The primaries are a thing of the past and the balloons from the conventions have all dropped. It’s now a race to the finish. The 100-day countdown started last week. But first, some housecleaning.
I took the GOP pledge to support the eventual nominee and hence stand by Donald Trump as the only alternative to Hillary Clinton and what would amount to a disastrous third term for Obama. But some of our GOP presidential candidates backed out of that pledge. Forget about Jeb Bush. His poor showing in the primaries is its own reward. However, I am disappointed that both Ted Cruz and John Kasich did not honor their pledge.
Cruz said it was because Trump insulted his wife. Whatever happened to Christian forgiveness, Ted?
And Kasich couldn’t be bothered to show up at a convention held in his home state. Both put their own personal disappointments above their party and their country at a moment when the future of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance.
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Following Cruz’s example, don’t expect me to forgive or forget if either men come back to South Carolina considering a future run.
Now, back to something that matters, and that’s the direction the country will go the next four years. More of the same Obama/Hillary mess, or change to a new direction?
I had to laugh when Democrats at their convention talked about change. What have they been doing for eight years while nearly every challenge this country faces has gotten worse? Hillary did it again in Pennsylvania over the weekend when she said Trump “is not offering real change, he is offering empty promises.” How ironic, since that’s all we’ve had from Obama/Hillary.
Hillary went on to say “we can’t be satisfied with the status quo.” But she is the status quo. She’s been a fixture of Washington politics since the 1990s and can’t point to one positive change she’s made in the lives of ordinary Americans. Sorry, but just being a woman isn’t enough.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to revitalize the old Reagan Democrat coalition that gives him the best shot at winning states like Ohio and Pennsylvania and put him over the top in the fall. But with obvious gaps in his campaign organization’s ability to manage get-out-the-vote efforts, the advantage still lies with Hillary.
In 2008, Democrats put together a new strategy based on hiring an army of field workers in that handful of crucial states needed to win. They outspent McCain 3-to-1 in states like Ohio. I thought surely Mitt Romney would learn from that mistake but he didn’t. His campaign manager fretted that he didn’t understand what all those paid Obama workers were doing until the votes were counted, and by then it was too late. Details at my blog Mike’s America.
Has the GOP learned it’s lesson? Don’t bet on it. Trump’s own weakness in this regard was best illustrated when two of his adult children (who did great at the convention) failed to vote for him in the New York primary because they forgot to register in time.
By now, the GOP and Trump campaign should have plans underway to open field offices across key states to register those enthusiastic Trump voters and organize the effort to get them to the polls, especially early voting.
Trump can win, but there’s no room for error and no more time to waste.
Michael Miller of Bluffton may be reached through his blog, MikesAmerica.blogspot.com.
We have asked two political junkies, one conservative and one liberal, to share their viewpoints on issues and politics leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Michael Miller’s experience in politics includes working in the Reagan White House political office. Blaine Lotz is chair of the Beaufort County Democratic Party and a former candidate for Congress.