Kennedy: Nominees becoming more clear, or are they?

Again politics is in the news. Probably more accurately, politics is the news. The "Super Tuesday" and Midwest and Florida "Winner Take All" presidential primaries are over, bringing the potential nominee for each party more clearly in focus.

It appears that Hillary Clinton will garner the Democratic nomination on the first ballot, given her substantial lead in the delegate count. It doesn't seem that Sen. Bernie Sanders can gain enough ground in the remaining primaries and caucuses to win the nomination. Personally, I can't see Ms. Clinton as presidential material due to her obfuscation in the Benghazi matter and her huge lapse of good judgment in using an unsecure personal email server to send and receive secret and top secret communications while she was secretary of state. Her subsequent hesitance to cooperate with the Congress in its investigation of these matters also causes me to wonder if she is presidential timber.


On the Republican side, things promise to get more muddled and confusing. Even with his large lead in the race for delegates, because of the victories in some of the primaries and caucuses by several of the other candidates, Donald Trump will probably be unable to win enough delegate commitments to get the first ballot nomination of his party. If that scenario plays out there would be a brokered convention. This would bring about a good old-fashioned, smoke-filled, back-room, deal-making convention that harkens back to those of an earlier time.

Trump, acting the bully as usual, predicted that "rioting would occur" if he were denied the nomination. That may have been a desperate cry for support or it could have been a statement that could prove to be a self-fulfilling prophesy. I'm of the opinion that such rhetoric does no one any good and can only bring out the worst in his most ardent supporters.

"The Donald" has repeatedly disparaged various segments of the population. He has labeled Mexicans as criminals and rapists, and proposed banning Muslims from entering the country. He has, during the many so-called debates, made unnecessary and hurtful comments about the appearance of several female journalists and even a female candidate. His crude and sometimes borderline lewd comments also included several of his male opponents as well. I'm not inclined to wish to elect someone who speaks in such terms, imagining him in discussions of security or ultimately peace in the Middle East and calling another country's leader by some disparaging term.

His bluster and bullying tactics may work (or not) in the business world, but they most certainly won't work in the area of world politics.

The two other Republicans in the race may only divide up some of the remaining delegate commitments yet to be determined if one or the other scores an upset victory or maybe several of them. With Sen. Marco Rubio dropping out of the race, some of his delegates will be free from the beginning; others will remain bound to him for one or two ballots while some will be bound until formally released by the Rubio camp. Those rules are determined by the individual states. Certainly some will jump on the Trump bandwagon, but others may opt for either Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich could be the spoiler by winning one or several of the primaries remaining and garnering a not overwhelming but important number of delegates and throwing the whole thing into chaos with many ballots and deals needing to be made in order to come up with a candidate who appeals to a majority of the delegates. The Republican convention could be interesting reality TV.

In any case, if you have not registered to vote, please do so before the April 5 deadline for the Maryland primary, and if you are already registered, please cast a ballot in the primary. You may not think so, but every single vote does count. If you don't vote, don't complain.

Bill Kennedy writes every other Monday from Taneytown. Email him at