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The Key to Predicting the Democrat Race: Learning the Real Lessons of History

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

It’s very predictable that Jeff Greenfield can’t predict anything accurately. – Dinosaur DC Swamp creature Jeff Greenfield had a typically vapid piece in Politico on Sunday that sums up the sorry  state of media punditry in the nation’s capital quite nicely. It’s a piece filled to the gills with the tiresome nostrums and shibboleths adhered to by the DC pundit class, and thus exactly what we would expect to see published in Politico.

Greenfield, who bills himself as “a five-time Emmy-winning network television analyst and author,” has been completely wrong about everything since the day in June, 2015 when Donald Trump and Melania rode down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy. Frustrated by his own foolish consistency, Greenfield assumes that, because he is an awarded “expert,” everyone else must be wrong as well. Thus the title of his piece, “Why You’re Wrong About the Democratic Primary.”

The thesis of Greenfield’s piece is itself highly predictable, and not just because of its headline. It’s also utterly predictable that a guy who is always wrong – like Greenfield – would pen a piece claiming everyone else is just like he is. After all, didn’t every “expert” predict about 500 times between May, 2015 and May 2016 that Trump’s campaign was dead, and that some random event represented the “beginning of the end for Donald Trump” like Greenfield did?

Didn’t every “expert”, inside-the-beltway pundit predict that Hillary Clinton would best Trump by a landslide? Didn’t every “expert” in our fake national news media predict about 300 times between Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel in May, 2017 and the issuance of his report in March, 2019 that “Robert Mueller has got the goods on Trump?”

Well…yeah. Yeah, they all did predict all of those things. Greenfield even admits as much waaaaaayyyy down at the bottom of his piece where, after writing 800 words of drivel about how the “lessons of history” tell us that nothing about this current nomination battle is in any way predictable, he says:

In 2016, Donald Trump, a candidate with no political experience and no measurable support from his party’s establishment, never trailed in the polls and was never seriously threatened during his campaign for the nomination. Based on the lessons of history, Trump’s inevitable fall was confidently predicted by journalists and insiders, even as he racked up primary victories and delegates.

So, if Greenfield is talking exclusively about inside-the-beltway DC media “expert” pundits, then his piece would be accurate. But if – as the headline appears to imply – he’s also talking about seasoned observers who have never lived inside-the-beltway bubble and who understand how the 99% of the country outside of the nation’s capital works, then Greenfield is massively wrong.

The problem with DC pundits is not that they rely on the lessons of history, but that they don’t understand what those lessons of history happen to be. I was telling my clients in December of 2015 that Donald Trump was almost 100% certain to be the eventual GOP nominee due to one simple lesson of history about the GOP, which is that, since the advent of polling just after World War II, that party has always, without fail, ended up nominating the candidate who led in the polls in the December prior to the election. DC pundits were uniformly shocked as a class that that immutable lesson of history continued to hold true in 2016.

In May, 2016, I told a gathering of about 30 corporate CEOs and other senior executives that Donald Trump would probably win the general election due to another simple lesson of history, which is that every presidential election is determined by the overriding national public mood, i.e., is the public interested in change or is it wanting to preserve the status quo? The public in 2016, after 8 long years of oppressive, economy-dampening regulation by the Obama thugs, was definitely in a mood for change, even the radical change being offered by Donald Trump.

This was at a time when Greenfield and his fellow media “experts” were myopically predicting a Clinton landslide based on an array of polls they all knew were flawed at best and intentionally faked at worst.

But back to the Democrat nomination race. We can’t sit here today and confidently predict who the nominee will be – Greenfield is right about that. In fact, because of the proportional system of awarding delegates the Dems have adopted for the election cycle, we may not be able to do that until next year’s convention rolls around.

But there are all sorts of things that are very easy to accurately predict about this race at this point in time, most of them based on “lessons of history” that Greenfield and other media “experts” seem incapable of grasping.

Here’s a lesson of history: No candidate who lacks a compelling basis for entering the race in the first place is going to become the eventual nominee. See Gillibrand, Kirsten as a prime example. That desperate, humiliating video we saw of her pandering in an Iowa gay bar on Saturday was pretty much an inevitable outcome for a candidate who has literally no reason to be in this race to begin with. This same lesson applies to other mystery candidates like Bill DeBlasio, John Delaney and Steve Bullock (who is the Governor of Montana, for those 99% of you who have never heard of him). All these people and several others who have no compelling reason to run might as well go home now.

Here’s another lesson of history: Failure to strike while the political iron is hot can be fatal. See O’Rourke, Irish Bob as this year’s best example. The fake news media was in love with “Beto” and desperately wanted him to get into the race last December, January at the latest. I wrote way back in January that Irish Bob was missing his moment, but did he listen? Nooooooo. Irish Bob piddled around for another two months before finally coming out as a candidate, and by then his date to the media prom had been taken by Mayor Pete. Now, Texas Dems, seeing O’Rourke’s candidacy dead in the water, are desperate for him to come back to Texas and challenge John Cornyn for the U.S. senate seat.

How about this lesson of history: Age matters, and it matters a ton for some of these people. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are simply too old to be president of the United States. Neither will be the party’s nominee. Mayor Pete is simply too young. He won’t be the nominee, either, although he will be able to compete in the primaries and carry enough delegates into next year’s convention to be a bit of a power broker if no clear nominee emerges from the primary elections.

One final lesson of history: The nominee will always be someone who is in step with the party’s voter base. We have to caveat this one this time due to the proportional awarding of delegates, which creates an unusually-high potential for a brokered convention where you might see a compromise candidate like the Pantsuit Princess or Michelle Obama or even Oprah Winfrey emerge. But the candidate who will emerge from the primary elections with the most accumulated delegates will be the person who can most authentically play the party’s identity politics game, enthusiastically support the party’s lurch to outright infanticide, and keep the party’s irrational social media mob ginned up. This very dynamic is why you are seeing Elizabeth Warren’s polling numbers firming up slowly as the race goes on.

In addition to being too old, Biden simply has no ability to satisfy this final lesson. He won’t be the nominee. If he is, then we would be looking at a Trump landslide of 1984 proportions, as a discouraged and dissatisfied Democrat voter base stays home in droves on Election Day.

Jeff Greenfield and the other DC media “experts” think I’m wrong about all of this. What do you think?

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

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Saturday Scattershooting While Waiving Bye-Bye To Tom Price

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

  • Well, she was talking about those ‘other’ women – Michelle Obama said that “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.”  No word from the former First Lady on what she was doing during the 2008 Democrat nominating contest when she actively campaigned for a mean ol’ man against Mrs. Clinton and presumably voted for her husband rather than her “own voice” in the Illinois primary that year.
  • Tired of winning yet?  Part 1 – all the stock indexes closed at all-time record highs yet again on Friday, as the U.S. economy continues to hum along in response to the Trump Administration’s ongoing program to remove the shackles of unnecessary soviet-style regulations that were piled onto it during the Obama years.  This has happened so often during the last 8 months that it has become passe’ to even mention it.  But there, I mentioned it.
  • Tired of winning yet?  Part II – U.S. GDP for the 2nd quarter of 2017 was raised to a final estimate of 3.1% on Friday, the highest quarterly rate of economic growth in many years.  If you want to know why, see the bit about removal of soviet-style regulations above.  This is not exactly rocket science.
  • Because that’s what happens when a Republican charges taxpayers $1 million in air travel in just 8 months – To literally nobody’s surprise, President Trump fired HHS Secretary Tom Price Friday afternoon, after it had been revealed that he felt his entire job was to fly in high style all over the damn world every week at exorbitant taxpayer expense.  He apparently didn’t break any laws, and he didn’t do anything myriad Obama officials had not done the past 8 years, but unlike Democrat presidencies, Republican administrations must hold their people accountable for this kind of behavior.  Mr. Price apparently didn’t understand that, which means he was too dumb to hold a secretarial position in the first place.
  • I wrote on Thursday about my belief that the just-begun effort by the GOP establishment leadership in congress to move a tax reform bill is just a Kabuki dance, and that the outcome is already fore-ordained to be a McConnell/Ryan joint presser in December in which they tell us all they did their best but they just ran out of time.  If you don’t believe that, read the piece linked here in The Hill, in which various House Republicans are already speculating how the bill will ultimately be killed in the Senate, maybe by the same group of RINOs who killed the Obamacare bill.
  • Hell, you’ve even got the Chairman of Senate Finance, Utah Senator Orin Hatch – who is likely to retire next year, and thus never have to face the voters again – talking about ways to kill the effort in public.  The probable truth is that Mitch McConnell already has 8 or 9 members of his GOP caucus who can be counted on to vote against any version of a tax reform bill if he needs them.
  • They’ll couch their votes with objections like Hatch’s, i.e., “I feel very strongly we need to preserve that wonderful deduction for state and local taxes, oh my”.  Maybe Susan Collins’ objection will be her strong feeling that we need to give a special tax credit to any woman who seeks an abortion at Planned Parenthood clinics;  Lamar Alexander might want to preserve some special tax break for his state’s whiskey distillers; Lisa Murkowski might feel strongly about the need to preserve some tax program that benefits polar bears; John McCain might think he’s voting on the EPA appropriations bill rather than a tax bill;  regardless, the three GOP ‘no’ votes needed to kill this thing are already out there in some combination of senators or another.
  • I hate to be the bearer of this bad news because we really do need to reform our absurd tax system, but watching this all play out is like going to a movie whose previews have already revealed the final scene.  You already know how it’s going to end, but you go anyway just to see the details of how it all plays out.

Just another day in GOP congressional Kabuki dance America.

That is all.

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