Friday, August 7, 2015 - Volume 6, Number 10

© Copyright 2015, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

First Republican Debate Shines, Clinton Doomed

Main Debate Podiums Display Strong Bench of Candidates – Except One








The Trump Card


Fiorina Flowers


Perry Out, Kasich In


Last night the top ten Republican candidates, as measured by their poll numbers, met in Cleveland for the first time in the first of the debates contesting the Republican nomination for president of the United States.  The national election is well over a year away, and already we are deep into the campaign.  The debate was sponsored by Fox News, and held at  Quicken Loans Arena (what a sad name for a major public facility). 


There was also a forum held earlier for the candidates that did not make the cut for the main debate stage, including our own former Texas governor, Rick Perry – no loss there.  As we already forecast before, Gov. Perry’s candidacy will go nowhere.


Ohio Governor John Kasich barely qualified.  Had he not, it would have been an embarrassment considering the debate was taking place in his home state.


Trump Speaks and Peaks


If there is one thing that can be said about the forum and the debate, it is that nobody made any major gaffes, and only one candidate consistently failed to maintain a presidential composure.  The second thing that can be said primarily about the main debate is how worthwhile and interesting an exercise it was in revealing the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates.  The third and last thing we would say about the debate and the forum as a whole was the apparent intellectual strength and vigor of the Republican candidates in this election cycle.  No George W. Bushes or Sarah Palins in the bunch, although there is one Donald Trump.


About Mr. Trump, the Ultrapolis Project posted a forecast on Twitter as soon as the first few words came out of his mouth last night, predicting Trump has reached his peak.  He did not implode.  But, once it became clear that what we have seen these last few weeks is all there is, it also became clear that the billionaire will not garner any additional support.  Current supporters may stick with him, but those favoring other candidates will not move towards Trump as some of those candidates drop out.  His lead is based on being the only unflinching, brash advocate for feelings felt deeply among many – only one to pick from.  But the three quarters of Republican voters favoring the other candidates will not turn to Mr. Trump.  


More than anything else, the Trump vote is a protest vote.  As Gov. Kasich acknowledged in the debate, and in interviews since, Mr. Trump has touched a nerve with many Americans frustrated with the persistent state of affairs.  But, touching a nerve is not enough, and Mr. Trump’s lack of a coherent policy will prevent his maverick candidacy from making further progress. Truly, his best friends now are the same as Sarah Palin’s in 2008: the left-leaning media that by its open disgust with Mr. Trump’s expressions keeps feeding a reactionary circling of wagons around him.  The only danger to the Republicans from a Trump candidacy is in the form of a third party candidacy.


Liberal Kasich Love


Regarding Gov. Kasich, the liberal-progressive mainstream media will portray him most favorably because of his answers that appeal to liberal-progressives.  But, their reporting will not reflect the actual more complex and mixed impressions of Gov. Kasich among Republicans.   Gov. Kasich in his Medicaid expansion decision uses arguments against fellow Republicans that liberal Democrats routinely use against conservatives in general, much the way Gov. Rick Perry did in 2012 defending his tax subsidies for illegal immigrants; namely, that opponents do not care about the needy.  This will not play well among most Republicans.  Most will point out, as they did back in 2012 to Gov. Perry, that the reason for their opposition is the consequences of their decisions.  In Gov. Kasich’s case, that his Medicaid expansion is already $1.4 billion dollars over budget in just 18 months.


See next column >







< From column 1


The Faulty Compassion Premise


While liberal-progressives, and now Gov. Kasich, often define compassion by how much of other people’s money they are willing to take for causes they support, conservatives tend to define it by how much they personally contribute, without the force of law, towards the causes of those in need.  That is why, while most reporters and liberal and liberal-progressive viewers will think Gov. Kasich had the strongest responses, the governor’s Medicaid answers will not play out so well among Republican primary voters.


The Fiorina Gender Card


Another post yesterday on Twitter by the Ultrapolis Project forecast that Carly Fiorina may very well end up on the Republican ticket as the vice-presidential nominee.  We add here that this is most likely if former New York senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton manages to cling on to her grip over the Democratic Party machine, and is the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.   Caveat: Ms. Fiorina is a complicated figure who has not been thoroughly investigated, and has shown signs of megalomania not that different than those of Hillary Clinton.  Megalomania is not uncommon among successful politicians, but it can trip them up if they are not highly intelligent (then again, she does appear highly intelligent).


Who Stands for What Ails the Republican Party? Jeb!


Jeb Bush, while coming across as far more articulate and intelligent than his brother, again displayed the qualities of an apologetic Republican establishment type – qualities that so many of the rank and file of the Republican Party have come to despise. Gov. Bush came across as reasonable and balanced, but with no imagination and no fervor for any conservative values. All his answers sounded focus group-tested, perfectly designed to offend as few as possible while offering no strong defense of any of the issues that have many conservatives in apocalyptic despair.  In some ways, Jeb Bush is the anti-Trump.  The money is behind him, just as it was with former Utah Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012.


His apology for his brother’s war in Iraq was utterly contemptible, and emblematic of his measly backtracks (like the one about funding for women’s health programs).  Here’s what we would have said when asked if our elder brother’s incursion into Iraq was a “mistake”:


It is not a mistake to shoot at someone coming at you when you have already seen them kill, they are reaching menacingly into their coat, and they refuse your calls to show their hands.  Did we have bad intelligence because we did not have people actually on the ground?  We know that now in hindsight.  But at the time, we gave Saddam Hussein every opportunity to prove that he was not developing weapons of mass destruction, and he refused.  He had already violated previous agreements, and made it impossible for us to know that he was not on the verge of deploying weapons of mass destruction.  So with Democrats like Hillary Clinton in full agreement, we fired.


Continued column 3 >

< From column 2


You ask me if the Iraq war was a mistake, and I tell you that under similar circumstances I would never risk the possibility of an attack on an American city with a weapon a mass destruction just to be sure I did not kill a genocidal, murderous tyrant by mistake.  With the safety of the American people at stake, it should be obvious which is the mistake I will never make: to have an American city destroyed because I could not be sure enough that a vicious butcher was not as untrustworthy as all evidence available showed him to be.


So, you see, that is why we here see Mr. Jeb Bush as more of the same type of establishment Republican that accepts the premises of the left, and tries to defend conservative views standing on liberal-left premises. As we have said before, that is always a losing proposition (and why in our UWFR issue of February 6, we forecast that Mr. Bush would do worse than expected).


Rubio & the Fine Finalists


As far back as November 4, 2010, we noted Florida Senator Marco Rubio as a rising star.  Save for his relative youth and lack of executive experience for a presidential bid (he would be the youngest president since John F. Kennedy was elected on 1960), his poise, intellect, and respected conservative credentials make him one of the more formidable candidates.   We expect him to be among the finalists as we approach the Republican nomination convention in 2016.


Dr. Ben Carson is a wild card.  He is likable, presidential, articulate, and intelligent.  However, he is modest in his knowledge of domestic and foreign policy details, which in this highly competitive field can be a source of unexpected embarrassment at any moment.


Clinton Will Fall


At this time we offer our first tentative forecast for the election of 2016.  Having witnessed our forecasts over the last two years on Secretary Clinton’s prospects unfold exactly as predicted, we now forecast her defeat to one of the candidates on last night’s main Republican stage, if she makes it that far.  Of those, we forecast the GOP nominee will not be Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Chris Christie (see previous forecasts), or Gov. Mike Huckabee (and, of course, not Mr. Trump).


All the candidates delivered excellent closing statements, with the exception of Donald Trump, who uttered sympathetic grunts, but little more.  And, since we know Mr. Trump will not be the GOP nominee, we do know that the GOP nominee will at minimum be an intelligent and articulate candidate.  Not all of them can win against a Clinton candidacy; but most of them, partnered with Carly Fiorina as a vice-presidential nominee, have an excellent chance of prevailing in 2016.


We believe one of them will.



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