What a blessed relief. Presidential political junkies are down to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, down to the Cinderella finalists and we can take the summer off.
OK, I know Bernie Sanders is still hoofing the “I want to live in the White House” shuffle, but he’s not going to be at the top of the donkey ticket come November, so I’m not counting him. I know. If you’re not wanting President Trump, you’re gonna have to vote for that woman. You’re mad. Get over it.
Now, back to the giddy deliciousness of not having to look at Ted Cruz’s smarmy, Eddie Munster face — made worse for the past week with Carly Fiorina’s baleful eyes counting every sweating pore of the man’s face at news conferences.
Back to not having to explain why John Kasich could never be the candidate-of-choice for right-leaning Democrats and moderate Republicans, despite the national media pundits contorting themselves to the contrary. Let Ohio have him back.
Oh, blessed relief. We know the red and blue names on the presidential ballot. While there will be angst and hand wringing all summer, the likelihood of substantive political developments is minimal. Crass though it be, unless one or both of these candidates is abducted by aliens (the real kind, not the immigration variety), it’s going to be The Donald and Hil in November.
Trump’s already creating the to-do list for his first presidential 100 days. He’ll ramp up the charm, he says, warn corporate execs not to send jobs overseas, design the wall between us and Mexico, appoint an Antonin Scalia-style Supreme Court justice and repeal the Affordable Care Act. I assume he’ll take a breath on day 101.
Clinton’s likely got her own first 100 days list, but she’s got to be a bit more coy than Trump since Sanders is still in her rearview mirror. It’s a safe bet her list resembles Trump’s only in the “ramp up the charm” item.
So, if we know the candidates and we’re pretty sure of their platforms, what the heck’s going to keep us junkies fixed for the next six months?
Who’s voting for whom? That’ll be the hot weather speculation and we’ll be at it right up to the last poll closing, when the question will shift to “who voted for whom?”
Hillary voters made up their minds in 2008. They’ve been awaiting validation for 10 years. Donald voters joined the chorus this year, but as soon as they donned that red ball cap, there wasn’t a chance they’d vote any other way.
That leaves millions of registered voters with squirm-worthy choices. Consider the Democrats who’ve hung their stars on Sanders and can’t imagine not feeling the Bern.
Are they willing to “just vote blue, no matter who”? Heck, there are still Elizabeth Warren Democrats wishing she were on the ticket.
There are all those “anyone but Trump” Republicans, who with the departures of Kasich and Ted Cruz, are left with no one but Trump. Can they hold their noses and vote for Clinton?
And, then there are the undecided voters. Political junkies cannot imagine there are undecided voters left, not after the tsunami of multi-platform media. But they’re wrong.
While one would have to have been living under the clichéd rock to be unable to identify Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, “real people” are not the least bit like we junkies. They turned down — or tuned out — the incessant political rhetoric months ago.
They know they’ll need to make a decision by November, but these voters won’t tune back in until sometime in late September. They’ll pay little attention to the shifting headlines that will shape the summer’s news coverage. But by September, when Labor Day is past, school’s back in session and the weather up north is turning cool, then they’ll listen up.
The undecided voters will choose the Trump and the Clinton who are in the headlines in late September. Not before then. In the meantime, the undecided voters are going to enjoy summer.
Perhaps we should, too.
Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of KeyWestWatch Media, a digital solutions company for small businesses. She made up her mind back in 2008 and expects to enjoy her summer.