort of?) a presidential election.
#3 Michael Bloomberg
Not even a Democrat, you say? Well, he used to be, long before Bernie Sanders ever was. And while he’s not nearly as far to the left as are many Democrats, a lot of his positions, particularly on gun control and regulations in general, are in line with the party, and would be acceptable. He could do yet another party switch.
Bloomberg had considered a third-party run this year, and decided against it. But if Clinton were to fall out at the right time, he might see an opening. With the party in chaos, and seriously worried about fundraising, he could present himself to them, and offer to finance his own campaign, reminding them that he’s rich enough to buy and sell Donald Trumps at his leisure. Remember that party bosses are, like the rest of us, subject to Simple Fact of Life #1. They are all about maintaining their positions of power. I can see them going for Bloomberg’s deal.
#2 John Kerry
Experienced candidate, solid liberal, and most importantly, the one person that President Obama might feel that he owes something to.
Well, now that we’ve had our fun, it’s time to get to the only name on this list that really matters. The Democrat Party nominee, and, sadly, the next President of the United States:
#1 Joe Biden
Old Joe has played this perfectly. He stayed above, and out of the fray, letting the other candidates suffer the slings and arrows inherent in any campaign. And when the time is right, and the party needs a savior, he’ll be right there, with the full support of President Obama. I’m not sure that this wasn’t the plan all along.* I’m also not sure that this is the whole plan.*
And there it is. I’ve had some fun spouting my theories, and you’ve had some fun thinking of new words for crazy. It’s all good
(*) In the unlikely event that you are one of the roughly seven billion humans who don’t regularly follow this blog, last November I wrote at more length about the items marked (*), and you may have missed it. If this article made you think that I was nuts, that one will convince you that I am stark raving mad. You can find it here.