In December of 2014 following the democrat losses in congress the mainstream media started reporting that the republican party was anticipating as many as 24 candidates to run in the 2016 presidential primary. Pundits and reporters alike paint the picture of “nut cases,” extreme right wing ideologues and religious zealous. For example when Huckabee announced he was leaving his Fox show in case he decided to run for president the pundits expounded on his ties with the religious community, not his time as governor of Arkansas or his substantial political career. By branding him with the association to the religious right they effectively minimized his appeal to the general public. The media has to be more careful with Jeb Bush because he has some key issues he supports, immigration and education that parallel the liberal presses top line topics for the 2016 primaries. Even bashing Bush about the Bush name has some danger for the press since the Clinton name smacks of “old” politics as much as Bush does.
The point is that the press is eager for new “candidates” from the Republican ranks that will support their contention that the republican primary for president will be chaotic. They are hoping for similar results they achieved with the 2012 primaries in that the republican party will come out split by ideology and extremist candidates.
On the democrat side they seat Hillary as the shoo in but they want to make certain that Mrs. Warren’s liberal ideas are not lost in the Clinton campaign. Of course they don’t want a real fight in the democrat primary with Bernie Sanders and Jerry Brown raising money and more importantly stirring the far left of the party to challenge Hillary with real questions about real issues. That is why they are going to great lengths to place the republicans as extremist. One example is Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” this weekend. His second lead story was framed as follows. Chuck ask a republican guest if the “scandal” created by Steve Scalise’s [scheduled to be the republican majority whip in the house effective January 6, 2015.] speech to a well known KKK organization would hurt the party’s efforts in 2015 and 2016.” The speech Steve made was to the National/international EURO workshop on Civil Rights. Chuck Todd showed a picture of Steve next to but separate from a picture of David Duke, the person who apparently started the EURO Workshop group. The speech was made twelve years ago when Steve was a state senator and the stump speech was about tax reform. However the purpose in bringing up the story was to position the republican leadership as right wing and racists. In a story from CNN about Steve they referred several times to the organization Steve addressed as a KKK group led by David Duke, it wasn’t until about four columns in before they actually mentioned the real name of the group. The only problem the media is having with the story is that both democrats and African American politicians have supported Steve saying in essence he did not have a racist bone in his body. However we should expect more of these “exposes” as soon as the media can dig them up to posture republicans as extremist.
Are we surprised, no because as I said at the opening of this piece it worked before in 2012. The difference this time is that the democrats are going to have a real primary and it is more than possible that they will end up in some trouble with left wing candidates demanding that Hillary answer tough questions about her stance on controversial issues that could embarrassing the “shoo in candidate.”