Seven—count ‘em—seven Republican 2016 hopefuls will be traveling through Iowa over an eleven-day stretch between August 2 and August 12, kissing babies, praising pigs, bashing teachers and, most of all, tearing into President Obama—when the person they’ll be running against in 2016, of course, will be Hillary Clinton, not Obama. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry will all be there. Not one of them has a snowball’s chance in Nevada of getting the nomination, which will go to one of the more “mainstream” Republicans: Chris Christie, Jeb Bush (Jeb Bush?!), Paul Ryan, or maybe one of the dark-horse GOP governors, such as Scott Walker (Wisconsin) or Mike Pence (Indiana). But Iowa, where Christian conservative caucus-goers hold the high cards, will send one or two of the GOP’s kooky far right into New Hampshire, and so they’re each hoping they’ll be the one. Perry, the goofy governor of Texas, is trying to go from Mr. Oops! to Mr. Iowa, with nine events scheduled in the state by this Tuesday, according to The Des Moines Register, leading the pack by far with a total of twenty-three appearances in Iowa.
The Register, in another piece, quotes an Iowa political analyst, Steffen Schmidt, thusly:
It probably would have been better if five or nine were coming because some smart-aleck political analyst will no doubt comment about Hillary Clinton as Snow White and the seven dwarfs.
There is widespread discontent bordering on despair among Republicans looking ahead to 2016, which is what probably accounts for the continuing speculation about whether Mitt Romney will suddenly emerge as the GOP’s favorite son once again, along with concern that so far the Republicans have been unable to put forward even a single female candidate to challenge what, after all, will be a female Democrat in 2016. Meanwhile, despite growing hopes and dreams among progressives that someone will emerge to challenge Clinton from the left—such as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Zephyr Teachout, someone!—the former first lady and secretary of state is building an unassailable redoubt. (The latest CNN/ORC poll, released July 29, has Clinton leading Warren 67-10.) And while the Republicans are bashing Obama nonstop, ridiculously suing him in court, threatening impeachment and denouncing the White House’s alleged tyranny, Clinton is conducting her own assault on Obama, from the right, especially in regard to what she considers her strong suit, foreign policy.
In today’s edition, The Washington Post has a lengthy piece about Hillary Clinton’s eclipsing Obama in popularity, citing among things a Quinnipiac University poll in Ohio—the swing state on which Republican fortunes almost wholly depend in 2016—in which voters polled rated Obama an abysmal 36-59 percent job approval rating while giving Clinton a much more robust 52-43 approval, and backing Clinton by substantial margins against any and all GOP challengers. The Post also notes, with some glee, that Wall Street loves Clinton: