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Presidential Horse Race 2016: New Year’s resolutions the candidates SHOULD make

Happy New Year!

For those who stayed up to usher out 2015, you may have a hangover of some sort this morning. For those justifiably still upset at the Republican congressional leadership for their many cave-ins last year, take heart. Today’s a new day, and a new year!

New Years resolutionsWe can only hope 2016 treats conservatives better than years past. There are many reasons to be optimistic. Defeatism gets us nowhere.

Despite the obvious sun on the horizon, many establishment Republicans are still worried the eventual party nominee will be unable to beat Hillary Clinton -- especially if he’s a conservative. They’re basically in surrender mode before the primaries even start. They issue dire warnings that we need an “electable” candidate or Hillary might just as well start measuring the drapes in the Oval Office (assuming she’s already trashed the bodily fluid-saturated cloth from Bill’s tenure there).

To those who may be similarly negatively inclined, here’s a retort.

Streiff at RedState writes, “There is an air of defeatism that hangs over the GOP like a miasma of stank.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself. Streiff tells of his days in the army when the higher-ups seemed convinced we couldn’t beat the Soviets. I myself harken back to my high school football days when the team virtually conceded the game before taking the field against the city’s best team*.

Why play if you don’t believe you can win?

Thankfully, streiff also provides reasons for hope in 2016, arguing that not only is Hillary Clinton not invincible, she’s highly beatable.

Streiff’s reasons are:

“This is not 1992 or 1996…
“Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton…
“Hillary Clinton is not Barack Obama…
“Hillary Clinton is a very weak candidate…
“Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain are not on the ballot…
“There is a conservative media now…
“Any fight for the presidency is tough.
“Yes, we are the stupid party… but…
“None of our candidates are as bad as Hillary.
“Stop f***ing whining for Heaven’s sake.”

I agree with all of the above and streiff’s analysis in the article is well worth the read.

He mentions the current polls which show Republicans competitive with or leading Hillary at this stage, which are a very encouraging sign.

If she was truly unbeatable, she’d have a huge lead before the country starts paying attention to her many weaknesses.

And while I’m not going to give an American public that elected Barack Obama twice too much credit, certainly people will be studying the particulars in November. When all is said and done, the Republican nominee should have a legitimate opportunity to win…assuming we choose the right candidate.

One thing streiff didn’t delve into are the potential issues with the Electoral College, but that’s a topic for another day.

Streiff concludes, “Hillary Clinton is tired, sick, incompetent, mentally rigid and deeply unpopular old woman. She is not ten-feet-tall, she doesn’t run a hundred miles an hour, she’s not made of titanium, and she damned sure doesn’t have balls of cold-forged steel. Man up and stop liking to lose.”

Enough said.

*Note: My high school team regained its belief and did end up losing the game, but it came down to the final minute against the team which eventually won the championship – one of our prouder moments because we never gave up.

New Year’s resolutions the presidential candidates should make.

In the spirit of the season, last week I offered a Christmas wish-list for all the candidates. This week I’ll give each candidate a New Year’s resolution. We all need to do better in certain areas, right?

The candidates no doubt made some resolutions of their own. Here’s what I think they should resolve to do in 2016:

Donald Trump. “I will abide by the Constitution if elected.”

A lot of Trump’s appeal has to do with his promises to kick the elites out of power. That’s very attractive on its own, yet Americans don’t want to trade one dictator for another. The Constitution brilliantly limits power as well as providing checks and balances. Trump should acknowledge this rather than merely promising to “Make America Great Again” by just about any means necessary.

The Constitution already makes America great. Bring it back, Mr. Trump.

Ted Cruz. “I will ignore the establishment and the media in choosing a running mate.”

Should Cruz end up the Republican nominee, the pressure will be enormous to add an establishment candidate to “balance” the ticket and “unify the party.” Ted should promise himself ahead of time that he’ll select someone who will help him on his mission to restore constitutional government, not actively seek to block his every move.

Marco Rubio. “I will stop making excuses.”

Rubio’s had a difficult time honoring commitments throughout his life, ranging from managing personal finances to honoring promises to never advocate for amnesty to simply showing up for work.

Marco should merely resolve that he’ll do what he’s supposed to do. It’s a start.

Ben Carson. “I will campaign my hardest.”

Ben Carson’s drop in the polls is mostly due to the public’s perception that he’s a little weak on foreign policy/national security, but it also could be from his tendency to treat campaigning like a part-time job.

Carson went on a 10-day vacation in September and paused two weeks for a book tour in October.

If you’re going to run, Ben, show us that you’re serious about the commitment it takes to win.

Chris Christie. “I will answer questions in a debate.”

Christie’s campaign may or may not be rising, but he’s not going to win the Republican nomination much less the general election by merely attacking Hillary Clinton and Obama. Once upon a time Christie drew praise by speaking blunt truth on issues. Maybe he should go back to that strategy rather than deflecting everything in the direction of the Democrats.

Jeb Bush. “I will support the Republican nominee.”

First off, everyone knows – including himself – that Jeb isn’t going to win the Republican nomination. Therefore, Jeb needs to stop equivocating on whether he’ll support the eventual winner. If he truly values his family’s legacy, he’ll take the pledge today rather than acting like a stubborn child and hinting he’ll take his establishment cookies and go home if he doesn’t get his way.

Rand Paul. “I will learn from this experience.”

Rand Paul went into the 2016 campaign with great hope that he could not only count on his father’s considerable voter base in his run for president, but also that he could add to it by appealing more to the mainstream of the party.

It didn’t work. Paul’s in the polling doldrums, mostly because there are better candidates in the field. He needs to keep fighting for the Constitution and eventually things will fall in line for him...though his most useful role may not be as Commander in Chief.

Carly Fiorina. “I will selflessly use my talents where needed.”

The underdog presidential candidate has wowed people with her incredible gift of extemporaneous speaking. Fiorina is not going to be president and most likely won’t be tabbed as VP, but she’d make a terrific White House Press Secretary, wouldn’t she?

People would actually tune-in just to see her beat-down the press. It would be fun, actually.

John Kasich. “I will read my Bible more.”

John Kasich’s promise sounds most like a traditional New Year’s resolution – so he should take it to heart. If he does, he’ll no doubt discover that he can get rid of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and still make it to heaven.

Mike Huckabee. “I will go back to TV.”

Kind of like Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee needs to use his talents in the best way possible. He’s not going to be president, so why not go back to hosting a TV show and providing a little entertainment using his greatest personal gift -- humor?

Rick Santorum. “I will accept defeat gracefully.”

The 2012 GOP runner-up hasn’t sounded very happy lately, clearly upset that he’s been relegated to the bottom of the Republican field. If Rick’s as religious as he claims to be, he’ll take a hint from the serenity prayer and learn to accept the things he cannot change.

He’ll be a happier man for it and might even be helpful in defeating Hillary Clinton in November.

Jim Gilmore. “I will stop running for president.”

Gilmore is a good man and did a fairly good job as governor of Virginia and head of the RNC. But there really isn’t a compelling reason for him to run for president anymore.

--What about the Democrats? Normally I only comment on the Republican race, but this is one occasion where Democrats should make some real promises too.

Hillary Clinton. “If I can’t say something truthful, I won’t say anything at all.”

The fastest way to get Hillary to shut up is to require her to tell the truth or not talk. My money’s on her not ever being able to utter another word.

Bernie Sanders. “I will move to Sweden.”

I was going to suggest Sanders should resolve to move to France, but with all of that country’s recent aggressive moves to stamp out Islamic terrorists, he wouldn’t belong there. On the other hand, Sweden’s a nice, peaceful socialist country that probably buys into liberal fads like Global Warming. Bernie would fit in great there and might even be able to run for office someday.

Martin O’Malley. “I will accept that most people don’t care about climate change.”

In reality, most people don’t know or care about O’Malley, but I had to say something on his behalf.

--May all their resolves come true in 2016!

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