November 2024 may seem a long time to go but Presidential aspirants, especially those serious about their intentions, have started hitting the ground and hard at that. And any incumbent at the White House knows that knows full well that the campaign for the next season begins the day results are announced for the hard fought victory… except of course for the Presidential election of 2020 where Donald Trump is yet to throw in the towel and for reasons only known to him.
American Presidential elections are fought on the strength of the candidates’ standing within their party and where they come from on domestic policies and priorities. Foreign policy hardly matters except perhaps in 1968 as the Vietnam War that kept dragging on and for Richard Nixon to spring a surprise by saying that he had a “secret plan” to end the war. History showed that this “secret plan” was extension of the conflict into Cambodia with Watergate and his disgraceful exit in 1974 to follow.
The 2024 pack of candidates has its share of personalities that would put a small smile or outright laughter on a boring day—how else can it be when statements are tossed around that the war in the Ukraine could be ended overnight or the Federal Bureau of Investigation forced to shutter? Elections are not about the future course of the Ukraine war or the existence of the FBI; it is about the directions and strengths of the economy generally and about specifics like abortion, price of a gallon of gas, unemployment, inflation, status of public education, racial harmony, gun violence, just to mention a few.
An occasional jibe at an opponent is fine but not a consistent rant; the exception, of course being Trump who seemed to have perfected the art of taking down his political enemies, real and imagined. Conservatives and Liberals generally look for the strength of a candidate in spite of what the polls may show on television screens. And that strength comes not just from “money” power but in the staying ability of a candidate throughout the primary season. Remember Michael Bloomberg and his “super rich” status that was supposed to make a difference in 2020? His “wads” of cash did not take him very far.
For now all attention seems to be on the Republican Party, especially if it could put up a viable team to take on President Joe Biden. With close to 100 charges pending against him and his first date with the courts set for March 2024, former President Trump is heading the charts with the other contenders way behind and nowhere even near the catching up frame. Punches were thrown at the first Republican debate in Milwaukee but not enough for anyone to emerge clearly as THE front-runner.
This is not all. Reports have surfaced that President Biden being in the 2024 ballot is not a sure thing. Polling of Democrats is showing a deep apprehension of Biden’s age and the speculation mills have started running overtime. If for some reason Biden decides to step down, the big question is if he would choose Kamala Harris; and if he did whether the party would feel obliged to throw its weight behind her. A fractured Democratic party would be as strong or weak as the Grand Old Party next November. The prevailing uncertainty would invariably have an impact on the Congressional elections where Republicans and Democrats are holding on to razon thin majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate respectively. Stay tuned…..