In the Republican Party, elected officials keeping their options open are making it perfectly clear that campaign season has already begun.
"I’d rather be dead than cool." — Kurt Cobain
Nikki Haley (R) should be preparing her passport to visit Israel. When she wins reelection as governor of South Carolina, the presidency will at once appear on the horizon.
It already has for America’s three coolest governors, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal (R), Texas’s Rick Perry (R) and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R). Huntsman is possibly the coolest former governor ever to seek the presidency. But all four of them could find their pictures on the cover of Rolling Stone — possibly together. They might be considered an avant garde of conservatism today.
Afraid of Hillary Clinton, like Michael Scott, regional manager of Dunder Mifflin in "The Office"? Fear appears to be her biggest draw. But Anybody But Hillary may bring others.
My best suggestion, given that the no-fault Democrats have no clue on foreign policy: Jim Webb, warrior, novelist, historian, secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan and until recently, senator from Virginia. He was brave when it was time to be brave while Hillary, Biden and Kerry led the libearl appeasers in the Senate, holding the coats for Bush, Cheney and the neocons.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would be good as well. She has graced New England with a heartland style and presence. And Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has recently traveled to Iowa. But here’s another suggestion for 2016: Jerry Brown, governor of California.
It was an unfair fight. In the first minute of the first round of the boxing match for the 2016 Republican nomination to be defeated by Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign, it was a knockout.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) came of the ring and answered the attack against him by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) by slamming a right hook against Paul's chin, followed by a left uppercut, which left Paul on the mat pleading for mercy and Christie standing above him refusing to grant mercy or share a beer (though this will change).
When Jeb Bush is elected vice president in 2016 (and president in 2024), he can first thank John Lennon. On the second or third tour to the Cow Palace, Lennon became terrified. Thousands upon thousands moved to the front. They were wheeling the sick and broken in wheelchairs near the stage, like with a messiah.
And some were saying so. No more concerts on a vast scale, Lennon demanded, with astonishing moral insight. Someone could get killed. Others — some of them vermin — did, and death became common at these events. But the Catholic Church was the first to catch on. Soon the urchins would go the way of the “gods that failed.” But the urchins knew how to market. And they would now do the same.
State of the Union? The second greatest American president, Andrew Jackson, refused to give the speeches, seeing only the posturing of the French courts and the royalist tendencies of the Colonials.
In my last column I suggested that if she runs for president, which I believe is an 80 percent probability, Hillary Clinton would have a great chance to carry Texas and could well trigger a historical political realignment of Rooseveltian magnitude. I now predict that if Hillary choses not to run in 2016, which is certainly possible, liberals will begin a gigantic movement to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to run for president on a platform that will offer a reformist program of the magnitude that Franklin Roosevelt proposed and implemented.
Don't miss the recent story in The Hill in which Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) apologized to Senate Democrats for actions by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that obstructed Senate consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act. McCain said (correctly) that Paul's action give credence to Democrats who argue for filibuster reform. On another matter, a former aide to Ron Paul criticized Rand Paul over his stand on Iran sanctions. Barely a day goes by without Rand Paul doing something that makes him look more like a radio talk show host than a United States senator. Let’s cut to the chase. Congressman Paul devoted a generation of hard work and deep thought to achieve a well-deserved reputation while Sen. Paul is the kind of shoot-from-the-hip politician who should not even think of running for president.
In the closing weeks of the campaign I was privately approached by a number of voices for the Democratic base who were extremely concerned that President Obama, if reelected, might sell them out on issues of fundamental importance. I urged them to maintain their strong support for the president, avoid public criticism shortly before an election we could have lost with catastrophic consequences, and "worry about this later.” They did, to their eternal credit. The president won. Liberals won. Labor won. Defenders of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the safety net won. Champions of fairness for women won. Because of them, the Democrats won. And today many of these people are deeply and profoundly worried, far more than media reports suggest.
You all know how much I crave bipartisanship. As Sean Spicer, communications director at the Republican National Committee, is preparing to pay for his election wager by shaving his head — something Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse agreed to do for the other in the event of their party's defeat — Woodhouse has decided to jump in and shave his own victorious head in solidarity.