The Road to 2016: Hillary on UFOs; Bernie on Marijuana; Christie on a Roll


It’s 3am, your children are asleep, a phone rings in the White House. Who do you want to answer it? Well if the call is coming from aliens, Hillary Clinton is more than prepared. Sort of. I’m fairly sure this article about Hillary’s thoughts on aliens and UFOs isn’t satire it’s from the Huffington Post and the author, Lee Speigel, is an expert on the paranormal so it seems to be legit. It pulls quotes from various interviews where  the former Secretary of State says she is prepared to “get to the bottom” of the mystery behind UFOs. In fact, she even believes “we may have been [visited already]. We don’t know for sure.” No word on her thoughts on the Loch Ness Monster, the New Jersey Devil, or Big Foot, but I can only presume her climate change plan will help protect all species, whether they reside on Earth or not.

In news entirely on this planet, the surge of Ben Carson was the big story early last Fall. But that’s the campaign version of “peaking in high school” as his numbers are moving in the wrong direction as actual elections approach. In response, the surgeon has replaced his campaign manager and other top staffers. The logic behind this move is that while his initial team helped him garner far more support than anyone expected, he needs new people to get him over the hump and win the nomination. Almost like how the Red Sox traded beloved shortstop Nomar Garciaparra mid-season in 2004 to acquire assets necessary to win their first World Series since 1918.

Bernie Sanders has continued his crusade against marijuana prohibition, both on the campaign trail and in the halls of the Capitol where is fighting to take ganja out of the Federal Controlled Substance Act entirely and allow states to regulate pot sales like they already do tobacco and alcohol sales. Sanders also wants to ease the restrictions for medical research on cannabis, which could greatly benefit organizations like the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Support for Marco Rubio’s campaign has seemed to hit a plateau. Many (including Rubio himself) hoped the handsome Floridian could be a sort of Republican Obama that drew a wide-base of Republican support. However that has yet to happen and Rubio donors are starting to get anxious to see if he can deliver. His campaign has focused on a broad, national strategy at the expense of building support in states with early primaries. In stark contrast to the Florida Senator, Chris Christie has focused almost solely on campaigning in New Hampshire, and the Granite State seems to have warmed to the New Jersey Governor. In fact Christie is polling almost neck and neck with both Rubio and Ted Cruz there, as they battle it out for number two (Trump is still way ahead, polling at over 26% in the state, about doubling the next closest competitor).

Which now brings us to Trump. As you can imagine, there are a lot of things that can be said about the man who served as Dick Clark for Fox News’ Rockin New Year’s Eve. But what I’ve found most fascinating is how non-traditional Trump’s campaign is. So far, Donald Trump has spent far less money than the other GOP hopefuls and has catapulted himself into the lead with an earned media strategy and no campaign ads. That is about to change as the former host of The Apprentice just debuted his first ad. The 30-second spot calls for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and for a wall along the Mexican border paid for by, you guessed it, Mexico.

Jill Stein, the front-runner for the top of the Green Party’s ticket, recently called for the United States to nationalize our energy companies. I wonder how that stance will play in Texas…

Also, in case you missed it, former New York Governor George Pataki has ended his pursuit of the White House. The moderate Republican was polling at or around 0% in most major polls and never really developed a base of support. The high point of Pataki’s campaign probably came when he placed an equal time request with multiple NBC affiliates after Donald Trump’s Saturday Night Live hosting gig, but even that attention couldn’t build enough momentum for Pataki to stay on the stump.