Donald Trump, Pinochet with a line of men’s fragrances, would seem to have a proper path forward in the GOP race. With the next month of Republican primaries favoring far-right pols, and the trio of Kasich, Rubio and Bush subtracting from one another, the Reality TV realtor need only outpace Ted Cruz, a rat trap of a man and the only person in America more unlikable than him. Trump isn’t a true conservative, but he’s clearly communicated his intention to “Make America
Great White Again.” At this point, his campaign can’t be disqualified by anything he says, no matter how repugnant, but will instead rise or fall based on how many caucasians in the U.S. deeply resent no longer being able to use the N-word without consequence.
It’s not as easy to see a similar road to success for the other upstart, Bernie Sanders, despite his rousing N.H. win and Hillary Clinton’s vulnerabilities. Until the race moves past Super Tuesday, the Vermont Senator will walk headlong into an unforgiving slate of mostly Southern states where he’ll have to pick up non-white voters, something he’s thus far shown little flair for. Sanders could be trailing badly by the time we move deeper into March, so he needs to change that reality before the South Carolina primary.
Nobody knows better than the Clintons the power of early state momentum.
In his victory speech, Mr Sanders said he was travelling to New York on Wednesday — “but not to raise money from Wall Street.” In fact, he will be breakfasting with the Reverend Al Sharpton, the radical black pastor, who seems likely to endorse him. Other black celebrities have been lined up.
Mr Sanders has two weeks, and the media wind at his back, to turn South Carolina into another victory. If he pulls that off, he will join Mr Trump as odds-on favourite to win his party’s nomination. The polls say Mrs Clinton will halt Mr Sanders’ progress south of the Mason-Dixon Line. But pre-New Hampshire polls are now virtually worthless. Anything could happen.
Both parties may be on course to endorse candidates who repudiate much of what they stand for.
If there was ever a moment Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, was tempted to run for the White House, it may be fast approaching.•