Election 2024 | Ramaswamy makes moves and Joe Manchin considers third party
The highlights and chaos of Election 2024
Ramaswamy edges out Pence
Riding the wave of a populist surge, tech magnate Vivek Ramaswamy has edged past former Vice President Mike Pence in the high-stakes race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. As per Real Clear Politics, Ramaswamy is narrowly leading Pence with 5.9 percent of the Republican primary vote, overtaking Pence's 5.7 percent, a signal of the shifting sands within the GOP.
Ramaswamy's rise could indicate a noteworthy realignment in the Republican field. Despite the surge, both Ramaswamy and DeSantis trail behind Donald Trump, who leads the polls by 31.7 points.
To dissect the numbers further, Trump dominates the race with the loyalty of 51 percent of respondents in the Republican primary. DeSantis trails as a distant second, holding sway over 19.3 percent of the vote. Ramaswamy, in the third slot, commands the allegiance of 5.9 percent of the electorate. Pence lags behind, followed by Nikki Haley at 3.4 percent, Sen. Tim Scott at 2.9 percent, and Chris Christie at 2.1 percent. Candidates Burgum, Hutchinson, and Suarez are effectively in the polling basement, all clocking in below one percent.
The propellant fueling Ramaswamy's upward trajectory can be traced back to his stand-out performance at the Turning Point Action conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, and his performance during the Blaze Media Summit. Furthermore, his refusal to accept funding from GOP establishment donors or super PACs has been pitched as a testament to his "independence," creating a sense of distinction in the field. His appearance on Human Events Daily with host Jack Posobiec put a spotlight on this stance, setting him apart as an outlier in the crowded arena of Republican politics.
Ramaswamy's rise, while promising, paints a picture of the GOP landscape that's riddled with unpredictability, a pack of contenders jostling for position in a race dominated by the shadow of Trump. However, whether this tech entrepreneur can translate his polling promise into actual votes remains the million-dollar question. As the old adage goes, a week is a long time in politics, and with the race for the nomination still in its early days, the game of political chess is only just beginning.
Through the Liberal lens: DeSantis' video fuels GOP leadership debate
With a cheeky audacity, Governor Ron DeSantis' campaign unveiled a video casting him, in the eyes of liberal media pundits, as more “dangerous” than former President Trump. Released through the DeSantis War Room, the video showcases left-wing voices framing DeSantis as a more refined, disciplined, and tactically superior operator than Trump.
Dismissive of these liberal perspectives, Trump's campaign brushes aside the video, touting his lead in polls, advocating his potential to bolster the economy, secure borders, and safeguard communities.
Still, recent polling throws a wrench into the narrative of a sure-fire Trump triumph. A University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll sees Trump's edge over DeSantis narrowing by five percentage points. It’s still early. The polls will shift many more times. The question is, who will land on top?
Senator Manchin dances on the edge of third-party run: Is this Biden's new worry?
West Virginia's own Senator Joe Manchin has lately been cavorting in political circles, sparking whispers about a possible third-party run for the presidency. The whisper turned into a bit of a clamor at a recent town hall in New Hampshire hosted by the nonpartisan organization No Labels. What's this group all about, you ask? They're stirring the political pot with talk of a unity ticket for the upcoming November 2024 election – one Republican, one Democrat, shaking hands and smiling for the cameras.
On the stage at the town hall was our friend Manchin and former Utah governor John Huntsman, a Republican.
Moderator Kevin Cirilli, a Scripps News correspondent, asked in the question-and-answer style presentation, “Is this the presidential ticket?”
“I think people are putting the cart ahead of the horse,” Manchin said. “We’re here to make sure that the American people have an option.”
Manchin, always the canny operator, keeps his cards close to his chest. He's yet to let slip if he'll even be going for another round in the Senate. But it's his possible presidential aspirations that have the Democrats sweating.
So, what's the big idea behind No Labels? They're hoping to hit a sweet spot between the donkey and the elephant with a "common sense" platform that takes a stab at key issues. Immigration, healthcare, gun control, and the economy - they're all on the menu. The question is can a third party be successful? Unlikely. But the Democrats are really worried that a “unity ticket” will siphon off votes sending Biden to the retirement home.
Trump on Morning Futures
In an interview that epitomized the political paradox that is Donald Trump, the former President equivocated on his commitment to the August 23 Republican primary debate, defended his contested record of 'draining the swamp,' and expounded on his own unique geopolitical insights - all while speaking to Maria Bartiromo on Fox News Sunday Morning Futures.
Despite having christened his 2016 campaign with the battle cry to 'drain the swamp,' Trump's tenure seemed rather have nurtured the very creatures he vowed to evict. The names of his handpicked menagerie, many with connections to the deep-rooted establishment or corporate juggernauts, serve as constant reminders of this irony. And yet, the former President, with characteristic bravado, maintains his firing of James Comey, among others, serves as tangible proof of his swamp-draining endeavors.
Trump's admission of making 'mistakes' in his appointments offered a rare glimpse of contrition, hinting at a naivety bred from his unfamiliarity with the political milieu. But the swamp, it seemed, was not drained. In fact, certain elements of it were retained, leading to an acrimonious presidency and aftermath that saw the Department of Justice and Intelligence Community allegedly weaponized against Trump and his non-Biden-supporting associates.
Trump's scorn for the FBI is no secret, and he railed against its supposed politicization under the leadership of Christopher Wray. He cited the infamous exchange of texts between FBI agents as evidence of an "insurance policy" against his presidency. Yet, his solution to FBI reform is contrary to mainstream Republican thought. Instead of relocating the Bureau out of Washington, D.C., he suggested they build a new HQ closer to the DOJ - a curiously geographically-bound solution to an ostensibly ideological issue.
Concerning global affairs, Trump's interview was rife with his trademark bravado and cryptic promises. His assertion that Biden's perceived weakness had resulted in the US's current global standing and his reluctance to show his hand on the possible China-Taiwan conflict was classic Trump. And his response to the Ukraine crisis? Reliance on his personal relationships with Putin and Zelensky.
The interview was a mosaic of the enigma that is Trump: a man who believes the Secret Service can solve the cocaine problem in the White House, acknowledges past mistakes but refuses to conform to party lines, and maintains a firm faith in the power of personal relationships in geopolitical conflicts. Trump remains a cipher - and a captivating figure on the political stage.
DeSantis's strategy shift has him dancing with mainstream media
Ron DeSantis signed his name onto the South Carolina primary ballot last Tuesday, thereby becoming the first Republican stallion to enter the 2024 race's early voting stage. The Palmetto State's GOP primary, set for the 24th of February, holds the prestigious honor of being one of the four traditional inaugural contests in the Republican match-up, accompanied by Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
Yet, DeSantis finds himself behind former President Donald Trump. Since May, when DeSantis threw his hat into the ring, his polling digits have lingered in Trump's shadow.
A Granite State poll released last Tuesday displayed Trump comfortably in the warmth of a 37% backing from potential Republican primary voters. Our man DeSantis bagged a commendable but trailing 23%, while South Carolina's own Tim Scott managed to clinch 8%. The remnants of the GOP pack, including the likes of Chris Christie and Doug Burgum, hovered around the 6% mark.
In response to those stagnant numbers, DeSantis' campaign appears to be undergoing a tactical shake-up, as evident from a recent bout of layoffs and a media strategy pivot. Venturing into more hostile territory, DeSantis took a leap into the lion's den with a sit-down on CNN's Jake Tapper.
Underneath the weighty shadow of Trump's Justice Department investigation announcement, DeSantis seized the CNN interlude to retouch his campaign's "mainstream" allure. He defended his proposal to ban transgender Americans from the military, vouched for the supremacy of the mission over individuality, and tiptoed around incendiary issues like the January 6 riots and Ukraine's defense funding.
The interview lasted a short 15 minutes, with DeSantis' views on key election issues - "inflation" and his crusade against "wokeness" - not addressed. This has left some to wonder if the Florida governor is playing a game of coy or if this was a mere misstep in a new media strategy.
In case you missed it.
Accusations of Anti-Semitisum in the Lead-up to Election Battles: RFK Jr.'s Latest Controversy
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stirred the proverbial hornet's nest when he suggested that COVID-19 was "ethnically targeted," disproportionately affecting white and black populations while sparing Jewish and Chinese communities.
Speaking at an event at Tony’s Di Napoli, an Italian restaurant in New York City., Kennedy referenced certain research studies that showed racial disparities in the pandemic's impact. His comments, however, were met with a barrage of criticism from all corners, leading to accusations of peddling conspiracy theories.
The counterpoint came swift and stinging. Dr. Monica Gandhi, a distinguished professor of medicine at the University of California, was one of the first to dismiss Kennedy's claims, asserting there was no evidence pointing towards bioterrorism selectively targeting racial groups.
In the eye of this storm, Kennedy took to Twitter to fire back at The New York Post's reporter Jon Levine, accusing him of twisting his words and fabricating his stance. Kennedy vehemently demanded an apology from Levine and a retraction from the publication, decrying the article as "false, underhanded, and inflammatory."
His remarks have divided opinions, drawing condemnation from numerous public figures. Kennedy, however, remains unapologetic, arguing that his words have been grossly misrepresented, leading to unwarranted accusations of anti-Semitism. In Kennedy's view, such misrepresentation not only undermines his point but trivializes the gravity of actual anti-Semitic sentiment.
Here is the crazy part and a connection it seems no one has made.
Page Six reports that at the very same event, an intense disagreement erupted over the issue of climate change between the host, Doug Dechert, and art critic, Anthony Haden-Guest. A verbal volley ensued, with Haden-Guest condemning his old friend as a "miserable blob" and accusing him of being "f--king insane," while Dechert fulminated about the "climate hoax.” The apex of the bizarre exchange was reached when Dechert, in an astonishing act of rebellion, accompanied his climate change denial with a very public, audible bout of flatulence, emphatically declaring, "I'm farting!". Amid this unconventional discourse, Kennedy showcased the poise of a seasoned statesman, reinforcing that the potential presidential candidate can keep his composure even amidst turbulent and, well, flatulent debates.
But wait, there is more! Following the event, RFK, Jr. testified at a House hearing on censorship. During the hearing, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) railed against Kennedy for making what she categorized as "anti-Semitic and anti-Asian comments" and moved the hearing to executive session. Yes, that is a motion to censor RFK, Jr. during a hearing on censorship. Oy, the irony!
Kennedy defended his remarks, maintaining they had been misinterpreted. He then pointed out the hypocrisy of the Democrats calling for him to be censored. He questioned Schultz's position, citing her support for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who Kennedy believes has been allowed to propagate "overt anti-Semitic rhetoric" without reproach. He also criticized House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for having once invited his uncle, a speaker known for anti-Semitic and anti-white comments, to speak at a university. Let’s be honest, were those Democrats offended by RFK, Jr.’s remarks, or is it that he is garnering support among Democratic primary voters that got them all worked up?