presidential campaign update

I'm sitting here and watching the Friday night news talk shows that are on my TV. At the moment, it is "McGlaughlin Group". I have been watching this show pretty regularly for a long time. 3 of the panelists, Buchanan, Clift, and McGlaughlin, have been the core panel for a long time. The swing liberals and conservatives change every so often. Clarence Page is the best fit for McGlaughlin as the main swing liberal, but he is only on now and then. It makes a difference whether the swing is a liberal or conservative.

Of course, the presidential primary races are the first topic of discussion. Trump and the republicans are sucking up all of the publicity. While some say that the fact that there are high turnouts for the republicans bodes well for the republicans, I wouldn't be so quick to say so.

It is possible and in my opinion, probable, that the republicans are spending up their political capital, and the democrats are saving theirs. The democrats have two potentials to aide a path to unity, and a unified and excited democrat party will defeat the republicans. But, if both of these paths don't materialize, the nightmare of a Trump presidency could come true.

The first is Sanders and Clinton coming to a deal so that Sanders will continue to campaign for Clinton with the young people. Friends suggest that Sanders wouldn't be an appropriate VP because of his age and the residuals of the primary campaign. I don't think I agree with that. But, it isn't critical. What is critical is that the Sander's supporters not get completely turned off. Clinton needs over half of this group to turn out.

But, before one might get too skeptical about the Dem's prospects of unifying, the second path is that President Obama will be out there campaigning hard for the democrat nominee. While the republicans are relentless in their criticism and refusal to cooperate with Obama on important issues, I think that a lot of people out there admire him.

Obama has done a pretty good job. Not perfect by any means, but geez, who could? When Obama took over, the economy was the worst it had been since the depression. Now I understand that while presidents get the blame or credit for an economy, a big part of it is outside the control of just the U.S. president.

To the extent that there is a connection between the economy and the president, Obama's rating is pretty good. More people are working even though for minimum wage - 10 bucks an hour, which isn't enough to maintain a living space, food, transportation, and utilities. Nevertheless, prices are stable, interest rates are low, and improvements have been made on the national debt. More people have health insurance, although much of it is government provided. We have stayed out of big wars, and the U.S. casulties from questionable wars is way down. So, while there isn't much "upward mobility" (to use an older term) people are surviving and working is better than not working.

I think Obama and others, including me, think that the government should step in and help to fill the gap between actual costs of living and what a person can make working in the "new service economy." That thinking doesn't get far in the current congress. So not much has been done, and even though Obama has introduced measures to help the lower classes, his record of getting wages raised isn't very good. Many people understand that Obama would get more done if the congress wasn't so against him.

Nevertheless, regardless of his problems, he is a great campaigner, and if he campaigns hard for the democrat nominee, which I have no doubt that he will, the positive impact of that for the democrats can't be overstated.
So, if Clinton and Sanders can unite, and Obama gets on board, the post-convention part of the campaign, which is the most crucial, will show a lot more strength for the democrats than many are expecting at this moment.
The republicans take more of an Ayn Rand view - that the ultimate unleashing of a human to accomplish and accumulate unlimited resources is more important than the common good, and that "success" is within everyone's reach and if you don't get it or come close to it, it is your fault, regardless of the obstacles one might encounter in their birthright and circumstances. That seems to me to be simply cold and unrealistic.

With the republicans tearing each other apart, and honestly, I don't see it ending anytime soon. If Sanders can unite with Clinton and, with Obama's help, solidify the minority vote and get enough young people to show up, the democrats will win. Anything short of that, and the certainty of that victory reduces exponentially.