The 2016 presidential campaign is still young and yet its already given us an impressive list of surprises.
As we see it, here are the five biggest ones:
Trumpmania. Let's face it, after so many years of bluffing, the fact that Trump finally became a candidate was a surprise in itself. But beyond that, the number of Trump followers, their runaway enthusiasm and their loyalty and sheer endurance must be considered nothing less than startling. Trump touched a nerve and he's unleashed a new American political movement. s exciting. And, right now, there's really no telling where it will all end.
Hillary's limp, clueless effort. You'd have thought she would have learned something from the 2008 campaign, yes? But here she is back again with a dull, lifeless effort. She's simply a yawn-inducing, uninspiring candidate. In an age that yearns for authenticity, she's not only the most artificial candidate but she's also the most boring one. In fact, the only thing authentic about her is her dullness.
The bursting of the Bush bubble. Now we know why the Bush family was secretly delighted that "W" emerged over his brother Jeb in 2000. Turns out George W. Bush was the Real Deal and the amiable Jeb was, just that - amiable, and little more. Now, he isn't even amiable. Now, he's just cranky. His campaign has been a complete disaster and it proves once again that while you may have name recognition, you can't buy the presidency.
Christie's dogged tenacity. Over and over again the pundits, the pollsters and the mainstream media (all of who helped put Christie on the map) have written him off. After the George Washington Bridge imbroglio, they pretty much decreed Christie DOA. But this guy is not easily discouraged and now even his most persistent critics are admitting that he's run a solid campaign, raised important issues, scored good points and has picked up some steam. What's more, he's still probably America's best retail politician. Look for him to score an impressive showing in New Hampshire.
The Cruz Express. Everybody knew that Ted Cruz was determined, smart, independent-minded and tireless. But no one suspected that he might actually be likable as well. Still, to borrow a phrase from Barack Obama, he's proving to be "likable enough" to jump ahead in Iowa. If he wins Iowa (and you better believe the Trump campaign fears this is exactly what's gonna happen) then, all bets are off and you'd better batten down the hatches.
The bottom line? This is most assuredly NOT the year of the Establishment.
And that really pleases us.
Yes, indeed -- we like to see the venerable Establishment thrown off guard. We're delighted to watch the Clintons and the Bushes squirm a bit.
It's a healthy thing. Very healthy.
So, we say Bring. It. On!