Republican Presidential Race 2016
Michael Scherer writes: There are some things you just can’t do in politics, not at the presidential level, anyway.
This is a game like any other, with rules honed over decades by the pros in blue blazers clutching focus-group results: Be likable. Don’t make enemies. Respect the party elders. Avoid funny hats. And never wear white bucks or French cuffs to the Iowa State Fair, a flyover fantasyland of cholesterol and common decency where the life-size butter cow grazes behind glass with the life-size butter Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly.
That’s why Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wore jeans to pose atop the hay bales this year. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina featured pink plaid—Farmer Jane meets Disney princess—and Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton dug up a blouse of blue gingham, hoisting her pork chop on a stick like a blue ribbon for authenticity. They all played it well, adhering to the sacred promise that if they pretend to be like everyone else, voters might think they actually are.
Then a buzzing came across the sky. A $7 million Sikorsky helicopter, sent over six states in at least four hops by its billionaire owner, descended in tight circles on the crowd, the name of the Republican front runner for the 2016 presidential nomination emblazoned on the tail. Donald John Trump, at roughly 25% in the national GOP polls, about twice his nearest rival, emerged in Des Moines with his golden mane encased in a big ruby baseball cap, his cuffs flashing diamond links and his shoes shining brighter than bleached teeth. Read the rest of this entry »
While numbers are elusive, President Obama seems to be the most-heckled president in a long time – particularly from people on the left. Some might be trying to get him off script.
Linda Feldmann reports: Heckling politicians is as old as the hills, but when a young man standing behind President Obama began shouting at him during an event Monday, that seemed especially noteworthy.
After all, the man – a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant from South Korea named Ju Hong – was invited by the White House to stand there as part of the “human wallpaper” often seen at presidential events.
And yet even, or maybe especially, in that privileged spot, Mr. Hong felt compelled to interrupt Mr. Obama’s scripted remarks on immigration and call on the president to stop deportations. Obama waved off the Secret Service, which was moving to escort Hong from the room, and addressed his complaint – denying he could use his executive power to halt deportations.
To many observers, instances of the president being heckled are on the rise – particularly, in the case of Obama, by those to his left – though numbers are scarce. Even Mark Knoller of CBS Radio, keeper of myriad presidential statistics, begs off: “Sorry, haven’t kept a heckle count.”
Gregg Lindskog, a presidential scholar at Millersville University who has researched sociopolitical disruption, feels certain that Obama has been heckled more than his two predecessors. “It would be hard to debate that,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »