Opinion

2016 Presidential Race: Catch me if you can

AP

As the 2016 Presidential Political Circus departs New Hampshire for South Carolina, the bitter taste of defeat lingers for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republicans Marco Rubio and Chris Christie.

They all took a hit, and for New Jersey Gov. Christie –– who couldn’t even get 10 percent of the vote and win a delegate –– it looks like it might be fatal. Clinton will rebound and most likely reassert herself. Florida Sen. Rubio will stop repeating himself and reassess.

What surprises you more: That Donald Trump won the GOP New Hampshire Primary by 20 points –– or that Hillary Clinton lost to Sen. Bernie Sanders by 20 points?

I have to get some observations off my chest as the pack invades the Palmetto State where many will stump from one of the gazillion golf courses along Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand.

▪ After two contests a friend of mine pointed to the GOP side and said: “In Iowa, the guy (Rubio) who came in third was the big winner. Now in New Hampshire, the guy who came in second (Ohio Gov. John Kasich) is the big winner. In South Carolina, will the guy who actually wins be the big winner?”

▪ Many think the political spectrum is a line, linear––starting from the center and going far out to the extremes on the Right and on the Left. The stories of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders make me think the political spectrum might actually be a circle and they just backed into each other as victors in New Hampshire. The two outliers have tapped into something for which the competition has no answers.

▪ With every ounce of instinct, I am convinced the next occupant of the White House will be a Transition President. By that, I mean he or she is going to be a one-term wonder. Think Jimmy Carter. George Herbert Bush. We’re about to complete the third two-term presidency in a row. But not next time. The field is so fractured –– and some of the candidates so old or so young –– I just can’t imagine any of them being awarded a second term. I am guessing we’ll be holding our breath through the first Trump term and too exhausted to award him a second. Would we re-elect a 78-year-old Bernie Sanders, a 72-year-old Hillary Clinton or a 78-year-old Michael Bloomberg should he enter the race? Just asking. The lack of experience among the rest of the GOP field makes me think the electorate is just looking for someone to fill in for four years while somebody else is primping for the next two-term presidency. Who will be our Transition President?

▪ Very soon the big primaries and big events will come fast and furious. Which candidates will think Idaho’s March 8 GOP primary or March 22 Democrat Caucus will be worth a trip to the Gem State? Who will write us off as small potatoes? If Kasich, who visited Idaho last summer, stays in the mix I could see him coming. Trump? Maybe he has some wealthy political pals who will invite him to Sun Valley? Rep. Raul Labrador’s candidate, Rand Paul, is out of the picture now. Idaho State Controller Brandon Woolf’s guy, Rubio, has to win his way to a date with the Gem State. Will Bernie or Hillary covet our delegates enough to make a stop? That would be Huuuuggggggeeeeee. What do you think? I might be able to influence my good friend Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to pay a visit. . .

▪ Do you get hit up for contributions from any of the presidential candidates via unsolicited snail mail or email? For some reason, Cruz has my personal email address and asks me for money every other day it seems. After the first one, I thought I would find a way to unsubscribe and be done with it. But after a while I found the pitches to be so entertaining and over the top –– I have to say, I’m kind of hooked on reading them:

Robert,

I can't thank you enough.

Because of you, we have the Washington Cartel in a panic.

So tonight, I dare Republicans across this country to make conservatism mean something again.

HERE'S THE DEAL: we are just 11 days away from the tipping point -- the South Carolina primary.

After the hard-fought battles in Iowa and New Hampshire, we've dug deep into our campaign accounts...and made a major dent in our political budget.

I need your IMMEDIATE support for my South Carolina GOTV fund, or I risk squandering tonight's momentum -- the momentum you and our volunteers have worked SO HARD to help me build.

Can I count on you tonight, Robert?

We are here today because of you.

Robert, this is our time.

It's because of YOU that after everything the Washington Cartel threw at us and the millions spent against us by the lobbyists and my opponents, we are just getting started on the road to winning the nomination.

Will you continue your support tonight?

For liberty,

Ted Cruz

Ted, I don’t know how you got my email or how we became such good friends, but that doesn’t seem to matter in politics now does it? Say Hi to Heidi, Dr. Seuss, the kids and Sen. Mitch McConnell –– the guy you referenced as a liar. Just wondering, Ted, is Mitch on your mailing list?

For sincerity,

Your pal, Robert.

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