Oct 13, 2015

It's a Race Between HR Clinton and B Sanders

As many of you, I'm watching the Democratic debate in Las Vegas, and judging by how the candidates present their case, it's a race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The other three aren't cutting it. They're not saying anything different that the activist base will turn to them instead of the two front runners. And, yes, the delivery matters.

Of course they're all playing to the activist Democratic base, which is the one that will come out in the primaries. Therefore, there's lots of agreement on most issues. The peripheral issues aren't make or break for the people who will decide this primary race, and for more general election voters.

What I like:

BS: "Fraud is a business model" for Wall Street! Break up the humongous banks.

HRC is weak on dealing with Wall Street and big banks, but, she seems comfortable on stage and has command of the issues. Her performance will pay dividends, and if not against Sanders right away, it'll probably make Joe Biden's entry into the race less remote.

BS: If serious change is to happen, millions of people who aren't participating need to come out and vote. This is very true. Many Americans either don't see how politics in DC affect their lives directly or have given up. The system favors the insiders and the elites (usually the same group), but it can respond to popular pressure. The ballot can be an effective way to make the leaders understand what their priorities should be.

Most Americans don't understand our complicated political system. The media don't explain how things work. The candidates don't want to say that no matter what they promise, Congress has to go along. And, Congress isn't elected on a national ticket. Congresspeople represent their districts or states, not necessarily the interests of the country. So, it's very important that a president has the ability to convince--the people, the Congress, political parties, and the media. Popularity matters, but political capital must be spent quickly or it evaporates.