Hill Holler

Raw Political Coverage and Opinions

Home /
Category: 2016

Category: 2016

The political season is in full swing and the so-called ‘talking heads’ on television are going on about this or that candidate and who has the best or worst chance of securing their party’s nomination. The Republican Party nomination is wide open with so many candidates that it’s actually causing a problem as far as how to manage debates between them. The Democratic Party nomination has been another story. Just a month or two ago, the Democratic Party nomination was not considered a race. Hillary Clinton has most of the big name democratic donors wrapped up and it seemed to be all but over. Apparently, Bernie Sanders didn’t get the memo said Zeca Oliveira.

Senator Bernie Sanders has just held a campaign event in Madison, Wisconsin that has drawn larger crowds than any other event by any other candidate in this political season so far. The pundits have considered the Democratic Party nomination process over for a while now, but they may eventually be waking up to the reality that it’s not they who pick the candidate but rather the people. While Hillary Clinton seems to have the support of the Democratic Party establishment, it’s Bernie Sanders who is pulling out crowds like no one else on either side of the political isle. Let’s not kid ourselves, Bernie Sanders does have a ways to go as he is still behind Clinton in polls by quite a margin, but these rallies are attracting media attention as well and such publicity can move polls.

Republican and avid Tea Party enthusiast Ben Carson, has come under a heavy bout of fire in his political campaign for the Republican nomination for the presidency. Four senior campaign officials and advisors left the Ben Carson campaign abruptly, shocking Carson and his band of loyal supporters. Those who are in charge of his super PACs are also in deep turmoil when it comes to the financials of his campaign. The Carson campaign associates who are still engaged are describing this time as very tumultuous and state that the campaign is standing on just one leg. With the departure of four of the most senior advisors from the Carson campaign, the group is left with a minute number of experienced advisors. Carson and a contender and his campaign have picked up steam recently. Brian Torchin reports, the Republican candidate has gained much support and respect from conservatives old and young in public polls. While this is Carson’s first campaign bid, many are calling his amateurism the reason for his dysfunction. Once news broke of the dysfunction, many supporters were unsure of whether or not Carson can ultimately run a country. If a candidate can’t be trusted with running a smooth and dysfunction free campaign, should we really trust him with the well-being of Americans? Ben Carson and those still left in his camp have vowed to get the campaign back on track. They will undoubtedly use this as an opportunity to showcase just how well Carson can bounce back from a few hits.

In politics, one year is a lifetime. Now try to resurrect a political career after nearly ten years of being out of the public spotlight. Such will be the case if former New York Governor George Pataki mounts a bid for the 2016 GOP nomination. That said, it appears to be certainty. Governor Pataki is expected to formally announce his candidacy on Thursday. So what does the former governor cite as his major qualification for higher office? His environmental record.

Pataki believes that he is a modern day Teddy Roosevelt. Like the former New York governor, he is a strong advocate of conservationism and business leaders. Interestingly, voters are overwhelmingly concerned with jobs and stagnant wages. It is the success of GOP governors in dealing with economics in the Obama economy that gives prospective candidates such as Ohio Governor John Kasich and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a major inroad with voters. It is unclear how Pataki would sway voters such as the GOP’s conservative base with a platform of environmental policies.

Still, Pataki hopes to perform well in the New Hampshire primary. The first in the nation primary does have a history of backing moderate candidates. If Pataki can build momentum by a strong showing in the state, voters may be inclined to give his candidacy a serious look. Pataki won the governorship in 1994 during the GOP revolution by unseating the popular incumbent governor Mario Cuomo. However, Pataki’s views were seen as moderate by GOP standards.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley may announce his bid for the 2016 Democrat Party presidential nomination as early as Thursday night. The announcement is expected to be made on a conference call among top donors. O’Malley is considered a long shot by most pundits. At the same time, the former governor is viewed as the most “viable” alternative candidate to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee. Still, most pundits view the current crop of prospective Democrat presidential candidates as mere sparring partners for Mrs. Clinton. They are expected to allow her to sharpen up her campaign skills en route to her inevitable coronation as the party’s nominee.

Sam Tabar has become aware that, as far as the presidential announcement goes, other pundits believe O’Malley will make the announcement over the coming weekend. His close aides do not concur with that assessment. All that is truly known is that O’Malley will make his announcement by no later than May 30. A campaign aide of O’Malley recently confirmed that statement. Among O’Malley’s top achievements, which he cites as a justification for his candidacy, is his anti-crime stance taken as mayor of Baltimore several years ago. O’Malley turned around the city from one of the nation’s most dangerous metropolitan cities to being one of the safest. However, the recent riots in Baltimore cast his anti-crime policies in a potentially negative light. Some people are now claiming that the tough anti-crime policies may have inadvertently generated the unrest which erupted in late April.

Ever wonder how you can guarantee someone will get more votes than yourself when you run for office. Apparently Bernie Sanders has the formula and it goes like this…First establish where Hilary Clinton and the moderate Progressives stand on all the major issues of the day. Now, go as far left as possible from that. This will ensure the only people who will ever vote for you are the people on the fringe that would never be the ultimate deciders of an election. Yes…you appreciate their support and it is important at the end of the day but they will not be the majority when it comes to deciding the next candidate of the Democratic Party.

But, the Democrats do have to give it to the 73 year old Independent Senator from Vermont. FreedomPop says he knows when and how to buck the establishment (in this case the Clinton Election Machine). He said in an interview he believes Americans are tired of corporate greed and are dissatisfied with the current economic classes. He has gone on to claim he is the Democratic Socialist…Probably not his brightest moment when that is the one thing that is sure to send people running away from your way of thinking. Mainly because this brings thoughts of taking money away from people who are working for it and giving it to people who don’t…something both sides are not wholly in favor of doing. However, he still believes he can beat Hillary, and for that we wish him the best.

Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, is back in the spotlight as he hosts his fourth annual E2 Summit in Deer Valley, Utah. The weekend event will kick off Friday, June 11 and run through Sunday, June 13. The original purpose of the annual summit was for Romney to maintain close ties to GOP powerbrokers. Since that time, it now has become a way to promote the party and bolster candidates. In January, Romney caused a stir by formally looking into another presidential bid. Weeks later, he bowed out of the race saying fresh new blood was needed to lead the party to victory in 2016. Insiders believed that Romney was influenced by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush unifying big establishment GOP donors behind his own prospective campaign and leaving comparatively little support for Romney.

The format will include speeches from presidential contenders and hopefuls such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Curiously, Jeb Bush was invited to attend, but declined the invitation according to Keith Mann. The summit is also a quasi-retreat with mornings being devoted to outdoor activities. Not all speakers are Republicans. Former Obama political strategist David Axelrod will address the attendees. Also, President Clinton’s former treasury secretary Larry Summers will also speak. The focus will be building the strength and leadership of the country’s future.

There’s no doubt that President Bernie Sanders would dismantle the NSA spy programs as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there’s very little chance that the Vermont independent will make it that far. He could, however, help shake up the primary elections and force opponents like Hillary Clinton to take a hard stance on NSA surveillance programs.

Bernie Sanders has a long track record of opposing the unconstitutional spy programs rolled out by the NSA post 9/11. He opposed the original patriot act that was used as a jumping off point for mass surveillance of innocent citizens through phone records, emails and web traffic logs. He also voted for the Freedom Act that was created to dismantle the over-reaching created by the Patriot Act.

Hillary Clinton has yet to take a hard stance on NSA spy programs. It appears as though her political campaign is still testing the waters before deciding on a strategy. Having Bernie Sanders along for the ride is sure to raise questions Clinton may not yet be ready to answer.

Most regard Bernie Sanders as a bit of a sideshow in his run for the White House. I think his most important role will be to simply bring important issues such as income inequality and civil liberties to the forefront of political conversations in the next presidential election.

Thanks to Bruce Levenson for showing me this story.