Anybody who cares one lick about sports will be glued to the NCAA basketball tournament all weekend. They will cheer for upsets and watch as the University of Kentucky Wildcats stomp opponents in a march toward a potential undefeated season.
And it is time to set up the candidate brackets for POTUS 2016.
The Democrat Bracket
On the left side is the juggernaut former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who is limping into the presidential tournament after a horrible press conference last week. Clearly, Clinton DQed herself from being a credible candidate for the presidency with a series of lies and half-truths. A mere mortal politician would be done for, yet Clinton is sitting on a massive lead. No Democrat seems brave enough to take her on and put on a full court press to beat her.
Despite a disastrous press conference, at the United Nations of all places, Clinton still is the smart money favorite over Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Warren insists she isn???t even running and will not take it to Clinton until Clinton walks off the court and quits.
Vice President Joe Biden is waiting in the wings to get the call, but he may be parked on the Democrat bench forever. He is like that player who the coach does not trust to send out on the court for fear of a catastrophic error. Democrats known that Biden is likeable and talented, yet he is a turnover machine. He is not getting the ball.
Maybe even current Secretary of State John Kerry can take another run at the finals with some late season magic. And there is former Maryland Governor Martin O???Malley who is running, but not many are betting on him making it past Iowa, let alone the second round in New Hampshire.
The Republican Bracket
On the Republican side, it is more wide open.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is the strongest of the bunch on paper, but he has some holes in his game. Many worry that Bush will experience and epic collapse because he is out of practice for the big game and his game plan doesn???t seem to make much sense. Picking a fight with the conservative movement on a number of issues seems to be a recipe for air balls and turnovers.
The exciting games to be played out are the Iowa Caucus bracket, where former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is hoping to score another Iowa upset. He has won the Iowa Caucus before and he will run out of that first round game with some momentum going into the New Hampshire primary if he can use his experience in Iowa to win again.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), my former boss, is locked and loaded for an April 7 date to announce. The Paul run and gun offense will be exciting. Not afraid of anybody, he is going to be taking shots from everywhere on the political court. His stand will be early in Iowa and New Hampshire. Paul is not wired to every give up, so expect him to still be swinging and scrapping for the ball, late in the game when he needs to drill a few big shots to get back in the game.
News reports indicate that Donald Trump is serious about running for the Presidency. Reuters reports ???Trump said he had formed an exploratory committee to determine whether to run, and that he had hired staff in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.??? Talk about a candidate who will be exciting and trying a new offense.
Like Paul, expect Trump to be a huge underdog; yet don???t underestimate his willingness to bomb away from half court. He will also throw some serious elbows and may get a few flagrant fouls in an attempt to intimidate his opponents. Clinton might want to stay away from Trump or she might have to head to the locker room a bit early to get politically stitched up.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is slated for the final four. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is going to have to defeat an in state rival ??? Jeb to make it to the promise land. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is a ???diaper dandy??? to quote Dick Vitale. In other words Cruz is a freshman Senator who will provide some excitement to the tournament.
The Final Four
Picking the final four is always fun. I always pick two one seeds and favorites, then dig deep for an upset and one longshot. It is fun to root for that underdog team that doesn???t seem to have a chance down 2 points late in the game, yet a player you have never even heard of tosses up a prayer 3 pointer at the buzzer ?????? and somehow it goes in.
If the finals end up being Bush v. Clinton, expect the ratings for that final to be flat and most people will be rooting for a draw. They will be the one seeds and heavy favorites to make it until the final four. Remember, in 2008, nobody gave Senator Barack Obama a prayer of winning one primary or caucus, let alone anybody thinking he could win it all.
Put some long shot money on John Kerry to emerge as the savior of the Democrats if Clinton implodes. If the Republican voters think back to the last President Bush, they may not want a repeat of Wall Street bailouts, endless wars and a Reformocon policy of big talk and little action to stop the vast expansion of the federal government into every aspect of our lives.
Root for the underdogs, so we can be entertained and have some new ideas. Nobody wants the warmed over policies of the right or left from past presidencies. They want a run and gun politics that is bold, exciting and, dare I say, radical.