Given all of the twists and turns, analysts are busier trying to explain “how we got here” rather than forecasting “where we are going.”
It seems like this presidential campaign has been going on forever and ever. The amazing thing is that we are still in the primaries after an endless series of mind-numbing speeches, vitriolic debates, Twitter fights, and personal attacks. Given all of the activity, you would think something of substance would have been said – but thus far this campaign has been remarkably free of real, meaty policy content.
I am certainly not a trained campaign analyst, political science specialist, or policy wonk. If you’ve heard of me at all, it’s because of my role as the Chief Xbox Officer at Microsoft. But as I describe in my book Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal, I am an involved concerned citizen who considers himself to be a “Civic Engineer”. I am also a committed “centrist” who believes that the polarization amongst our elected officials is bad for government and citizens alike. How does someone who believe that there is a viable middle ground on the important policy issues we face think about his electoral options for president?
The Democrats have tried to focus on policy, but Bernie Sanders is stuck on a few, specific issues while Hillary is busy defending her record and her email. The Republicans have fared much worse with a campaign that has vigorously discussed the size of candidates’ hands (and other things), the attractiveness of wives, and the ability to interrupt the most rudely during debates. All of the candidates have been busy telling us why we should be angry and whom we should blame rather than telling us what needs to be done to make things better.
What is perhaps even more remarkable is that the outcome of the primaries is still in some doubt. Hillary Clinton will “likely” win the Democratic nomination while Donald Trump is leading the Republicans. And yet, neither candidate has full support of their party with Trump facing a possible convention fight and Clinton facing a sea of apathy. Given all of the twists and turns, analysts are busier trying to explain “how we got here” rather than forecasting “where we are going.”
So here is my current take on the election – consider it a down payment on many segments to follow as we enter the meat of the presidential election process.