Saturday, December 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

2016 campaign shifts to higher gear

By
January 21, 2014 |

If anyone doubts that the 2016 presidential election campaign has begun already despite a lack of announced candidates, the furor surrounding the leading prospects of both major parties should dispel any such notion.

Both Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and former first lady, senator and state secretary Hillary Clinton have found out quickly what it means to be the center of attention in the scramble to replace Barack Obama. Both are embroiled in controversy that probably would have gone away otherwise.

A scathing congressional report that raises questions about Clinton’s management, or lack of it, of the incident in Benghazi that took the life of Libyan Ambassador Christ Stevens and three of his security detail left little doubt that this would remain an issue in any decision to try once again to become the first woman to win a presidential nomination. Clinton said at the time of the tragedy in the old rule that the buck stops at the top that she as the State Department’s chief would have to assume responsibility. The report re-emphasized as much.

As for Christie, the outrageous actions of some of his chief advisers to punish an obscure Democratic Party mayor who they thought should have endorsed the Republican governor’s re-election has raised lingering questions about his viability as a national candidate. The Fort Lee, N.J., four-day traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge that resulted from his aides’ juvenile dirty trick won’t go away easily despite Christie’s lengthy contention that he knew nothing about the event and that when he was shown the evidence immediately fired the culprits.

That’s all well and good but at least two official investigations are under way to determine the exact responsibility for this silly but expensive travesty, and one can expect any number of lawsuits from those who claim to have suffered from the lane closings on the ramp to the bridge into Manhattan.

More important, Christie will need somehow to overcome that kernel of doubt about is administrative honesty that the entire mess raised.

History is replete with examples that testify to the fact that being the “front runner” early in the race for the presidency is probably not the place to be. Former Michigan Gov. George Romney, the father of 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, found that out when one simple remark blew him out of contention for the White House. He said that he had been “brain washed” by the military about the need to be in Vietnam. The perception of an ineffectual leader was too much to overcome for the onetime president of American Motors.

Clinton seems less vulnerable given her demonstrated and highly praised work at State. Her marks in the four years leading up to Benghazi have been as high as anyone in that difficult post in recent memory, and until the Libyan affair she had managed to keep herself out of controversy. She also has established her independence from her former president husband, an accomplishment that eluded her in 2008 when Barack Obama came out of nowhere to upset her chances. Other factors include the perception that she offers the best chance in the near future for a woman to become the nation’s chief executive and that she is a far more known quantity, an element that would give her an advantage over Christie when it comes to withstanding the political storm of a potential scandal.

Christie on the other hand has little of the same insulation. He has been on the scene only a short time and has made his reputation on being a sort of Jersey Shore tough guy who takes little of what he considers guff and lets things fall where they may. That is, of course, until the bridge matter when he was uncharacteristically contrite. The governor also must face another obstacle. His party’s viable right where any number of presidential wannabes lurk. Some, like Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, have even moved more toward the center, but still maintain conservative credentials that most Republican hopefuls need to be viable for the nomination.

Much of this will shake down in the next months until the November midterm elections. Clinton’s backers are already raising money and Christie is expected to offer his campaign services to GOP candidates in the congressional races, and that undoubtedly will include conservatives although at the moment he is considered by the party’s mainstream to be the best chance of fending off tea party radicals.

The fact is that the race already has begun and what occurs in the fall will decide the viability of both candidates and several more who will begin the long trek to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in earnest once that is over. Will Christie and Clinton still be around? I’m betting they are but just how potent depends on how well they overcome Fort Lee and Benghazi.

Dan Thomasson is a longtime Washington journalist and former vice president of Scripps Howard Newspapers. Readers may send him email at: thomassondan@aol.com.

Dan K. Thomasson

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Creche collection grows in size, popularity

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Handmade Christmas display is man’s labor of love

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
 
Company competition a big win for charity

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Meeting a great role model at any age

By Murray Bass | From Page: B5

Fairfield police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Notorious California graffiti suspect arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Island park in San Francisco Bay closed for weekend

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

No harm caused by flames at Northern California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Wetter than usual start to new year in California predicted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Hospital to pay $2.2M to settle false claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Napolitano named as UC public policy professor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Man shocked 20 times during jail booking sues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Animal rights activists take California rodeo to court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California’s bullet train settles 1 of 7 lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Tuskegee Airman Lowell Steward dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Driver pleads not guilty in pedestrian deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bush officials gave CIA wide latitude

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Theater shooter’s parents plead for his life

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
5 ways to make your email safer in case of a hack attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Celebrities react to latest Sony hack developments

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
2012 movie massacre hung over ‘Interview’ decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Sony on shelving ‘The Interview': ‘We had no choice’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Lava could reach Hawaii shopping center in 8 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Jury rules for Indiana woman in firing over IVF

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bergdahl investigation wraps up; top leaders get briefings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Texas eatery worker gets mink coat from customer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Sugarland, promoter settle with state fair victims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

NY police officer suspended after videotaped punch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Supreme Court won’t stop gay marriages in Florida

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Staples: Customer data exposed in security breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Israel carries out airstrike on Hamas site in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Pakistan executes militants and bombards tribal areas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Franciscan religious order in ‘grave’ financial crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Opinion

Yes, Virginia, the Santa wish list has gone digital

By Petula Dvorak | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
If you want to help the poor, fix the safety net

By Jim Tankersley | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Pampered pets that don duds move to the mainstream

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B11

Children from wife’s first marriage put father’s ashes in coffin

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B11

 
.

Entertainment

More than 4 million people watched 1st dog telethon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kim Jong Un game spoof ‘Glorious Leader!’ moving forward

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Marathon bombing survivor in ‘Yes to Dress’ finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kid Rock to perform pre-race concert at Daytona 500

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Actor Stephen Collins denies he’s a pedophile in interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Dodge, Vaca grad Mason lead Southern Oregon to NAIA title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders haven’t needed much from Janikowski

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
AP sources: Peavy agrees on $24M, 2-year deal with Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Dodgers end Yanks’ payroll streak, owe most tax

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Howe’s family reports rapid improvement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
2 Armstrong associates settle lawsuit with Landis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rays, Padres, Nats complete 11-player trade involving Myers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vanden girls open Nike TOC with win on Arizona

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Things to know about Friday’s baseball news

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rookie receivers making their mark in NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Former boxing champ Ernie Terrell dies at 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gold medalist Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, avoids jail time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal men beat Eastern Washington 78-67 for seventh straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
CIF football bowl games headed to Sacramento

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

California unemployment rate dips to 7.2 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Chrysler gives in to gov’t, expands air bag recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

T-Mobile paying at least $90M for unwanted services

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
EPA sets first national standard for coal waste

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Sales for holiday shopping season comes down to the wire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Judy Zamora Rogers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 12/20/14

Real estate transactions for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Ask a Designer: decorating with Christmas trees

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2