Tag Archives: 2016 presidential campaign

Emil Guillermo: Scalia’s death has made everyone notice this election season.



If you were on the sidelines waiting for everyone to duke it out, then planning to very quietly cast a ballot in November, that all changed.

Now the stakes are as clear as ever.

The future of the nation isn’t about the presidency, nor the Senate.

But both play a role in choosing a Supreme Court justice.

You may not have considered that as important heretofore.

But you should now.

There’s a lot of guff about the Senate blocking Obama from naming a person.

But there is the constitution which says every nominee deserves an up/down vote. I don’t think the Senate can block an acceptable nominee indefinitely.

If Obama is shrewd, and he no doubt will be, his choice will be someone who has bi-partisan appeal.  Someone who has been supported by conservatives.

A few come to mind. And one is a Filipino American woman who heads the California Supreme Court.

See my column here on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog.

There’s much at stake in this current court year from Obamacare to affirmative action to union and labor issues.  there have been many 5-4 decisions. If there’s a 4-4 tie, the lower court rulings will stand.

It’s critical to get a replacement for Scalia now.

And that’s why every one will now be glued to politics.

Special interests? It’s in all our interests to get this right–the best interests of our American Democracy.

And it’s not just Scalia’s replacement. With a number of judges approaching retirement age, the next group of appointees to come will impact the nation for the next 25 years or more.

If you haven’t been paying attention, Scalia’s passing demands you pay attention now.

Emil Guillermo: Nevada is the next big campaign stop for Asian Americans, and some thoughts on Bernie and Hillary.

See my piece at NBCNews.com Asian America… to get my take on Nevada, the real battleground for the Asian American voter.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are battling to see what it means to be a Democrat in 2016.

Bernie’s main points are strong: Government for all of us, not just the 1 percent;  A track record for peace (A no vote on Iraq); A man against Wall Street and big money interests.

Hillary is the experienced pol, who was first to address healthcare reform before Obama; She knows how to compromise and get things done; But she likes Wall Street money and is no Elizabeth Warren on finance issues. She’s experienced, presidential, establishment.

At some point, electability will be the big issue. In side by side comparisons during debates, viewers will get to decide for themselves which person represents them.

But surprisingly, young woman aren’t going for Hillary. Not even young Asian American voters, based on a conversation I had with Rozita Lee who is based in Nevada.

When Sanders mentioned Henry Kissinger last night, it did bring to mind that Sanders was a latter day George McGovern. Sanders backers don’t like that comparison because McGovern lost to Nixon in a landslide in 1972. But the Bernie excitement is similar to the excitement McGovern had around the single issue of the war in Vietnam.

Bernie’s 1percent vs. the 99 percent message  is a little broader.

It’s us vs. the billionaires and the Hillionaires.

But Sanders has to convince us that he can deliver on his idealism.

In that sense, he’s just another pol. A survivor to be the only socialist in the room, for sure. But he’s got to let us know how he’s going to get things done.

Hillary offers a more realistic view of what can be.

In the Wisconsin debate, I noted that Sanders was first to get in the diversity litany rhetoric, where a candidate mentions the list of all people, (African American, Latinos, Asian Americans, LGBTQ , etc).

It’s a sign of inclusive ness. He did it In the New Hampshire debate, where Sanders also talked about coming together and unifying in the end.

Whatever happens, we will have vigorous but civil debate. And that should be much different from what the Republicans have shown us so far.


Emil Guillermo: Iowa? Asian American’s knew how to caucus; Why I think Donald Trump lost; And the sign to look for when Bernie Sanders has really broken through.


Cruz’s edging Trump, or Sanders in a dead-heat with Clinton, will be the main  headlines in the mainstream.

Where will you read about how Asian Americans weren’t totally invisible on Monday night?

I talked to three Asian Americans who were all engaged and energized by the grassroots process on display in Iowa.

See my piece here at NBCNews.com.

Now as for Trump

There was a sense that something wasn’t quite right with the Donald when I saw him on a Sunday morning show and he was saying: “I have heart. If people have no money, we have to help people.”

What happened to America’s wall candidate?

He was talking about how government should help poor people who can’t afford health care. And it was a sign that the businessman who has been  callous, bombastic and vulgar on the campaign trail was starting to soften up.

Too little, too late.

Trump  needs to soften up even more.



When Trump attacked Cruz in Iowa, Cruz deflected the ad hominem approach. He should thank Trump, because it gave  nasty, bad guy Cruz appear nicer and more above the fray than he normally does.

It made him electable. Look what happened on Monday.

Trump’s blunder wasn’t missing the final Iowa debate. It was giving the otherwise nasty pit bull Cruz the opportunity to look sympathetic.

That could be an unpardonable sin.

Going forward, I’d bet Trump learns from this, and  turns his approach to the nice Donald–if he really wants the job.

As for Clinton/Sanders, I found Asian Americans, primarily for women. But Sanders’ emergence from a year ago has been impressive. And heading into New Hampshire, the key for him will be making the case to people of color who have been presumed to be in Hillary’s camp. That will be the sign that Sanders has broken through.

See my other pieces on Iowa here at www.aaldef.org/blog

and at NBCNews.com




Emil Guillermo: Did you get an email from Hillary Clinton? I think Ted Cruz wants you to think it’s encrypted with old state department secrets…

Now all we need is someone to play Ralph Nader and that should wrap up casting for big show in  2016 .

And shouldn’t there be an Asian American? Maybe to be in position to squeak in for veep in either party?



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