763 Days until the 2016 Presidential Election
This series is supposed to be about the 2016 Presidential election, but the political scene sometimes presents non-Presidential-related events and personalities too interesting to overlook.
I loved reading about the recent trial in Virginia starring former Governor Bob McDonnell and his (most likely) soon-to-be ex-wife Maureen. It was better than any TV soap opera. The couple was accused of taking gifts and cash from a businessman in exchange for political favors.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and his name is Jonnie Williams.
Only a very small number of people were lucky enough to be recipients of Mr. Williams’ largesse. Either the ex-governor and his wife, or only his wife (depending on whose story you believe), was fortunate enough to receive presents from Williams.
The couple arrived at the courthouse separately, with different legal teams. The marriage, whether at one time genuine or not, was apparently over, the public façade shattered.
Was the marriage in trouble? Or was the couple’s problems a charade to protect the governor’s reputation and make his wife the scapegoat? Probably only the lawyers know for sure…
Gifts lavished on a governor could be considered bribes and illegal. Gifts bestowed on a governor’s wife, who is not a public official, are not legally considered improper.
The political scandal morphed into a potential sex scandal. Allegations asserted the governor’s wife had sex with/wanted to have sex with/hallucinated about sex with Williams.
The prosecutor granted Williams immunity as a reward for testifying against the McDonnells.
The outcome of the trial: The Governor and his wife were convicted of conspiracy, bribery, and extortion, the Governor on eleven counts, Maureen on nine. Both face prison. Both are now appealing their convictions. Stay tuned…
Remember Mark Sanford, the ex-Governor of South Carolina currently representing a congressional district in the House of Representatives? While Governor, Sanford took a short vacation and went hiking on the Appalachian Trail - according to his office - but actually boarded a plane to Argentina to spend time with his mistress, leaving his wife and four sons home. Fast forward a couple of years, and, as Beyoncé sings:
… if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it
If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it
Don't be mad once you see that he want it
'Cause if you liked it,
then you shoulda put a ring on it
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Apparently Sanford kept giving his mistress/fiancé excuses for not setting a wedding date. She left him in September.
Beyonce sings Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), lyrics on screen.
(adding some fun to the serious subject of politics!)
In other political news…
Media attention currently focuses on the 2014 elections. All House seats are up for election, and a number of Senate seats are hotly contested, including Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Iowa, and New Hampshire. This election will set the stage for 2016.
Republican contenders for a Presidential run in 2016 have not changed much over the past few months. The Republican Roster –
There are rumblings Romney might run again. How boring can a race get?...Senator Rand Paul and Rep. Paul Ryan are both considered frontrunners. A lot of influential party regulars consider Paul too libertarian, and Ryan is aligned with ultra-conservatives not too popular in polls…New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie remains on the list, but is too liberal for a wide swath of the party. And he is from New Jersey (‘nuf said)…Jeb Bush is another name thrown around, but do we really want a third Bush in the White House?...Marco Rubio might attract Latino votes, but his pro-immigrant leanings are unpopular with conservatives…A hero of the right, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is mired in his own political campaign conspiracy scandal which involves coordinating ads from various supposedly independent non-profits. Not nearly as interesting as hiking the Appalachian Trail or outright bribery…Then there is Texan (not by birth) Senator Ted Cruz. Personally I favor setting Texas up as a separate country with Ted Cruz and Rick Perry (another contender) in charge…Ex-Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana keep popping up on talk shows…Dr. Ben Carson is an interesting candidate who has never held elected office.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton took time off to enjoy her first grandchild.
A wide-ranging list of Republican and Democratic 2016 Presidential candidates can be found on this website.
Don’t wait until 2016 to cast your ballot!
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014