A person who would otherwise be a fringe candidate -- and someone who really belongs to neither party -- could occupy the White House when all is said and done.
This is a person who is a total maverick, a renegade; someone who's really out of the mainstream, or so it would seem.
No, we're not talking about Donald Trump.
We're talking about the man who would be; who could be; who very well may be America's first socialist president - Bernie Sanders.
Think it can't happen? Really?
You'd better think again. Because here's how it could all come about. Imagine this scenario:
Hillary continues to falter. Increasingly, she become a liability and looks like a loser. Astoundingly, she loses to Sanders in both Iowa and New Hampshire and, at the same time, her legal problems mount. Bill's unable to help her because all those bimbo eruptions return in reruns and he finds himself scarred as never before by his past misdeeds and runaway peccadillos. The two of them look more and more like damaged goods. They're Sandals Inc. Meanwhile, Bernie continues to pick up support and momentum from a Democrat electorate shifted to the far left by Barack Obama & Co. Amidst all this, it's too late for Joe Biden or any other Democrat to enter the race lest he or she be charged with sounding the death knell for the Clintons or spoiling the Sanders boomlet.
On the Republican side, both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz continue to pick up support and they really become the only two viable candidates. Cruz wins Iowa while Trump takes New Hampshire or Trump takes both and then South Carolina is up for grabs in what looks more and more like a two-man race between a certified polemicist (an ego-driven Lone Ranger with zillions to spend) and a brilliant debater, ideologue and rouge candidate who's managed to alienate not only all of his colleagues in the U. S. Senate but most of the Washington establishment as well.
So, there you have it. It become Sanders vs Trump or Cruz, with Trump seeming to have the edge right now. As the campaign progresses, the crafty Sanders begins to build a working coalition. Labor unions strongly unite behind him followed by social justice advocates, urban liberal elites, the disenfranchised (or those who think they are), people of color, secularists, statists, trial lawyers, take-to-the-street activists and even a fair share of guilt-ridden suburbanites. It's a ragtag collection, to be sure, but its numbers begin to add up. And as they add up, Democrats rush to close ranks as they almost always do.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side old line Party stalwarts sulk. They simply can't get over how they've been shut out. The Establishment spends a lot of time gazing into martinis, poking those green olives stuffed with pimento and feeling hopelessly jilted as they settle into the final episodes of Downton Abbey and wonder if they can even keep control of Congress. Overwhelmed by their usual gloom and doom, as the election grows near they do more and more to pull away from the party's standard bearer. In the end, the Party is a wrought and rung out as it was in 1968 and millions of moderate "Republicans" stay home or ("Shhhh!") actually vote for Sanders.
Result: Sanders wins!By now, you're probably saying this simply can't and won't happen.
It too far afield -- too incredible.
But, remember -- this is a very, very crazy year.
Strange things are happening. And, it would appear that all bets are off for the foreseeable future.
Plus, there's this: A college in Illinois that has predicted every presidential election winner since 1975 says the next President of the United States will be Bernie Sanders. And the students of Western Illinois University haven't been wrong in more than 40 years.
Of course, they also say the GOP nominee will be Jeb Bush.
But then again -- stranger things have happened!