NEWS AND OPINION:
Let’s take note that the 2024 presidential election won’t arrive for another 638 days. That length of time has not deterred a determined population in the political arena, however.
“As of January 30, 2023, more than 500 candidates have filed to run for president in the 2024 election with the Federal Election Commission,” reports Ballotpedia.com, which waded through the many election statistics on the commission’s website.
The lengthy list reveals potential candidates from the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian political parties of course, along with those who hail from the Green Party, plus the Democratic Socialists of America, American Independent Conservative Party, Peace and Freedom Party, Federalist Party, and the U.S. Tax Payers Party — to name a few.
Announcement season, when candidates both known and unfamiliar make the formal announcements that a presidential run is in their future, is almost upon us.
“If history is any indication, the bulk of 2024 presidential candidate announcements will likely occur in the next few months. In the 2020 cycle, 87% (27) of the noteworthy candidates announced their campaigns by June 2019. And in the 2016 cycle, 77% (17) had by that time in 2015,” Ballotpedia advised in its analysis.
Of course, that doesn’t include former President Donald Trump, who declared his intent to run on Nov. 15, 2022.
The drifting Chinese spy balloon and its consequent demise captivated the media for a spell. A few headlines of note from the last 48 hours:
“Bizarre! Chinese balloon over U.S. In the age of satellites, haven’t balloons become obsolete?” (Agence France-Presse); “High-flying balloon seen as part of broader Chinese spy program” (Bloomberg); “China says it reserves right to respond to downing” (ABC News); “Another suspected Chinese balloon spotted over Costa Rica” (CNN); “Trump, top national security officials refute claim that Chinese spy balloons transited US under last administration” (Fox News); “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a — Chinese spy balloon?” (The New York Times); “Biden vs. balloon” (Axios); “China calls the balloon’s downing an overreaction” (National Public Radio); “Chinese balloon’s downing creates spectacle over tourism hub” (The Associated Press).
The preferred outcome
Here’s what one lawmaker believes could be the ultimate outcome of the aforementioned balloon caper.
“What began as a spy balloon has become a trial balloon, testing President Biden’s strength and resolve. And unfortunately, the president failed that test. And that’s dangerous for the American people. The president was paralyzed for an entire week by a balloon,” Sen. Tom Cotton told “Fox News Sunday.”
“We should have shot this balloon down over the Aleutian Islands. We should have never allowed it to transit the entire continental United States. And I think there’s a lot of open questions that the administration needs to answer to Congress on behalf of the American people about why they didn’t,” the Arkansas Republican continued.
“I think part is the president’s reluctance to take any action that will be viewed as provocative or confrontational toward the Chinese communists. I would say what’s provocative and confrontational is sending spy balloons all across America,” Mr. Cotton advised.
Meanwhile, in New Hampshire
Republicans in the Granite State remain vexed that President Biden and the Democratic National Committee stripped New Hampshire of its “first in the nation” status — as far as voting in presidential elections is concerned. South Carolina has that honor now.
“The Democratic National Committee can change their rules, and they can make their silly demands, but New Hampshire will hold our First in the Nation primary in the 2024 race,” said Chris Ager, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, in a written statement on Sunday.
“It’s clear that our inept president — who was soundly rejected by New Hampshire Democrat primary voters in 2020 — is attempting to retaliate against those voters. Punishing New Hampshire is a deeply flawed logic. Instead, the committee should listen to what Granite Staters were telling them — reject Joe Biden,” he said.
“Granite Staters will not bow to Democratic Party bosses. Our First in the Nation primary will happen as scheduled, and President Biden will become the first incumbent to lose New Hampshire since 1952. We look forward to welcoming all presidential candidates over the next twelve months and can hardly wait to deliver the state to Republicans in 2024. For that, at least, we have to thank the Democrats,” Mr. Ager declared.
For the lexicon
“Chairman of HELP.”
This is the new nickname for Sen. Bernard Sanders, the self-described Democratic socialist from Vermont. It has debuted on a new sticker for his fans from Our Revolution — a nonprofit, grassroots-funded “progressive political organizing group” founded by Mr. Sanders following his 2016 quest to become U.S. president.
The “HELP” acronym stands for “health care, education, labor and pensions,” by the way.
“Bernie Sanders is taking on corporate greed and Big Pharma is already fighting back,” the organization advises in its public outreach.
It also shared a “4-point plan to win” which will “organize the grassroots, elect progressive champions, transform the Dem Party and fight for progressive issues.”
Poll du jour
• 85% of “global CEOs” say the behaviors of employees often and usually are aligned with the company’s values and direction.
• 56% agree that leaders in their company often and usually encourage dissent and debate.
• 46% agree that leaders in their company often and usually tolerate small-scale failures.
• 45% agree that the final outcomes of projects they review often and usually meet or exceed initial forecasts of their financial performance.
• 23% of globally-based CEOs agree that leaders in their company “often and usually” make strategic decisions for their function or division without consulting them.
Source: A Price Waterhouse Coopers Co. 26th Annual Global CEO Survey of 4,410 globally based chief executives in 105 countries and territories who lead organizations that are privately owned or have revenues between $100 million and $25 billion or more. The survey was conducted in October and November 2022 and released Jan. 16.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.
Correction: A previous version of this column incorrectly reported the name of “Fox News Sunday.”