Over the course of the last few months all we can talk about is potential Presidential candidates. Discussions of who’s in, who’s out, who’s still undecided, and who’s just in it for the book sales overwhelm our news feeds. But I contend we’re focusing on the wrong priorities.
This post begins with a confession: When I first heard Carly Fiorina’s name floated as a potential presidential contender, it was met with an eye roll. “How could someone who couldn’t even win a statewide Senate seat ever win the White House?”, I asked myself. “Corporate experience at an enormous, troubled company?” I thought, “How could that possibly resonate with Americans?”
It turns out, I’ve never actually met Carly Fiorina. Now, in a certain sense, I have — and encourage you in the strongest terms to meet her yourself at the Iowa Freedom Summit:
This post ends with an additional confession: Watching Ms. Fiorina’s speech, there were only a few moments where I did not find my self near tears. Those moments included the first minute-or-so watching Fiorina find her stride, and those moments the tears actually came.
In less than half an hour, Fiorina hit Home Runs on the role of government, the so-called “War on Women”, the struggle between business and government, American values, the value of life, and the hypocrisy of liberals — just to name a few.
Think I’m crazy? Take 23 minutes to watch this serious, pragmatic, thoughtful conservative articulate the trials of our times and the imperative that conservative leaders come forward to turn back the tide of huge big government liberalism.
If this speech doesn’t knock your socks off, you weren’t wearing any in the first place.
Democrats in all circles assure the media that Hillary Clinton is the odds on favorite for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2016. Yet, enthusiasm from the grassroots left is awfully hard to come by.
That’s exactly what they would have said ahead of 2008, though it was not to be. A summer 2006 blog post by Daily Kos didn’t even mention Barack Obama as a potentially serious challenger, but he won the long fight.
CNN has a rundown of her advantages and pitfalls in 2016, starting with Iowa. Is it her turn now? The Gods seem to favor her, but certain potential obstacles are clear.
Here are a few:
“You’re likable enough, Hillary.”
Though Senator Obama faced a backlash for the sexist dismissal among women, he articulated a real drawback to Clinton’s former candidacy. She was feared, even respected, but rarely liked. Supporters lauded her as capable, tough, a fighter. But not likeable. Obama surely was that, and voters preferred to hang out with him over Hillary.
2008 highlighted the Clinton penchant for fearing potential allies into toeing the line, but only for a finite time. As Obama proved he could win races, supporters began to waver. The trickle turned into a flood by March and that was match, set, game.
No more surprises
The Clinton campaign made mind boggling mistakes, Chief among them ignoring the Caucus states and presuming all of California’s delegates would be for Hillary (the California primary was not, as Mark Penn thought, winner-take-all). The Clinton campaign had neither money nor ground operations sufficient for post-Super Tuesday races and it showed. She went on to lose 12 straight primaries, tipping the race forever in Obama’s favor. Clinton can’t make those mistakes this time.
Brian Schweitzer has to go
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer could out-Clinton the Clintons by cracking Hillary’s left flank while at the same time appearing as the pragmatic outsider that red state voters love. Schweitzer is a real in-Party threat in Iowa and across the Heartland if he can get them to hear his message. While an awful candidate on paper, he is symptomatic of Hillary’s problems on the grassroots left and populist center-left.
Save Jeanne Shaheen & Maggie Hassan at all costs
New Hampshire saved both Bill and Hillary’s hides before (1992 and 2008), and if things go as poorly in January again this time, she will count on old friend Jeanne Shaheen and state Party Brass to throw a life preserver yet again.
Jeanne Shaheen and Governor Maggie Hassan were big Hillary Clinton supporters back when. Hillary and Bill both returned the favor by campaigning for their Democrat friends in their own tough election fights. That might not matter if they all get swept out of office and replaced by up and comers who don’t owe the Clintons any favors. Or, worse (for Hillary) yet, get replaced by Republicans. Hillary needs behind-the-scenes support and angling for her candidacy as much as she did 6 years ago.
It’s not over yet
If Hillary Clinton can thread a very delicate needle by shoring up her left-wing bona fides without turning off swing voters, she has a real shot at the nomination in 2016. If not, another Obama may be rapidly approaching in the left rear view mirror.
Even if Hillary comes out and falters early, don’t rule out a comeback. After all, Hillary won 9 of the final 15 races in the 2008 primary. Finding her populist voice, Clinton cobbled together a base of working class whites, Hispanics and women that Obama iced out with his cool rhetoric and questionable background.
It was enough to breathe a second life into the 2008 campaign, but that life came too late. Hillary can’t afford a Weekend-at-Bernie’s campaign this time around.
Through a move tantamount to a text message breakup, The New York Times has put the Obama administration on notice that she is not happy and is ready to make her gripes public.
In a two page lambasting, the Times editorial board put Obama’s liberal street cred on blast, wondering aloud how the love of their political life could have betrayed his base by practicing draconian surveillance tactics and trying to pretend that they weren’t up to anything (cough cough, Most Transparent Administration Evah!).
Obama’s biggest groupie of a newspaper even included the ultimate left wing Oh Snap, comparing this president to… guess who…
That’s no longer good enough. Mr. Obama clearly had no intention of revealing this eavesdropping, just as he would not have acknowledged the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, had it not been reported in the press. Even then, it took him more than a year and a half to acknowledge the killing, and he is still keeping secret the protocol by which he makes such decisions.
We are not questioning the legality under the Patriot Act of the court order disclosed by The Guardian. But we strongly object to using that power in this manner. It is the very sort of thing against which Mr. Obama once railed, when he said in 2007 that the surveillance policy of the George W. Bush administration “puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.”
Nobody believes that the Times or left wingers are ready to abandon the president permanently. But they are pissed, they feel betrayed, and they are ready to take it to the streets… for now.
NewsMax notes that the NY Times might have texted first, then backpeddled later. We’ve all been there, right?
Just a few hours later, however, the Times inexplicably changed the wording of the editorial to say the administration has now lost “all credibility on this issue,” a much softer and different tone. No reason was given for the change.
Last month, the Times ripped the Justice Department for labeling Fox News reporter James Rosen as a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a news leak about North Korea’s nuclear missile program.
The administration has “moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news,” the newspaper’s editorial said last month.
This latest rebuke from the Times editorial board, which has long been friendly toward President Barack Obama and his administration, stems from news reports that the National Security Agency has been collecting telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order issued in April.
We fully expect the abusive relationship between the Obama administration and the Press Corps to continue as the wounds begin to heal. After all, journalists are junkies and Obama is their drug. But at least for now, the junkies have looked themselves in the mirror and sworn off the sauce.
Good luck to the New York Times and its followers not to fall into the trap of recidivism.
Liberals like President Obama don’t need a good reason to raise taxes. If the sun shines, it’s time to hike taxes. If it doesn’t shine, double them. If it rains, put a surtax on top of that. There’s no item or service that they don’t see as a potential gold mine.
But just because the liberal philosophy doesn’t require a “good reason” to hike taxes, that doesn’t mean Mr. Obama doesn’t have one.
On the stump, Obama gives either a moral or practical reason for tax hikes on “the rich”. Speaking in front of swing voters, the raison d’etre is “math”. Stick him in front of union goons, all of a sudden it’s “fairness”.
As grandiose as Obama class warfare rhetoric has become, his comments yesterday take the cake for the mother of all pandering. Speaking at a prayer breakfast, the president gave the ultimate argument for his taxes. They are, according to Mr. Obama, what Jesus wants.
Yes, you read that right. Jesus would raise taxes, and Obama fancies himself Christ-like. Ergo, tax hikes for Jesus.
That argument is like the “triple dog dare” of all reasons to get one’s way. There is no comeback, only brinksmanship (and perhaps a good belly laugh).