Percy Sledge: "Take Time To Know Her" (1968)
R&B legend Percy Sledge died last week. He was best known for “When a Man Loves a Woman,” which topped the charts in 1966. He was 74.
Labels: On the Hustings
|But let's get a better campaign photo|
The DNC chairwoman mentioned Vice President Biden, former Gov. Martin O’Malley (Md.), former Sen. Jim Webb (Va.) and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee as other likely contenders.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), she added, would be a welcome entrant provided he switched party affiliations for the primary.
Speaking at Harvard University on Thursday night, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley cranked up the pressure on Hillary Clinton by calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage and voicing his opposition to President Barack Obama’s massive trade deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership.
"As we gather here tonight," he said, "wealth and economic power in the United States of America have now been concentrated in the hands of the very few as almost never before in the history of our country."
During her first week in the presidential campaign, Clinton has tried to win over progressives in the Democratic Party by attacking CEOs for not paying their workers enough and saying that gay marriage should be a constitutional right. But both the minimum wage and trade pose an early test of Clinton's progressive credentials. Her positions on those issues will offer a clear indicator where she stands in the Democratic Party—and what her potential presidency could look like.
|Cranky like my mama|
For Jeb Bush, New Hampshire serves as a linchpin of his strategy. Sandwiched between contests in Iowa and South Carolina that draw large numbers of evangelical voters, New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary has served as a firewall of sorts for mainstream, center-right candidates such as Bush. The last two Republican nominees — Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008 — both came in first place here after losing the Iowa caucuses to more socially conservative rivals.
"The more mainstream, sort of center of the party shows up in big numbers here," said New Hampshire's Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey. "It's more favorable to candidates like Gov. Bush" and other centrist choices in the wide GOP field.
A source, who spoke to Northeast Ohio Media Group on the condition of anonymity, said the governor's team is "finishing work" and will register the organization soon. Another said the team is hammering out plans for an announcement.
Records show that a nonprofit called New Day for America incorporated this week with the Ohio secretary of state. The name is similar to one Kasich has used for his gubernatorial inaugural committee. The incorporator is listed as E. Mark Braden, an attorney and election-law specialist who has worked for Kasich before and who once served as chief counsel to the Republican National Committee.
"She never hesitates to hold powerful people's feet to the fire: bankers, lobbyists, senior government officials and, yes, even presidential aspirants," Clinton, the clear front-runner to win the Democratic nomination for president, wrote in an apparent wink to herself.
"Elizabeth Warren never lets us forget that the work of taming Wall Street's irresponsible risk taking and reforming our financial system is far from finished," Clinton wrote in Time after the magazine named Warren, a former Harvard law professor and a senator for Massachusetts, one of the world's 100 most influential people.
Johnson unseated Feingold in 2010. Feingold hasn't announced his plans but is widely expected to run again.
Johnson's lag behind Feingold is a sign "that (Feingold's) not been forgotten, nor has the public seemingly turned against him in his time away from the state," said Charles Franklin, director of the poll.
A global warming skeptic, Johnson said extreme weather phenomena were better explained by sunspots than an overload of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as many scientists believe.
"I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change," Johnson said. "It's not proven by any stretch of the imagination."
Johnson, in an interview last month, described believers in manmade causes of climate change as "crazy" and the theory as "lunacy."
Labels: Lindsey Graham
On paper, Chafee’s resume is presidential caliber: He’s served in the Senate, as governor and as the mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island. But he faces several obstacles to being considered a serious rival to Clinton for the nomination. For one, he only joined the Democratic Party in 2013 — after serving in the Senate as a Republican and running for governor as an independent — and lacks the political infrastructure of former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who served for two years as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.
He also lacks the national profile of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who says she’s not running despite a big grassroots push for her to do so, or even independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has cultivated a large following on social media.
Like many pundits, I've written that it would be good for Clinton to have real debates with capable sparring partners, under the theory that she needs a tune-up before taking on the GOP nominee. Almost every professional campaign strategist I've talked with says that's nuts. For a front-runner, they say, debates are mostly an opportunity to commit gaffes and lose support.
Americans are becoming more optimistic about the country's economic prospects by several different measures. President Barack Obama's handling of the economy is being seen more positively than negatively for the first time in more than five years, 49 percent to 46 percent—his best number in this poll since September 2009.
[. . . ]
“The uptick extends not just to Obama but to the mood of the country and to things getting better,” says J. Ann Selzer, president of West Des Moines, Iowa-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “This will be an interesting potential transition, if it's a movement that signals the country is more cognizant about things turning better and that, in an indirect way, they're feeling better about Obama.”
[T]he national survey of 1,008 adults, conducted April 6-8, also reveals that about three-fourths of Democrats and independents, along with a majority of Republicans, say the gap is growing between the rich and everyone else—and a majority of women want the government to intervene to shrink it.
A significant — and surprising — majority of GOP insiders in the early states offered at least some praise for her presidential campaign roll-out in a special Wednesday edition of The POLITICO Caucus, our weekly bipartisan survey of the most important activists, operatives and elected officials in Iowa and New Hampshire.
These are people who will never vote for her, but they have their fingers on the political pulse in the two states that kick off the nominating process. While most Republicans thought the former secretary of state’s announcement was contrived or phony, they nevertheless viewed it as a savvy and effective campaign launch.
The internal survey, conducted by the GOP firm OnMessage, found that security issues ranked first on a list of top priorities for voters, ahead of economic growth, fiscal responsibility, and moral issues, among others. A 22 percent plurality of all respondents ranked it as the top issue, compared with 13 percent who listed economic growth as their top concern. (14 percent listed "fiscal responsibility" at the head of their list.)
Labels: 2016 Presidential election
Labels: On the Hustings
There’s already plenty of bad punditry regarding the chances of Hillary Clinton — who officially announced her candidacy on Sunday — to become the 45th president. You can find Democrats boasting about their “blue wall” in the Electoral College and how hard this will make it for any Republican to win. Or Republicans warning that the Democratic Party rarely wins three elections in a row.
Most of this analysis is flimsy. So is the commentary about the ups-and-downs in early swing state polls. And when you see some pundit declaring a minor misstep to be a “game changer,” find someone else to follow on Twitter.
Labels: 2016 elections
Last year, Rubio positioned himself as a “reform conservative” who aspired to aim tax cuts at middle-class families rather than the rich. Instead, when he unveiled the plan, it consisted of a massive, debt-financed tax cut that would give its greatest benefit to the rich, not just in absolute terms, but also as a percentage of their income. Even that plan proved to be too stingy for Republican plutocrats, so Rubio revised his plan to make it far friendlier to the rich. The newest version took his old plan and added complete elimination of all taxes on inherited estates, capital gains, and interest income. Grover Norquist, guardian of the party’s anti-tax absolutism, cooed his approval.
Interviews with GOP consultants, party officials, and the largest conservative super PACs point to an emerging narrative of a wealthy, out-of-touch candidate who plays by her own set of rules and lives in a world of private planes, chauffeured vehicles, and million dollar homes.
Labels: 2016 Presidential election
|Yes, I will pretend I care about poor people.|
[Jeb] Bush’s pre-emptive bid to build elite support has denied Mr. Rubio the opportunity to consolidate the centre-right wing of the party. Perhaps this wouldn’t be a big problem if Mr. Rubio were a favourite of the conservatives skeptical of Mr. Bush’s candidacy, but the field is full of candidates who are equally good or better fits for many conservative voters.
The challenge for Mr. Rubio is heightened by the first two nominating contests, Iowa and New Hampshire, which are better understood as factional winnowing contests. The Iowa caucuses are deeply conservative — 47 percent of caucus-goers in 2012 identified as “very conservative” — and even more evangelical: 57 percent identified as born again or evangelical Christians. New Hampshire, on the other hand, is among the most moderate contests in the country: 47 percent of New Hampshire primary voters were self-identified moderates four years ago. It is not surprising that a candidate with broad but shallow appeal, like Mr. Rubio, has struggled to gain a strong foothold in either state.
Rubio is both electable and conservative, and in optimal proportions. He’s in a position to satisfy the GOP establishment, tea party-aligned voters and social conservatives. In fact, Rubio’s argument for the GOP nomination looks a lot like Walker’s, and Rubio is more of a direct threat to the Wisconsin governor than he is to fellow Floridian Bush.
To win a presidential nomination, you need to make it past the party actors (i.e., elected officials and highly dedicated partisans). You can have all the strong early poll numbers in the world (hello, Rudy Giuliani), and your candidacy can still fail if party bigwigs come out against you. Rubio has a real chance of surviving — or even winning — the invisible (or endorsement) primary.
Unless the economy goes into a recession over the next year and a half, Hillary Clinton is probably going to win the presidential election. The United States has polarized into stable voting blocs, and the Democratic bloc is a bit larger and growing at a faster rate.
The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics. There is only one choice for voters who want a president who accepts climate science and rejects voodoo economics, and whose domestic platform would not engineer the largest upward redistribution of resources in American history. Even if the relatively sober Jeb Bush wins the nomination, he will have to accommodate himself to his party's barking-mad consensus. She is non-crazy America’s choice by default. And it is not necessarily an exciting choice, but it is an easy one, and a proposition behind which she will probably command a majority
Labels: 2016 Presidential election
Paul has long called for the government to stop meddling in private lives and for a ban on NSA spying; he has said that he hopes his presidential campaign appeals to the so-called "leave me alone coalition." Saturday, Paul emphasized the libertarian branch of his conservative "libertarianish" philosophy in a far more robust way than he has on other stops this week. Individual rights and limited government are messages that resonate heavily here in Nevada, [a recent campaign stop, and] a state with a strong libertarian, individualist streak, where Paul's father, Ron, saw a strong well of support.