- - Friday, February 19, 2016

The political earthquakes of the 2016 presidential race are not over for either party, longtime political commentator and Washington Times online opinion editor Monica Crowley told TWT’s Insights Club members on a conference call Thursday.

“Not a dull moment in this campaign — even the Holy Father has made a cameo appearance,” Ms. Crowley said, referring to Pope Francis’ recent comment from Mexico that it’s “not Christian” to only think about “building walls” instead of “building bridges.”

Both parties are showing signs of fragmentation and disorder, which indicates “a real revolt” is underway, Ms. Crowley said on the conference call, which was moderated by David Keene, editorial and opinion editor at The Washington Times and president of the Insights Club.

“I think in all the unpredictability of this year, there is one thing that we absolutely know for sure, and that is that the American voters are doing something they haven’t done in a very long time: Show the political elites the door,” said Ms. Crowley, who is a frequent commentator on Fox News Channel.

Republicans Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Vermont Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders all have traction with voters because they “get it,” she said. Voters are done with “establishment folks who promise change, but deliver little to none,” and those who lie and abuse trust, engage in shenanigans, and “ravage the Constitution, the Treasury [and] our extraordinary place in the world.”

Blocs of voters are also fed up with President Obama and “his congressional toadies” — and “weak-kneed Republicans who have essentially acquiesced to the leftist agenda without putting up a fight,” said Ms. Crowley, who is also an author and host of a nationally syndicated radio program, “The Monica Crowley Show.”

Political upsets are likely to happen in the next few days, as Republicans in South Carolina and Democrats in Nevada pick their primary favorites on Feb. 20 — followed by a Feb. 23 Republican vote in Nevada and Feb. 27 Democrat primary in South Carolina.

It would not be surprising if the Republican contest turns into “a three-man race” within a few days, said Ms. Crowley. If Florida Sen. Marco Rubio pulls out a second- or third-place finish in South Carolina on Saturday, he could emerge as the Republican establishment’s candidate — and seek to knock out Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz.

As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton “literally barked like a dog at a campaign stop, and that pretty much sums up where we are at with her campaign,” said Ms. Crowley. There is already a level of panic in her campaign, she said, because “it was one thing for her to lose to the hip, black guy in 2008. It’s an entirely different thing for her to lose to a disheveled, 74-year-old socialist.”

In Saturday’s Nevada caucus, if she loses to Mr. Sanders, look for “full panic” in the Clinton camp, said Ms. Crowley. That’s because in addition to the nail-bitingly close political fight, the former first lady and secretary of state is facing legal battles — a criminal referral to the Department of Justice would “become a political hot potato,” said Ms. Crowley.

There is a long history of bad blood between the Clintons and the Obamas, she noted. Given the fact that “Barack Obama took Bill Clinton’s more moderate political party and brought it back to the radical left, Barack Obama would rather eat his own knee than turn the party back over to the Clintons.”

“I am also hearing that [the White House] may, in fact, be getting Joe Biden ready,” said Ms. Crowley, referring to a theory she first wrote about in August in The Washington Times. “Nobody knows the truth about this. Who knows what might happen. But I find it increasingly difficult for Hillary Clinton to survive, and even if she does survive, she will be an incredibly weak nominee. And don’t think that Barack Obama doesn’t know it.”

A Democratic presidential ticket topped by the sitting vice president — and a running mate such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — would serve several purposes, Ms. Crowley said: Mr. Obama seeks a successor who can be controlled and who will carry on the Obama revolution — and be “somebody he can count on not to investigate the last eight years,” which regularly contained some level of violation of the Constitution and the rule of law.

Despite Mr. Biden being “a gaffe machine,” Ms. Crowley said, he has other attributes that make him a more formidable candidate for Republicans than Mrs. Clinton.

The hourlong conference call was recorded and is available for replay for Insights Club members, Mr. Keene said.

Cheryl Wetzstein is Special Sections Manager at TWT Media Group.

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