What Happens When You Don’t Mix The Obama Kool Aid With Water, and Eat the Powder Directly from the PackagePosted: December 15, 2016
Andrew Sullivan’s Most Insane Quotes About Obama From the New Republic Interview
Responding to Donald Trump’s statement in support of Jeff Sessions, Charles Krauthammer said that it’s hard to tell what the president-elect is thinking, and that the media is foolish to criticize him this early.
I’m happy to be back with you in this annual event after missing last year’s meeting. I had some business in New Hampshire that wouldn’t wait.
Three weeks ago here in our nation’s capital I told a group of conservative scholars that we are currently in the midst of a re-ordering of the political realities that have shaped our time. We know today that the principles and values that lie at the heart of conservatism are shared by the majority.
Despite what some in the press may say, we who are proud to call ourselves “conservative” are not a minority of a minority party; we are part of the great majority of Americans of both major parties and of most of the independents as well.
A Harris poll released September 7, l975 showed 18 percent identifying themselves as liberal and 31 per- cent as conservative, with 41 percent as middle of the road; a few months later, on January 5, 1976, by a 43-19 plurality those polled by Harris said they would “prefer to see the country move in a more conservative direction than a liberal one.”
Last October 24th, the Gallup organization released the result of a poll taken right in the midst of the presidential campaign.
Respondents were asked to state where they would place themselves on a scale ranging from “right-of-center” (which was defined as “conservative”) to left-of-center (which was defined as “liberal”).
- Thirty-seven percent viewed themselves as left-of-center or liberal
- Twelve percent placed themselves in the middle
- Fifty-one percent said they were right-of-center, that is, conservative.
What I find interesting about this particular poll is that it offered those polled a range of choices on a left-right continuum. This seems to me to be a more realistic approach than dividing the world into strict left and rights. Most of us, I guess, like to think of ourselves as avoiding both extremes, and the fact that a majority of Americans chose one or the other position on the right end of the spectrum is really impressive.
Those polls confirm that most Americans are basically conservative in their outlook. But once we have said this, we conservatives have not solved our problems, we have merely stated them clearly. Yes, conservatism can and does mean different things to those who call themselves conservatives.
You know, as I do, that most commentators make a distinction between they call “social” conservatism and “economic” conservatism. The so-called social issues—law and order, abortion, busing, quota systems—are usually associated with blue-collar, ethnic and religious groups themselves traditionally associated with the Democratic Party. The economic issues—inflation, deficit spending and big government—are usually associated with Republican Party members and independents who concentrate their attention on economic matters.
Now I am willing to accept this view of two major kinds of conservatism—or, better still, two different conservative constituencies. But at the same time let me say that the old lines that once clearly divided these two kinds of conservatism are disappearing.
In fact, the time has come to see if it is possible to present a program of action based on political principle that can attract those interested in the so-called “social” issues and those interested in “economic” issues. In short, isn’t it possible to combine the two major segments of contemporary American conservatism into one politically effective whole?
I believe the answer is: Yes, it is possible to create a political entity that will reflect the views of the great, hitherto, conservative majority. We went a long way toward doing it in California. We can do it in America. This is not a dream, a wistful hope. It is and has been a reality. I have seen the conservative future and it works.
Let me say again what I said to our conservative friends from the academic world: What I envision is not simply a melding together of the two branches of American conservatism into a temporary uneasy alliance, but the creation of a new, lasting majority.
This will mean compromise. But not a compromise of basic principle. What will emerge will be something new: something open and vital and dynamic, something the great conservative majority will recognize as its own, because at the heart of this undertaking is principled politics.
I have always been puzzled by the inability of some political and media types to understand exactly what is meant by adherence to political principle. All too often in the press and the television evening news it is treated as a call for “ideological purity.” Whatever ideology may mean—and it seems to mean a variety of things, depending upon who is using it—it always conjures up in my mind a picture of a rigid, irrational clinging to abstract theory in the face of reality. We have to recognize that in this country “ideology” is a scare word. And for good reason. Marxist-Leninism is, to give but one example, an ideology. All the facts of the real world have to be fitted to the Procrustean bed of Marx and Lenin. If the facts don’t happen to fit the ideology, the facts are chopped off and discarded.
I consider this to be the complete opposite to principled conservatism. If there is any political viewpoint in this world which is free for slavish adherence to abstraction, it is American conservatism.
When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth.
When a conservative says that totalitarian Communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom he is not theorizing—he is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
When a conservative says it is bad for the government to spend more than it takes in, he is simply showing the same common sense that tells him to come in out of the rain.
When a conservative says that busing does not work, he is not appealing to some theory of education—he is merely reporting what he has seen down at the local school.
When a conservative quotes Jefferson that government that is closest to the people is best, it is because he knows that Jefferson risked his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to make certain that what he and his fellow patriots learned from experience was not crushed by an ideology of empire.
Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanatacism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way—this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before.
The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind. When we conservatives say that we know something about political affairs, and that we know can be stated as principles, we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found, through experience, to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, for families, for communities and for nations—found through the often bitter testing of pain, or sacrifice and sorrow.
One thing that must be made clear in post-Watergate is this: The American new conservative majority we represent is not based on abstract theorizing of the kind that turns off the American people, but on common sense, intelligence, reason, hard work, faith in God, and the guts to say: “Yes, there are things we do strongly believe in, that we are willing to live for, and yes, if necessary, to die for.” That is not “ideological purity.” It is simply what built this country and kept it great.
Let us lay to rest, once and for all, the myth of a small group of ideological purists trying to capture a majority. Replace it with the reality of a majority trying to assert its rights against the tyranny of powerful academics, fashionable left-revolutionaries, some economic illiterates who happen to hold elective office and the social engineers who dominate the dialogue and set the format in political and social affairs. If there is any ideological fanaticism in American political life, it is to be found among the enemies of freedom on the left or right—those who would sacrifice principle to theory, those who worship only the god of political, social and economic abstractions, ignoring the realities of everyday life. They are not conservatives.
Our first job is to get this message across to those who share most of our principles. If we allow ourselves to be portrayed as ideological shock troops without correcting this error we are doing ourselves and our cause a disservice. Wherever and whenever we can, we should gently but firmly correct our political and media friends who have been perpetuating the myth of conservatism as a narrow ideology. Whatever the word may have meant in the past, today conservatism means principles evolving from experience and a belief in change when necessary, but not just for the sake of change.
Once we have established this, the next question is: What will be the political vehicle by which the majority can assert its rights?
I have to say I cannot agree with some of my friends—perhaps including some of you here tonight—who have answered that question by saying this nation needs a new political party. Read the rest of this entry »
Chris Christie’s Wordless Screaming
“His were the eyes of a man who has gazed into the abyss, and the abyss gazed back, and then he endorsed the abyss.”
Chris Christie spent the entire speech screaming wordlessly. I have never seen someone scream so loudly without using his mouth before. It would have been remarkable if it had not been so terrifying.
Sometimes, at night, do you still hear them, Clarice? The screaming of the Christies?
His were the eyes of a man who has gazed into the abyss, and the abyss gazed back, and then he endorsed the abyss.
It was not a thousand-yard stare. That would understate the vast and impenetrable distance it encompassed.
“He had the eyes of a man who has looked into the heart of light, the silence. A man who had seen the moment of his greatness flicker, and seen the eternal footman hold his coat, and snicker.”
He looked as if he had seen a ghost and the ghost had made him watch Mufasa die again. Read the rest of this entry »
MANCHESTER, N.H. — A malfunctioning Marco Rubio crashed as he was overloaded by attacks last night from New Jersey Gov….(read more)
Source: Boston Herald
Noonan: ‘Jumping on anyone who publicly expressed a religious feeling after the San Bernardino massacre. Where are we heading?’Posted: December 4, 2015
The San Bernardino massacre and “prayer shaming.”
Peggy Noonan writes: What gets you about what happened in San Bernardino is the shattering sameness of it. Once and not so long ago such atrocities, whatever their cause, whether the work of schizophrenics or jihadists, constituted a signal and exceptional moment. Now they’re more like this week’s shooting. We are not becoming blasé but increasingly inured. And, of course, armed up.
“This managed to enrage the progressive left. You can take your prayers and stuff ’em. The answer and the only answer to this tragedy is gun control, and if you’re not for it you’re not allowed to be part of the conversation.”
You can see a coarsening in how we respond and react on social media. No one feels ashamed to exploit the tragedy for political purposes even while it is happening.
“All this immediately won a name: ‘prayer shaming.'”
We are all free to say what we think, and must be, for without this freedom we will no longer be America. More on that below. But you always hope what is said will be constructive, helpful, maybe even at some point heartening. You have a responsibility as an adult to do your best in this area.
“Wow. You might think he was aiming this at President Obama, who when he was a popular president with an overwhelmingly Democratic House and Senate did not prioritize gun control.”
But as soon as the story broke Wednesday afternoon, and while it was still going on, there were accusations and bitter words flung all over the Internet. The weirdest argument came almost immediately. A person named Chris Murphy, who is a U.S. senator representing Connecticut, sent out what struck me as the most manipulative message of recent political history.
“But it was clearly aimed at all those Republicans and religious people who were praying, saying they were praying, and implicitly asking you to pray, rather than doing what they should do, which is supporting the senator’s cause.”
The background is that Republican presidential contestants responded online to the shootings with the only helpful thing you can say—or do, frankly, from faraway—when a story like this occurs. “Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders,” said Jeb Bush. Mike Huckabee said he was “praying.” John Kasich: “My thoughts & prayers go out to those impacted.”
This managed to enrage the progressive left. You can take your prayers and stuff ’em. The answer and the only answer to this tragedy is gun control, and if you’re not for it you’re not allowed to be part of the conversation. “Please shut up and slink away,” tweeted a reporter. Another: “Your thoughts and prayers don’t mean a damn thing.” A reporter at the Huffington Post damned public officials’ “useless thoughts and prayers.” Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos: “How many dead people did those thoughts and prayers bring back to the life?”
Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist noted that all these denunciations were literally coming in while victims of the shooting were sending out requests for prayer.
Journalists, bloggers, contrarians and citizens jumped into the fray. Then the U.S. senator, Chris Murphy, came forward rather menacingly. “Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing—again.” Read the rest of this entry »
The rise comes as some policymakers continue to criticize a perceived income disparity between middle class and wealthy Americans. President Barack Obama has been outspoken on income inequality during his time in office, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has made reducing the wealth gap a centerpiece of his presidential campaign….(read more)
“Is one of the goals for you … to spur more actual debating?” CNN’s Brian Stelter asked debate moderator Jake Tapper a few days before the event. Stelter pointed to a moment in the August Fox News debate in which two candidates, Chris Christie and Rand Paul, had an extended and heated — and illuminating — exchange with each other.*
“That was my favorite moment from the debate,” Tapper said. “Let’s have as many of those as possible. So, yes, what the team and I have been doing is trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other, specific candidates on the stage, on issues where they disagree, whether it’s policy or politics or leadership. Let’s actually have them discuss and debate.”
“I don’t think this is a debate where you’ll have candidates attack each other; we’ve not seen this on the campaign trail. Bernie Sanders has been very clear. He’s not going to go after Hillary Clinton by name. He’s not going to criticize her. And I see no reason that Hillary Clinton would do that with any of the candidates.”
— Anderson Cooper
That was then. Now, another CNN anchor, Anderson Cooper, will be moderating a debate, this time among Democrats, and he says there will be none of that raucous “actual debating” this time around.
Leave the slugfest to the Republicans. The Democratic debate will be a serious discussion of the issues. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not just what Trump says; it’s how he says it.
Barton Swaim writes: every political commentator in America has now written at least one piece attempting to explain the mystery of Donald Trump’s appeal. Most have dealt with the man’s demeanor, his talent for attracting media coverage and his disdain for party and
intellectual elites. Some of these I find cogent.
The thing I find most distinctive about Trump, though — and perhaps it’s at least a component of his success so far — is the structure of his language.
Everybody senses that Trump doesn’t speak like other politicians. But how is his speech different, exactly? Is it just the swagger, the dismissive tone and clipped accent? Maybe in part. Trump does seem emotionally engaged in a way none of his competitors do; he is perpetually annoyed — exasperated that things aren’t as they should be — but somehow also good-humored about it. (Chris Christie and John Kasich seem perpetually annoyed, too, but there is nothing funny or cheerful about their versions.)
To get at what makes Trump’s language different, take a look at the shape of his sentences. They don’t work the way modern political rhetoric does — they work the way punchlines work: short (sometimes very short) with the most important words at the end.
“Some of his answers last only a few seconds, some are slightly longer, but almost all consist of simple sentences, grammatically and conceptually, and most of them withhold their most important word or phrase until the very end.”
That’s rare among modern politicians, and not simply because they lack Trump’s showmanship or comedic gifts. It’s rare because most successful modern politicians are habitually careful with their language. They are keenly aware of the ways in which any word they speak may be interpreted or misinterpreted by journalists and partisan groups and constituencies and demographic groups.
“Trump’s sentences end with a pop, and he seems to know instinctively where to put the emphasis in each one.“
And so in important situations — situations in which they know a lot depends on what they say or don’t say — their language takes on (at least) two peculiar characteristics. First, their syntax tends to abstraction. They speak less about particular things and people — bills, countries, identifiable officials — and more about “legislation” and “the international community” and “officials” and “industry” and “Washington” and “government.”
Second, their sentences take on a higher number of subordinate clauses and qualifying phrases — “over the last several years,” “in general,” “in effect,” “what people are telling me,” and so on. This is the kind of language you use when you’re aware that your words might be misinterpreted or used against you.
“Politicians are frequently too careful with their language, and this conscientiousness can begin to sound like deceit or cowardice. When they rely too heavily on abstractions, when they avoid concrete nouns, when all their statements seem always hedged by qualifying phrases, they sound like politicians, in the worst sense of the word.”
When used well, it conveys competence and assures listeners that the speaker thinks coherent thoughts and holds reasonable positions. It suggests that the speaker cares about the truth of his claims. But politicians are frequently too careful with their language, and this conscientiousness can begin to sound like deceit or cowardice. When they rely too heavily on abstractions, when they avoid concrete nouns, when all their statements seem always hedged by qualifying phrases, they sound like politicians, in the worst sense of the word. To my ear, anyway, Hillary Clinton sounds this way almost all the time. Read the rest of this entry »
39.4 percent of Trump’s Social Audience is Eligible to Vote.
Abigail Tracy writes: Despite the fact that earlier this week presidential hopeful Donald Trump made his way to the top of the extensive GOP field in an Iowa poll as the first choice of 22 percent of those surveyed, a study of Trump’s social media audience found that the polarizing businessman’s position might be weaker than polls indicate.
The study, conducted by audience analytics company Macromeasures, found that Trump trails his GOP rivals in a handful of crucial metrics in terms of his social media following. Macromeasures compared Trump’s social audience to those of Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina.
The most glaring discovery was that of Trump’s audience, a mere 39.4 percent were actually eligible to vote—the lowest of any GOP candidate analyzed. To put this in perspective, 95.7 percent of Fiorina’s audience could cast a ballot. On top of that, Trump only received 0.9 percent of social media activity (defined by hashtag use) coming out of the key, early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to Macromeasures’ findings. Read the rest of this entry »
Mollie Hemingway writes: The first GOP 2016 presidential debate was substantive, fast-paced, informative and fun, of all things. A big reason for the fun was that TV celebrity and businessman Donald Trump was on stage. He brought his normal Trump persona to the stage and was brash and occasionally funny. He started off strong, in his own way. But he followed up these flashes with some amazingly tone-deaf, illogical, stupid and bizarre statements. Here are 10 of the worst.
1) Didn’t rule out a third-party run
Bret Baier asked the candidates, “Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person?”
Donald Trump was the only person to raise his hand. Baier noted that experts say a third-party run from a prominent candidate would kill the GOP’s chances of winning the election.
Trump made it clear that if the GOP wouldn’t nominate him, he was strongly considering a third-party run. “If I’m the nominee, I will pledge I will not run as an independent. But — and I am discussing it with everybody, but I’m, you know, talking about a lot of leverage.”
2) Refused to support eventual GOP nominee unless it was himself
He also said, with what would become a pattern of semi-illiterate syntax, “I cannot say. I have to respect the person that, if it’s not me, the person that wins, if I do win, and I’m leading by quite a bit, that’s what I want to do. I can totally make that pledge.”
3) Said he loves the single payer healthcare system
The Ronald Reagan Foreign Policy Legacy Distorted
Peter Wehner writes: One of the more amusing things to see in journalism is for committed liberals who didn’t work for Ronald Reagan, who didn’t vote for Ronald Reagan and who were fiercely critical of Ronald Reagan to invoke his name in order to instruct conservatives on how to better understand Ronald Reagan.
“J. Dionne, Jr. of the Washington Post…argues in his column that Barack Obama’s Iran strategy parallels Reagan’s approach to Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s. In fact, the lessons are exactly the opposite.”
The most recent example of this is E. J. Dionne, Jr. of the Washington Post, who argues in his column that Barack Obama’s Iran strategy parallels Reagan’s approach to Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s. In fact, the lessons are exactly the opposite.
“Both Reagan nor Thatcher were able to revise their assumptions based on new facts, new actors on the world stage, and new opportunities. They were not dogmatists. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, most assuredly is.”
For all the criticisms of the left against Reagan that he was a rigid ideologue, he was, in fact, a man who was quite willing and able to adjust his views in light of shifting circumstances. That is precisely what he and Margaret Thatcher did in the case of Mr. Gorbachev.
“Barack Obama is all about trust and completely indifferent to verify. The president was determined to strike a deal with Iran, any deal, for the sake of a deal. The Iranians, knowing this, were able to win one concession after another from the president.”
To their credit, both Reagan and Thatcher were dedicated anti-Communists. They understood the evil nature of the Soviet regime and they took a hard-line stance against it for most of their careers. But equally to their credit, they saw that Gorbachev was someone with whom, in Thatcher’s words in 1984, “We can do business together.” And they did. Both Reagan nor Thatcher were able to revise their assumptions based on new facts, new actors on the world stage, and new opportunities. They were not dogmatists.
“Mr. Reagan negotiated from a position of strength and operated within the four corners of reality; Mr. Obama negotiates from a position of weakness and operates in a world of his own imagination.”
Mr. Obama, on the other hand, most assuredly is. He has been ideologically committed to a rapprochement with Iran even before he was elected president; it has been his foreign policy holy grail for his entire tenure. Nothing was going to keep him from striking a bargain with which he was obsessed. (It explains in part why the president was so passive during the Green Revolution in 2009, essentially siding with the Iranian regime over the democratic movement seeking to topple it.)
And here’s a key difference between Reagan and Thatcher and Obama. The former revised their approach based on an accurate assessment of Gorbachev and, therefore, the Soviet regime he ruled. Read the rest of this entry »
Inexperienced President with Abysmal Foreign Policy Record and Negative Polls Reflecting Low Public Trust Tries to Give Foreign Policy Advice to Popular GOP Candidate
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker would be taking a foolish approach if he follows through with vows to revoke a nuclear deal with Iran if elected president. Obama was asked in an NPR News interview about Walker’s recent comments that he would reject any deal Obama reaches on his first day as president.
Obama says if the president’s ability to strike agreements starts being questioned, it will be a problem for allies and embolden U.S. enemies. He says he’s confident anyone knowledgeable enough to be elected president won’t take that approach. Read the rest of this entry »
Herewith, a beautiful sight: This is Chris Christie pardoning Shaneen Allen, a single mother from Pennsylvania who had been prosecuted for taking a concealed weapon into New Jersey in violation of the law:
Allen has come a long way. At first it looked as if her mistake — she did not realize that her Pennsylvania concealed carry license wasn’t valid in every other state — was going to land her in prison for more than a decade, cost her her job as a medical practitioner, and take her away from her children.
But then something remarkable happened: Read the rest of this entry »
Some 42% of Republican primary voters say they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Bush for the GOP presidential nomination, compared with 49% who said they could, the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.
The results underscore an early theme of the Republican nominating contest: Mr. Bush might be the favorite of many top donors and operatives, but he faces hurdles in appealing to the party’s voters, giving him little room to maneuver in what promises to be a crowded field.
Of potential presidential candidates tested in the Journal/NBC poll, three others—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie , businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham—drew more resistance among people who plan to vote in a Republican primary.
Some 74% of GOP primary voters say they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Trump, compared with 23% who were open to backing him. Some 57% said they wouldn’t likely back Mr. Christie, compared with 32% who were open to the idea.
For Mr. Graham, of South Carolina, 51% of GOP primary voters said they couldn’t see themselves supporting him, compared with 20% who could. Other likely GOP candidates produced lower levels of opposition. Full results of the poll will be released Monday at 6:30 p.m. EDT.
In contrast with Mr. Bush’s position among Republicans, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintains a relative stranglehold on the Democratic nomination, with 86% of Democratic primary voters saying they could see themselves supporting her and just 13% saying they couldn’t. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s time for the Republican Party to nominate a JFK-style conservative for president
Ira Stoll writes; The most influential figure in the Republican presidential contest just may be a Democrat who died more than 50 years ago, John F. Kennedy.
When Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer recently predicted Marco Rubio as the eventual 2016 winner, Krauthammer praised the senator from Florida with a label encapsulating political vigor, pro-growth ideas, and a robust foreign policy of peace through strength: “Kennedyesque.”
The former governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, another Republican with eyes on the White House, is, as Kennedy was, a Catholic from a wealthy and politically active family with bases in both New England and Florida. Jeb Bush even wrote a book, Profiles in Character, with a title that is a conscious imitation of JFK’s Profiles in Courage. Bush and Kennedy also both wrote books extolling immigration; Bush’s was Immigration Wars, Kennedy’s was A Nation of Immigrants.
And don’t forget Ted Cruz, the senator from Texas. Cruz’s Senate Web site hosts a video featuring Fox News’s Neil Cavuto and a historic clip from Kennedy under the headline “The Success of President John F. Kennedy’s Tax Cut.” On the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, Cruz published a remarkable piece in National Review Online crediting Kennedy with laying the foundation for Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts and Cold War victory.
At a forum last month with Jonathan Karl of ABC News that was sponsored by the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Senator Cruz placed Kennedy with Reagan and Calvin Coolidge in the pantheon of conservative tax-cutters: “Every single time in our history that we have simplified taxes, reduced the burden, reduced the compliance cost, simplified regulation …. We’ve seen an economic boom, we’ve seen people climb out of poverty into prosperity. That was true in the 1920s, it was true in the 1960s, it was true in the 1980s.”
When another Republican presidential candidate, retired neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson, spoke to me about his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said he would have responded instead to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, with “a Kennedy-esque moment,” launching a “national project” to become petroleum independent. Read the rest of this entry »
The exit of Romney from the campaign most immediately helps those viewed as part of the party’s establishment wing, including Bush, Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
WASHINGTON (AP) — After a three-week flirtation with a new campaign for the White House, Mitt Romney announced Friday that he will not seek the presidency in 2016.
“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney told supporters on a conference call.
“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”
The exit of Romney, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, comes after several of his former major donors and a veteran staffer in the early voting state of Iowa defected to support former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would have served as Romney’s most likely rivals for the support of the Republican Party’s establishment-minded voters.
In his call with supporters, Romney appeared to take a swipe at Bush, saying it was time for fresh leadership within the GOP.
“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee,” Romney said. “In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”
The former governor of Massachusetts, who is 67, had jumped back into the presidential discussion on Jan. 10, when he surprised a small group of former donors at a meeting in New York by telling them he was eyeing a third run for the White House. Read the rest of this entry »
Bush’s 10-point lead marks the first time any prospective candidate has reached a lead beyond a poll’s margin of error in the past two years
Washington (CNN) — Jeb Bush is the clear Republican presidential frontrunner, surging to the front of the potential GOP pack following his announcement that he’s “actively exploring” a bid, a new CNN/ORC poll found.
He takes nearly one-quarter — 23% — of Republicans surveyed in the new nationwide poll, putting him 10 points ahead of his closest competitor, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who tallied 13%.
Bush-Clinton in 2016, replaying 1992, would be like having a Humphrey-Nixon race in 1992, or a Hoover-Roosevelt race in 1956.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 28, 2014
That marks a drop in support for all but Christie and Bush from the last CNN/ORC survey of the field, conducted in November. That poll showed Bush in the lead, but only taking 14% of the vote, while Carson came in second with 11% and Christie tied Rep. Paul Ryan for fourth with 9% support.
Bush’s 10-point lead is a milestone for the potential GOP field — it marks the first time any prospective candidate has reached a lead beyond a poll’s margin of error in the past two years. Read the rest of this entry »
Former Florida Governor to Launch Political-Action Committee in January
Jeb Bush, the son and brother of past presidents, kick-started the 2016 presidential race Tuesday by announcing plans to “actively explore” a presidential campaign, an unexpectedly early declaration that ramps up pressure on potential rivals and reshuffles the policy debate.
The move by the 61-year-old former Florida governor essentially marks the beginning of the presidential sweepstakes. With a national profile, access to big donors and iconic status in the nation’s largest swing state, Mr. Bush ’s move puts instant pressure on a sprawling field of as many as two dozen other Republicans weighing 2016 bids.
His online announcement amounts to a pre-emptive strike against efforts by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and allies of the 2012 GOP nominee, Mitt Romney , to lock in major donors or at least keep them on the sidelines.
Mr. Bush’s step toward a campaign also threatens to undermine the aspirations of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio , his onetime protégé, who shares the same home state and an overlapping political network there.
“I think Jeb is trying to clear the field,” said Bobbie Kilberg, a prominent Republican donor who worked in the White House for Mr. Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush. “He’s now gotten out ahead of everyone else, and I think this may force other candidates to move earlier than they had wanted to.”
Mr. Bush’s potential candidacy also has implications for the expected Democratic front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. His younger GOP rivals could try to make the case for going in a different direction by lumping Mr. Bush and Mrs. Clinton together as tired figures from the past. That argument, however, would lose its potency in a general election match-up between Mr. Bush and Mrs. Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Al Sharpton: Hey, Let’s Play the ‘Repeat Whatever a Conservative Just Said in the Form of a Question’ GamePosted: October 14, 2014
A marvel of whimsical video-editing opportunism by David Rutz of the Free Beacon, with commentary here by HotAir‘s ALLAPUNDIT. The icing on the cupcake, really, is the music. What is that, hayride music? Square dancing? Brilliant.
Demonstrating Restraint, Foresight, Leadership, and Common Sense, Governor Christie Vetoes Gun Magazine Reduction BillPosted: July 2, 2014
Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a gun control bill Wednesday that would have banned ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
In his veto message, the Republican governor rejected the idea that limiting the number of bullets that guns can hold will put an end to mass shootings, calling it a “simplistic” and “trivial” approach. The bill would have reduced the legal ammunition capacity from 15 to 10 rounds.
(NEWARK, N.J.) — Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a gun control bill Wednesday that would have banned ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
In the bill’s place, Christie called for a series of reforms to mental illness treatment, including a new standard that would make it easier to commit people involuntarily…(read more) TIME
You know who wants Jeb Bush to run for president? The pundits.
It’s not that they pine for another Bush in the White House; it’s that they need a GOP front-runner, preferably a household name.
“Of course, such stories eventually have to pause and consider the Bush baggage.”
The Republican race is too amorphous for their taste. Every story has to mention Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and on and on. What journalists love is a two-person showdown, especially if each candidate hails from a different wing of the party, paving the way for lots of civil war themes.
Christie was their guy. A brash, blunt blue-stater with a relatively moderate approach. But the governor’s bus hit the bridge pothole, and even after the self-exoneration and those interviews with Megyn Kelly and Diane Sawyer, he is rolling on punctured tires.
“The former Florida governor hasn’t run for anything since 2002. That was pre-Twitter, and he may not have the agility and determination to withstand today’s crazy obstacle course.”
So the media are gravitating back toward Jeb, who is plainly ambivalent about running. And here’s how it works: reporters call up a bunch of party stalwarts and money men and ask if they’d like to see Bush get in. Sure, these folks say. Then we report a “surge” of interest in Jeb.
First, Hardball host Chris Matthews thanked his guest Chris Cillizza by calling him “Chris Christie,” then everyone laughed, then everyone sat in silence on the air for a good 15 seconds. The show wasn’t even live…
David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who oversaw the George Washington Bridge lane closures, wrote in a letter today that Governor Chris Christie knew about the closures when they were happening.
“So what if he knew?” Charles Krauthammer asked on tonight’s Special Report.
“…Everyone in New Jersey knew. It was on the news.”
What matters is not whether Christie knew about the closures, but whether he ordered the closures, Krauthammer said. “There’s nothing in the letter that says that Christie had knowledge of how and why, or that he gave the order, or that he knew that the order had come out of his office,” Krauthammer said.
“Here we are, two days before the Super Bowl, in New Jersey, first time…the lawyer releases the letter precisely on the eve of the big day to ruin him.”
“I think of a Conservative, and I take away reason, and accountability”
Consider the recent mess-o-rama. The botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate report that deemed the attack in Benghazi, Libya, preventable and raised questions about accountability, or lack thereof. The mounting problems of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Early this morning the Political page of Huffington Post had a WW3-sized alarmist headline trumpeting “misogyny”-fueled attacks on Davis. Yep, its full panic mode. That overblown lead story has since rotated out, but the theme remains. Huffpo headlines like this reveal the desperate wagon-circling to protect Wendy.
On the other hand, to their credit, HuffPo, and others, rallied to protect Sarah Palin when she was under attack, calling out her critics as hateful sexists. Oh, wait. Never mind. Actually, the HuffPo piled on. As expected, the Democrat-Media Complex never lifted a finger to defend Palin, when attacked by critics, or any other conservative candidate who happens to be a minority, or a woman. It’s only hateful and sexist if you criticize a liberal female candidate.
John Nolte writes:
It is not as though the media would have to quit their ongoing political assassination of Chris Christie to give the brewing scandal surrounding Texas Democrat Wendy Davis’s bio falsehoods the attention it deserves. The media can do two things at once. But other than clearing the way for President-in-waiting Hillary Clinton, the media is desperately circling the wagons to downplay a legitimate scandal that could take down a rising Democrat star.
For two days now, NBC’s Chuck Todd has failed to mention the scandal even once during his hour-long MSNBC political show “The Daily Rundown.” Todd’s reasoning for passing on this unbelievably juicy story just isn’t convincing…
Rich Lowry writes: If you don’t know who “they” are, you haven’t been watching the news or reading the papers.
Usually, it takes winning the GOP presidential nomination for a Republican media darling to experience such an onslaught of gleefully negative press coverage. John McCain was the straight-talking maverick right up until the moment he effectively clinched the nomination in 2008 — immediately triggering a thinly sourced New York Times report insinuating an affair with a lobbyist.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie has gotten his disillusioning out of the way early, if he needed it. An occupational hazard of a certain kind of Republican is wanting to be loved by the wrong people. If the past week hasn’t cured Christie of that tendency, nothing will.
How to explain the national frenzy over a New Jersey scandal?
What a bizarre spectacle. Assuming he did not lie during his marathon news conference last week, the feeding frenzy surrounding New Jersey governor Chris Christie will be remembered as one of those incredibly odd moments of elite journalistic hysteria that are difficult to explain to people who weren’t there or didn’t get it.
I’m not referring to the scandal itself; that’s easy enough to understand. What Christie’s team did was outrageous and deserves as much foofaraw and brouhaha as the New Jersey media can muster.
What’s harder to grok is the hysteria at the national level.
‘Balanced Approach’: Networks give ‘Bridgegate’ 17 times more coverage in 1 day than IRS scandal in 6 monthsPosted: January 11, 2014
The Examiner‘s Paul Bedard reports: The Big Three networks, in a frenzy over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s traffic headache dubbed “Bridgegate,” have devoted a whopping 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage to the affair in just the last 24 hours.
“While routinely burying new stories on the IRS scandal, the media practically fell over themselves to start taking shots at the potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee,” said the conservative media watchdog.
Sheldon Richman writes: If you share my belief that the major obstacle to the free society is the national-security/corporate state, 2016 is shaping up to be a year of apprehension. The Wall Streeters, who are among the biggest advocates of partnership between big government and big business, are looking forward to a presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, a contest the bankers can’t lose.
They have already discounted any populist rhetoric Clinton may need to fight off a primary challenge from, say, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. As “one well-placed Democrat” told Politico, “Wall Street folks are so happy about [having Clinton run] that they won’t care what she says.”
Clinton recently spoke to a gathering in New York organized by Goldman Sachs, the giant, influential (and bailed-out) investment bank, a gathering that Politico says was attended by “a few hundred major investors.”
Ordinarily these masters of the universe might have groaned at the idea of a politician taking the microphone. In the contentious years since the crash of 2008, they’ve grown wearily accustomed to being called names — labeled “fat cats” by President Obama and worse by those on the left — and gotten used to being largely shunned by Tea Party Republicans for their association with the Washington establishment. And of course there are all those infuriating new rules and regulations, culminating this week with the imposition of the so-called Volcker Rule to make risky trades by big banks illegal.
“But,” Politico continues, “Clinton offered a message that the collected plutocrats found reassuring, according to accounts offered by several attendees, declaring that the banker-bashing so popular within both political parties was unproductive and indeed foolish.”
Striking a soothing note on the global financial crisis, she told the audience, in effect: We all got into this mess together, and we’re all going to have to work together to get out of it. What the bankers heard her to say was just what they would hope for from a prospective presidential candidate: Beating up the finance industry isn’t going to improve the economy — it needs to stop. And indeed Goldman’s Tim O’Neill, who heads the bank’s asset management business, introduced Clinton by saying how courageous she was for speaking at the bank. (Brave, perhaps, but also well-compensated: Clinton’s minimum fee for paid remarks is $200,000).
She got one thing right: The politicians and big bankers “all got into this mess together.” The financial and housing collapse of 2008 was the fruit of that malign partnership of big government and big business. (See my article “Wall Street Couldn’t Have Done It Alone.”) But the big banks are doing fine now, thank you, and there’s no reason to think that too-big-to-fail is over. It’s regular people who are still hurting.
ALLAHPUNDIT reports: “Not the first time they’ve hit him with a headline on the cover that can easily be taken the wrong way. Last time they called him “the boss,” which I’m pretty sure was a Springsteen allusion but which Christie himself took as a mafia reference.”
Coming in early 2016: “A jumbo-sized victory.”
It Begins: Freaked-Out Democrats Launch Mission to Define and Smear Chris Christie in Advance of 2016 CampaignPosted: November 7, 2013
Philip Rucker reports: Top Democratic officials launched a concerted offensive Wednesday to define New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a negative light, believing that he has emerged from his reelection landslide as the Republican Party’s strongest potential presidential contender for 2016.
Some Democratic strategists said the party made a mistake by not spending more money to attack Christie during the gubernatorial campaign, which might have suppressed his margin of victory and denied the Republican a sweeping mandate in a blue state. In the months to come, Democrats say, they plan to chip away at Christie’s moderate image and present him nationally as a hard-edged conservative.
When the facts are considered in the slim victory that terribly flawed Democrat Terry McAuliffe had against Ken Cuccinelli, it’s hard to deny the conclusion that the Republican party decided it was better to abandon Virginia to the Democrat party than to allow the Tea Party and social conservatives to win.