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'Grumpy Grandpa' Candidates Trump, Sanders Face Tough Fight Ahead

© REUTERS / Mike SegarDonald Trump speaks at the National Guard Association of the United States 138th General Conference and Exhibition in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., September 12, 2016.
Donald Trump speaks at the National Guard Association of the United States 138th General Conference and Exhibition in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., September 12, 2016.  - Sputnik International
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The next two US presidential primaries, which are scheduled to take place in late February in South Carolina and Nevada, will be crucial, according to George Mason University professor Robert Guttman, who told Radio Sputnik that despite their success in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won’t necessarily be nominated by their parties.

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Many contend that this year's US presidential election cycle has favored non-establishment candidates. However, Robert Guttman, head of the GMU Center for Politics and Foreign Relations at the university's School of Policy, Government and International Affairs and Editor-and-Chief of the Center's publication, the Mason Monitor, told Radio Sputnik that the political establishment and its candidate wouldn't be so easily shaken.

According to Guttman, Senator Bernie Sanders' victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primaries was amazing: despite lacking the funding and political backing of his opponent, he beat her by 50,000 votes, or 22 percentage points.  He said that Senator Sanders' win over Hillary Clinton, who was accompanied by her husband, former president Bill Clinton, was "one of the largest victories by a Democrat ever in our political history."

While critical of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who he characterizes as the most nasty and degrading candidate he's seen in his 40-year career covering politics and that he "seems to embarrass and yell at everybody," Guttman acknowledges that the billionaire's popularity is unquestionable.  "So if you look at it, we have a grumpy socialist who's 74 years old in Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump, who's also a grumpy man, who's 69, he's a grumpy capitalist, so I don't think either one will get the nomination of their party, but if they do we get two grumpy old men," Guttman stressed.

Republicans VS. Democrats: now and then.

Despite controlling both houses of Congress as well as most of the state legislatures, and the fact that the majority of the governors are Republicans, GOP voters appear to be angry that they're not able to control the White House, according to Guttman, who went on to muse that perhaps they're upset the Republicans aren't getting much done.

Guttman reflected on the 90s when Bill Clinton was president, and said that "the Democratic Party has moved very far to the left" since then.  Clinton, he contends, "was pretty much  a moderate, centrist, almost Republican, pro-business Democrat" whereas Bernie Sanders is an independent, self-proclaimed democratic socialist.

"I had him (Bernie Sanders) speak a few months ago and he's a really a grumpy, cranky guy, so it's amazing that he's getting support from people, he hasn't got a lot of social graces on the left and Trump has no social graces on the right. I think it says more about American society, we've become more uncivil," Guttman claimed.

He underscored that dramatic changes have taken place in both parties since the times of Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat John F. Kennedy. "Both parties have moved", he said, "one's moved to the left, and one's moved very far to the right."

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According to Guttman, if George W. Bush supported his brother during his campaign in South Carolina, it would help him get additional votes despite the 43rd president of the US having left the White House very unpopular.

"He (Jeb) is alive and well, he's got the money, he's got tons of money, his Super-PAC's got money," he said, noting that his rival, Ohio Governor John Kasich, could be a contender in the future but "has to raise a lot of money."

What next with "grumpy grandma" Hillary Clinton?

Hillary Clinton is a terrible campaigner, the professor claimed, as in 2008 she lost to an unknown Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, despite having everything going for her. During this election cycle, they've tried to make it so that she didn't have much of a media presence; she's hardly been in any debates, she was hardly on any talk shows, and "just expected a coronation." However, Sen. Sanders has proven to be a formidable opponent, and so now she's appearing on every talk show she can and taking part in debates with the cranky old socialist, but her lack of enthusiasm has landed her in the same place she was in eight years ago.

"When the campaign first started, she was saying she was different than Obama; now that she is doing badly in the polls, she is saying she likes Obama," said Guttman, stressing Hilary Clinton's hypocrisy.

However, he underscores that anything could still happen at this point, not excluding the possibility of Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Michael Bloomberg joining the race.  Bloomberg, another billionaire who switched gears and entered politics, "makes Donald Trump look poor" the political expert noted.

Bill Clinton, the political commentator noted, completely contrasts with his wife: he used to be one of the best political campaigners out there. He attributed this to the former president's charisma, adding that he looks a little fragile but is aware of the current state of affairs.

"Bill Clinton would stay out all night and campaign, campaign, campaign, talk to people, talk to people. Hilary Clinton tries to avoid people as much as she can," he stressed, saying the two were like night and day and that she lacks charisma.

Guttman was then asked to estimate how many votes the respective presidential forerunners would get in the upcoming events in South Carolina and Nevada.

Guttman projected that Sanders would win Nevada's Democratic nomination as he's an active campaigner who at the time of the interview was meeting civil right leaders to "show that he has compassion" for the civil rights movement.

"American politics is all about money and Bernie Sanders in the last 24 hours raised millions of dollars in small contributions," he emphasized, adding that Clinton's whole campaign centered on her selling the fact that she's a woman but that nonetheless New Hampshire Democratic primary voters had predominantly selected her opponent. He also noted that whereas Sanders speaks with conviction, regardless of how you feel about his political views, Clinton seems dishonest.  

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