I hardly write now, and I have good reasons why I don’t; but I know I have written on the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump presidential campaigns before. And I did this long before regular political pundits started scratching their heads in consternation. You see the vast majority of them never saw all this coming. They never saw that both Sanders and Trump would wage formidable campaigns. I did. I told the world I was supporting Bernie Sanders (or Elizabeth Warren) years ago. In my estimation Bernie Sanders is probably the best candidate to run for the US presidency during my lifetime. Yes; in my estimation he is even a better candidate than Barack Obama was; and most of my followers know how much I was sold on Obama from the “get-go”.
Look; every now and again I do get it wrong; but in political analysis most times I can call it long before it unfolds. Back in 2006 I privately called Obama’s presidency almost two years out. Long before he even announced he was running. Then I publicly called it in the summer of 2007 (go to my archives on this site: I did a three-part column on Barack Obama). The man was peddling “hope” and “change”. Plus he had an impressive personal story, a powerful resume and a highly developed intellect. He stood to make history as the first mixed-race (not black) president of this land. He demonstrated the potential of becoming one of the best orators in the history of this country. Turned out he is as good and as eloquent (if not better) than Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Eric Dyson, Cornell West, Abe Lincoln, and both James and William Buckley.
When we went out registering voters for one of Obama’s political organizations -very early n the presidential cycle- my peeps and I met stubborn resistance in the black community. This was long before he even announced. The vast majority of blacks we encountered were sold on “the Clintons”. Many told us that we were wasting time. He has a black father who was born in Africa. They even scoffed at his name:”Obama”. They ridiculed his limited political experience. They even ridiculed his background and upbringing.
When I predicted his Iowa victory, there wasn’t another journalist anywhere in the USA making that prediction as far as I know. I had some serious inside-information as to what was being organized on the ground in preparation for the caucuses. I was supremely confident. I even knew that Clinton wouldn’t even garner second place there and then.
When I told people Hilary Clinton stole her New Hampshire victory, they called me a cry-baby. And yet, even today, the full story is yet to be aired. She did steal it. One day I will write about that.
When I predicted that she will meet her “Waterloo” sooner than later, folks were beating up on me: something fierce. Some suggested that the Clintons should sue me. In the end, some of my graduate students claimed I should have gotten a Pulitzer Prize for covering the 2008 presidential primaries and general election.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager told me (at the 2008 convention) that in his judgment I covered the primaries better than any other political writer in the country. He said that wherever he was in the country he went up to Room Eight New York Politics (www.r8ny.com) to consider my analysis as part of the moving parts and the evolving story.
This time around Hillary Clinton is in another serious fight for her political life. If there wasn’t such a profound historical significance to a Hillary Clinton presidency, I would tell you straight-up that she would lose the nomination to Bernie. Women -in general- are hungry for the first female president. They want to see history made: and that’s why Hillary Clinton may still pull this off.
Don’t get things twisted: Hillary Clinton is tremendously qualified to be president: over-qualified even. And yet for all her incredible credentials and magnificent political experiences, this primary battle will be a close one. Her main opponent Bernie Sanders also brings as much (or more /to my taste) to the table. This is no walkover; this is no ground ball; no stroll in the park for Bill and Hillary Clinton. This is mortal combat. I suspect they have been shocked into that reality over the last six months. At his political rallies and other events, Bernie Sanders has drawn larger crowds than Donald Trump. Mainstream media has been downplaying that fact.
The Billary-Clintons (add Chelsea to the mix now) have locked down an overwhelming number of “super-delegates” and that might be the key to her eventual victory. And beyond that, Sanders being a registered ”Independent” may have some problems making the ballot in some states (unless the election laws have been changed) relative to independents entering the democrat’s presidential primaries and caucuses.
Let me unambiguously predict that Bernie Sanders is going to win both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary this year. After those victories his real challenges (and problems) start.
You see, blacks will make up to (or more than) one-third of the total voters in the democrat’s primaries. Bernie has to develop a strategy to counteract that black vote which both Hillary and Bill Clinton now dominate. We know that he will lose the “women’s vote”to her, and unless he digs deep into Clinton’s black support, he is toast after March.
So here is what Bernie Sanders needs to do. He needs to hire as many black political operatives as he can -all over the country- to help him develop and execute strategies for getting into that black-vote. He needs to get deep into “black media”in imaginative ways. Along that line, there are many ideas that I (and others) can supply. I would love to work on Bernie’s campaign. He has better than a “puncher’s chance” of winning this.
Relative to the black vote: here is the irony. Way back in the sixties when the civil-rights struggle was at its zenith, Hillary Clinton was supporting a segregationist named Barry Goldwater. During that time, Bernie Sanders was standing up and marching with Dr. Martin Luther King.
Note to the Sanders campaign: contact me. The sooner the better. I am sure I can steer you guys and gals right. This thing is doable.
On the republican side of the two-faced coin let’s segue to the Donald Trump campaign. Donald Trump is running a brilliant but classless campaign. It is as repugnant as it is brilliant. I mean that only in the sense that: if putting yourself -as a candidate- in the best position to win is what it is all about.
This demagogue has calculatedly tapped into Republican angst without any compunction. He is ruthless. He is arrogant. He has cashed in on widespread xenophobia. He has triangulated “white-male sexism and paranoia”. He has deliberately projected a “win-at-all-costs” demeanor; and he has done so without an iota of conscience. He is the epitome of many of the things that are obnoxiously wrong with this country.
Here is a man who unashamedly admits that he has manipulated the corruptible aspects of the American political system to his own personal and financial benefit while offering no ideas for reform. His positions are as shallow as one inch pond. His public-policy prescriptions are skin deep. His puerile intellect contradicts his boastful macho. He will not become the forty-fifth president of this country next year because presidencies are made of sterner and classier stuff.
Stay tuned-in folks.