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In this crazy election year, everyone has an opinion about what will happen in the six months left before we vote. Here are mine:

The Primaries

I am disappointed that Ted Cruz has dropped out before the California primary on June 7. I wanted to see how California voters, especially Hispanic voters, would welcome "Crump" (Cruz and Trump) if they showed up in our state to campaign. For that matter, after Trump's last visit, which prompted raised middle fingers and the F word directed at him from welcoming Hispanics, will he bother to show up again?

Why do the networks focus on who "wins" the primary elections? Most of the primaries and caucuses are not winner-take-all, as in the general election, but rather the delegates are allocated proportional to the votes received (or not, as Trump and Bernie found out, when they got the most votes in some primaries, but somehow received fewer delegates than their opponents). The answer: ratings.

Potential Candidates for Vice President

Donald Trump:He has stated that he wants a Washington "insider" as his VP. This makes sense, as he knows nothing about how Washington works except for his cash register politics: give them money and they will do what you want. This does not always work with Congress; they are not beholden to you, but only to the voters in their districts or state. So The Donald will be looking for someone with whom he can get along (a small group), who is not too old (he is almost 70) or too liberal (many in the GOP suspect that he is a closet liberal), and hopefully from a swing state. Soon-to-be-unemployed "Little Marco" is a logical choice, if Trump can get over Rubio's comment about his size. A woman might be a good fit, but Carly cast her lot with Cruz, and the voters don't need two nasty people on the same ticket, and she is far from being a D.C. insider. Ted Cruz fits the bill, and Donald could do the Senate a favor by taking him, but Cruz's meltdown just before he bowed out of the race makes him poison to Trump, and he may be, as Donald calls him, "the Canadian". Then there is Ben Carson, who heads Trump's VP search, who could tap himself, a la Dick Cheney (SHUDDER). The best choice : Ohio governor and 18 year Congressman John Kasich.

Bernie has waged a spirited campaign, and if he does not win the nomination, at least he will have framed the issues of the Democratic Presidential campaign, pulled Hillary to the left, and kept the electorate interested as well as sharpening Hillary's debating skills.

Hillary: Hillary will be 69 years old by the end of 2016, and a younger Hispanic from a swing state is a logical choice for VP, such as Stanford and Harvard Law-educated Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, Texas and now Secretary of HUD. Or his identical twin brother Joaquin, a Texas Congressman (same education). One excellent choice would be 58 year old, Stanford and Stanford Law graduate Congressman Xavier Becerra from California, a well respected insider in Democratic politics. Plucking a Senator from the Senate, such as Tim Kaine of Virginia, is not a good idea, as the Democrats hope to retake the Senate next year, with 24 Republican Senators up for reelection this year versus 10 Democrats. Taking a Democrat out of the Senate when a four or five seat change in the upcoming election would put the Democrats back in the majority does not work. Or pick a Democratic swing state governor, such as John Hickenlooper of Colorado or Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, or former Maryland governor and Presidential candidate Martin O'Malley.

Bernie: He will be 75 on September 8, 2016, and needs a younger VP, since if he is elected and is a two term President, he would be 82 years old by the end of that term. He has little executive experience, except as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and needs a younger, well respected governor from a swing state as his VP, such as term-limited Jay Nixon of Missouri, or the aforementioned John Hickenlooper, Terry McAuliffe or Martin O'Malley, or former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Hillary would not take the spot, and Elizabeth Warren is in her late 60s and is more effective in the Senate.

The Gut Issues

Building the Wall:"I am going to build the wall, and Mexico is going to pay for it", says The Donald. Aside from the astronomical cost (over $12 billion), it makes no sense: much of the border between the U.S and Mexico is the Rio Grande River, and a treaty between the two countries prevents any action being taken that impedes the flow of the river. Building a fence could do this, and anyone who has actually visited the border in Texas, such as at Big Bend National Park, knows that it flows through steep canyons with steep cliffs on each side which would make a fence impossible to build. And 40% of the border sits on private land, and many landowners may refuse to let the Trump government onto their property to build the fence, making long, expensive eminent domain proceedings necessary. Build a 20 foot high wall, and they will build a 21 foot ladder, or a tunnel. Finally, good luck getting Mexico to pay for it: as former Mexican President Vicente Fox recently commented: "No f---ing way!"

Deporting illegal immigrants:11 to 12 million illegal immigrants currently live in the U.S. and they are not what The Donald says they are. They are not all Mexicans: many of those coming north through Mexico are from other countries south of the border, such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, etc., as well as China, Cuba and many other countries. Depart them to Mexico, and Mexico will deport them to somewhere else. And many of the illegals came to the U.S legally, on student or tourist visas, and just overstayed their visas. Many of them are from China, and from European countries, and blend in well with other Americans. Another group harmed by such a policy would be children born in the U.S. and as "American as apple pie", whose parents are undocumented. If the parents are deported, what happens to these young Americans? Or will Donald seek to have the citizenship of such "anchor babies" revoked?

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The Art of the Deal:Donald Trump is a classic bully, and has been one since he was a teenager. That is how he got his way as a developer, by bulldozing his way through the opposition and using every tactic in his bag of tricks to reach his end goal: lawsuits, money (you can't build anything in New York City without getting the right people on your side), dealing with the Mafia regarding his casinos, publicizing how what he wants to do will benefit the community, etc. But these tactics do not work with Congress: as President, he would soon find out that strong-arming key Congressmen to get his way would often backfire, as they are more concerned about what the voters in their districts think than what is good for the country.

The Donald and women: Trump clearly has a female problem, with three marriages (our only divorced president was Ronald Reagan) and a pattern of objectivizing women, more impressed with the size of their breasts than their minds. As Rubio uncovered, The Donald clearly is concerned that the size of his genitals do not measure up to the size of his ego. In the general election, with Hillary as his likely opponent, will he continue his attack on her as a female? Most women in this country have met men like The Donald, and hate them. Those who don't have probably long accepted being abused by men. Will Donald's relationship with women affect their vote? Will Trump's attacks on Hillary as an "enabler' of her husband's conduct turn them off? Many leaders of other countries have had affairs or mistresses while in office, and it has not affected their election prospects. The American electorate ignored the Paula Jones and Bill Clinton's other supposed affairs and elected him twice. Does any of this matter in 2016?

The Outcome

The Bernie Phenomenon:Bernie has waged a spirited campaign, and if he does not win the nomination, at least he will have framed the issues of the Democratic Presidential campaign, pulled Hillary to the left, and kept the electorate interested as well as sharpening Hillary's debating skills. Bernie still has a narrow path to victory:

  • if he does well in the remaining primaries, and closes the 250 or so pledged delegate gap by the time of the Democratic convention;
  • if Hillary does not have a majority of all delegates by that time; and
  • if the respected polls show that he has a much better chance of beating Donald Trump than Hillary does, the 516 or so superdelegates who have announced their support for Hillary might be convinced by Bernie to switch their support to him.

Running as an Independent: There are scenarios being discussed in both parties about running an independent candidate. If Bernie loses to Hillary, he could revert to being an independent and mount a campaign for President. By the end of july, when the Democratic convention is over, that leaves only a little over three months until the November 8 election, probably not enough time to mount an effective winning campaign for President. (Tell me about it, Ron Paul.)
On the Republican side, there are rumblings that Mitt Romney and Bill Kristol are trying to put together an anti-Trump independent Republican ticket to run, say with Michael Bloomberg as Romney's running mate. It has happened before, as

I have mentioned in a previous LAProgressive article ("Michael Bloomberg's Monkey Wrench", January 25, 2016), but most likely it would throw the Presidential race to the House of Representatives, with each State having one vote. Hello, President Trump…

ted vaill

The rest of 2016 will be a fascinating time.

Ted Vaill