Posted tagged ‘carly fiorina’

Primary Dynamics?

May 9, 2015

Have you noticed that the usually outspoken GOP Sunday Talk Show participants have been reserved and many are keeping out of the national spot light? It could be that President Obama has taken his sail out of their wind. Or, it could be that the high pollen count has put each of these candidates off their mark. Or, is it related to primary dynamics and the long odds strategies each must be considering if they really are serious about winning the GOP nomination?

Before the quadrennial primary season, GOP hopefuls like Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or Rick Perry wanted to attract attention and make the public realize they were “players”. With their advisors, each picked issues and venues where they could be interviewed and make some audacious statement.  Their words were designed to project them as decisive, experienced, and destined for greatness. It mattered less whether their position was actionable or whether real events would produce superior or completely contrary results. The point of these public statements was to create an “impression” and hope that the public would forget the details.

So now the GOP is about to gather over a dozen Presidential hopefuls into a primary process. Strangely the process begins with three totally unrepresentative States (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina). In past times, these States were important despite their lack of resemblance to national demographic…  they were the path to funding.

Win in one or more of these States and your campaign stood a great chance to attract big money. Big money might then help the candidate win States with more convention votes. Hmmm.

In 2015, big money has pretty much already sought out their candidates (preferred and at least one back up). So what might the strategy be for a Ted Cruz, a Carly Fiorina, a Rand Paul, or a Lindsay Graham who aren’t the likely preferred candidates?

This group plus Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and John Kasick must realize that there is almost no chance they can win the nomination. They are still relatively unknown nationally and they lack the really big money.

On the other hand, as long as they stay in the race they allow for the chance that something strange could happen. Leading candidates could go bust or a second coming might pick one of the second tier candidates out of the crowd (less likely).

Most probable is the notion that the longer they last as a candidate, the better the offer they will get from the ultimate GOP nominee, the offer being tied to one of the also rans withdrawing and throwing support to the ultimate winner.

In a strange turn of events, it seems that leaders such as Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and even Marco Rubio find it to their advantage to remain relatively quiet in terms of audacious statements and stick to “chicken in every pot” type promises. “Obama is bad”, “Hillary is an insider”, and “no new taxes” are all safe statements. What the “leaders” do is what the second tier think they should do too.

Sooner or later the gloves will come off. For now, however, standing tall and looking wise is a better strategy than opening one’s mouth and proving otherwise.  Enjoy the relative peace and quiet for a while.

The Decision

March 4, 2010

Former US Representative (from Tennessee) Harold Ford announced Monday that he would not seek the New York State Democratic Senatorial nomination. He would have had to contest current Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for the Democratic nomination. Ford said he had concluded that the contest would “tear the party apart” and help make a Republican victory possible. Was this the decision of party altruist?

Ford is a good looking, articulate person who conveys a positive image in person and on television. But is that by itself  enough.

He is not from New York (although that did not handicap Hillary Clinton), so what does he know about New York’s needs?   He also has been under contract with Merrill Lynch for a cool $ 2 million a year. Nothing wrong with that although you wonder what “a man of the people” does for $ 2 million.

Maybe he is wiser to wait his turn or simply to just make a lot of money in private business (maybe like lobbying). Or maybe he can just do the math and realizes that the “big money” is already committed to Hillibrand.  Think about that, Wall Street money is already committed to someone else.  How do you think Wall Street excesses can be controlled when so many owe their campaigns to Wall Street’s money?

Never the less, the 2010 elections will be important for Democrats, and probably for the Country. Control of the Senate could be at stake. In California, Senator Barbara Boxer will face a well financed and vigorous campaign from whom ever the Republican candidate is. Currently none of the Republican challengers have made the decision Mr Ford has made. They are set to tear each other apart in the primaries. Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlitt Packard, is one of the candidates and is throwing the mud as well as anyone. She professes to be trying to represent “people of California”, yet sports a 13,000 square foot condo in Washington, DC.

It is hard to say for sure that Senators Gillibrand or Boxer are the most qualified candidates for their respective States. What is not hard to say is the Republican Party leadership and the fringe right wing, super conservatives (Tea Baggers) offer no promise of a better future for most Americans. They make no effort to promise (or even an attempt) to “raise all boats”. In times such as these, American needs a more inclusive approach to governance.

Sadly it appears we are left with political parties that are only too ready to use the charge card and build the national debt rather than raise taxes AND curtail spending (across the board). Individual politicians (from either party), on the other hand, profess their support for the American people (who ever that is), sound government, national defense, and strong fiscal responsibility. Somehow that seems to be forgotten once they arrive in Washington, or the “American people” turns out to be a select few.

The messages unsaid are (1) the poison of campaign financing and (2) the virtue of term limits.