Alisdair Blackman

The “Weak” in Politics: #USElections Wrap-Up January 3rd 2016

The “Weak” in U.S. Politics: Who was the fundraising winner of 2015, Trump/Clinton friendship, Jeb Bush cancels TV ads, and Carly Fiorina’s backing of the wrong sports team.


The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Alexandra Tselios

The end of 2015 marked ramped-up fundraising efforts by the Presidential candidates. Bernie Sanders in particular saw his final 3 months of the year raise over $33 million with over 2.5 million contributors to his campaign. Impressive figures, but Hillary Clinton raised $38 million over the same period with over $112 million raised in 2015, while Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Ben Carson each raised around $20-$23 million. Donald Trump, however, has had commentary around his campaign funding (he loaned his campaign $1.8 million earlier in 2015) with a recent essay on Quartz suggesting that 25% of his political spending goes to his own companies, each earning around $1.4 million so far from his presidential campaign.

Keep in mind, most of the other Presidential candidates spend a large chunk of their campaign funds towards advertising, while Trump generally receives a lot of free media coverage due to his personal commentary and the ramifications around incidents that occur on the campaign trail. Regarding advertising spends, Jeb Bush has cancelled the $3 million he had planned to put towards TV advertising, instead switching his strategy (I want to see his PowerPoint presentation on this one!) to send campaign staff into the field. He is still hanging in there, guys ….

Things have been heating up between Clinton and Trump for quite a while, with the sparring including ISIS recruitment video propaganda and personal sledging against Bill Clinton. What has been interesting for me, has been to read the commentary around how things having gotten dirty between the Clintons and the Trumps, with many citing Clintons’ attendance at the 2005 wedding of Melania and Donald and a rift in their friendship. Suggesting a friendship has been ruined due to the elections is juvenile at best, as it’s worth noting that the Clintons likely only attended due to the donations, with Trump even admitting she attended not out of loyalty or friendship, “You know why? She had no choice. I gave to a foundation that frankly, that foundation is supposed to be used for good. I didn’t know her money would be used on private jets all over the world.”

I have been disappointed with Carly Fiorina’s campaign, and had hoped she would rise in the polls towards the second half of 2015, however, she still remains hovering around 4%. She started 2016 by tweeting her support for the Hawkeyes and pissing off followers resulting in commentary that her endorsement was expert pandering, with the hashtag #CarlyCurse trending.

Although, not all bad news so far for Carly in 2016, with a recent campaign win in the form of a key endorsement in New Hampshire with Ovide Lamontagne joining the Fiorina campaign and commenting that, “In my opinion, Carly is the most conservative candidate who can win. She is a principled, passionate and positive conservative leader who can keep our nation secure and protected while jump starting our economy and preserving our freedoms and liberties.”

I look forward to seeing how both Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina try to recoup some of the ground covered by Trump, Cruz, and Carson in the first quarter of 2016, as well as Martin O’Malley’s strategy seeing as he failed to qualify for the Ohio primary.


The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Roger Pugh

Heard in Republican Party HQ
“I see Hillary is claiming that ISIS are using videos of Trump for recruiting purposes.”
“Actually, I believe they’re using them on one of their advanced courses in political incorrectness.”

Heard at Trump’s Campaign HQ
“Do you really believe Hillary is a liar?”
“Let me put it this way, giving her a truth drug wouldn’t work at anything less than a double shot.”

Heard in a Manhattan Bar
“The Republican primary campaign reminds me of a Miss Universe Pageant.”
“Let’s hope Trump turns out to be more Miss Venezuela than Miss Philippines.”

Heard at Fox News
“I see Lindsey Graham has dropped out.”
“That’s a relief, we’ll soon be able to include all the Republican candidates in a single debate.”

Heard at Democratic Party HQ
“Bernie seems to be campaigning for a fairer society.”
“He wants to equalize wealth to the point where everyone qualifies for food stamps.”

Heard at Republican Party HQ
“Which of our candidates do you believe campaigned most effectively over the festive season?”
“Chris Christmastree.”


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