Can you believe it? We are only half-way through February of 2015, and we are already talking about the 2016 Presidential Elections.
Politics is the un-official sport of the Granite State. We take great pride in holding the First in the Nation Primary. This brings candidates from across the country to our quaint little state to hold town hall style events and press the flesh with local Granite Staters in an attempt to win us over.
As we get closer to the February 2016 primary, a growing number of politicians will come to New Hampshire preaching about what they are going to do once we elect them to the White House.
The Republican side of the primary is a complete free-for-all. There are so many people attempting to get into the race that I have lost count. Many of them have already been hitting the streets of New Hampshire and trying to gain notoriety at the same time. Traditionally if you can win New Hampshire, you can win the party nomination. It worked for Mitt Romney in 2012.
The Republicans are a mess right now. Each candidate is trying to rally their base by showing that they are the farthest to the right of any of the other possible nominees. It is a race to see who can be the most extreme and win over the Tea Party base in New Hampshire.
On the Democratic side, the bench is a little lacking. There is Hillary Clinton, who has not announced that she is running, even though everyone knows she is. There is Senator Bernie Sanders from the great state next door, Vermont. I love Senator Sanders — but let’s face it, nobody thinks he can win the primary or the general election. That is not why he is putting his name in the hat (more on this in a minute). There have also been few Democratic governors, like Martin O’Malley from Maryland, making trips to NH over the last few months. And of course there is Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. She has repeatedly said she is not running yet they are trying to “draft” her into the primary. (Personally, I think that Senator Warren should stay in the Senate and continue her “kick ass and take no prisoners” agenda.)
Why are people trying to pull Senator Warren into the primary? Why is it so important that Senator Sanders push back against Hillary Clinton in a Presidential primary? It is all about the messaging!
People are so enamored with Senator Warren because she embodies everything that progressive Democrats hold dear. The same is true for Senator Sanders. This is why are they so popular nationwide. Progressive values are what the majority of Americans want, regardless of party affiliation, and progressive values win elections. Just listen to Congressman Mark Pocan from Wisconsin talk about how those who shied away from progressive values ended up losing their seats.
Some of the progressive values that help to win elections and move America forward:
- Increasing the minimum wage
- Ensuring that every American has access to quality healthcare
- Protecting the rights of workers, including the right to join and form unions
- Protecting women’s reproductive rights
- Reducing income inequality and holding the Wall Street Gamblers accountable for what they did to our economy
- Reducing the tax burden on working families and ensuring that millionaires and billionaires are paying their fair share in taxes
- Investing in our infrastructure and creating jobs
Polling data confirms that the majority of Americans support Senator Warren and Senator Sanders on these issues. People overwhelmingly agree with these core progressive values.
Again, I do not think Senator Sanders will win the NH primary or the nomination – but he will succeed in forcing both parties to address issues like raising the minimum wage, protecting workers rights, protecting women’s rights, expanding Social Security, and addressing the vast income inequality that is plaguing America. Without him in the race, nobody will be pushing these issues.
Hopefully Hillary, or whoever the Democratic nominee is, will learn a little something from Bernie and Liz before they go head-on with the Republican nominee.
Because if the eventual Democratic nominee hews to a pro-corporate agenda – why even bother getting out to vote?
In a contest between a Republican and a Democrat-In-Name-Only, voters are going to pick the “real” Republican, every time.