Any delusions that Bernie Sanders should be dismissively regarded as a kindly old grandfather type were shattered into shards last Wednesday after the senator unleashed a sharp, heated response to headlines in the Washington Post alleging that Hillary Clinton had declared him “unqualified” to run for President.
It’s all in how you look at it.
When Mrs. Clinton was specifically asked earlier that day by Joe Scarborough on MSNBC whether Senator Sanders was fit to occupy The White House, she was careful to avoid actually using the word “qualified,” but clearly and cleverly implied he wasn’t – specifically calling into question his overall truthfulness and political expertise. In a speech later that night in Philadelphia, Bernie didn’t hold back – categorically stating that Hillary, herself, was assuredly not “qualified” due to her support of the War in Iraq, her acceptance of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from Wall Street and other concerning issues. And Sanders certainly did use the “Q” word. Functionally, according to Webster, that’s the same as the “E” word – as in “eligible.”
For purposes of clarity, the Constitution states:
“No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.” Article II, Section I, Clause 5.
That’s it. Period. There are no other qualifications or quantifications required to be President.
So Hillary and Bernie are both qualified for the presidency, as are Donald Trump, John Kasich and probably Ted Cruz, although he was born in Canada - unnaturally or not. There are probably a hundred million more of us similarly suitable and even Hillary and Bernie have now backed off the subject, but that’s the first time edgy campaign tempers have so dramatically flared in the Democratic race, even as Republican counterparts continue careening toward a colossal collision in Cleveland.
It won’t be pretty.
Cleveland is Detroit without the panache.
July is the hottest month of the year in Cleveland with an average daytime temperature of 83 degrees, accompanied by a sweltering humidity of 86% and relatively restless residents.
The 2016 Republican Convention will take place from July 18 - 21 within the marginally air conditioned confines of Quicken Loans Arena. For a party ostensibly dedicated to decreased governmental borrowing, pardon me for noting a certain irony in choice of venue.
It now appears certain that attendees will either face the nightmare of an immediate first vote Donald Trump victory - or more probably encounter the potentially worse horror of a wildly contested, no holds barred, wide open convention - brokered, if not ultimately broken.
Not to be outdone by the G.O.P. in saluting financial institutions or enduring heavy heat, The National Democratic Convention is scheduled for the following week from July 25 - 28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia with an average daytime temperature of 87 degrees and 93% humidity.
The Democratic nomination still appears Hillary’s to lose, although Bernie Sanders has already so far achieved the impossible in his incredible run against formidable odds, enjoying recent victories in state after state.
Next Tuesday’s New York primary is obviously critical. An unanticipated win there and subsequent miracle victories up through our own California voting on June 7 could bring about one of the most significant political shifts in American history and genuine initiation of the desired revolution at the heart of the Sanders campaign.
Bernie is polling better than Secretary Clinton against all possible Republican opponents, consistently demonstrating superior strength among the young and with independent voters.
And November remains more than a full half-year away.