The Spectacle Blog

Hillary & Bernie in a Virtual Tie in Iowa UPDATE

By on 2.1.16 | 11:41PM

With 95% of the ballots in, it appears that Hillary Clinton has held off the challenge of Bernie Sanders in Iowa. Hillary leads Bernie 50% to 49% (with 1% to the now departed Martin O'Malley) and has been awarded 667 delegates to 656 for Sanders.

In mid-December, Hillary had a 9 point lead over Bernie. But this lead evaporated and made this race too close to call. Had she lost tonight it would have reminded voters that she lost Iowa not only to Barack Obama, but to John Edwards in 2008. 

Assuming that Hillary holds the lead, in a few days no one will remember that she won by the tighest of margins. They will only remember that she won.

Still, Bernie Sanders is expected to win in New Hampshire. But what really counts is the South. If Bernie can make it razor thin on her political turf then she's got trouble. Of course, she might have more trouble had Bernie not taken her damn e-mails off the table. 

Huckabee Suspends Campaign

By on 2.1.16 | 10:58PM

After garnering only 2% of the vote tonight in Iowa, Mike Huckabee has announced he will drop out of the 2016 GOP presidential race. 

Huckabee won the Iowa Republican Caucus in 2008, but he could not replicate the magic this time around. 

The beginning of the end came when he was demoted to the GOP undercard debate stage in November. At the time he was demoted along with Chris Christie. While Christie got back to the main stage, Huckabee could not rise to the occasion. 

The closest he came to generating any excitement when he parodied Adele's "Hello" last week.

I should hasten to add that Huckabee (along with Rick Santorum) attended Donald Trump's rally for veterans in Iowa following the GOP undercard debate. Perhaps Huckabee will soon formally endorse Trump. After the election, I guess we can expect him to strap on the bass guitar Saturday nights on FNC.

Cruz Wins Iowa But Rubio Has New Life & Trump’s Fear of Megyn Kelly Costs Him

By on 2.1.16 | 10:46PM

With 99% of the vote in, Fox News is calling the Iowa Caucus for Ted Cruz.  Cruz has earned 28% of the vote with Trump at 24% while Rubio on his heels at 23%.

Cruz's win is astonishing given longtime Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad's edict to Hawkeyes not to vote for him for his opposition to ethanol subsidies. But he did have Steve King in his corner as well as a very strong organization.

It would appear that Donald Trump's decision to skip last week's debate in Des Moines cost him dearly. In fact, as I argued last week, it has to go down as one of the biggest blunders in the history of presidential politics.

In fact, Trump finished with only a little over 2,000 more votes than Marco Rubio. For voters unimpressed with Trump skipping the debate but not wanting to support Cruz, Rubio became a viable alternative. Being afraid of Megyn Kelly comes with a price.

Will Hillary Send O’Malley Flowers Tomorrow?

By on 2.1.16 | 8:21PM

Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier began their coverage of the Iowa Caucus by saying with much laughter that Martin O'Malley would finish third.

All laughter aside, O'Malley could be a big factor in tonight's Democrat race. The Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll over the weekend had Hillary up three points on Bernie (45-42) with O'Malley holding 3% of the vote. If O'Malley were out of the race I suspect that most of that vote would go to Bernie rather than Hillary.

If Hillary holds off Bernie there's a good chance she will have O'Malley to thank for it. In which case will Hillary reward him with a cabinet post?

 

The Iowa Caucus Thread, UPDATE: CRUZ WINS

By on 2.1.16 | 8:08PM

UPDATE (10:25): Ted Cruz has won the Iowa Caucus. The Dem race is still far too close! Trump will finish second. Marco Rubio finishes third, but only approximately 2,000 votes behind Trump. Dr. Ben Carson will finish fourth. Rand Paul will finish fifth. 

UPDATE (10:20): Ted Cruz 28%, Donald Trump 24%, Marco Rubio 23%. 97% of precincts are reporting. Marco Rubio and Donald Trump will fight it out for second.

UPDATE (10:05): Martin O'Malley has told journalists to be ready for a press conference, he will be suspending his campaign

Trump is, reportedly, not doing well in any of the major cities (Des Moines, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids). Many of the caucus-goers turning out there made their minds up in the last several days, many of them on the content of the last debate. Skipping the final debate may have cost Trump. Cruz is also pulling ahead with "anti-Establishment" voters.

UPDATE (10:00p): According to GOP officials, 170,000 Republicans turned up to caucus this year, which is straight up insane. With 75% reporting in, Cruz is still up 28-25

Donald Trump Is No John Scott

By on 2.1.16 | 4:41PM

I see that both Fred Schwarz and Marc Thiessen are trying to turn Donald Trump into the political equivalent of John Scott.

For those of you who don't follow hockey, Scott is a journeyman NHL player who was voted onto the NHL All-Star Team as something of a joke. Scott has played with six teams in eight seasons and has scored a grand total of five goals. Known as an enforcer, Scott has spent much of his career in the penalty box.

What is The Difference Between Global Witness & The Center for Medical Progress?

By on 1.31.16 | 8:15PM

I just finished watching 60 Minutes segment on money laundering in the United States. The centerpiece of the report was a sting operation conducted by Global Witness, a London based NGO dedicated to exposing corruption. Global Witness sent one of their investigators undercover to a dozen or so law firms in New York to discuss the possibility of moving money on behalf of an anonymous African minister who has obtain millions of dollars worth of graft. While none of the attorneys interviewed broke the law they didn't exactly toss their potential client out on sight save for one.

Vin Scully Honored

By on 1.30.16 | 12:08AM

To honor the great Dodger broadcaster, who will conclude his remarkable 67-year, hall of fame broadcasting career at the end of the 2016 baseball season, the Los Angeles City Council Friday voted unanimously to name the road leading into Dodger Stadium Vin Scully Avenue.

“This is a few decades late,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, of the latest honor bestowed on the man who has been the voice of the Dodgers for the team’s entire 55 years on Los Angeles. “My entire life has had Vin Scully as a backdrop,” said Councilman Pal Koretz. “Naming a street is great, but I’d be okay if we named the whole city after him.” Few Dodger fans would argue with this.

“I’m overwhelmed,” the always humble Scully said. He called the re-naming of the former Elysian Park Ave. a great honor.

This is hardly the highest recognition paid to the man many consider the nation’s best sportscaster. But it’s nice to see an honor going to someone who deserves it.

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