I Am Suspending My Campaign


I'm announcing this morning that I am suspending my campaign. Not that I was running for office, or supporting any particular candidate during this Primary season. Instead, my campaign was to help generate some sort of rational, informed dialogue about politics, but it has become clear to me now that this is no longer possible.

So it's back to sports, drugs, and rock and roll, with a very occasional helping of political circus.  (Note: you can continue to raise money for my PAC.)

And as The Band and I are fond of saying: "Look out, Cleveland!"

Last Night's Democrat Debate

I thought that this was a defining moment, in terms of personality and leadership style, during last night's debate (from The New York Times):


 Asked whether she would fire the head of the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to remedy water problems in Flint, Mrs. Clinton gave a nearly 200-word response emphasizing the need for a full investigation to “determine who knew what, when.” Mr. Sanders’ 16-word response drew enormous applause: “President Sanders would fire anybody who knew about what was happening and did not act appropriately.”

Hillary Clinton Declares Iowa Victory In A Dead Heat

John Cassidy (in his New Yorker blog post this morning) summarizes a startling demographic result from last night's Democrat caucuses in Iowa: 


 "The age gap between Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters was huge. According to the entrance polls, which wrongly predicted a Clinton victory, Sanders got eighty-six per cent of the Democratic vote in the seventeen-to-twenty-four age group, eighty-one per cent in the twenty-five-to-twenty-nine group, and sixty-five per cent in the thirty-to-thirty-nine age group. Clinton, by contrast, was largely reliant on the middle-aged and the elderly. Among forty-something voters, she won by five percentage points. Among the over-fifties, she won by more than twenty per cent."

As Bill Belichick would say, "we're on to New Hampshire". 

Eyes Wide Open On Bernie Sanders


 "...Sanders, as I understand him, isn’t claiming that his ambitious and costly program is realistic in today’s Washington. To the contrary, he says that the political system is so broken, and so in hock to big money, that it is virtually impossible to effect nearly any substantive progressive change. The only way to make big changes, Sanders argues, is to create a mass movement that faces down corporate interests and their quislings. Once this movement materializes, all sorts of things that now seem out of the question—such as true universal health care, free college tuition, and a much more progressive tax system—will become possible." 

This excerpt from John Cassidy's New Yorker post today is a pretty clear-eyed assessment of the Sanders candidacy. I have believed from the outset that both Sanders and Donald Trump have tapped into the same current of extreme dissatisfaction within the American public in general, which is far more widespread and apolitical than the Washington commentariat understands. 


About Last Night...


 "What was different from previous debates was Sanders’s eagerness to go on the offensive against Clinton, and particularly to highlight her most vulnerable area: her ties to the Wall Street plutocracy. Twice, Sanders mentioned that she has received generous speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. The NBC anchor Lester Holt, the co-moderator of the debate, asked Sanders how his approach to bank regulation would differ from Clinton’s. “Well, the first difference is I don’t take money from big banks,” Sanders replied. “I don’t get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs.” Sanders’s second jab came after Clinton claimed that she had the toughest, most comprehensive plan to regulate Wall Street. This time, Sanders added a dollar figure, pointing out that Clinton “received over six hundred thousand dollars in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year.”