Iowa governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, has suggested that the days of the Ames straw poll — the Midwest summer spectacle that takes the temperature of an idiosyncratic slice of the Republican party months before the first binding primaries — might be numbered. “I think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness,” Branstad told the Wall Street Journal. “It has been a great fundraiser for the party, but I think its days are over.”
I think people are silly to put too much credence into any one state. Those of us who live in Iowa are Americans like any one else, I´m not sure who made us first in caucuses, but as I´ve said before there´s no law stating that the rest of the country has to be lemmings and follow us over the cliff. The Straw Poll is goofy, who said it was gospel? Mrs. Cow
It´s not just the Ames poll, the whole process needs to be cleaned up. There were some state rules that were so archaic few could make sense of them. No more caucuses choosing delegates for a to be held later State caucus. No more open primaries. I don´t mind Iowa and NH going first, but hold them the same day and add Colorado and South Carolina.
Paul Ryan is ready to move beyond last year’s failed presidential campaign and the budget committee chairmanship that has defined him to embark on an ambitious new project: Steering Republicans away from the angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement and toward the more inclusive vision of his mentor, the late Jack Kemp. Since February, Ryan (R-Wis.) has been quietly visiting inner-city neighborhoods with another old Kemp ally, Bob Woodson, the 76-year-old civil rights activist and anti-poverty crusader, to talk to ex-convicts and recovering addicts about the means of their salvation. Ryan’s staff, meanwhile, has been trolling center-right think
In the recent government shutdown fight I found myself in polite (on my part at least!) disagreement with the elements of the right inclined to denounce the “Republican establishment.” No need to rehash all that again. But, I will say that in the wake of the Cuccinelli defeat, I think the critics of the establishment have the better side of the argument. If the folks running the party want the tea partiers to support their preferred candidates — when they’re the nominee, at least — it should work the other way around as well. It now appears that Cuccinelli, a
A campaign strategist for Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said that the national GOP abandoned the campaign in its final days. At the end of the race, Cuccinelli was closing in on Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who eked out a two-point victory on Tuesday despite exit polls that showed McAuliffe was up by seven points. According to the Washington Post, Chris La Civita said that financial support from national Republican sources dried up on October 1. “There are a lot of questions people are going to be asking and that is, was leaving Cuccinelli alone in the first week of October, a smart
Boyd Marcus, the chief of staff for Cantor until 2003—who later teamed with another GOP operative Ray Allen to found the firm Marcus Allen, which Cantor employed until earlier this year—joined the McAuliffe campaign after Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, with whom Marcus campaigned, did not win the GOP nominee in Virginia. “I was looking at the candidates, and I saw Terry McAuliffe as the guy who will work with everybody to get things done,” Marcus told the Associated Press in August when he joined McAuliffe’s campaign. Cantor employed Marcus Allen until the day before Marcus left the firm to work
Leave it to Mark Levin to say exactly what many conservatives have believed but not said. The RINO wing of the GOP — and Karl Rove specifically — do not want a Ken Cuccinnelli victory in Virginia. In this corner we have believed this for some time. In its own way this reminds of the 1980 presidential race. The RINO in question than was one of Ronald Reagan’s GOP primary opponents — Illinois Congressman John Anderson. Anderson lost resoundingly to Reagan in the primaries, but as usual picked up a core of fans in the liberal media.
The St. Louis Rams lost Sam Bradford to a season-ending knee injury last weekend, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, decided to call up 44-year-old Brett Favre to see if he was interested in playing for them. Favre wasn’t interested. (Snip) Schefter’s report, which cites an anonymous source and leads with a reference to Tim Tebow, also included comment from a source who was familiar with the Rams’ conversations and also how Twitter works.
Recently on this blog, Larry Bartels drew attention to an astonishing fact: the public is as conservative as it has been in 50 years. To highlight this point, Professor Bartels presented the public’s policy mood — James Stimson’s measure of public support for government programs—from 1950 to 2012. In a recent article, Julianna Koch and I generated measures of policy mood for each state from the 1950s to 2010 (our measures our here). What we found is that the conservative opinion shift Professor Bartels highlighted repeats itself in every state. The figure below presents one illustration of this pattern. Here we
Speaker John Boehner has said he will not bring up any bill that does not have majority support from at least 118 Republicans. Republicans will insist on securing the border and maintaining respect for the law, and most will refuse liberals’ calls for pathways to citizenship. But, with over 100 open to legalization, and still others who have not explicitly opposed it, a path to legalization might not be far away. A full list of the representatives is below. Some may have since changed their minds, but all spoke positively of legalizing immigrants within the last year.
A newly published memoir by Rep. Luis Gutierrez takes President Barack Obama to task on immigration, saying the White House tried to stifle the congressman´s reform campaign, broke a promise to press the issue and took action only after being "outflanked by Marco Rubio." In "Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill," Gutierrez complains that deportations increased after his fellow Chicago Democrat took over the White House. And Gutierrez, who endorsed Obama twice for president, describes his frustration over what he viewed as Obama´s unmet pledge to push for
We are less than one and a half weeks from the Showdown at the CR (Continuing Resolution) Corral, and establishment politicians, of both parties, are panicking. The latest turn of the screw came last week, when opposition from 43 apparently non-establishment Republicans forced Speaker Boehner to cancel a vote on a CR because that CR would have continued to fund Obamacare. Fox News Senior Political Analyst Brit Hume concisely captured one source of GOP panic over the weekend, on Fox News Sunday: [T]he axiom in Washington that when the government shuts down, it doesn´t matter who causes it, Republicans get blamed, is
Bobby Jindal is outraged over a Department of Justice lawsuit against a Louisiana school voucher program. The suit, which he (repeatedly) calls “cynical, immoral, and hypocritical” and the “worst misuse” of federal desegregation laws, aims to stop a program that allows poor students in failing schools to enter a lottery for a voucher to attend a better school. The program is an integral part of Jindal’s education agenda, which he’s been implementing in Louisiana since he was first elected governor in 2007.
De-funding Obamacare is tough politically. It is not complicated, though, even though some want you to think that. De-funding is a simple idea surrounded by political jargon and double-speak. If voters are convinced that the task is too complex, they might forgive politicians for not going all-out to de-fund it. De-funding in turn is still second-best to outright repeal. So here is an “Idiot’s Guide to De-Funding Obamacare.” The title isn’t intended to call anyone a dummy, but to stress that this is not rocket science. Anyone who understands how a checking account works can understand how to stop Obamacare
In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington. The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated. And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it. Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy. And a knowledgeable
President Barack Obama told the Wall Street CEO Council Tuesday that his administration has "reined in spending" and "cut our deficits by more than half." "After years of trillion-dollar deficits we reined in spending, wound down two wars and began to change a tax code that I believe was too skewed towards the wealthiest among us at the expense of the middle class," said Obama. "And since I took office, we have now cut our deficits by more than half. Add it all and businesses like yours have created 7.8 million new jobs over the past 44 months, we´ve gone farther
Negligence? Absolutely. Incompetence? The case can be made. But scandalous? To suggest that the White House has willfully engaged in the intentional misleading of the public and an outrageous dereliction of its responsibilities to enforce the laws passed by Congress has been a bridge too far. Until recently. New revelations are now forcing even the most reluctant of President Barack Obama’s critics to concede that the Affordable Care Act’s implementation has evolved into a scandal. “I was not informed directly that the website would not be working, as the way it was supposed to,” Obama told reporters on November 14.
Barack Obama is the coolest president we’ve had since John F. Kennedy, at least according to conventional standards for such things. Obama has always been a brand as much as a politician, one that has been perceived as sleek, smart, and up to date. Then along came HealthCare.gov. Its failure to launch is a signal event in the long political battle over Obamacare and perhaps an inflection point in the president’s image. It’s hard to maintain a sense of truly being on the cutting edge of change when you can’t build a website. Obama’s cool was, in part, an artifact of world-class
MICHELLE OBAMA: I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician when I was really little and then I wasn´t that great at math and science so I switched to law because my mother told me that I like to argue a lot. But I realized in high school and in college that you don´t have to exactly know, you´re kind of always discovering yourself. So I studied law, I went to law to school, but was pretty clear I just wanted to be a good student. I wanted to know how to read and write and communicate, be able to
In an interview on BET last night with Bow Wow and Keshia Chante, First Lady Michelle Obama talked up her husband, President Barack Obama. "I always say my husband has got swag," said Mrs. Obama. "He’s got a little swag." The audience applauded. Mrs. Obama also said that the president of the United States "sings all the time." She continued, "Oh, yes, he’s in the bathroom all the time just singing." She also praised her husband. "[H]e has got a good voice." Here´s a transcript of that exchange:
A downbeat President Barack Obama repeatedly asked his worried supporters Monday night to help resurrect his spirits, following weeks of political disasters and personal humiliations caused by the cascading collapse of Obamacare. The distracted president railed against opponents and at one point appeared to forget the number of people in the Obamacare system during the rambling quarter-hour address. “My main message is I’m going to need your help, your energy, your faith, your ability to reach out to neighbors, kids and friends [and] co-workers,” he told listeners to the Internet broadcast arranged by his grass-roots group, Organizing for Action. But his worried
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama says she won’t wear shorts on Air Force One again because the one time she did, it created “a huge stink.”(snip)Mrs. Obama was asked about her biggest fashion regret. She said she’s always happy with her outfits but that, quote, “sometimes I forget I’m the first lady and I’m running around in shorts.” She recalled her family’s first White House vacation, to the Grand Canyon in August 2009. Mrs. Obama said her wearing shorts getting off the plane “created a huge stink because people were like, ‘she’s wearing shorts getting off of Air Force One.’” She said her thought
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama conceded that he will have to "remarket" and "rebrand" Obamacare as public confidence in him and the healthcare law he championed has plummeted. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal CEO Summit, Obama addressed the failures of the Obamacare rollout and said while he was confident that the healthcare model his administration built, which he claimed worked off of the "existing private insurance system," would succeed, the law would have to be rebranded. “We are going to have to obviously remarket and rebrand,” Obama said. “And that will be challenging in this political environment.” When he
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says everyone should stop talking so much about the 2016 presidential race, because doing so hurts President Obama, who´s only a year into his second term. "In this sense, I feel badly for President Obama. He just won a year ago, and everybody´s like, ´So, who´s next?´" Christie said Monday night at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. "There is work to be done in this country. And as we shove him out the door, we minimize his ability to be an effective executive. And we shouldn´t do that." Even as he urged people to focus
The White House has admitted that it was wrong to promise that people would be able to their health care plans under Obamacare. "With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I’ve said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient," President Obama said
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says although some Democrats may be voting politically to distance themselves from Obamacare, they were still supporting the law and working in their districts to implement it. "This is history and the future and progress," she stated emphatically, "It stands right there as Social Security, Medicare, affordable health care, as a right, not a privilege for the few, but a right for the many." She was speaking Tuesday at an event sponsored by BuzzFeed. Pelosi acknowledged she was "really disappointed" that the technology behind the website failed, but said she was excited to see the program fully