Campaign

Christie on cusp of victory, eyes 2016

It's hard to get excited about a predictable gubernatorial election in the midst of a potential collapse of our healthcare system, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is about to become a huge story.

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Hillary Clinton could win all 50 states running against Banana Republicans in 2016

I saw a recent poll suggesting that former first lady, United States senator and secretary of State Hillary Clinton would beat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a hypothetic presidential campaign, even in the reddest states.

This made me think of a happy thought for Democrats: it is within the realm of possibility that Clinton would win all 50 states in an epic, historic and realigning mega-landslide against the party that threatens a Republican default, a Republican economic crash and a Republican government shutdown.

Here's why: 

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Government-shutdown-happy GOP could elect a Democratic House in 2014

As an important story in The Hill suggests, even the conservative Wall Street Journal opinion page scorns the obsessive GOP attacks in the party's latest threats to shut the government down. 

When the Journal editorial board states that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others are charging into fixed bayonets, those bayonets are held by President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (California) and the American people.

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Punishing Congress's bad behavior

This month Congress is working hard to lower its 9 percent approval rating, with open talk of prospects for shutting the government down and defaulting on our debt. What is hard to believe is that it's no longer hard to believe. As we long for a functioning government that strengthens our democracy and protects our economy and our leadership role in the world, we continue to wonder how and when our system can be repaired. It starts with holding lawmakers accountable for the disruptions Congress has grown accustomed to creating, according to Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), and punishing them for bad behavior.

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Santorum isn't sitting out

Even political junkies have all but forgotten former Sen. Rick Santorum's (R-Pa.) presidential campaign just 18 months ago, erased by Mitt Romney, who defeated him and then went on to defeat himself.

But Santorum is back in Iowa today, where all 2016 wannabes are now regularly making appearances. Santorum is even hitting all his carefully chosen events — GOP fundraising dinners, the state fair and the Christian conservative confab the Family Leader is hosting Saturday in Ames — in the same "Chuck Truck" in which an aide (named Chuck) ferried him through all 99 Iowa counties in back in 2012.

While Republicans are largely touting Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the top 2016 prospects, Santorum told ABC News he believes he offers something different. 

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Backlash: Will more high-profile women in public office discourage others from following?

Ten years from now when we look back at this period in political history, I suspect we might see a decline in the number of women running for public office — a theory I shared with Jake Miller of CBS yesterday for an article about women running for the White House in 2016.

I realize this perspective might upset a lot of women’s organizations like She Should Run, EMILY’s List, VIEW PAC and others that are focused on growing the number of women running for higher office. But there are some very real reasons to be concerned.

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New generation rising: Nancy Mace’s perfect timing (Lindsey Graham vs. Nancy Mace)

Youth wants to know: Would John McCain vote for Lady Gaga, Bono or Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats? Anthony Weiner? Huma? 

It seems certain he would vote for Hillary in opposition to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R). Is it her sublime record as secretary of State? No: They share the same generation and times, and both hope against hope to keep the rising generation at bay to legitimize their own halcyon days of mayhem and misadventures, quickly passing into oblivion.

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Eastern establishment vs. the Texas Century: Rick Perry should lead Western conservatism

In the last Republican primary, a division occurred between Western conservatives and Eastern conservatives. As a species, Westerners might be identified as those who instinctively respond positively, innately, traditionally to these principles: states' rights, sound money, constitutional government.

It is a difference of temperament than that which we experience back East, here at “the Hub”, meaning “the center of the universe” where our founding motto was “Our country is the world, our countrymen mankind.”

We see ourselves naturally as conquerors and expect people to do what we like and them to want to be like us. But it changes. It is not hooked to principle but to rising and receding cultural themes of the times; invade the South, Texas and Utah at one time, then smoking dope and gay marriage at a different time. Secretary of State John Kerry presents the Boston archetype — so tall — the liberator, hovering above the little people in the Holy Land. 

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Liz Cheney will withdraw, Mike Enzi will be reelected

I guess in Washington, when it comes to Dick and Liz Cheney, the old saying is right: if you want a friend, get a dog. 

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) had every right to expect his friends and supporters the Cheneys to support his reelection. Little did he know that when ambition strikes, loyalty and friendship go out the window. The ancient Washington tradition of backstabbing and betrayal will not work in Wyoming, where if you want a friend, get a friend, which is why the Liz Cheney attack on Enzi is looking like the biggest belly flop since Ford introduced the ill-fated Edsel.

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