U.S. presidential election (17): it wasn’t supposed to be like this

Over a year ago, commentators – me included [see this blog posting] – were speculating that the 2016 presidential election could be a contest between candidates from families that have previously occupied the White House, namely Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Jeb Bush for the Republicans. So, how’s it working out?

This is an extract from an “Observer” review of the current state of the races:

“A year ago Jeb Bush versus Hillary Clinton looked like a safe, if dull bet. No one dreamed that, with the Iowa caucuses approaching on 1 February, polls might be suggesting the rather less likely head-to-head of Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders, a clash not of political dynasties but of popular movements.

Trump, 69, a billionaire celebrity from New York who has never held political office, has dominated the national Republican race although hardline conservative Cruz, 45, another outsider, appears to have the edge in Iowa. Neither has the endorsement of a single sitting governor or senator.

Sanders, a 74-year-old socialist senator from Vermont, appears well placed to beat Clinton among Democrats in both Iowa and New Hampshire. While she remains the long-term favourite, the former first lady could be forgiven for suffering stomach-knotting flashbacks to her defeat by Barack Obama in 2008.”

Just to make life even more interesting, there is a possibility that there may be a independent challenge for the presidency in the shape of Michael Bloomberg [see here]. Politics is never dull!


  • Jim Moher

    I hope America isn’t shaping up to be the
    Germany of Weimar and the extreme right
    wing with Sarah Palin re-emerging to back
    Trump and Sanders splitting the centre-left.

    Although only repeats itself as farce, America
    seems a troubled and divided country where
    populists are exploiting and beginning to appeal
    to all classes. This can only damage further US
    handling of global issues – Russia being the
    worst example. Let’s take this serious. Jim

  • Alan

    We have seen the likes of Trump before in these contests. I think back to Goldwater and Wallace, who both had extreme views but neither got to the White house. In the unlikely event that Trump does get onto the Republican ticket, it will simply hand victory to the Democrats. I don’t know too much about Sanders who at 74 looks a bit too old for the job. It’s a pity there wasn’t a more exciting and untainted prospect for the Democrats since Hilary Clinton has had her chances and hasn’t really looked like presidential material.


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