Michael Barone writes: Are Millennials sour on this year’s Democratic presidential candidates? Evidence from the recent nationwide Quinnipiac poll conducted August 20-25 suggests the answer is yes, at least compared to how they responded to Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008 and 2012. Quinnipiac paired three Republican candidates — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump — against three Democrats — Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders.
Among millennials, voters 18-29, the three Democrats led each of the three Republicans by between eight-21 points. Obama carried millennials by 34 points in 2008 and 23 points in 2012.
The really relevant result, however, is that none of the Democrats, not even the universally known Hillary Clinton, come close to matching Obama’s percentage of the millennial vote, while the Republicans, all lesser known at this point, are within the margin of error of John McCain‘s percentage in 2008 and come fairly close to Mitt Romney’s somewhat higher millennial percentage in 2012. The following table shows the results of the 2008 and 2012 exit polls among Millennials and the Quinnipiac results for each of the pairings.
“The really relevant result, however, is that none of the Democrats, not even the universally known Hillary Clinton, come close to matching Obama’s percentage of the millennial vote, while the Republicans, all lesser known at this point, are within the margin of error of John McCain’s percentage in 2008 and come fairly close to Mitt Romney’s somewhat higher millennial percentage in 2012.”
Thus Clinton averages 51 percent against the three Republicans, Biden averages 49 percent and the presumably much less well known Sanders is not significantly far behind, averaging 48 percent. This indicates basic Democratic strength significantly below Obama’s 2012 level of 60 percent and far behind his 2008 figure of 66 percent. Read the rest of this entry »
Andrew Wallenstein reports: A website for a small cable network that will feature Sarah Palin talking with Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush crashed hours before the interviews were set to take place.
“So much interest in the interview of Donald J. Trump, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz tonight by Sarah Palin at 10 pm EST that you crashed the oann.com website! It will be up shortly – Thank you for the interest in One America News Network.”
Little-known One America News Network acknowledged the outage at 3:45 p.m. PT on Friday, citing widespread anticipation in the interviews. 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 »
Trolls operate on the principle that negative attention is better than none. In fact, the troll may feed off the negative attention, claiming it makes him a victim and proves that everyone is out to get him.
Nate Silver writes:
…There’s a notion that Donald Trump’s recent rise in Republican polls is a media-driven creation. That explanation isn’t entirely wrong, but it’s incomplete. It skims over the complex interactions between the media, the public and the candidates, which can produce booms and busts of attention. And it ignores how skilled trolls like Trump can exploit the process to their benefit.
Let’s look at some data. In the chart below, I’ve tracked how media coverage has been divided among the Republican candidates over roughly the past month (the data covers June 14 through July 12), according to article counts on Google News. In turn, I’ve shown the share of Google searches for each candidate over the same period. The data was provided to FiveThirtyEight by Google but should closely match what you’ll get by searching on Google Trends or Google News yourself.
“Trump has taken trolling to the next level by being willing to offend members of his own party. Ordinarily, this would be a counterproductive strategy. In a 16-candidate field, however, you can be in first place with 15 or 20 percent of the vote — even if the other 80 or 85 percent of voters hate your guts.”
Even before his imbecilic comments about Sen. John McCain this weekend, which came too recently to be included in this data, Trump was receiving far more media attention than any other Republican. Based on Google News, 46 percent of the media coverage of the GOP campaign over the past month was directed toward Trump, more than for Jeb Bush (13 percent), Chris Christie (9 percent), Scott Walker (8 percent), Bobby Jindal (6 percent), Ted Cruz (4 percent) and Marco Rubio (4 percent) combined.
“Trolls are skilled at taking advantage of this landscape and making the news cycle feed on its own tail, accelerating the feedback loop and producing particularly large bounces and busts in the polls.”
And yet, the public is perhaps even more obsessed with Trump. Among the GOP candidates, he represented 62 percent of the Google search traffic over the past month, having been searched for more than six times as often as second-place Bush.
So if the press were going purely by public demand, there might be even more Trump coverage. Instead, the amount of press coverage that each candidate has received has been modulated by the media’s perception of how likely each is to win the nomination….(read more)
“The public is perhaps even more obsessed with Trump. Among the GOP candidates, he represented 62 percent of the Google search traffic over the past month, having been searched for more than six times as often as second-place Bush.”
But a regression analysis — you can read the gory details in the footnotes3— suggests that press attention both leads and lags public attention to the candidates. This makes a lot of sense. The public can take cues from the media about which candidates to pay attention to. But the media also gets a lot of feedback from the public. Or to put it more cynically: If Trump-related stories are piling up lots of pageviews and Trump-related TV segments get good ratings, then guess what? You’re probably going to see more of them.4
This creates the possibility of a feedback loop….(read more)
…So if these spikes are media-driven, they seem to be driven by some particularly modern features of the media landscape. Social media allows candidates to make news without the filter of the press. It may also encourage groupthink among and between reporters and readers, however. And access to real-time traffic statistics can mean that everyone is writing the same “takes” and chasing the same eyeballs at once. Is the tyranny of the Twitter mob better or worse than the “Boys on the Bus” model of a group of (mostly white, male, upper-middle-class, left-of-center) reporters deigning to determine what’s news and what isn’t? I don’t know, but it’s certainly different. And it seems to be producing a higher velocity of movement in the polls and in the tenor of media coverage. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillary Clinton, the dominant front-runner in the Democratic field, is facing a massive pile of money on the Republican side, with early numbers showing that the GOPers have outraised Clinton more than four times over.
So far, the 15 candidates vying for the Republican nomination have raked in more than $280 million to Clinton’s $69 million, through a mix of campaign fundraising, super PAC donations, and other money groups.
Yes, the field is lopsided, but that doesn’t diminish this fact: Hillary’s squaring off against a lot of Republican cash. Read the rest of this entry »
Do Americans love a dynasty? The media wants to tell us that everyone is looking for the next Kennedys. Check out this Afterburner to see how wrong that is.
Senators are continuing their call for the ouster of Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management, where cyber hackers stole the records of millions of people
Lisa Rein writes: The federal personnel chief said Tuesday that she does not believe “anyone is personally responsible” for the massive hack of federal employee data and security clearance files and instead blamed the breach on old computer systems and the hackers themselves.
“If there’s anyone to blame, it’s the perpetrators. Their concentrated, very well-funded efforts to come into our system are what we’re concerned about.”
— Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management
“We have legacy systems that are very old,” Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management, told Senate lawmakers at a hearing on the intrusion. “It’s an enterprise-wide problem. I don’t believe anyone is personally responsible.”
She then told Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), who pressed her repeatedly to take responsibility for failing to shore up the agency’s computer security, that the attackers are the ones to blame.
“We have legacy systems that are very old. It’s an enterprise-wide problem. I don’t believe anyone is personally responsible.”
— Katherine Archuleta
“If there’s anyone to blame, it’s the perpetrators,” Archuleta said. “Their concentrated, very well-funded efforts to come into our system are what we’re concerned about.”
Her comments before lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee were the first public pushback against a growing chorus of lawmakers, federal employees — and today, presidential candidate Jeb Bush — who have called on Archuleta to resign following the intrusion. She still has the support of President Obama, the White House said last week, but she is coming under increasing scrutiny as many of the 4.2 million active and former federal workers who’ve been affected by the attack say OPM has fumbled its response.
“So to date you don’t consider anyone at OPM to be personally responsible [for the attack]?” Moran asked her. “Or is this simply a problem with the system and no one in particular is responsible?”
Archuleta responded, “I’m as angry as you are that this has happened at OPM. But cybersecurity is the responsibility of all of us.”
Asked to address the growing complaints about long hold times and other customer service problems with the private contractor OPM hired to offer victims of the hack credit monitoring and other security protections, Archuleta said her agency is “demanding from our contractor that they improve their services.”
“I’m as angry as you are that this has happened at OPM. But cybersecurity is the responsibility of all of us.”
“I am as angry as you are about that,” she told Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), chairman of the committee’s financial services and general government panel. “I want to be sure they are doing everything they can to improve those wait times. Employees should not have to experience that.” Read the rest of this entry »
You won’t read much about it in the Beltway press corps, but a behind-the-scenes effort is under way to lobby the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department to stifle free political speech the way the Internal Revenue Service did in 2012. Don’t be surprised if the subpoenas hit Republican candidates at crucial political moments.
“Justice’s involvement elbows in on the regulatory province of the FEC, an agency explicitly designed with a 3-3 partisan split to prevent it from being co-opted by one party. And that’s the point. Democracy 21 says it is lobbying Justice because the FEC has become ‘dysfunctional.'”
In late May the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 asked the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his Right to Rise Super PAC for violating campaign-finance law. According to the letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, “If Bush is raising and spending money as a candidate, he is a candidate under the law, whether or not he declares himself to be one.”
“We don’t recall any such cry when the FEC dismissed a similar complaint against the Ready for Hillary PAC regarding an email sent by the independent group to a list-serve provided by Friends of Hillary.”
The theory behind this accusation is campaign “coordination,” the new favorite tool of the anti-speech political left. Earlier this year the Justice Department invited such complaints with a public statement that it would “aggressively pursue coordination offenses at every appropriate opportunity.”
Under federal law, illegal coordination occurs if a campaign expenditure (say, a TV ad) mentions a candidate by name in the 120 days before a presidential primary, or if it advocates for a candidate and if the candidate and Super PAC have coordinated the content of the ad.
“The liberal accusers say Mr. Bush is over the line because the law defines political contributions and expenditures as money spent ‘for the purpose of influencing an election.'”
The liberals claim that a Super PAC raising and spending money in favor of a Bush candidacy should be treated as coordinated expenditures, making them de facto contributions to his campaign. Candidate is the operative word here, a designation that has always been applied to those who announce they are running for public office.
“The problem with that argument is that in Buckley v. Valeo the Supreme Court ruled that the ‘purpose of influencing’ language was unconstitutionally vague unless it refers to advertising that calls for the election or defeat of a candidate.”
Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer says Mr. Bush should be considered a candidate who is illegally coordinating because if you asked “100 ordinary Americans” if he is a candidate, they will say yes. What a bracing legal standard. What would the same 100 Americans have said about Hillary Clinton in 2013, or Ted Cruz in high school? Where is the limiting principle?
Under actual law, a politician becomes a candidate for federal office when he declares he is, and when he has raised or spent more than $5,000 on the candidacy. Read the rest of this entry »
Byron York writes: Through all of Hillary Clinton’s recent troubles — emails, foundation, Benghazi — Democrats have taken comfort in their all-but-assured nominee’s formidable lead over top Republicans in head-to-head matchups. Now that lead is shrinking, and the Democratic comfort level is falling along with it.
“I am definitely skeptical that Clinton was ever really up by 15 points like some of the early polls were showing.”
— PPP director Tom Jensen
But it’s possible Clinton’s big lead was never as big as Democrats thought. Yes, some of the margins looked enormous:
* An ABC News poll in March showed Clinton up by 15 points ver Rubio, 14 points over Walker, and 13 points over Bush.
* A CNN poll in April showed Clinton up by 22 points over Walker, 19 points over Paul, 14 points over Rubio, and 17 points over Bush
Big margins. But at the same time, at least one other poll — by Public Policy Polling, the Democratic polling firm — showed Clinton with much more modest leads over her GOP rivals. A PPP survey in late February showed Clinton with an eight-point lead over Walker, a seven-point lead over Rubio, a seven-point lead over Paul, and a 10-point lead over Bush.
A PPP poll at the end of March showed Clinton with a four-point lead over Walker, a four-point lead over Paul, a three-point lead over Rubio, and a six-point lead over Bush — at a time the other polls showed Clinton far ahead of those rivals. Read the rest of this entry »
Watch what happens if Hillary Clinton falls behind in the polls
Fred Barnes writes: When a CNN poll last week showed Hillary Clinton leading Rand Paul by a single percentage point (48-47) and only three points ahead of Marco Rubio (49-46) and Scott
Walker (49-46), it was mildly shocking. In April, her lead over the three Republican presidential candidates had been in double digits: Paul (58-39), Rubio (55-41), and Walker (59-37).
But wait. If the next CNN survey shows Clinton actuallybehind one or two or three of the GOP candidates, it won’t be just shocking. It will send Democrats into a near-panic over the possibility of losing the White House in 2016, even with their preferred candidate, Clinton, as nominee.
“Stonewalls can work, but not forever and not in the midst of a presidential campaign. A minimal requirement of candidates is that they converse with the press. It looks bad when they don’t. It looks like they’re hiding something.”
Such a poll result isn’t far-fetched as we watch Clinton’s campaign deteriorate. True, head-to-head matchups this early in the presidential cycle are almost never predictive. But in this case, it’s the psychological impact that matters.
That Clinton’s candidacy is in trouble is indisputable. She’s not threatened with losing the Democratic nomination—at least not yet. She has the well-financed Clinton machine and a national network of supporters on which she can rely. The campaigns of her Democratic opponents are small and weak in comparison.
But the rationale for her bid for the presidency, the strategy of her campaign, and the tactics she’s adopted—all have failed to stop her steady decline. The expectation of Clinton’s glide
into the White House in 2016 is gone.
“What is the rationale for her candidacy? President Obama had a big one in 2008. He would reform Washington, end polarization, promote bipartisanship, and bring about change. As a campaign message, it was appealing. As we now know, his real intentions were different.”
In place of a rationale, there’s an assumption that her prominence, her résumé, and the likelihood of her becoming the first woman president would make her a uniquely appealing candidate. They haven’t. She’s a terrible candidate. She has not only failed to attract big crowds. She’s having trouble raising big money from those described by Politico as “rich liberals.”
“But Obama had a rationale for seeking the presidency. Clinton doesn’t.”
The old adage that opposites attract may apply in her marriage. Bill Clinton is charming, has wonderful political instincts, is a compelling speaker, and has a common touch. She lacks all four. Also, Bill is dynamic. She is lifeless as a candidate. Read the rest of this entry »
John Nolte writes: A CNN poll released Wednesday shows that George W. Bush is not only more popular than President Obama, a majority of Americans now view the former president in a positive light. A full 52% see Bush favorably, compared to just 43% who do not. Only 49% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Obama. The same number, 49%, do not.
“Today Obama is upside down a full 7 points, with just 45% approving of his job and a clear majority of 52% disapproving.”
Obama’s job approval numbers also took a serious dive in the CNN poll. Just last month, the president sat at a 48% approval rating, with just 47% disapproving. Not great, but he was at least above water. Today Obama is upside down a full 7 points, with just 45% approving of his job and a clear majority of 52% disapproving.
“Since last month, Obama’s numbers have worsened considerably on the specific issues of ISIS, immigration, and surveillance.”
That’s an 8 point drop.
On the specifics of his job, other than race relations, Obama is upside down, sometimes by huge margins, in every category: economy 46-53; ISIS 32-63; race relations 50-47; Climate Change 41-49; illegal immigration 36-60; government surveillance 29-67; health care 44-54; foreign affairs 43-55; terrorism 45-51.
Since last month, Obama’s numbers have worsened considerably on the specific issues of ISIS, immigration, and surveillance. Read the rest of this entry »
“Cruz’s haul is eye-popping, one that instantly raises the stakes in the Republican fundraising contest.”
The PAC is led by prominent Democrats including President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillary Clinton is the favorite U.S. presidential candidate among millionaire voters and would win a head-to-head contest with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, according to the third CNBC Millionaire Survey conducted in March that was released today.
“Of course, support from millionaires may be more of a liability than strength in the current age of populist politics. Hillary has said she wants to “topple” the wealthiest Americans and has attacked CEO pay.”
The survey, which polls 750 Americans with a net worth of $1 million or more, found that 53 percent of millionaires would vote for the Democratic ex-Secretary of State, compared with 47 percent for the GOP presidential hopeful, in a hypothetical general-election match-up. Clinton had the support of 91 percent of Democratic millionaires, 13 percent of Republican millionaires and 57 percent of Independent millionaires. (Tweet this)
When asked about the broader field of candidates, Clinton got the most support, with 36 percent of millionaires. Jeb Bush came in second with 20 percent, followed by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with 8 percent, and Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) with 7 percent.
“Being seen as the favorite candidate of millionaires could clash with her efforts on the campaign trail to be seen as the advocate of the working class and poor.”
Read MoreThese are the real masters of the election domains
Within the broader field, Republican candidates received a total of 49 percent of the vote, suggesting that the race could tighten as Republicans coalesce around a single candidate.
Clinton had the most support among younger millionaires, with 70 percent of millionaires age 48 or younger backing Clinton in a head-to-head race with Jeb Bush. Among millionaires age 70 or older, Jeb Bush wins with 57 percent of the vote.
The poll revealed that females show more support for Hillary Clinton, while males show more support for Jeb Bush. Clinton wins 51 percent of male millionaires and 58 percent of female millionaires. Bush wins 49 percent of male millionaires and 42 percent of female millionaires. Read the rest of this entry »
From our mailbox: Today, the National Review Institute, National Review‘s sister organization, opens it’s biennial Ideas Summit in Washington, D.C.
Special segments of the Summit will be LIVE streamed on the Corner for free — watch Rich Lowry and Jeb Bush, Jim Geraghty and Marco Rubio, John Fund and Carly Fiorina, and Heather Higgins and Bobby Jindal discuss why the future is conservative, and more!
First live stream starts today at 4:25 p.m. EST with Jeb Bush. Don’t miss it!
Full schedule is below. Click on the event to watch.
Thursday, April 30
THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Watch Hillary Clinton Nod and Sip Water While Maintaining Eye Contact with an Everyday Iowa VoterPosted: April 15, 2015
Journeyman presidential candidate Hillary Clinton interacted with some everyday Iowa students in a garage on Tuesday, and taught all of us a lesson in the art of relatable politicking.
On several occasions during the roundtable event, Clinton revealed herself as a true “triple threat” by demonstrating an array of crucial skills that, when deployed correctly, can make even the most out-of-touch politicians appear somewhat human.
- Eye Contact — One of the easiest ways to make an everyday person feel that you really care about what they are saying, even if you are secretly counting the seconds until you can return to the plush leather “safe space” in your luxury van. This is particularly useful for a extremely wealthy person who is forced to interact with a commoner on the commoner’s home turf.
- Head Nod — A critical tool of everyday human interaction, especially when paired with meaningful eye contact. It makes the commoner feel as though you agree with them, and can empathize with their everyday concerns even if you can’t. Keep in mind that most people who have never met a sultan, much less shared a Gulfstream jet with one, usually don’t have anything interesting to say, and certainly won’t be able to write a six-figure check to your Super PAC. Alas, they are still allowed to vote.
- Hydration — The human body needs water, but simply taking a sip every now and then won’t increase your favorability rating. Everybody drinks; that’s boring. Some may argue that hydrating while engaged in nodding eye contact is just showing off. Read the rest of this entry »
From The Corner:
“This goes back not just to Clinton in ’92 or Obama in ’08; this is to Kennedy in 1960.”
Krauthammer observed on Monday evening, following Rubio’s speech in Miami. “Remember, in his inaugural address he said the torch has been passed to a new generation…
“Basically he’s saying, ‘Do you want old or do you want new?’ And he’s also implying, versus Jeb Bush, ‘Do you want privileged or unprivileged?’ And, ‘I’m the one.’ I mean that’s his attractiveness.”
“His issue is, he’s unknown,” said Krauthammer, “but that gives him a very high upside…(read more)
Today, Governor Larry Hogan made a shocking announcement at the Board of Public Works Meeting in Annapolis: He will seek the nomination for President of the United States.
Roger Pumper reports: Nuclear negotiations came to a halt Friday as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, demanded to see President Obama’s long-form birth certificate before continuing discussions. Khamenei’s decision came after a letter sent by 47 Senate Republicans revealed that any deal signed with the President would be null and void because of a law requiring that he be born in the United States.
“Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, demanded to see President Obama’s long-form birth certificate before continuing discussions.”
The letter, signed by the entire Republican leadership, expressed concern that Khamenei may trust Obama simply because they are both Arabs.
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations that you may not fully understand our government, specifically Article 2, Section 1 of the Declaration of Independence,” the Senators explained in the letter. “It states that the president must be born in the United States and not in a foreign country such as Kenya, Indonesia or Hawaii. Since Barak Hussein Obama is not the real president, there’s no point in negotiating with him.”
“Since Barak Hussein Obama is not the real president, there’s no point in negotiating with him.”
Khamenei, who ignored a previous correspondence from the Senators saying a deal must be approved by Congress, admitted his faith was shaken by the latest letter. After hearing about a statement from Obama’s paternal grandmother saying the president was born in Kenya, the supreme leader decided it would be imprudent to continue with the negotiations.
“On the positive side, Khamenei noted that he was pleased to learn that Obama is secretly a devout Muslim.”
“While my concerns were temporarily alleviated when I found a copy of the long-form birth certificate online, I was dismayed to read a Drudge Report article revealing it to be a forgery,” Khamenei explained. “I then contacted a prominent U.S. businessman, real estate mogul Donald Trump, who told me his investigators had made shocking discoveries about Obama’s country of birth.” Read the rest of this entry »
At The Corner, Brendan Bordelon Democratic strategist and longtime Clinton surrogate James Carville took no prisoners during a testy exchange with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell over Hillary’s private e-mails, lashing out repeatedly at the press and accusing Mitchell of taking “cockamamie . . . right-wing talking points.”
“The Times gets something from some right-wing talking points, they print the story, they gotta walk the story back. And everybody, the chin-scratchers go ‘Oh my God, the story’s not right but it says something larger about the Clintons.’ This is never gonna end. We’ve lived with this for 20 years. We’ll live with it the rest of the campaign. It’s all. About. Nothing. That’s my view of the whole thing.”
“Good morning!” Mitchell began. “Well, first of all, isn’t it time for Hillary Clinton to speak out? If you were advising her, should she address these issues?”
And Carville was off. “It was legal, it wasn’t against regulations, Colin Powell and Jeb Bush did the same thing, but ‘Oh my God!’ Do you remember Whitewater, do you remember Foulgate, do you remember Travelgate, do you remember Pardongate, do you remember Benghazi? All of this is just the same cockamamie stuff that we go through.”
“If I were a member of the press, and I realized right-wing talking points helped get us into a war, I would probably rethink the way I get my information.”
“The Times gets something from some right-wing talking points, they print the story, they gotta walk the story back,” he continued. “And everybody, the chin-scratchers go ‘Oh my God, the story’s not right but it says something larger about the Clintons.’ This is never gonna end. We’ve lived with this for 20 year. We’ll live with it the rest of the campaign. It’s all. About. Nothing. That’s my view of the whole thing.”
Carville went on to compare the Times use of “right-wing talking points” to the media’s use of Bush administration intelligence suggesting Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had weapons of mass destruction — causing Mitchell to try, in vain, to steer the Democratic strategist back on track. Read the rest of this entry »
Democrats stumble unquestioningly into 2016
Kyle Smith writes: Hillary Clinton is “one of the finest public servants this country has produced” and “a person of extraordinary integrity,” says Mayor de Blasio.
He is completely confident that “measures were taken to comply with the letter and the spirit of the law,” so no biggie that Clinton hid her official e-mail correspondence on her own private servers where they could be protected from scrutiny and/or deleted.
“The real reason Hillary commands such tribal loyalty is that she is, apart from the non-candidate Elizabeth Warren, the only political ‘celebrity’ available, and Democrats are obsessed with star quality.”
De Blasio may have an undeclared interest at stake: Maybe he’d like to be a cabinet secretary under President Hillary. But his unqualified defense of Hillary’s secretive and likely illegal off-the-books communication system is typical of even those members of his party who have little to gain from covering for her.
Hillary is infallible. Hillary is above reproach. She can’t ever, ever have done anything wrong, ever, and even when she has been shown to have done something ethically revolting, the reason we know it’s no big deal is that it is said to be a big deal by those slimy Republicans.
Associated Press? The New York Times? Obvious GOP front groups.
As Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin put it, “People have different ways of communicating. I have a granddaughter who does nothing but text. You’ll never find a letter written with her. So everybody’s different.”
Right, and Bernie Madoff? He just had a different way of managing a hedge fund.
“So oblivious of her own record that she is trying to make an issue of the gender pay gap despite having run a Senate office in which women were paid 72 cents on the dollar compared to men?”
The Democratic Party, with whose members Hillary has had an approval rating of 88% or higher since 2009, has the attitude of passengers on a storm-tossed ship that only one person can steer. “O Captain, my Captain!”
Except they aren’t aboard the ship. The ship is still in the dock. It doesn’t sail for more than a year. The Party isn’t stuck with Capt. Hillary. It could find another leader.
So, why the fervent loyalty to someone with such a troubled ethics record? A woman whose foundation accepted donations from foreign countries while she was Secretary of State? A woman who is such a poor communicator that her approval rating actually dropped while she was on a book tour last year?
“As recently as 1992, the Democratic nominee could be the little-known governor of a tiny state, but today only celebrities need apply.”
So oblivious of her own record that she is trying to make an issue of the gender pay gap despite having run a Senate office in which women were paid 72 cents on the dollar compared to men?
Democrats behave as if Hillary is the only conceivable presidential candidate with sufficient stature, but any Democratic elected official who became the nominee would naturally rake in donations from the usual left-wing groups, massive media exposure and the national high profile that comes with it. 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 »
How the Obama Administration Turned its Back on South Sudan – The Country George W. Bush Helped CreatePosted: February 26, 2015
Unmade in the USA
Less than three years after independence, South Sudan collapsed into bloody civil war. Could the United States, a crucial backer of the young African state, have prevented the violence?
To the outside world, the reference might have seemed cryptic. But in South Sudan, the message was crystal clear: 1991 was the year Machar broke away from the main southern guerilla movement, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), that was fighting against the Sudanese government in Khartoum. The move nearly brought about the SPLA’s demise. Now, Machar was again estranged from the flock and about to mount a new rebellion from the bush. By linking the two events, Kiir was invoking an old and powerful grudge. “It was not in the spirit of reconciliation,” Lam Akol, who led the breakaway SPLA faction with Machar in 1991 and later served as Sudan’s foreign minister, told me. “It was a declaration of war.”
“When South Sudan finally hoisted its own flag in Juba on July 9th, 2011, someone waved a sign that read ‘Thank you George Bush’.”
During and after Kiir’s press conference, forces loyal to the president rounded up and executed hundreds of male Nuers, the ethnic group to which Machar belongs. The soldiers reportedly identified the men by asking their names in Dinka, the language of Kiir’s ethnic group; inability to answer could be a death sentence. In one neighborhood, according to Human Rights Watch, between 200 and 300 men were detained in a building used by police and then murdered by gunmen, alleged to be members of the South Sudanese armed forces, who fired on the prisoners through windows.
Machar denied the coup allegation, but as Juba descended deeper into violence, he quickly took up arms against the government. Soon, blood was flowing across the northeastern portion of the country: in Bor, the capital of restive Jonglei state, and then in Bentiu and Malakal, two major cities in the heart of South Sudan’s oil country. Reports of war crimes committed by both sides followed.
Over the next year, somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000 people would be killed and another 2 million forced to flee their homes. Farmers missed their planting season, and aid agencies warned of an impending famine. According to the United Nations, the humanitarian crisis created by South Sudan’s civil war is now on par with those in Syria, Iraq, and the Central African Republic. “I never thought I’d see the day when people would be fleeing to Darfur,” Toby Lanzer, the top U.N. aid official in South Sudan, told me in August. “But that’s the situation we’re in.”
“These tensions have come to the fore in the Obama era. Unlike Bush, who one senior White House official told me ‘could have been the desk officer’ because he was so engaged on southern Sudan, Obama has preferred to leave details to his staffers, who have not always seen eye to eye with one another.”
A few days after my meeting with Lanzer, I boarded a U.N. plane in Juba packed with peacekeepers and other humanitarians and flew several hundred miles north over swampland and jungle to Malakal, roughly tracing the path of the violence that had exploded across the country. Control of the city had changed hands between the government and Machar’s rebels six times in nine months, and some of the worst atrocities of the civil war had been committed there. The last time rebels overran the city, they burned so much of it that satellite imagery revealed charcoal smudges where whole neighborhoods once stood. Now, the government was back in charge, and it was flooding troops and equipment in ahead of the dry season, when fighting in South Sudan has historically taken place. Rumors abounded of an impending rebel attack.
After a brief stop at the U.N. base near Malakal, where roughly 20,000 civilians were waiting out the violence in overcrowded displacement camps, I caught a ride with UNICEF employees down the rutted dirt track to what used to be South Sudan’s second-largest city. The closer we got, the fewer civilians there were. In the center of town, where abandoned market stalls sat bleakly on patches of scorched earth, the only humans in evidence were government soldiers, most of them carrying AK-47s. When we passed the sagging bungalow that used to serve as UNICEF’s living quarters, half a dozen armed men grinned out at us. Like most structures that hadn’t been destroyed, the building was occupied by the South Sudanese army.
We drove past looted warehouses, shelled government buildings, and rows of thatched huts that had been put to the torch. Not far from the obliterated central market, the ruins of a teaching hospital spilled out into the street: smashed vials, soiled bandages, and now-useless medical equipment. In February 2014, at least 14 people were murdered there when rebels swept into Malakal. The day before our arrival, I was told, staff members discovered a body rotting on the roof of one of the hospital’s annex buildings. While we toured a gutted pediatric complex across the street, I nearly stepped on a skull that was hidden in the grass.
Slogging through what was left of Malakal, it was difficult to imagine that South Sudan was once considered a major U.S. foreign-policy success. Over a span of nearly two decades, three different U.S. administrations worked to bring the new nation into being. Bill Clinton was the first to signal support for the southern separatists battling Khartoum in the Second Sudanese Civil War, which lasted more than 20 years and left an estimated 2 million people dead; his administration unlocked military support for neighboring countries that was then funneled covertly across borders. George W. Bush later made Southern Sudan a centerpiece of his foreign policy, helping broker a landmark north-south peace deal in 2005 that ended the civil war and paved the way for southern independence. The Obama administration carried the ball across the goal line, ensuring that an independence referendum went ahead as planned in early 2011 and pouring hundreds of millions of dollars in development aid into the new country.
When South Sudan finally hoisted its own flag in Juba on July 9, 2011, a delegation of Bush and Obama administration officials was in attendance. In the crowd, the New York Times reported, someone waved a sign that read, “Thank You George Bush.”
Now that South Sudan has imploded in spectacular fashion, however, it offers a case study in the limits of American power: Not only have its tremendous state-building efforts failed to bear fruit, but the U.S. government now finds itself with virtually no ability to shape events on the ground. “We’re at an all-time low in terms of influence,” said Cameron Hudson, who worked on South Sudan policy in both the Bush and Obama administrations.
“There are those who feel that Obama saw little benefit from engaging with the young and troubled nation. Certainly, they say, he did not share the same political incentives as Bush, whose evangelical base championed the southern cause.”
To be sure, the new nation faced long odds. At independence, it had virtually no civil institutions, about 120 doctors for a population of roughly 9 million, and a total of 35 miles of paved roads spanning a territory the size of France. It was also landlocked, ethnically diverse, and entirely dependent on oil revenue. In other words, it faced every major challenge identified by social scientists as a predictor of state failure.
Yet there are American officials who have worked closely on Sudan and South Sudan policy who still feel the situation could have played out differently, and that brutal war could have been avoided. The story of how the South Sudan project came unhinged — pieced together over six months from more than two dozen interviews with current and former U.S., U.N., and South Sudanese officials — is one of extraordinary challenges faced down and enormous errors made by leaders in Juba. It is also the story of how tensions between and within U.S. administrations alienated the South Sudanese government, reduced American leverage, and blinded U.S. officials to warning signs that the new nation’s ruling party was breaking apart.
“The cumulative effect of all these factors was that the United States began to distance itself from South Sudan at a time when the young nation, long supported by Washington, was arguably at its most vulnerable.”
These tensions have come to the fore in the Obama era. Unlike Bush, who one senior White House official told me “could have been the desk officer” because he was so engaged on southern Sudan, Obama has preferred to leave details to his staffers, who have not always seen eye to eye with one another. Key administration posts, including the special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, ambassador to South Sudan, and assistant secretary of state for African affairs, have remained vacant for extended periods during his presidency. “Through the crucial part of the time that the relationship between [South Sudanese] factions deteriorated, the U.S. had nobody in office,” said John Prendergast, a former Clinton administration official who co-founded the Washington-based Enough Project, a group that works to end genocide around the world.
There are those who feel that Obama saw little benefit from engaging with the young and troubled nation. Certainly, they say, he did not share the same political incentives as Bush, whose evangelical base championed the southern cause. (The people in the north — present-day Sudan — are generally Arab and Muslim, while the southern population is mostly African and either Christian or animist.) But if ideology and politics mattered, so did personality: Due to a fateful meeting at the United Nations in 2011, at which Kiir reportedly lied to the U.S. president about military action along his country’s northern border, Obama’s relationship with the South Sudanese president was “poisoned from the start,” according to Princeton Lyman, who served as the special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan from 2011 to 2012.
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 »
Like Gorbachev, Obama will be esteemed in certain quarters a generation from now, but probably more by foreigners than fellow citizens, and more by his country’s enemies than its friends.
Christopher Caldwell Democrats nominated Barack Obama in 2008 to extract America from George W. Bush’s Iraq misadventure and to spread more fairly the proceeds of a quarter-century-old boom for which they credited Bill Clinton. The Election Eve collapse of Lehman Brothers changed things. It showed that there had been no boom at all, only a multitrillion-dollar real-estate debauch that Clinton’s and Bush’s affordable-housing mandates had set in motion. It also showed how fast historians’ likely rankings of presidents can shift: Clinton went from above average to below average, Bush from low to rock bottom.
“Obama’s legacy is one of means, not ends. He has laid the groundwork for a political order less answerable to voters.”
Obama may wind up the most consequential of the three baby-boom presidents. He expanded certain Bush policies — Detroit bailouts, internet surveillance, drone strikes — and cleaned up after others. We will not know for years whether Obama’s big deficits risked a future depression to avoid a present one, or whether the respite he offered from “humanitarian invasions” made the country safer. Right now, both look like significant achievements.
Yet there is a reason the president’s approval ratings have fallen, in much of the country, to Nixonian lows. Even his best-functioning policies have come at a steep price in damaged institutions, leaving the country less united, less democratic, and less free.
“For a generation, there has been too much private wealth in politics; Obama’s innovation has been to bring private wealth into government.”
Health-care reform and gay marriage are often spoken of as the core of Obama’s legacy. That is a mistake. Policies are not always legacies, even if they endure, and there is reason to believe these will not. The more people learn about Obamacare, the less they like it — its popularity is still falling, to a record low of 37 percent in November. Thirty states have voted to ban gay marriage, and almost everywhere it survives by judicial diktat.
These are, however, typical Obama achievements. They are triumphs of tactics, not consensus-building. Obamacare involved quid pro quos (the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the “Louisiana Purchase,” etc.) that passed into Capitol Hill lore, accounting and parliamentary tricks to render the bill unfilibusterable, and a pure party-line vote in the Senate. Read the rest of this entry »
Sarah Rumpf reports: Democrat Wendy Davis, who made national news for running one of the year’s most aggressively catastrophic campaigns, clawed her way back into the headlines this week with her comment that the “one thing” she would do differently in her race against Republican Greg Abbott is to abandon her support for the open carry of firearms.
“There is one thing that I would do differently in that campaign, and it relates to the position that I took on open carry. I made a quick decision on that with a very short conversation with my team and it wasn’t really in keeping with what I think is the correct position on that issue…
“Though I certainly support people’s right to own and to bear arms in appropriate situations, I fear with open carry, having watched that issue unfold during the campaign, that it will be used to intimidate and cause fear.”
As a refresher for Davis, who apparently suffers from the same constitutional illiteracy as her fellow Harvard law graduate, President Obama, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” period. Not “in appropriate situations.”
Davis also claimed that “as an elected public servant, I’ve always been true to my core beliefs. Always. And I’m so proud of that.” However, she then described her campaign position on open carry as”the only time I felt like I’d strayed a bit from that.” In other words, she “only supported open-carry to get elected,” as Ashe Schow wrote for the Washington Examiner.
Davis’ admittedly facetious attempt to win votes from gun rights supporters fell flat. Despite her comments that she felt she had been “pretty strong in supporting the expansion of the rights of gun ownership,” the National Rifle Association (NRA) gave her an “F” rating, and her liberal supporters were left confused and outraged. A campaign stunt where she was photographed awkwardly holding a shotgun owned by previous Texas Governor Ann Richards led to instant mockery. PJ Media’s Bryan Preston compared Davis to previous Democrat candidates with embarrassingly bad photo ops like Michael Dukakis and John Kerry, and, perhaps most damning of all, to Richards herself holding that same shotgun. “Holding a firearm and looking good isn’t generally a difficult thing to do,” writes Preston. “Say what [you] want about Ann Richards, and I was certainly no fan, but at least she knew how to hold a shotgun without looking silly.”
Davis ended up getting annihilated on Election Day, losing to Abbott by double digits in a loss that was not only viewed as backsliding for Texas Democrats, but also resulted in the efforts of the out-of-state Obama organizers behind Battleground Texas being largely viewed as a failure. 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 »
“Government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people.”
— Ronald Reagan, 1964
Today marks the 50th anniversary of private citizen Ronald Reagan’s landmark speech in behalf of Barry Goldwater‘s presidential candidacy in 1964. Reagan’s remarks gave meaning to a campaign the establishment had said was a fool’s errand, and offered a response to those who said conservatism was not sophisticated or viable as a governing force.
The facts have proved otherwise, and that speech made Reagan the leading conservative in America. Years after his passing, he still holds that title. Who calls himself a Nixon Republican or a Bush Republican? Most call themselves Reagan Republicans, even if they don’t know the true meaning of Reaganism….(read more) LA Times
“I’ve spent most of my adult life as a Democrat. I’ve recently seen fit to follow another course”
Today marks the 50th anniversary of what has become known as simply “The Speech.” The actual title Ronald Reagan gave to the address with which he electrified a nation during a 30-minute broadcast for the failing Goldwater campaign was “A Time for Choosing.” Goldwater lost a week later to Lyndon Johnson, but conservative presidential politics had a North Star in Reagan after that. “It defined conservatism for 50 years,” Reagan biographer Craig Shirley concluded.
“This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government, or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”
Washington Post columnist David Broder wrote that the night of Reagan’s address represented “the most successful political debut since William Jennings Bryan” and his “Cross of Gold” speech in 1896. “I didn’t know it then,” Reagan wrote in his 1991 autobiography, “but that speech was one of the most important milestones of my life.”
“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size.”
Financially, it raised a stunning $8 million (over $60 million in today’s money) for the flailing Goldwater campaign, most of which couldn’t be spent in those days when checks were delivered by regular mail. But as former Reagan aide Jeffrey Lord reminds us, “the real importance of the speech was that Reagan had looked Americans in the eye and stood for something.”
“If government planning and welfare had the answer, shouldn’t we expect government to read the score to us once in a while?” Shouldn’t they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? But the reverse is true.”
It was a different Ronald Reagan than the one many Americans remember as president who gave “The Speech” that night. As historian Steven Hayward noted in the Washington Post on Sunday, it “was not the avuncular, optimistic Reagan of his film roles, or of his subsequent political career that emphasized ‘morning in America’ and the ‘shining city on a hill,’ but a comparatively angry and serious Reagan, serving up partisan red meat against liberalism and the Democrats” (whose party he had been a member of only two years before). Read the rest of this entry »
Maybe I’m perverse, but this made me laugh out loud. It’s so true. Over at The Corner, Jim Geraghty, observing that the time has never been better for a limited-government candidate, writes:
“…This is not to say electing a Republican candidate, pledging to limit and reduce the size, scope, cost, and reach of government is going to be easy, of course. For starters, no matter who the 2016 Republican candidate is, that person is going to face some variation of this:
All of the celebrities of Hollywood and the music industry will come out to rally and endorse the Democratic candidate — Ms. Perry and her latex dresses, Bruce Springsteen, Eva Longoria, the Black Eyed Peas, Ben Affleck, and all the other usual suspects. This reflects their reflexive insistence that the Democratic president candidate is the “cool” one. Most of these figures insisted John Kerry was the cool one in 2004 and that Al Gore was the cool choice in 2000. Ahem.
The 2004 experience ought to reassure us that Democrat-friendly celebrities cannot, by themselves, convince the public that the Democratic nominee is cooler and thus a better choice for president.
The 2016 Republican nominee is also certain to face some variation of this:
In some senses relating to the campaign, it does not matter whether Republicans nominate Jeb Bush, or Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, or Bobby Jindal, or Chris Christie, or Scott Walker, or Rick Perry, or any other GOP rising star. The 2016 Republican nominee will be attacked for being insufficiently “cool” and attacked for being “not one of us.” Read the rest of this entry »
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) June 12, 2014
“…This raises an important challenge for Jeb Bush. It should be obvious that, even among Republicans, nostalgia for George W. Bush doesn’t run nearly so high as it did for his father. This is a key difference between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jeb Bush; Democrats are nostalgic for Clinton, Republicans aren’t for Bush…”
(read Jonah’s article here)
The U.S. media treat America’s powerful families as untitled nobility
For National Review Online, Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Depressing as it might be for the radicals among us to admit, John Adams’s failed and embarrassing quest to have the nation’s president referred to as “His Majesty” or “His High Mightiness” was the exception rather than the rule — an early win for republicanism before the inevitable losses started stacking up. Time after time during the last century or so, the White House has suggested that it should perhaps accrue a little more power, perhaps spend a little more money on itself, and perhaps place the administration a little closer to the center of public life. In each and every instance, the public has acquiesced. Alas, this is not Calvin Coolidge’s country anymore. Where once the president fretted over the cost of pencils and the expense of state dinners, he now has a fleet of aircraft, a billion-dollar household budget, and a trio of calligraphers. “His Majesty,” indeed.
In the abstract, at least, Americans prefer to think of themselves as being congenitally opposed to aristocracy and the trappings of monarchy. The notion of unceremonious men who rise from the log cabin to the White House has considerable purchase in the national imagination, and, during elections, at least, it still matters considerably. Read the rest of this entry »