Hope you enjoy it.
Sad thing, but, I knew it was coming.
The Video is at CNN.
The Story via Politico:
Rand Paul dropped out of the 2016 president race on Wednesday, short on cash and support, two days after finishing with under 5 percent in the Iowa caucuses — less than one quarter of the support his father had drawn four years earlier.
The Kentucky senator, who pitched his libertarian-infused brand of conservatism as transformational for the Republican Party, will exit the national stage and instead run for reelection to the Senate. His moment in the 2016 campaign never materialized.
“Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I,” Paul said in a statement.
Paul told senior staff about his decision on Tuesday. Other staff were notified Tuesday evening and the entire Paul campaign was told via a conference call on Wednesday morning at about 8:45, according to a campaign source. In that call the Kentucky senator talked about smaller government, continuing his fight for “liberty” and the Fourth Amendment.
For months, Paul struggled to gain traction or garner attention in a race that has been dominated by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Paul hadn’t registered in double digits in any national poll since May, after he had led some surveys in 2014 and had been declared the “most interesting man” in Republican politics.
Paul had initially been viewed as a stronger contender than his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, who ran for president in 2008 and 2012 on a narrow libertarian appeal. The younger Paul had hope to build on the libertarian grassroots base that had poured tens of millions of dollars into the elder Paul’s campaigns and expand it to more mainstream Republicans.
In the end, he was able to do neither.
Rand Paul’s biggest problem is that he is not his Father and because of that hardcore Ron Paul supporters are leery of him. Paul also tended to flip-flop a bit. He also was very anti-trump and that did not help him one bit.
Drudge is promoting this one big time. Looks like Microsoft is helping out in Iowa.
Anyhow, here’s the story via the Hill:
Microsoft volunteered to provide the technology to help tally up the results of Iowa’s caucus, free of charge. Now it will be put to the test Monday night.
The contests in both parties are expected to go down to the wire. And the spotlight will be on precinct officials who have been trained on a new Microsoft app, which is meant to cut down on human error and speed up the reporting process.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties in Iowa have expressed strong confidence in Microsoft, dismissing late suspicion of corporate influence from the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) early last week.
Party officials have said no errors have been spotted in caucus dry runs. But the Sanders campaign has created its own backup reporting system, as has the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“It will be interesting to see what happens if and when there are discrepancies between the Microsoft system and either Democratic or Republican campaign tabulations,” Iowa State University professor Mack Shelley said.
Some would say that this smacks of corporate influence in elections. But, I really don’t see that, I mean, it would be worse. It could be the Government involvement. We all know what a disaster Mitt Romney had with that software he used. So, this might be a plus.
The first step of the 2016 election starts today.
The Story via Fox News:
As Iowans prepare to cast the first votes in the presidential nominating process Monday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders hoped to defy the polls and pull off upset victories in Monday night’s caucuses.
After months of campaigning and more than $150 million spent on advertising, the race for supremacy in Iowa is close in both parties.
Among Republicans, the latest polls show real estate billionaire Donald Trump holding a slim edge over Cruz. Cruz, who became the first major candidate from either party to enter the presidential race 315 days ago, has pinned his hopes to a sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation. Cruz has also modeled his campaign after past Iowa winners, visiting all of the state’s 99 counties and courting influential evangelical and conservative leaders.
“If you had told me 10 months ago that the day before the Iowa caucuses we’d be in a statistcal tie for first place I would have been thrilled and exhilarated,” Cruz told Fox News late Sunday.
The Republican caucus is also the first test of whether Trump can turn the legion of fans drawn to his plainspoken populism into voters. The scope of the billionaire’s organization in Iowa is a mystery, though Trump himself has intensified his campaign schedule during the final sprint, including a pair of rallies Monday.
I predict that Trump will come in first, with Cruz second and Rubio third on the Republican side. On the Democrat side, I think that one could be a surprise. Sanders has a good deal of support, while Hillary has the name and the money. So, that one is a toss. It will be interesting to see to say the least.
I figured this was coming:
For the past painful year, the Republican presidential contenders have been bombarding Americans with empty propaganda slogans and competing, bizarrely, to present themselves as the least experienced person for the most important elected job in the world. Democratic primary voters, on the other hand, after a substantive debate over real issues, have the chance to nominate one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.
Hillary Clinton would be the first woman nominated by a major party. She served as a senator from a major state (New York) and as secretary of state — not to mention her experience on the national stage as first lady with her brilliant and flawed husband, President Bill Clinton. The Times editorial board has endorsed her three times for federal office — twice for Senate and once in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary — and is doing so again with confidence and enthusiasm.
Mrs. Clinton’s main opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, has proved to be more formidable than most people, including Mrs. Clinton, anticipated. He has brought income inequality and the lingering pain of the middle class to center stage and pushed Mrs. Clinton a bit more to the left than she might have gone on economic issues. Mr. Sanders has also surfaced important foreign policy questions, including the need for greater restraint in the use of military force.
In the end, though, Mr. Sanders does not have the breadth of experience or policy ideas that Mrs. Clinton offers. His boldest proposals — to break up the banks and to start all over on health care reform with a Medicare-for-all system — have earned him support among alienated middle-class voters and young people. But his plans for achieving them aren’t realistic, while Mrs. Clinton has very good, and achievable, proposals in both areas.
The third Democratic contender, Martin O’Malley, is a personable and reasonable liberal who seems more suited for the jobs he has already had — governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore — than for president. Source: Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination – The New York Times
It is basically over now for Barnie; the NYT carries a good deal of weight with the establishment left. I just do not see Barnie Sanders beating Clinton now.
The full audio:
The Story via Politico:
Barack Obama, that prematurely gray elder statesman, is laboring mightily to remain neutral during Hillary Clinton’s battle with Bernie Sanders in Iowa, the state that cemented his political legend and secured his path to the presidency.
But in a candid 40-minute interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast as the first flakes of the blizzard fell outside the Oval Office, he couldn’t hide his obvious affection for Clinton or his implicit feeling that she, not Sanders, best understands the unpalatable pragmatic demands of a presidency he likens to the world’s most challenging walk-and-chew-gum exercise.
“[The] one thing everybody understands is that this job right here, you don’t have the luxury of just focusing on one thing,” a relaxed and reflective Obama told me in his most expansive discussion of the 2016 race to date.
Iowa isn’t just a state on the map for Obama. It’s the birthplace of his hope-and-change phenomenon, “the most satisfying political period in my career,” he says — “what politics should be” — and a bittersweet reminder of how far from the garden he’s gotten after seven bruising years in the White House.
The caucuses have a fierce-urgency-of-now quality as Obama reckons with the end of his presidency — the kickoff of a process of choosing a Democratic successor he hopes can secure his as-yet unsecured legacy, to keep Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or somebody else from undoing much of what he has done. And he was convinced Clinton was that candidate, prior to the emergence of Sanders, friends and associates have told me over the past 18 months.
“Bernie came in with the luxury of being a complete long shot and just letting loose,” he said. “I think Hillary came in with the both privilege — and burden — of being perceived as the front-runner. … You’re always looking at the bright, shiny object that people haven’t seen before — that’s a disadvantage to her.”
He also spoke of Bernie Sanders:
Obama didn’t utter an unkind word about Sanders, who has been respectfully critical of his administration’s reluctance to prosecute Wall Street executives and his decision to abandon a single-payer health care system as politically impractical. But he was kinder to Clinton. When I asked Obama whether he thought Sanders needed to expand his horizons, if the Vermont senator was too much a one-issue candidate too narrowly focused on income inequality, the presidente didn’t dispute the assertion.
Gesturing toward the Resolute Desk, with its spread-winged eagle seal, first brought into the Oval Office by John F. Kennedy, Obama said of Sanders: “Well, I don’t want to play political consultant, because obviously what he’s doing is working. I will say that the longer you go in the process, the more you’re going to have to pass a series of hurdles that the voters are going to put in front of you.”
Then he added: “As you’ll recall, I was sitting at my desk there just a little over a week ago … writing my State of the Union speech, and somebody walks in and says, ‘A couple of our sailors wandered into Iranian waters’” — and here he stopped to chuckle in disbelief — “that’s maybe a dramatic example, but not an unusual example of the job.”
As much as I hate to say it; President Obama is correct about that one. The office of the President of the United States is a very difficult job and it requires someone who can handle the job. While Bernie Sanders might be a respectable person and all; if I were voting in a Democratic Primary, there is no way that I would vote for Bernie Sanders, I would most likely vote for Hillary Clinton. Because she has already been there and she seems, for a Democrat, a bit more reasonable, than Bernie Sanders.
Needless to say, being an ideologue is great; if you are an activist or even maybe a Senator. However, when you are the commander and chief, that is a whole other ballgame and there is a certain amount of pragmatism is required in that office, if you actually want to succeed at the job. You have to remember, when you are President; you are President of the people of the United States of America, not just the President of the people who voted for you. You have to take into account everyone, not just those who voted for you. This is why I am not too keen on Ted Cruz; he is an extreme ideologue on the right, where Bernie Sander is an extreme ideologue on the left.
This is where I think Donald Trump might just be the more pragmatic candidate, who might just be able to get things done in DC and put aside some of this partisan rancor that has become so terrible under Bush and Obama. Now, if we could just work on his humility and get him to stop retweeting stuff like this here.
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