Thursday, May 12, 2016

Obama and Trump... The Hillary Connection

It would be practically impossible to imagine two more different human beings than President Obama and Donald Trump, but it occurred to me that they do have one thing important in common: they both chose to make their move and go for the presidency when their prime opponent was most probably going to be Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton is now viewed unfavorably by 55 percent of the electorate, according to the HuffPost Pollster average, (...) Only 40.2 percent of people view her favorably, according to that average.(...) The historic comparisons are stark. At this point in the 2008 presidential cycle, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was seen favorably by 62 percent of voters and unfavorably by just 33 percent. (...) In the most recent Gallup poll, released late last month, her unfavorable number was 53 percent versus only 42 percent who saw her favorably. The Hill
Most observers agree that however different they may be in every other way, one thing most successful people have in common is that eye for "the big chance", the instinct to catch an opportunity that perhaps only comes once in a lifetime, and I would argue that both Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if nothing else, share that instinct.

Obama has been a successful president and his only stumbling block to having been an even better one has been his inability to deal with the catastrophic obstructionism of the Tea Party infected, Republican legislators. That was always going to be very difficult, but I would argue that Obama could have been even a more successful president if he had spent a few more years in the Senate, learning the ins and outs of how that institution works and building personal relationships with its key members. But if he had stayed, he probably would never have become president. 

The moment to run against Hillary would have passed.

Donald Trump has been fondling the idea of being President of the United States for the longest time.
Establishment Republicans have watched the rise of Mr. Trump’s presidential bid this year with shock. And yet, Mr. Trump has been telegraphing his presidential ambitions for decades, including when the ever-confident businessman told Oprah Winfrey in 1988 that he would probably win the presidency if he ever competed for it. Wall Street Journal
Seeing an amazingly lackluster Republican field of what the British would call "odds and sods" and waiting for him and at the end of that rainbow... Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

Every fiber of his being must have shouted, "go for it".

We can only hope that he will have less luck with it than Senator Barack Obama did. DS

1 comment:

stunted said...

The Obama presidency has been successful as a continuation of the self-proclaimed U.S. exceptionalism. Blaming Republican obstructionism for what he has not accomplished assumes that he would have "changed" more; that the safe, right-of-center political philosophy he has always embodied, even as candidate, was somehow forced on him by a recalcitrant Congress. I see no proof of that, media obsession with that (media-generated) interpretation of events notwithstanding. The one thing to his credit is the toning-down of the demonization of Iran's nuclear policy, though Persians continue to be the boogie man under the bed of his Middle East policy, otherwise. One needn't go into the rest of his tenure--drones, ever-expanding wars, Guantanamo, relentless prosecution of whistle-blowers, non-prosecution of war and financial crimes, free trade treaties--to illustrate his more-of-the-same political bent. No Republican ball-and-chain in any of that. He is the most recent establishment avatar in a long line that has made people feel the Bern because, the buzz and glow of oratory skills having worn-off, they see that no one fights for them.
His constantly-cited crowning achievement is meant to be Obamacare, which was crafted by the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. While it has helped the extremely indigent and rightfully deserves credit for that, it is far from being the great piece of legislation its, and his, full-throated supporters claim it to be. I obtained, as required by the Affordable Healthcare Act that was passed into law, health insurance for the first time since my return to the States 20 years ago. I got a rebate via, the entity established by this law to help those who qualify for financial assistance. Nonetheless, for a recent medical procedure of mine, my wife and I had to refinance the mortgage on our house to cover the deductible and co-pays (out-of-pocket expenses, as they are referred to) of the policy we could afford, had to repay when filing our taxes $2500 of the rebate we procured via (an increase of $200/month to our policy) and saw the terms of our policy changed in January of this year. It now requires we meet all our deductible and out-of-pocket expenses upfront before any insurance coverage kicks in, including any pharmaceutical expenses. This amounts, for us, to $13,000/ year, rendering our coverage catastrophic insurance. It seems people had the effrontery to actually use their insurance for medical procedures, reducing, somewhat, the astronomical profits of insurance companies. We can see our primary care physician for $65, one time. All the rest is on us till the $13,000 threshold. Ours is a mid-level package; not the most basic nor the best. Without the house to refinance, no procedure would have been affordable at all.

Trump supporters are also feeling the Bern, so to speak, though their support, while also an expression of anger at being left with the air-conditioned nightmare (all praise Henry Miller) instead of the American Dream, stems also from freshly unleashed bigotry and continuing low-thinking of Reagan Democrats. If enough Sanders supporters refuse to vote for Hillary, anything is possible because it will be far easier for Republican and libertarian voters to toe the line than Sanders afficianados, I think.