Five Questions Trump Must Answer

The Hill has come out with an interesting article written by Niall Stanage about the upcoming presidential campaign. Basically it says there are five questions that must be answered before Donald Trump gets the GOP nod to be it’s presidential candidate again. And they are questions that every American, Republican or not, should be asking.

First off, what is the affect of an indictment on Donald Trump? Manhattan’s District Attorney is readying charges that Trump paid off porn star, Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. The big questions I have regarding this are, did Trump pay off Daniels? Is it actually illegal to pay “hush money”, and hasn’t this thing hit the statute of limitations already? It’s been seven years! Of course, what the affect is on Trump’s campaign if he is indeed indicted is something that’s already being hotly debated, and we’ve discussed it here earlier. I think it will have some impact, but the true Trump supporters are going to hang with him. They’ll see it as he paints the picture…it’s another witch hunt.

Second question that would need to be answered is just how solid is Trump’s support? He didn’t fare very well in the November elections as far as his endorsed candidates are concerned. Oh, the majority of the won, but the candidates in the swing states didn’t do all that well. Herschel Walker lost in Georgia, Kari Lake lost in Arizona. Blake Masters also lost in Arizona, Adam Laxalt lost a close race in Nevada. Mehmet Oz got beat by John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, and Doug Mastriano got swamped in the Governor’s race there. That’s six very key races that Trump lost…in states that he lost to Joe Biden in. He obviously hasn’t been able to turn the corner in those states just yet.

Of course, a lot can be made out of this past election cycle. If you look at the candidates that I listed above, really only Adam Laxalt was a quality candidate. Maybe you can throw Mastriano into the mix, but even he was a little squirrely in his campaign. Walker, Lake, Masters, and Oz, were all just terribly weak.

The third question that needs to be answered is the question of age. You know it’s going to be a factor for Joe Biden. Hell, he’s even said it would be a factor moving forward. But Donald Trump has been able to skate on that question so far, for pretty much one simple reason. He is in his mid 70’s right now, and would be 82 if he wins and serves a full second term. But he doesn’t look like he’s in his mid 70’s. And he’s got a lot more spring in his step than Biden does. He also doesn’t make as many mental errors. So, yes…while a lot of the country is saying its time for us to find younger, more in touch leaders, and let the old guard retire to their pastures, you have the top two contenders for their party’s nomination in Trump and Biden, well past retirement age in any other industry. That is going to be a question going forward.

The fourth question is very simply, is Trump still electable? The last thing any Republican, or conservative wants to do is waste yet another election cycle on a candidate that doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting elected. We’ve seen the GOP do that time and time again, just because “it’s someone’s turn”. Look at Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, all losers and very weak candidates. But all ran and never had a ghost of a chance of winning. My question for Trump isn’t his policies, I’ve been in favor of most of them during his first term. My big question is, can Trump do something to reverse the hatred toward him. Currently, his approval rating is just 34%. And Joe Biden isn’t faring much better at 38%. That tells me there is an “Anybody but 2020 candidates” mentality going on out there. This is probably going to be the toughest question for Trump to answer.

Finally, the question looms about Ron DeSantis. He’s as conservative as Trump, if not more-so. He’s a LOT younger at only 44 years old, so he is able to get around the age question, and would make Joe Biden look like a walking zombie. If DeSantis gets into the race after the Florida legislative session later on this spring or early summer, he is going to be probably the only candidate for the GOP nod that Trump really has to worry about. If he is as big of a rock star in political circles as it looked last November, he is going to rival Ronald Reagan’s appeal. He says all the right things, and as long as there aren’t too many skeletons in his closet (something Trump has always had to worry about), he should give Trump a run for his money next year at this time.

There you have it. Five questions that Donald Trump needs to answer to the American people before we decide on whether or not he’s worthy of getting another shot at the Oval Office. And to be honest, I’m not all that certain that he’s going to be able to do it!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is Fetterman Still Able To Serve?

People in Pennsylvania have to be wondering whether or not John Fetterman, their newly elected, freshman Senator was a wise choice this past November. I’ll be the first to admit that just because you put a TV star up for election, doesn’t mean that he/she is good enough to be elected. And while there was some truth to the Fetterman complaint that Mehmet Oz was a “carpetbagger” that lived in New Jersey, and doesn’t know much about the Commonwealth, it does beg the question, would Oz be at work today? Or would he be in a hospital suffering from depression?

And there is what the people of Pennsylvania have to deal with.

See, they currently don’t have any representation in the United States Senate. Bob Casey (D-PA) is currently undergoing surgery for colon cancer and is out of action for a while. Fetterman just checked into Walter Reed Hospital with what was described as “clinical depression”. There had been some talk for a very short period of time that Fetterman would resign his seat less than two months into his six year term. However, his staff quickly said that was off the table.

Look, I don’t want to bash somebody because they suffer from depression. I’ve seen it up close and personal, and I know it’s a terrible thing. Apparently, Fetterman has had bouts of clinical depression throughout his life. My question is, and I followed the Pennsylvania race fairly closely, why wasn’t that brought up? He used his stroke as a crutch time and time again. Why didn’t he bring up the depression as well? Wouldn’t that have been something that the good people of his state should have known before they went into the voting booth?

Fetterman said on numerous occasions that he intended to be better from the stroke he suffered almost a year ago, and would be able to represent the people of his state without any problem. That hasn’t been the case. To date, when in committee hearings, Fetterman has a special hookup on a computer that allows him to read what’s being said in real time. That gives him a little bit more time to read and understand what’s going on. But it also means that he isn’t well enough from the stroke to actually do what he’s said he would be able to do.

And my question going forward, not just with Fetterman, but with every politician of both parties…if they make a promise in the campaign, especially one regarding how well they can serve their constituents, and they aren’t able to uphold that promise for whatever reason, shouldn’t that be an automatic disqualification from office? We all get sick from time to time, as is evidenced with Bob Casey. No one wishes Casey or even Fetterman anything but a quick recovery. But when you get the votes of people who aren’t sure they want to vote for you because of a health issue, as was the case with Fetterman, and you can’t deliver on it, shouldn’t you just be a man and recognize that you can’t follow through and resign? It’s not like Pennsylvania won’t have another Democrat Senator appointed. Governor Tom Wolf is a Democrat and would most assuredly appoint yet another Democrat to fill Fetterman’s seat should that need arise.

It’s funny because people in both parties are calling on New York Representative, George Santo to resign because he padded his resume, said he was Jewish when he wasn’t, basically lied his way to the House of Representatives, and he gets grilled for it (and rightly so). But Fetterman, who lied when he said he was going to be strong enough to take on the job of Senator come January, obviously isn’t. That was an obvious lie, and my hunch is (though I have no proof), that his doctors told him he wouldn’t be 100% back to normal two months after the election. Why is he called “courageous” and Santos is being hailed as a liar? Didn’t they both lie? And look at Adam Schiff! He’s got to be the biggest liar of the 20th and 21st centuries. But it’s called a tragedy, when he isn’t given his old position on the House Intelligence Committee. That’s after he’s been accused of leaking classified documents to the press.

Isn’t it time that the sewer known as DC be cleaned up once and for all? Frankly, I think we should kick every one of them out of office, not allow them to run for office again, and start with fresh people. I get it that we would be getting a bunch of people of the same party in there, but maybe…just maybe…we can get some honesty back in DC. I never thought I’d see the day when a door-to-door used car salesman in a plaid jacket had a better reputation than our Representatives and Senators. Sad.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

The FINAL Post Mortem On Midterms

With Raphael Warnock’s win over Herschel Walker in the Georgia Senate Runoff election this past Tuesday, the elections, for the most part are complete. There is one House race left to officially be decided. In the Colorado 3rd District, Lauren Boebert leads Adam Frisch by about 550 votes meaning that they are involved in a recount. He has already conceded to her, and she is expected to keep her House seat. But all of the remaining House and Senate seats have been decided. So, it’s time for a final post-mortem on the election.

First off, there was no red wave. There was, however, a red ripple. like dropping a very small pebble into the middle of a pond. The House of Representatives will change hands and the Republicans will be in charge next year. That’s regardless how Lauren Boebert ends up doing in the recount. Expect the GOP to have a four-seat majority. For Republicans, that’s the good news. But there’s plenty of bad news if you’re Republican.

First and foremost, there were four major Senate races that Republicans were hoping to win in order to shake up Congress entirely. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona were all in play. Some will include New Hampshire in that one, and only a few others would say Colorado’s seat held by Michael Bennett was possibly up for grabs. Neither turned out to be the case. But out of the four that the GOP had hoped to flip, they all stayed with the Democrats. Except of course Pennsylvania. That seat flipped from Republican to Democrat. That’s what gave the Democrats a 51-49 majority.

So, the question is why? What was the big lead up that this was going to be an historical election that would change the course of politics forever? We were told for months that the GOP would take over the House, and that it would certainly be by a lot more than four seats. We were told the Senate would most likely go to the Republicans as well, as this was a referendum on Joe Biden’s presidency. So what went wrong?

Well, I think there were three major issues at play in this year’s elections, and with apologies to Kari Lake, none of them involved voter fraud.

The first problem was that the quality of the candidates the Republicans chose to run in the primaries were not the best. Now, I’m not taking all of the races into account, just the four to six Senate seats that we discussed earlier. Let’s face it. Mehmet Oz, Herschel Walker, and Blake Masters were not good candidates at all. Neither were Joe O’Dea in Colorado or Don Bolduc in New Hampshire. Only Adam Laxalt was what I would call a quality candidate that could of won. So, when you start out with less quality than the opposition, unless you’re going to throw a ton of money at the race, you’re not going to win. And I have to blame Donald Trump for most of that. All of the people mentioned were Trump supported candidates. Only Laxalt had any political experience. And when you’re looking at unseating someone at the second highest level in government, next only to the president, you better have someone that knows how to play the political game. And let’s face it, Trump only chose candidates that went along with his theory that he had the 2020 election stolen from him.

The second problem was that the Democrats came loaded for bear in those four states. They spent oodles of money in each of them. I live in Arizona, and I was seeing ads for Mark Kelly long before I even knew who Blake Masters was. Let’s take a quick look at the amounts raised by the candidates according to Open Mark Kelly raised $79.3 million to Blake Masters’ $12.0 million in Arizona. In Pennsylvania, John Fetterman outspent Mehmet Oz $56.6 million to $40.3 million and that included $5 million of Oz’ own money. In Georgia, Raphael Warnock raised $150.5 million. Herschel Walker got $58.3 million, and in Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto raised $52.8 million to Adam Laxalt’s $15.5 million. Is it any wonder the Democrats defended their seats and took Pennsylvania? They outspent the Republicans by a 3-1 margin!

The final problem, and it’s being billed as one of the largest reasons the vote turned out the way it did, which I disagree with, was the Supreme Court ruling on abortion. I’ll say that it probably didn’t help the Republicans at all, but I’m not so sure it was the biggest reason the Dems did so well. I’d call it a distant third over all. After all, everyone knew what was coming back in April, when it was leaked.

The Republicans did gain the House, and that’s a good thing, but they have a big task at hand. Whomever gets elected Speaker in January needs to rule with an iron fist to keep this group together. It would also help if they focused on the problems We The People face, not what They The Politicians feel is important. They have a terrible record at determining what is important!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

So? Who Won “The Debate”?

Well, of course, that is going to depend on who you ask. But it appears that the “Big Debate”, the Lincoln/Douglas Debate of the 21st Century, went to Mehmet Oz in a landslide.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There were quite a few libs out there that wanted to say what an admirable job John Fetterman did, seeing how he suffered a debilitating stroke just five months ago. But on substance…on what you bring to a debate stage? There was no doubt that Oz was the overall winner without much question.

Even liberals took to Twitter to ask why in the world Fetterman’s team ever would have let him take the debate stage against Oz. I can answer that one very quickly. What Fetterman has been doing on the campaign trail hasn’t been working. If it has, he would have played Katie Hobbs out here in the desert and refused to debate. Except, she isn’t leading in the polls.

Look, if you haven’t been able to watch the debate, I will give Fetterman credit for showing up. Let’s face it. Even without a stroke and at full mental capacity, Fetterman was up to his eyeballs in crap last night. Mehmet Oz has made a living over the last decade in front of a TV camera. You think he was the least bit worried or nervous? C’mon! Here’s a guy that has pitched some of the lamest medical devices in the history of the world to an adoring public and got away with it. Facing a stroke victim and having to keep a straight face and he bumbles his way through an answer? Childs play!

On substance, Fetterman apparently flip-flopped on his stance on fracking. He had earlier even signed a pledge stating that he would ban fracking. That’s not what came out of his mouth. He said during the debate that he always “supported fracking”. Ooops!

On a different subject, Fetterman said that he never backed a Bernie Sanders style socialist healthcare plan. However, back in 2016, Fetterman said that a national single-payer plan was “ideal”. Now, which was it?

Oz didn’t escape entirely. He was asked about abortion, and here was his reply, “There should not be involvement from the federal government in how states decide their abortion decisions,” Oz said. “As a physician, I’ve been in the room when there are some difficult conversations happening. I don’t want the federal government involved with that at all. I want women, doctors, local political leaders, letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive, to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves.”

Liberals of course, had a problem with that. Anyone that comes out with any restrictions (including a states’ rights argument) on abortion is deemed to have lost any debate, or any sane person’s vote. Actually, what Oz said mimicked the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision and is actually the only correct legal decision the high court could have reached if you take emotion out of it.

Overall? Oz in a landslide. If this doesn’t move him into the lead over Fetterman, as he only trailed by 1.6% before the debate, I don’t think anything will. Move Pennsylvania into the safely RED column.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Fetterman’s Folly

Tonight is the night that Pennsylvanians have been waiting for. Well, a lot of them anyway. It’s the night that John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz square off in their only debate, and it couldn’t come at a more crucial time for both political camps.

Oz had challenged Fetterman to debate as early as this summer, and Fetterman refused citing his recent stroke that he suffered in May. While Oz said he was certainly mindful of Fetterman’s condition, he would concede all sorts of things so Fetterman would be able to debate him. In the end, the pressure got to the Lt. Governor. He agreed to debate Oz once, after the mail in voting had started, as long as he got extra time to answer questions, and had a teleprompter that gave him a written question instead of just the oral question. He said that he sometimes has problems picking out the words people are saying.

The thing Fetterman doesn’t say is that he is doing the debate because the race has been tightening for the past three months. If you go back to July, Fetterman had a solid double digit lead over Oz. That lead has since evaporated. And it’s not because of Fetterman’s health necessarily. Oz has been hammering Fetterman on crime, making it the showcase campaign issue. Every time there is a murder, a shooting, a robbery, or an assault in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, Oz hones in on it as a Fetterman-caused incident because he’s known to be soft on crime.

So, the debate is going to tackle the issues that Pennsylvanians care about most. Crime, Education, Inflation, Taxes, and Abortion are the big five in that order. And four of the five play very well into Oz’ corner. Abortion has been waning as a campaign issue around the country since Democrats all over the country have been hammering it as a major campaign theme since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling back in June.

Here’s the thing. Democrats realize that, like a lot of Republican candidates running for office, they are going to be out-gunned when it comes to televised debates. Time and time again, Democrats don’t have the same communications skills that their Republican counterparts do. We see it with Oz and Fetterman in Pennsylvania. We see it in Arizona where Kari Lake’s 27 years as a newscaster on TV has caused Democrat Katie Hobbs to refuse to debate her. We have seen it in several races. So, the Dems have tried to downplay the debate.

Their take is that if Fetterman shows up and doesn’t end up spitting up on stage or having another stroke, he’s going to do better than most thought he would. The real truth of the matter is, Fetterman has to show the voters that his stroke is pretty much over (as he has claimed and his doctor issued such a statement last week). He needs to be cogent, alert, focused, and attentive. He can’t make up stories about Oz, saying, as he has, that Oz is making fun of him because of his condition. That’s just a lie and won’t get anywhere near a pity vote.

If Fetterman stumbles at all in this debate, especially after all of the concessions Oz made just to get him to appear, it’s going to be about a 2 point fall in the polls, and that’s something Fetterman can’t afford to give up. Not unless he likes being Lt. Governor!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Here’s What America Thinks Midterms Are About…

I’ve spouted off pretty regularly now about how the GOP isn’t getting their message across, and how the Dems are trying to make this about abortion and taking away Social Security. Well, that’s nice that the parties are trying to define the election, but in essence, that’s not what matters. It matters what the PEOPLE think the midterms are all about. And it’s a pretty interesting comment.

It’s a referendum on Joe Biden.

At least that’s what 46% of the respondents to a survey taken by Rasmussen say. 40% say it’s about candidates and local issues, and 14% aren’t sure (still on summer break?).

A solid 50% of the 1,000 people surveyed said that if the Republicans win the House or Senate, that Joe Biden should temper his politics and become much more moderate.

So, what does that all mean? If a plurality of voters think that it’s all about Biden this time around, this should be a massive red wave, even with the meager Biden wins that he’s had in the last few weeks. And it raises a very interesting point. One of the major comments I keep getting from people is that Democrats don’t want to debate. We’re seeing it here in AZ, and you see it with the Fetterman/Oz battle in PA. It’s happening in a lot of other places as well.

When one side doesn’t want to debate it’s usually a sign that they are so far ahead in the polls that they can’t possibly do anything but fall if they debate. Usually it’s only the people trailing in the polls that want to debate because they feel they have something that will damage the leader. But in this case, it’s entirely different. The Democrats know they are going to have to distance themselves from Biden, and defend him because he’s in their party. That isn’t sitting well. So, they decide that they just don’t want to go through the hassle of prepping for a debate.

However, there are exceptions to that rule, and I can point to Fetterman/Oz, and here in AZ, the Governor’s race between Kari Lake and Katie Hobbs as an example. In both situations, the Republican candidates are extremely well versed in television. Oz had the “Dr. Oz” show on TV for years, and Kari Lake was one of Arizona’s most prominent newscasters for decades. Fetterman, having just suffered a stroke earlier this year is having problems speaking (Sorry John, I’m not making fun of you, I’m just stating a fact), and Hobbs is a career politician, not someone well-versed in television.

While Hobbs hasn’t chosen to debate Lake at all, Mark Kelly, himself on the hook for several lies in his political ads, has agreed to debate Blake Masters for the US Senate seat. But that’s simply because the race has tightened immensely in the past two weeks. Kelly had a 15 point lead a couple of weeks ago. Today it’s down to four. And Masters hadn’t run many ads throughout the summer months, but he’s starting to buy up TV time left and right, even though Kelly is outspending him 10-1.

The real focus on the midterms seems to be Joe Biden. If that’s the case, screaming that MAGA Republicans are a disaster for the democracy isn’t going to bode well for the Dems, even though there are several in Congress that echo Biden’s sentiments.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Did The GOP Give Up On Blake Masters?

It appears so. The Senate Leadership Fund, which is Mitch McConnell’s baby, has pulled about $8 million in ad buys in Arizona. It’s also pulled way back on their planned ad buy in Alaska.

GOP nominee, Blake Masters is currently running about 8 points behind incumbent, Mark Kelly. Kelly has already been blitzing with ads throughout the state, and Masters is woefully short on his ad buy if he wants to catch up. Having the Senate Leadership Fund move money away from The Copper State doesn’t bode well for Masters.

Basically, it is a national numbers game for the SLF. They are banking on trying to flip at least one seat, while holding on two three seats that they feel may be in jeopardy. Currently, Republicans want to hold on to seats in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Only JD Vance in Ohio is leading his Democrat opponent. Mehmet Oz is anywhere between 4 and 11 points behind John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, and Ron Johnson is losing to Mandela Barnes by 2 points.

Now, add to that two other states that the GOP leadership hopes to flip…and it’s looking like Arizona isn’t going to be one of them. They are boosting money in Georgia, where GOP nominee Hershel Walker trails incumbent Raphael Warnock by 2 points (within the margin of error), but internal polling from Walker’s side has him dead even or slightly ahead. And in Nevada, Republican Adam Laxalt has taken a 3 point lead over incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. So it may behoove the Republicans to throw Masters under the bus in Arizona if they can flip Georgia and Nevada…and still hold on to the three midwestern states.

Masters, for the most part, has been silent. He’s trailing in the polls and is proving to be a rather weak candidate, so it’s no wonder that the GOP leadership is deciding early not to throw good money after bad in his campaign. That could be money better spent to flip a couple of other states and hold off Democrats in order to take control of the Senate.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Did Oz Dump Trump?

It would appear so. Mehmet Oz, the TV doctor that decided to run for the US Senate from Pennsylvania, and ardently courted Donald Trump for his endorsement in the primary, seems to have decided that the Oz/Trump romance was just an April to May fling. Oz has removed references to Trump from his homepage, and has decided that maybe he’s OK to do this thing alone.

One would have to wonder why! Without Trump’s endorsement, Oz most certainly wouldn’t have won the GOP primary. What was interesting was that when Trump came to PA to campaign with Oz, people showed up to hear Trump, and booed Oz when he got up to speak.

During the primary campaign, Oz wasn’t shy about mentioning Donald Trump in his tweets. Axios reported that Oz dropped his name some 70 times in just 38 days! One would think that these two would be firmly in bed together. But alas, something happened.

Trump’s endorsement is still listed on the Social Truth website’s bio of Oz. And it’s also listed on his campaign site. Twitter exploded with hateful tweets aimed at Oz, calling him a “snake” after the changes were made.

So, I have to ask the question, why in the world would anyone do this? You were grateful to have Trump’s endorsement for the primary, and you’re going to have your hands full in the general election. According to a poll released on June 15th, the USA Today/Suffolk poll showed Democrat John Fetterman leading Oz by some 10 points with a margin of error of 4.4 points.

Is Oz tired of the political game already and looking to get back on TV (no TV station in the country would touch an Oz show while he was a candidate for ANY office!)? Or, is he egotistical enough to think he can overcome a ten point deficit all by himself and he doesn’t need Trump’s help? After all, he only beat rival David McCormick by 951 votes out of 750,000 votes cast. That in and of itself says that without Trump, McCormick would have been a shoo-in to face Fetterman in the fall.

Now, what will be interesting to see is how Trump fares the rest of the way. There are some high profile Trump-backed races coming up, including two here in the AZ. Trump has supported and endorsed former TV news anchor, Kari Lake, who is leading Karrin Taylor Robson by 12 points in the Republican primary. And Thiel President, Blake Masters, who got Trump’s endorsement (along with Peter Thiel’s), is now leading Attorney General Mark Brnovich by five points in the latest Trifalgar poll taken on June 13th. Brnovich had been leading by double digits over both Masters, and Jim Lamon throughout the campaign. And there will be other high-profile races tho show off Trump’s help or not coming up!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!