2016 DNC USA, Photo by Doug Christian/BPE
I’m getting that deja vu feeling about this year’s presidential election. It is a very uncomfortable experience, to say the least.
I vividly recall the 2016 Democratic Convention, where Hillary Clinton captured the presidential nomination, along with all the fond hopes and huge cheering that went along with it. She was then at the top her political game. Clinton had served for four years (2009 – 2013) as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. Things were, indeed, looking up.
Back then the mouthy Donald Trump, the Republican Party nominee looked like easy pickings. He came off as a dimwitted reality show host. Few took him seriously in the general election and for good reasons. Then, out of nowhere, disaster struck!
Clinton, it turned out had more enemies than supporters. Even some on the Left couldn’t tolerate the idea of Hillary sitting in the White House even if it meant they would sit out the election. Hillary was also firmly identified with the “Establishment,” that gave that bloody eejit “Dubya,” aka George Bush, Jr., the green light to go to war in Iraq. She voted in the U.S. Senate, in 2002, to support Bush’s madness. (That war cost $2.2 trillion and 190,000 lives [military.com].)
Today, the 2020 Democratic Convention is center stage. As a result of the pandemic, it is a virtual event this year. It started last Monday evening and wound up on Thursday night, August 20th, with the overwhelming favorite to get the nomination speaking — former V.P. Joe Biden.
In 2016, the economy was shaky. But, probably the main reason a large segment of the public couldn’t accept Hillary as they simply didn’t trust her and for a lot of good reasons. One was her multi-million dollar payday for making speeches on behalf of the Wall Street firm, Goldman-Sachs. That action didn’t go over well with many of the working class that calls the Democratic Party home.
It’s a no brainer, that President Donald Trump will again be the standard-bearer for the Republican Party in the coming election. For a wide variety of reasons, including the fact that his presidency has been toxic on so many levels, he looks, on the surface, like a soft target for Biden.
It is an understatement to say that our Democracy is currently shaky. If Biden drops the ball, it could be a disaster not only for him, but also for the national Democratic Party and for our country, as well.
At the moment, Biden’s cognitive ability is under persistent attack by Trump and others. Trump’s campaign has even sponsored a piece on YouTube, titled: “What Happened to Joe Biden?” Another youtube video, hosted by a private firm, is captioned: “Joe Biden’s Bloopers, Blunders and Gaffes.” As of today, it has over 2.2 million viewers.
Debates with Trump are coming up in the election. Trump is a bully. That’s his M.O. He reminds many of the late Republican U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy (WI), the off-the-wall Commie hunter from the 50s. The facts are irrelevant to Trump. What matters is that he controls the conversation. Biden, now 77 years of age, will be a straw man for him.
My strong advice to Biden: “Skip the debates!”
It doesn’t have to be a fumble from Biden that leads to the debacle of losing this year’s election. It could also be somebody with close ties to Biden and to the National Democratic Party making a fool of themselves. Exhibit “A,” in my opinion, is Bill Clinton!
Just the other day, a photo surfaced showing Clinton getting a massage from a young woman with close ties to the unsavory scandal that led to the downfall of that late sex maniac — Jeffrey Epstein. There are witnesses out there, too, who insist they had often seen Clinton at Epstein’s notorious “Pedophile Island” in the Caribbean. Clinton has repeatedly denied those charges.
In his speech on Tuesday night, August 18th, at the National Democratic Convention, Bill Clinton sharply criticized Trump for turning the Oval Office into a “storm center.” This was too much for CBS’s “The Late Show”’s comedian, Stephen Colbert.
Even though he’s a regular basher of Trump, Colbert called Clinton out on his program. He said: “I don’t think Bill Clinton gets to lecture anyone on what should happen in the Oval Office. Those in glass houses should not be allowed ‘near the interns.’”
This was a clear reference by Colbert to Clinton’s disgraceful affair, in the White House, with a young intern, Monica Lewinsky (See here).
Biden, however, to his credit, has gotten off strongly in his presidential campaign by picking a very competent and popular politician, Sen. Kamala Harris, for his Vice-President. She is of Black and Indian heritage and an excellent public speaker. She is also a U.S. senator from the heavily-populated state of California.
Harris is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants. She is also the first Black woman on a major presidential ticket. Early polling show a favorable reaction to her selection. Picking Harris as his V.P. was a huge plus for Biden’s candidacy. He should also designate Harris as the official spokesperson for the campaign.
Now for one more negative coming out of that Democratic National Convention (DNC). One of the biggest cheerleaders for the Iraq War was Colin Powell. He was also a gofer for Dubya. Who will ever forget Powell’s posturing at the UN, on Feb.5,2003, about that non-existent WMD that Saddam Hussein was supposed to possess?
What was the DNC thinking when it went it went out of its way to chose Powell to be one of its speakers? The only thing that will do is remind voters that Biden, too, was a strong supporter of that disastrous conflict.
Have the Democrats learned anything from the mistakes they made in 2016? Let’s hope so. The 2020 election will give us the answer to that question. At press time, the polls have Biden up by four percentage points, but don’t assume it will be anything easy. Hold on to the railing, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Bill Hughes is a native of Baltimore. He’s an attorney, author, professional actor and hobbyist photographer. In his salad days, he worked on the docks as a longshoreman. Bill also played on three championship soccer teams: sandlot with Jules Morstein; high school at Calvert Hall; and college at the University of Baltimore.