As of this writing on Labor Day, we are less than 2 months from the election. Yes, an awful lot can happen in that time, especially with these two major party candidates--more disliked than any finalists in history.
But, for those looking ahead, what could we expect in 2017, if the election were held today? In spite of my last Post raising questions about Secretary Clinton's candidacy, we have to assume Secretary Clinton wins the Presidency since she is leading today in all the polls. I suggest we also assume the Senate switches to Democratic control, albeit by a few votes, but the House remains under the direction of Republican Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.). Here is my prediction for 2017:
President Elect Clinton. Although she will claim the traditional political honeymoon, the Republicans will waste no time blocking her first submitted budget and many of her Cabinet Appointments. I do not think former President Bill Clinton will be seen as a major player for the administration--at least in the beginning. The mega issue starting out will be the appointment and confirmation of a new member of the Supreme Court. The real strongman in the new Administration will be Lobbyist John Podesta, probably as Clinton's Chief of Staff. I think former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendel will play a key role, being one of the few Democrats with Bi-Partisan support. Lastly, I think Vice President Biden will play an important role in the Clinton Administration, probably continuing his Cancer Moonshot Project.
Senate. Taking over the Senate will be super-partisan New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.). Although liked by some of the Republicans, he is among the most liberal members of the Senate, and will be stymied. As usual, Senator John McCain (R., AZ) will surface as a major Republican figure because of his long relationship with many Democrats. In a new twist, I believe the Freshman Class of Senators will take the lead in starting back an effort to govern with Bi-Partisanship.
House of Representatives. Speaker Ryan will be the most powerful Republican in the Country, but will continue to have trouble with the Tea Party Wing of the House of Representatives. Minority Leader Pelosi will be vocal, but other than draw support from the President, will continue having no success with the Republicans. The Black and Hispanic Caucuses will flex their muscles reflecting some independence from leadership.
The year 2017 will be a year of the new leaders getting 'their sealegs.' As a result, the real policy coming out of Washington will probably not come from the Legislative or Executive Branches, but the Courts. Look for a busy docket from the United States Supreme Court all next year.
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