The 2016 Presidential Election — a Romney Redux?

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Tuesday 8:00 P.M., June 10th:  News just broke minutes ago on results in the Virginia 7th district Republican primary election.  Eric Cantor, the incumbent congressman — Wall Street and K Street darling — was defeated in what can only be called a stunning upset election.  He was the number two ranking Republican in the U.S. Congress, and considered a shoe-in to keep his seat.  This will no doubt stall the Republican machine just a little.  But we shouldn’t expect things to get any better in the congress because the Tea Party types will read this as a mandate to be even more radical and more obstructionist.

This is, however, a big re-shuffle of the whole Republican national political deck.  Cantor is gone.  Jeb Bush has been mortally wounded.  Chris Christie — by the time all the investigations into Bridge Gate are done — won’t be able to get elected dog catcher of Hoboken.  Ted Cruz, the napalm throwing senator from Texas, might generate some excitement among the base in the primary, but he’s not electable in a national election.  And neither is Rand Paul.  Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is not a viable candidate.  It’s a year and a half out from the last presidential contest, and he still can’t remember the three departments of the government that he would close if he were president.  Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee will do well in the early Iowa primary, but no where else.  And Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor is a wounded warrior, with plenty of political scandal baggage to carry, in a state where he barely survived a labor lead recall election in a populist revolt against his governorship.  Jeb Bush was suppose to be the Republican’s “kinder and gentler” face of the Republican party, the one with the best chance to appeal to Latino and Hispanic voter This however is not an issue where Republicans can come together, no matter what the Republican establishment and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would like to think.  If Tuesday’s election in the 7th district of Virginia is any indicator, Jeb would have a tough time in any GOP presidential primary.  I think he can probably stay in Florida, polish up his golf clubs and tune-up the engine on his golf cart, because he’s not going to be the Republican candidate for president.  At least not in the United States.

Who does that leave on the Republican’s rather shallow national campaign bench?  Who else?  In 2016 you’ll see a Republican re-tread candidate.  It will be a Romney Redux.  Or, even more unimaginable — John McCain.  Republicans have always liked to re-saddle their losers.  More than likely though Romney will be the candidate.  And the now famous forty-seven per-center will not have a chance against Hillary Clinton — the likely Democratic candidate.

But don’t kid yourself, immigration reform is not an issue that’s going away.  The democrats have a real chance here to score a huge electoral victory in 2016 by making an honest and concerted appeal to Latino and Hispanic voters.

Cantor said in his concession speech (and I’m paraphrasing) that Republicans need to focus on Republican solutions that work for the middle-class and all Americans.  Let’s be clear here.  Republicans don’t have any solutions that will work for America — and most especially middle-class working Americans.  Their solutions only work for corporate America and the top one-percent.

It’s interesting, I think, that Laura Ingram, the conservative talk show host on Fox News came out supporting David Brat, Cantor’s challenger.  This no doubt will give the brain-trust at Fox something to chew on for awhile.  Cantor spent more in steakhouses (168,000 dollars) than Brat spent on his whole campaign, a miserly $121,000.  Also, as one of his constituents said in an interview after the election — perhaps Cantor should have spent a little less time in Davos, and a little more time in his home district.  You can bet the Washington hyena pack is already scavenging the Cantor carcass.  In a couple of months the once powerful majority leader will be totally forgotten and won’t even be able to hail a cab, much less trade barbs with President Obama.

If Republicans want to set their eyes on the White House, they’re going to need a pretty powerful telescope, one that can look at least out to 2024, and maybe beyond — particularly if Elizabeth Warren were to decide to get on the ticket with Hillary.  It’s amusing how every four years Republicans are required to reach way down into their weirdo presidential grab-bag to find a candidate.  And the not too surprising thing — they always come up with the worst kook, criminal or incompetent.  If Hillary is the Democratic candidate, 2016 will be another exercise in futility for Republicans.  With the Cantor devolution, Republicans — as a national party — may have finally just shot their collective wad.

The Money Trader .

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