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Affluent Investor | July 27, 2017

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Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and the Race to Beat Hillary

Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton  (Photos by Gage Skidmore) (CC BY) (Resized/Cropped/Spliced)

Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton
(Photos by Gage Skidmore) (CC BY) (Resized/Cropped/Spliced)

I would agree with the pundits that Hillary had a good week last week. She avoided any temper tantrum moments last week in the Benghazi hearing, the Biden announcement of a no-run likely means Obama is not sabotaging her behind the scenes, and leftist donors who have been on the sideline are re-engaged in conversation with her team since what was effectively Sanders’ concession speech at the debate (“we are sick of hearing about your emails” was exactly what I would have said, right before saying, “how stupid do you think we are?”). It is entirely possible that the American people will move on with the “well, they didn’t find any smoking gun …” narrative, completely forgetting how tough it is to find a smoking gun when the gun HAS BEEN DELETED. The email scandal may or may not die off; either way, significant damage was done. She was an untrustworthy liar of a person before the scandal, and now nearly all of her own supporters think so too! If the FBI investigation and State department investigation and continued “discoveries” all die off, she still took on a self-inflicted wound caused by nothing more than her knowledge that she would be doing and sending and receiving BAD things by email, and that she wanted there to be no ‘smoking gun’. We live in a Kardashian world, and no matter what side of the aisle you are on politically, if you buy Hillary’s version of this email story, you are somewhere beneath the IQ of a Kardashian twitter follower. Literally.

Speaking of IQ, the GOP primary continues to separate the thinking class from the Trump class. This week he railed on Ben Carson’s membership in the Seventh Day Adventist Church (now why do you suppose a true embodiment of theological precision like Trump would do that???). He is falling off in Iowa polls and throwing a tantrum about it. His Q3 finance report revealed a GRAND TOTAL of $100,000 donated to his campaign from himself. His biggest expenditure is his own airplane, at 700k, and second biggest is a purchase order from his own t-shirt company, at 500k. He remains devoid of staff, devoid of infrastructure, devoid of TV commercials, and of course, devoid of anything remotely resembling a policy statement. I can’t do a lot for the perma-pessimists who believe Trump is sandbagging the Republican party. I can only tell you that the man who has walked away from HUNDREDS of business endeavors the SECOND he showed ANY possibility of losing money is no sooner going to self-fund a billion dollar campaign than Hillary and Obama were to cut off the evil Super PAC money they so often decry. I am sorry everyone has to wait this thing through, and EVERYONE has been wrong about the timeline. Just follow the money. This thing is going to die soon enough. And if I am wrong, Hillary won’t be worse than Obama.

My suspicion in the situation with Ben Carson, a man I really respect and like, is that he, too, will drop off in the months to come. He is a good man, a smart man, and a decent man, but he has not shown the savvy necessary to prosecute a winning campaign, in my opinion. He gets sucked into the media’s traps time and time again, and I think he underestimates his opponent (not primary opponents; his REAL opponent) too much. I do not necessarily think Rubio will win Iowa but I think a top three finish there would be huge for him. The narrative for Rubio is and must be: “The outsiders are either insane (Trump), or can’t win (Carson/Fiorina), and Rubio is a NEW voice and NEW face for conservatism who is rock solid for those otherwise predisposed to a ‘establishment’ candidate [if such a think existed], and satisfactory for the rest”. If Marco Rubio’s conservative credentials are not “good enough” for the fringe, and that fringe can sway the election, we deserve to lose. I am confident he will tell his story, and I am confident the American people will buy it. I continue to hedge only by my thesis that I do not know if that moment is now or in four years or eight years etc. I cannot wait to say “President Rubio”. It’s coming.

Rubio is not the candidate I most earnestly support merely because of his electability. I have spent hours with him discussing policy, and I am telling you that if I could pick ANY candidate I wanted regardless of electability and see he or she become President – anyone in the country – it would be Rubio. Many more will be joining me in this declaration soon. And ANYONE who thinks foreign policy matters will be voting for Marco Rubio, period. Jeb Bush would do his party and his country an incredible service to see the writing on the wall – to see that this will NOT be his time – that for whatever reason the combination of his brother, the impression of him being old and white (which is only true in two categories), and the general voter mood and sentiment – simply mean he will not prevail. If he were to drop out and go full board for Rubio BEFORE the early state primaries, with Walker out as well, gives a true possibility for a Rubio consolidation to happen, even as the Trump/Carson/Fiorina group splits each other up.

I am getting asked more and more why I don’t mention Ted Cruz in all of my conversations about this race. I have my reasons, and I am trying to lay low here. I do fear his ability to consolidate the outsider candidate’s support and gain momentum in this race. For all of the browbeating about Trump giving this thing to Hillary Clinton, I think conservatives should fear that from Ted Cruz far more. For now, I will say no more.

Everything is fluid, and nothing is guaranteed. Rubio has a lot of work to do. I remain steadfast that he has a 50% chance of winning the nomination, and that if he wins it, his chances of the Presidency in a one-on-one vs. Hillary are somewhere over 100%.

 

Originally posted on The Bahnsen Viewpoint.

“Moral Capitalism”
David L. Bahnsen, CFP®, works as a Senior Vice President in the private client group of one of the premier Wall Street firms in the country where he provides financial planning and investment management services to individuals and families. He and his wife of nearly eleven years (Joleen) reside in Newport Beach, CA with their seven-year old son, Mitchell, five-year old daughter, Sadie, and 2-year old baby boy, Graham. He is an active board member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County where he serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Program Committee. He serves on the Board of Advisors of Dr. Art Laffer’s California Recovery Project with the Pacific Research Institute. He has recently been appointed to the Board of the Concordia University Center for Public Policy. He also serves on the Blackstone Faculty of the Alliance Defense Fund and is a Cooperating Board member of the Center for Cultural Leadership where he is the Senior Fellow of Economics and Finance. He is a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), and holds numerous financial designations and licenses.

David is a disciple of Milton Friedman, a lover of Ronald Reagan, and a “National Review kind of conservative”. His writings strive to reflect an ideology of freedom principles integrated with transcendent truths. His hero is his late father, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, but he is pretty fond of John Calvin, Abraham Kuyper, F.A. Hayek, Winston Churchill, C.S. Lewis, William Buckley, Margaret Thatcher, George Gilder, Steve Forbes, and Larry Kudlow as well.

Hobbies include travel, fine dining, golfing, and sports. His true passions in life include anything pertaining to USC football, the financial markets, politics, Palm Desert, his gorgeous and brilliant children, and his lovely wife, Joleen.

 

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