Beware the Ides of March

 

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The end of last week was a little on the eventful side. Donald Trump’s campaign rallies have become a free for all for which he has responded to with his usual bluster, blames and threats. At the same time John Kasich is surging in his home state while Marco Rubio is circling the drain in his. On the other side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have dropped much of their previous civility and are now bashing each other over the head with insults and attacks.

There is a lot to get to, so let’s get started.

The End Marco-bot Production?

In the play, when the old soothsayer woman warns Julius Caesar of his impending fate, he chose to ignore her and goes to his death, as he is unable to imagine her vision being true. Unlike Shakespeare’s Caesar, however, Marco Rubio must clearly see the fate of his political career coming. He is still in third place, behind Trump and Ted Cruz. His poor performance in last Thursday’s contests meant that gained no delegates at all. That’s right, zero, zilch, nada. And to make things worse, tonight’s primary in his home state of Florida will not likely go his way. The polls have shown him losing his home state of Florida for quite some time now and they aren’t getting any better, as a matter fact at the current moment Trump is averaging 43% and Rubio at 24%. As one could imagine, losing one’s home state is not good at anytime. It makes the campaign look weak and undesirable, even if that candidate is performing well elsewhere. Rubio, though, is a candidate that is circling the toilet. He desperately need both delegates and enthusiasm, he’s not going get either tonight. Hell, he won’t even get much of a consolation prize, as Florida’s Republican delegates are awarded in a winner take all fashion. At this point I don’t know whether Marco Rubio is a punchline or a punching bag, but we are seeing his campaign end the way that the short end of every dick-measuring contest ends. I suppose it’s appropriate considering he’s the one that started it last Thursday. The TLDR to Rubio’s presidential aspiration, there done and so is he.

Feeling Berned

Last Thursday, while talking about the primaries that were going to take place that night, I talked about the long distance that Senator Sanders still had to cover in order to get a nomination. I’m still concerned that many of his supporters don’t understand how much further he has to go, but do think it’s very clear that his people are far more excited for him than I have those in support of Secretary Clinton. For him, that’s a good thing to have.

Senator Sanders’ win in Michigan was a big one, not so much in terms of delegates, but in terms of momentum and excitement for his campaign. In tonight’s primary, Secretary Clinton is ahead of Sanders in most of the polling data in all four states (Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Illinois) that said, she was also projected to be ahead of Sanders in Michigan last week.

One thing that likely played a factor for Sanders’ victory in Michigan is that it is an open primary state.  An open primary means that people besides those who are registered with a specific party affiliation are allowed to vote in the primary. The opposite is a closed primary, where only those who are registered with the party holding the primary are allowed to vote. Sanders benefits greatly from independent and moderate support, many of those independents do not register as a party, preferring not to be tied to a party, just a candidate. This of course is a double-edged sword for Sanders tonight, as the state with the most delegates at play for the the Democratic candidates is Florida (214), and it is a closed primary state.

Oppositely, one thing that has played poorly for Sanders is that Democratic primaries are proportional, that means that the candidates are given a percentage of the delegates proportional to the percentage of the votes they gained with the winner getting a majority. In many of the states that Sanders has won, the outcome of the election was much closer than in states which Clinton won. The results is that Clinton walked away with a much larger percentage of the delegates available in those states than Sanders did in the states he won and her delegate lead continued to rise. Still if Sanders continues to when close enough races to game a fair amount of delegates, he can keep the distance between the two of them close  enough, he can stay in the running. This is especially obvious when you take the “super delegates” that are not bound to any candidate out of their totals.

Moving from tonight’s primaries to some of the arguments made between the two candidates. I think that one of the last Republican debates show the potential avenue for Sanders to attack Clinton. That is the  same attack Senator Cruz made against Donald Trump, that Trump gave sizable amounts of money to  Clinton for her senatorial run as well as her first presidential bid. Sanders should challenge her on how she can stand against Trump and oppose him after taking money from him.The most likely response is that Clinton will say her donations from Donald Trump or simply part of how one runs for office, that is, sometimes candidates take money from people they don’t personally approve of. This is

Also this week, Clinton gave one of just about the single worst attacks she could make on Sanders. At a campaign stop she went off about how Bernie support of healthcare is nice but that she didn’t know were he was in 1993 when Clinton was working to reform health care during her husband’s Administration. Well the internet detectives didn’t take long to find him, they dug up a video of an old press conference in which Clinton is discussing health care with Bernie Sanders standing right behind her on stage. Let that sink in she made an attack demanding to know where Sanders support of health care was all the while she had to have known that she had at least at one point shared a stage with him. Moreover, there is a thank you note written beneath a picture of the two of them together, it is from Clinton to Sanders thanking him for his support. Clinton’s team had been very good at researching their attacks for previous debates butts this was an unbelievably stupid and sloppy attack. It was easily debunked and made Clinton look ridiculous. Talk about amateur hour.

I’m not going to make any prediction for what happens tonight, rather I’ll be back later in the week with some thoughts on the fallout.

Lastly, there was a lot of bad news in the video world last week. The short version is that Microsoft canceled the latest installment of the Fable series and closed Lionhead Studios, Carbonite Studios, makers of the MMORPG, WildStar announced is was laying off a sizable amount of its staff and moving to China, and last but not least, Daybreak (formerly SOE) cancelled production of EverQuest Next.

In addition to the sympathy for the now former employees, concern for the futures of the remaining employees or the companies as a whole and commiseration with other fans of these products, there has been a lot of questions about the future of the MMO genre as a whole. I can’t tell you how many threads I’ve read asking if the genre was dying or even already dead. While I think that those concerns are more hyperbole than reality, I do think there are some issues surround this questions I’d like to explore in a future post.

Also, this post was to have a section talking about Donald Trump and personified disaster his campaign has become, but it was getting really long and I thought it might be better to make it a separate post as well. I kind of feel that Trump is like Beetlejuice, the more talk about him the more real he becomes, but at the same time, I can’t really not comment either.

So, stay tune for those future posts.

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