The stakes in 2016 are too high for this country to endure another four years of a Democrat in the White House. Like most here, I have my favorite candidate who I believe would be the best choice for the GOP. All candidates have some warts, but all be would more palatable than Hillary Clinton (well, maybe not all).
As we head towards more debates, it is best to keep a few things in mind. First, the upcoming debates will all not be carried or hosted by the friendly confines of Fox News. CNBC, and the three major networks will all get a crack at the Republican candidates. One can rest assured that the liberal media will be coming hard at them and we should look to see which ones they treat with softer gloves. Beware this lot! My guess is that both Trump and Cruz will be singled out since they are the two the mainstream media, for differing reasons, seem to focus on negatively. As for the kid gloves, expect them to be put on for Kasich and Bush.
Second, it would be great to hear some policy specifics somewhere along the line. Walker and Rubio started with their health care reform roll-out and Walker’s has received some support and justification from unexpected quarters before he suspended his campaign. Most analysis is that it is workable, politically feasible and may even pick up some Democratic support along the way. Even Trump’s immigration policy position paper- despite its many flaws- was a step in the right direction. We can debate the efficacy or reality of it, but at least we have something to debate beyond vague generalities. And many of Fiorina’s points in the second debate were specific.
Third, candidates and pundits and many people here: please do not put so much emphasis on polls and how so-and-so is doing in a certain state or nationally. These polls are useless except to create conversation and determine who gets on a stage for a certain debate. And candidates should not compromise policy positions or principles based on polling. That is a Democratic/Clinton tactic. Trends in polling are sometimes just as important as the actual numbers and who is the “front runner.”
Fourth, the goal in 2016 is to defeat Clinton. Everything should be geared towards that eventuality. The Left, Right, middle and everything else seems to be of one opinion when it comes to Hillary Clinton- she is her own worse enemy. If we know anything about the Clintons, it is that they are political survivors. What else explains a horn dog like Bill Clinton being held in such high esteem today as he jets around the country with a known sex offender.
Fifth, do not overplay the Clinton e-mail scandal. Although the mainstream media may not give it much air time, the daily revelations are leaking out. We do not know where all the investigations will lead and we can rest assured that her Congressional Benghazi testimony will be a media circus. She can get away with “What difference does it make?” only once and the media will play up her “forthrightness” before the committee. But every time she opens her mouth to explain her e-mails, private server and everything that goes with it, she steps deeper into political doo-doo. Subtle reminders here and there are fine; outright attacks can backfire. Let Clinton shoot herself in the foot.
Plan for Clinton as the opponent. She is the best the Democrats have in 2016 which is not saying much. But they know it and everyone else knows it. It would be great to oppose a Sanders or a Biden, but the chances of that happening are very slim. Her poll numbers may be down, but not appreciably among Democrats. Sanders may lead now in New Hampshire and he may be gaining on her in Iowa overall, but among Democrats in those states, she is still viewed as the best and most electable candidate they have.
Go not only at Hillary but that sordid cadre of miscreants she calls an inner circle. Link her to people like George Soros, John Podesta, Harold Ickes and Huma Abedin to name a few. These are her benefactors and cronies and they all have nefarious backgrounds. These are the people she associates with, calls friends and confidantes. Sometimes you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Notice how defensive she became when Trump mentioned Weiner and Abedin?
And highlight the huge disparity between the true middle class- the people she claims to represent- and her lifestyle. Show her many homes in commercials, her jet-setting, and secret, closed fundraisers. Illustrate that as someone with absolutely nothing in common with the middle class she can hardly be trusted to be their champion. Be bold and take risks. You know the “war on women” thing is coming so don’t be afraid because she is a woman. You’re going to get hammered either way.
The strategy is to keep in mind that Hillary Clinton- not a fellow Republican- is the real enemy here. The media will play up the Republican-on-Republican attacks and ignore Clinton’s e-mails, or Planned Parenthood videos. It is the nature of the beast. I steadfastly believe that the Republican Party has the better policy positions and views. What better way to bring them to public light than through reasoned, open and civil debate? If 24 million tuned in to the first debate, even if it was to see Donald Trump, then Trump should be thanked for the ratings if nothing else. Let’s show the Nation that the GOP has the right policy solutions and vision for America in 2016. And keep in mind that Donald Trump, or Cruz, or Bush or any other Republican candidate is not the enemy. There is only one and its name is Hillary Clinton.