President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Kellogg Arena, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Mich. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Democrats believe that a great gift was handed to them on Tuesday and they’ve wasted no time in exploiting it. “Impeachment 2.0” is based upon what they are portraying as President Trump’s role in the DOJ’s decision to reduce the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone. Why, with a presidential election less than nine months away, would they begin teeing up a second impeachment after their first attempt actually increased the President’s approval numbers among voters? Why not actually try tackling some issues that matter to Americans, like for example health care? Is it because, given the weakness of their 2020 field, they’re already convinced they will lose?
It sure looks that way.
Joe Biden, who finished fifth in New Hampshire’s primary, fled to South Carolina while the state’s polls were still open on Tuesday. From December 9, 2018, which was when Real Clear Politics began tracking the average of the national polls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, through February 8, 2020, Biden was the front runner. His dismal performance in the Iowa caucuses last week is responsible for the slide.
But what would account for such weakness from the candidate who held the lead for fourteen months? He was the only candidate who could beat Trump, right? Like a drum.
It is a mystery why Biden performed as well as he did in the polls for so long, because he was never a strong candidate. In addition to the fact that he failed to gain traction in either of his two previous runs for the White House, it’s become apparent to all that age (or illness) has started to take its toll on him.
Last August, when Biden was riding high in the polls and it was almost assumed he would win the nomination, it was clear that voters were simply not “excited” about his candidacy.
At the time, Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, told the New York Times, “I did not meet one Biden voter who was in any way, shape or form excited about voting for Biden.”
Murray added, “They feel that they have to vote for Joe Biden as the centrist candidate, to keep somebody from the left who they feel is unelectable from getting the nomination.”
In the last few months, Biden has actually given Democratic primary voters many reasons not to vote for him.
When he’s asked about his son, he feels free to denigrate voters. When asked by a female student about his poor showing in Iowa on Sunday, Biden impatiently asked her if she’s ever been to a caucus before. When she said that she had, he snapped, “No you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
Asked by a NH reporter, “Why should people want to make a change,” Biden replied, “Well, that’s up to them to decide.”
She, smiles, asks a second time, “Why should they?”
“It’s for them to decide,” he tells her again.
“Well, make your case,” said the young woman.
“I’m not going to,” replied the former Vice President.
Unless Biden does spectacularly well in South Carolina, which his campaign calls his “firewall,” it may be over for him.
It’s amazing that the new Democratic frontrunner is an unapologetic socialist. Although it’s difficult to put a price tag on the enactment of Bernie Sanders’ ambitious agenda, estimates have varied between $60-97.5 trillion. The City Journal’s Brian Riedl adds it all up:
The $97.5 trillion price tag is made up mostly of the costs of Sanders’s three most ambitious proposals. Sanders concedes that his Medicare For All plan would increase federal spending by “somewhere between $30 and $40 trillion over a 10-year period.” He pledges to spend $16.3 trillion on his climate plan. And his proposal to guarantee all Americans a full-time government job paying $15 an hour, with full benefits, is estimated to cost $30.1 trillion. The final $11.1 trillion includes $3 trillion to forgive all student loans and guarantee free public-college tuition—plus $1.8 trillion to expand Social Security, $2.5 trillion on housing, $1.6 trillion on paid family leave, $1 trillion on infrastructure, $800 billion on general K-12 education spending, and an additional $400 billion on higher public school teacher salaries.
This unprecedented outlay would more than double the size of the federal government. Over the next decade, Washington is already projected to spend $60 trillion, and state and local governments will spend another $29.7 trillion from non-federal sources. Adding Sanders’s $97.5 trillion—and then subtracting the $3 trillion saved by state governments under Medicare For All—would raise the total cost of government to $184 trillion, or 70 percent of the projected GDP over ten years.
We simply cannot afford it, nor would we ever want to cede that much power to the government.
Let’s envision what Crazy Bernie’s cabinet might look like. Fortunately, there is a minimum age requirement (35) for a Vice Presidential candidate or we might be looking at Vice President Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Still, she would be selected for some lofty position in a Sanders Administration. Other contenders? Pete Buttigieg, Ilhan Omar, maybe Rashida Tlaib. Scary.
How about a 38-year-old former small-city mayor with no experience in government at the federal level who, although he tries to downplay it, is every bit as radical as Bernie Sanders? As a high school student nineteen years ago, Mayor Pete penned an award-winning essay about the politician he most admired – and that was then-Rep. Bernie Sanders.
This young man is smart and extraordinarily articulate, but he is as radical as Crazy Bernie. Moreover, his record as the mayor of South Bend, IN is unimpressive, at best.
Voters have quickly discovered that Elizabeth Warren, who finished a distant fourth in New Hampshire, is a congenital liar. Several months ago, her chances of winning the nomination seemed strong. Once her casual relationship with the truth became apparent to voters, her popularity plunged.
This leaves billionaire Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN) who could both be considered “center” left candidates.
Bloomberg, who has already spent $200-300 million on his campaign is a bore. His few campaign events attract small crowds. And then there’s his recent flip-flop over Stop and Frisk, “the random search of people by police to determine if they are carrying unlicensed firearms.” Throughout his three terms as the mayor of New York City, he advocated the use of Stop and Frisk by law enforcement, a practice begun by his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani. And he saw the city’s crime rate continue to fall. When he decided to run for president in November, he made a public apology for his support of this technique.
Audio recordings of a speech Bloomberg had delivered in 2015 at the Aspen Institute and similar remarks made on his weekly radio show in 2013, surfaced on Tuesday morning. The former mayor is heard offering his full support for a questionable law enforcement technique known as “stop and frisk.” He is clearly heard saying:
95% of murders, murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities, sixteen to twenty-five…That’s where the real crime is.
Put those cops where the crime is which means in minority neighborhoods. So, one of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh, my God. You are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods.
Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.
And the way you get the guns out of the kids hands is to throw them up against the walls and frisk them.
When asked to comment on the recordings, Bloomberg said:
I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence, it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should’ve done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized — and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities.
In other words, he will say whatever he needs to say to win. He also has limitless cash. Although that certainly helps, it doesn’t guarantee victory. Hillary Clinton significantly outspent President Trump in 2016 and still lost the election.
Nobody really took a serious look at Klobuchar until last Friday’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire where she performed admirably. She went on to take third place in Tuesday’s primary finishing well ahead of Warren and Biden, who ended with 9.2% and 8.4%, respectively. The best description of Klobuchar comes from Fox News contributor Mark Steyn who calls her the “sensible shoes” candidate. She was the only candidate with the temerity to speak up and say she would not be comfortable if a socialist won the nomination.
Her surprisingly strong performance in the New Hampshire primary has put Klobuchar on the radar screen as a serious, viable candidate. The media is seeing her as if for the first time. The increased media attention will bring greater scrutiny.
The only thing we’ve heard so far about Klobuchar is that she shouts at her aides frequently and once, unable to find a fork, she ate salad with a comb.
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey has met Klobuchar and writes: “Like most politicians in Minnesota and the upper Midwest in general, Klobuchar succeeds by projecting an image of calm affability. Based on a couple of personal interactions with her, I’d argue that it’s a fairly genuine image rather than an affectation.”
It’s too early to predict which candidate will win the nomination. Maybe the eventual nominee will be someone from outside the current field. I would argue that barring a recession or a serious Trump scandal, it doesn’t really matter who the Democrats choose. And they are very well aware of this.
This is why Democrats have latched onto President Trump’s comments on the Roger Stone sentencing recommendation and Attorney General William Barr’s decision to reduce it. It’s a pretty slim reed, to be sure. But they are desperate. And within 24 hours, they have escalated the situation into a possible impeachable offense. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee requested that Barr testify before their committee, a move they might live to regret.
Here we go again.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi on allegations Pres. Trump interfered in Roger Stone sentencing recommendation: "The president is what he is…but where are the Republicans to speak out on this blatant violation?" https://t.co/f9wy2G45H0 pic.twitter.com/u4S7DMp4yW
— ABC News (@ABC) February 13, 2020