Political Punk Rock

September 07, 2016

Meanwhile, Hillary was hanging out in Steven Spielberg’s guesthouse in the Hamptons, going to fund-raisers with the Rothschilds, and emerging mostly to denounce the “alt-right.” After all, August is supposed to be a slow month, so it makes sense to rest up for Labor Day, the traditional launch date of the presidential campaign.

Hillary showed up Monday, spoke a few words of her Labor Day oration…and started to cough. And cough. And cough some more.

Then she got on her airplane, which she allowed the press to ride on for the first time. After having long dodged questions, she even deigned to entertain reporters’ hard-hitting questions about whether all the conspiracy theorizing over her coughing was sexist.

She got rolling on how Putin is conspiring with Trump to make her look bad with leaks, but then broke down coughing again and had to retreat to her lounge.

The Democrat’s lead in the RealClearPolitics average of polls is down to 2.4 points, one third of what it was a few weeks ago.

This doesn’t necessarily mean Trump will roar on past Hillary. One of Nate Silver’s valuable insights is that it’s a mistake to assume recent trends will continue due to “momentum.” Recall that four weeks ago, the news media was confidently proclaiming Trump doomed because he had been drifting down in the polls since the Democrats’ well-run convention and his ill-advised spat with the dead soldier’s parents.

Now, though, it’s a ballgame again.

Of course, Trump is quite capable of getting distracted from his strongest issue—Do Americans have the right to control their borders?—and be lured into, say, a Twitter spat with a child dying of leukemia.

Still, Hillary is not a good candidate. Regression to the mean suggests she probably won’t have too many days worse than her Labor Day, but Hillary is clearly Trump’s best hope of being elected.

So, if Trump is a risk to blow up the world, isn’t Hillary morally obligated to stand down and let a more electable Democrat run in her place?

Or is that all just talk?

If Hillary announced she were withdrawing due to her health, who would replace her? I’d guess that Tim Kaine, a solid generic Democrat, would move up to the top spot and Sen. Elizabeth Warren would be brought in to fill the women’s spot on the ticket vacated by Hillary.

That wouldn’t be a bad pairing for the Democrats.

Could a party pull off a switch this late in the game?

The latest a national ticket was ever altered was Aug. 1, about two and a half weeks after the 1972 Democratic convention, when VP nominee Tom Eagleton resigned for covering up his bouts of mental illness and George McGovern replaced him with Sargent Shriver.

Statutory dates for certifying the candidates’ names on state ballots are starting to go by. On the other hand, it seems unlikely that public opinion would allow Republican state officials to sabotage a national election by not permitting a change in the ticket.

Of course, Hillary won’t step down, because the election isn’t really about stopping Trump, it’s about how we owe her this.

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