Circling ahead of the inevitable knife-fight to come, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are both dealing with their own personal demons in their own personal way
The front runners in the race for the White House in 2016 are yet to officially declare their campaigns but that hasn’t stopped them all doing whatever they have to do to raise funds to the same sort of degree they’d need if they were about finance their own private war. Indeed I feel certain many smaller wars have been fought and won for far less than the amount Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are likely to have to spend on a successful run at the big chair.
Barak Obama and the loser formally known as Mitt Romney both spend over a billion dollars each on their battle in 2012. Campaign finance isn’t just the finance, it’s the campaign. Without the funds there simply isn’t a campaign however much there might be grassroots support for your efforts, those supporter have to donate, and the richer donors have to be positively courted to do so. Deals will be done that swap financial support now for political patronage later.
The rich then having more power to exercise control over the legislative framework of the nation, is no surprise. They have more money, they can donate more or threaten to do so to an opposing candidate, and get politicians hungry for power and public adulation to agree to just about anything. The small donor of $100 or so might fill the coffers, but they’ll get precious little say compared to the donor who is forking over $10,000,000. This is unfortunate, but a fact of political life in the US.
This fund raising requirement means no one is going to announce a run, if they actually think they have any chance at all, until they’ve got the necessary level of financing behind them, they won’t be gambling news outlets and the public might support them till they know enough rich people already do, rich people for whom they’ll have to do favors later. However this period of the proto-campaign does also provide a window into how each candidate sees themselves.
Jeb Takes Some Distance
Whilst busy fund raising like there’s no tomorrow, and pretending they’re not running for president despite doing all the things you have to do for no other job except running for president, Jeb and Hillary are, as is entirely sensible in their position, attempting to preemptively counter what they see as likely criticisms of themselves. This demonstrates with almost crystal clarity then what they themselves believe to be those parts of themselves on which they most vulnerable.
Of course these two candidates come with the vulnerabilities already built in, there’s no great mystery to it, but the admittance is nice to hear as they over-compensate in little ways that give their fears away. The big one for Jeb Bush being, naturally, an overt association with his family. That the first President Bush was a war hero, getting shot down over the pacific during combat, didn’t really make up for the fact he was a stiff neck in a bad suit with very little grasp of economics.
Naturally that pales in to insignificance compared to the division of a nation that was G W Bush’s term in office. He didn’t just manage to split the country, but then sent it to war unsuccessfully…..twice, and ran up so much debt the Chinese now own America whether it can face that truth or not. Jeb then has to do all he can to set himself apart and spent much of his time during a speech in Chicago doing precisely that on the all important topic of foreign policy, you know, the one his older brother couldn’t spell.
Jeb made it quite clear that he is, and here’s the sound bite folks, his “own man” in such affairs, possibly ruining it by then claiming there are “shortfalls in our defense spending”, which is laughable because 43% of the military expenditure of the entire planet is spent by just one nation; The USA. There is no shortfall, but Jeb is worried he’ll look gunshy if he doesn’t talk tough, but spending more on weapons doesn’t seem like the basis of a very quiet world, does it?
Hillary Takes Her Time
Hillary, on the other hand, is traveling around the US gambling laws of nature will be of assistance rather than a hindrance in her campaign. She’s less concerned about her husband’s presidency. Bill Clinton might have been surrounded by a chaotic circus of Lewinsky etc (much of it of a Republican creation) but he’s still thought of in good terms by those on the democratic side, and to win, Hillary doesn’t need too much support from anywhere else.
Battle Of The Billionaires
• What worries the candidates
• Jeb employs some distance
• Hillary some preemptive retaliation
The Republicans know this, they’re a party with a shrinking base and needs to reach out, Hillary can just rally the troops and still gain a win. Rallying the troops however means she has to combat the sexist agism of the US voters that lamentably see a woman of her age as over the hill whilst a man of the same years is merely experienced and wise. Combating this small-minded mindset was always going to be key to her chances and she’s made a tough choice to meet it head on.
Recently tweeting “Grandmothers know best” Hillary was making a statement of intent, she is casting herself as the wise old woman and anyone who fights her as a hater of grannies. Negative campaigns about her age and health might be the stuff of Karl Rove’s wet dreams, but they’ll be tough to run if she plays the grandmother card at every turn. Rhetorical questions might be asked about her suitability due to age or health, but that will inevitably draw accusations of sexism and the ire of granny.
Will Americans want a grandmother running the nation? The brilliant bookies at Bet365, who know how much you like to bet on sport in the US and consider politics just another rather bizarre sport, are rather inclined to think she will with a nice 6/5 on her grabbing the White House next year, Jeb Bush, by comparison almost languishes on 10/3, after which it all seems to go down hill as Marco Rubio and Scott Walker sit on 12/1, with Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Elizabeth Warren trailing on 18/1 which means you’ll have to really like long shots to back any of them.