Category Archives: 2016

That Rice is Cooked and Other Thoughts

Susan Rice is in a boatload of trouble if she think she’s the next Secretary of State. Despite allegations that her critics are racist and sexist Republicans (um, Colin Powell and Condi Rice, anyone?), she’s having a hard time gaining the necessary 5-7 Republicans she will need for Senate confirmation. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has vowed to put a hold, and she is one of the influential Three Amigos of the GOP Foreign Policy Team. As well, very moderate Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has a lot of questions. We just want real answers.

In one of the two 2013 races worth a hoot, Virginia LG Bill Bolling is stepping aside for Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli to run unabated for the nomination. In addition to stopping a nasty primary, it also allows Bolling the opportunity to jump into the 2014 Senate race if Governor Bob McDonnell chooses not to. Cuccinelli will run basically unopposed against former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe.

West Virginia Rep Shelley Moore Capito, under fire from right-wing groups like the Club for Growth and Senate Conservative Fund after announcing her run for the 2014 Senate seat held by Jay Rockefeller, says the GOP had poor communication in 2012. I agree.

“We as Republicans have those solutions; we just have poorly communicated that,” she said on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.” “And that’s why I think I’m excited about being a woman running for Senate, but I’m proud to say I’m a great Republican that believes our solutions are what’s going to help women in my age bracket help those children and help those parents have a better life.”
It was not the message, but how we delivered it, and who delivered it. Some people just shouldn’t be allowed the opportunity to communicate our message because they are crazy whackadoodles.
Maybe Delaware isn’t as boring as we all thought? Freshman Senator Chris Coons, who got so lucky getting to run against Christine O’Donnell in 2010, isn’t taking chances for 2016, in the event she runs again, or Beau Biden, son of VP Joe Biden, primaries him. My opinion: he’s safe.
Chris Christie is like, omg, so popular! 72% approval rating for a Republican in New Jersey is pretty remarkable.
In the most interesting news of the day: vulnerable Senator Saxy Chambliss, often targeted as being the most likely to be primaried in 2014, has picked up a potential rival: RedState.com founder Erick Erickson. He is very conservative, but it is Georgia, and would be a better Senator than Chambliss’ other declared opponent, Karen Handel. If Georgia wants him, I’m all for it. Good guy who cares about the cause.
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1,448 Days Until the 2016 Presidential Election

At least 17 Republicans have began, either privately or subtlety, to make moves towards gearing up a presidential run for 2016. They are:

  1. Florida Senator Marco Rubio
  2. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
  3. Wisconsin Representative and House Budget Chair Paul Ryan
  4. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul
  5. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
  6. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
  7. Texas Governor Rick Perry
  8. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann
  9. Indiana Governor Mike Pence
  10. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
  11. New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte
  12. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez
  13. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
  14. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
  15. South Dakota Senator John Thune
  16. Ohio Senator Rob Portman
  17. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

This all might seem premature — and a possible big-time distraction for a party that lost the presidency and Senate and House seats this time around. But top Republican officials are encouraging the never-ending presidential campaign in hopes of creating influential national voices beyond Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. “On every conference call, the message is the same,” one top official said. “We’re going to push out our new generation of leadership. We’re not going to sit back and let the extreme voices define what it means to be a conservative.”

Republicans are still haunted by the post-election chaos of 2008, when, with John McCain diminished by defeat and few clear future leaders with national juice on the scene, Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin filled the void — and dominated news coverage. This time feels different: Unlike 2008, when Republicans chalked up their defeat to a bad GOP ticket in a terrible post-Bush environment for the party, many of the most influential voices are calling for substantial rethinking of the conservative approach to politics. They are reckoning with demographic trends that favor Democrats — as well as with exit polling suggesting the assumption this is a center-right country might be wrong, or was at least wrong on Nov. 6, when a center-left electorate showed up.

If even half that list runs it would be the deepest, most policy-oriented primary we could hope for.

General Musings

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee sees a “blue Texas” by 2014. Must be the only one.

In-flight cell phone use? Too good to be true.

2016 planning already…

Verdict: Obama is dirty.

 

Presidential predictions and Senate predictions post-conventions. No changes really.

Comparing the Benches

So with the Republican National Conference over and the Democratic National Convention starting, one only has to look at the speakers to see who the rising stars (“the benches”) are for each party. Let’s put them in a depth chart

Republicans:

  • First String: VA Gov. Bob McDonnell; WI Gov. Scott Walker; SC Gov. Nikki Haley; NJ Gov. Chris Christie; LA Gov. Bobby Jindal; SD Sen. John Thune; Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice; WI  Rep. Paul Ryan; FL Sen. Marco Rubio
  • Second String: NH Sen. Kelly Ayotte; OK Gov. Mary Fallin; NV Gov. Brian Sandoval; KY Sen. Rand Paul; OH Sen. Rob Portman; PR Gov. Luis Fortuño; NM Gov. Susana Martinez; Former FL Gov. Jeb Bush; TX Sen. Ted Cruz
  • Third String: ND Sen. John Hoeven; TN Rep. Marsha Blackburn; WA Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers; Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love; OH Gov. John Kasich; Former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Democrats

  • First String: CO Gov. John Hickenlooper; Former VA Gov. Tim Kaine; MD Gov. Martin O’Malley; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer; MA Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren
  • Second String: Newark Mayor Corey Booker; San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel; Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx; NC Sen. Kay Hagan; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Vice President Joe Biden; MN Senator Amy Klobuchar; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilagarossa
  • Third String: WI Senate Candidate Tammy Baldwin; House of Representatives Candidate Joaquin Castro; MA Gov. Deval Patrick; Former OH Gov. Ted Strickland; Houston Mayor Annisse Parker

The Condi-nator

So last night was Condi Rice’s national political coming-out party (don’t start with the jokes).

Her speech was impassioned, intelligent, and she did all that without a teleprompter. She has shown to be a capable leader with an innovative vision for this county.

So what is her path from here? Two-fold, in my opinion: (see also: 10 Reasons Condi Should Run for Governor)

1. She takes a Cabinet position in a Romney administration (my preference: Education), serves through Romney’s first term, and then runs against her “good friend” Barbara Boxer in 2016, setting herself up for the 2020/24 nomination

2. She runs for Governor of California in 2014, serves a term or two, and sets herself up for 2020/24.

If Romney loses, she could easily be the frontrunner for the 2016 nod, and at the least, the top of the shortlist for VP.

She has proven an ability to be LOVED by the GOP grassroots and rise beyond her association with the Bush administration. How, I don’t know? But she is capable.

With Condoleezza Rice’s speech last night generating almost as much interest as Paul Ryan’s, former California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring seizes the opportunity to make the case for a gubernatorial run in 2014:

·  She has the respect of the Republican volunteer and donor communities.  The donors would step up, and it would be easy to fill the headquarters and cover the precincts.

·  Her public speaking skills are powerful, as demonstrated by her speech to the Convention.

·  Her personal story is compelling, growing up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama and rising to hold one of the most critical posts in our government.

·  In academia and government service, her background denies the Democrats their favorite lines of attack that were most effectively used against Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina in 2010.  Yet, she has management experience as Stanford’s Provost in the 1990’s, turning a $20 million deficit into a surplus in two years. …

·  Barbara Boxer attacked Rice in relation to her role in the war in Iraq.  The occasional hits she’s taken from the right are exclusively in the area of foreign policy – not particularly relevant in the role of Governor.

California Republicans have seen their party decline to the point of irrelevance in recent years and it may be that they need a wildly outside-the-box figure — Rice or someone else — to revive their fortunes.

Rick Perry Will Get Stood Up at Prom This Year

 

Governor Perry, your time is up.

 

You are the state’s longest serving Governor. You ran for President and failed miserably. You utterly destroyed the career of our most effective advocate for Texas, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

You may pick up your prize at 1246 TAMU, Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77643. Because come 2015, the only thing you have going for you is the presidency of your alma mater (p.s., I wouldn’t stick that on my resume).

Slicky Ricky is so desperate for a date nowadays he ginned up this little number: Texans First. A “philanthropic angel investor group” (say what?) focusing on good governance, civic participation, and “keeping elected officials accountable.” What does Ricky have to do with his? Simple: he’s lost his street cred. He let a no one (read: Debra Medina) run to the right of him in the 2010 primary. He ran for President and failed miserably and lost to a guy who is the national equivalent of Kay Bailey, but a man and Mormon. His chosen boy, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, lost to someone who people didn’t even know until a few months ago. Does Perry have any sway in the state he built and staffed and appointed with cronies and drinking buddies?

I say no. Texans First is Perry’s pathetically lame attempt to court the new GOP freshmen going to Austin for the 2013 legislative session. Here is the letter sent to those freshmen by Texans (Perry) First:

Congratulations on winning your race. You earned it. Now comes the hard part–delivering on the promises you made, so Texas avoids becoming a high-tax, over-regulated, lawsuit riddled disaster like California.

Benjamin Franklin cautioned, “We most all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. That’s why those of us at Texas First, a group of liberty minded entrepreneurs who are dedicated to the same principles you are, want to invite you to an intimate gathering of legislative policy leaders, policy experts, and successful entrepreneurs. If you will come, we promise you a day of deep principled discussion and serious commitments you won’t soon forget.

This is Slick Rick trying to fix his reputation and image. The 2013 session won’t be a nice one, having to deal with a budget shortfall, education funding, women’s reproductive rights, possibly raising taxes and fees to cover shortfalls, and potentially, squaring off with a President Mitt Romney he talked a lot of bullshit about. He knows how vulnerable he is on the right. His presidential run, combined with the TTC and HPV, make him ripe for a primary challenge. He won’t stop mentioning 2016, because he knows his future in Texas politics is o-v-e-r. The lower-rungs are nipping at his heels to move up: AG Greg Abbot, Comptroller Susan Combs, LG Dewhurst, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. Everyone is ready to move up a rung, with Patterson already declaring his intentions to run for LG, Dew or no Dew.

2014 won’t be kind to Rick Perry. Texans are fed up (hehe, ironic). Greg Abbot will run and win the GOP primary. Dew won’t win (and probably won’t run in) the primary. Combs, Staples, Patterson, Abbot are all moving up. Debra Medina wants to run for Comptroller. The guard is changing due to a bunch of Texans ready to march to the right of Perry. Good for Texas? No. Good for getting rid of Perry? Yes.

Keep an eye on the 2013 session and going into the 2014 cycle. The GOP in Washington and Austin aren’t listening to Perry anymore. It’s Cruz time: full speed ahead!

Hill-Dog is Ready to Rumble

So a lot of chatter that Pres. Obama asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take over the VP spot and have VP Joe Biden step down for “medical reasons” or just plain retire (Or did he? Rumors also that is was confidant and pain the ass Valerie Jarrett who asked her).

The Washington Examiner said she was approached and rejected the invitation two weeks ago.

“As recently as a couple of weeks ago, the White House was putting out feelers to see if Hillary Clinton was interested in replacing Joe Biden on the ticket,” Klein told Secrets. “Bill Clinton, I’m told, was urging his wife to accept the number two spot if it was formally offered. Bill sees the vice presidency as the perfect launching pad for Hillary to run for president in 2016.”

Two vice presidents for the price of one!!

But this idea has a lot of pros and cons and could destroy the Democratic Party or give it a huge boost for years to come. Let’s discuss:

Pros

  • Secretary Clinton is POPULAR. Head cheerleader popular. Like, oh my god. Talk about a boost to Obama’s iffy re-elect chances.
  • If she’s added and Obama-Clinton wins in 2012, you immediately have a top-tier candidate for 2016. She does (and always will, so will Bill) have ambitions about her being President. This lays the groundwork and she’s immediately the top of the pack in ’16 (take that, Elizabeth Warren!)
  • If she is added and Obama-Clinton wins in 2012 AND it is a successful second term for Obama, guess who gets a lot of the credit? Vice President Hillary Clinton. Which would probably put her as the odds-on favorite to beat whoever the GOP runs in 2016 (take that, Chris Christie!)

Cons

  • She hurts the ticket. The Democratic Party is torn apart by the dumping of Biden and makes Obama out to look like he’s scared shitless (which he is…I mean, Seamus…chains…tax returns…)! This tanks his chances for re-elect because no incumbent President has dumped his VP while running for a second term since 1944.
  • She’s added to the ticket and they lost. Now she’s a loser. She can still run in ’16, but guess what…Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Cuomo, and Martin O’Malley are nipping at her heels and ready to blame her for the ’12 loss. Cannibalism is the funnest part of politics!
  • She’s added to the ticket and they win, but Obama’s second term is worse than his first. She’s still the favorite to win the Democratic nomination (most likely), but she’s looking to get demolished  by whomever the GOP runs (Christie, Ryan, Rubio, whatever….she could lose to Palin if the conditions are right).

Not sure the pros outweigh the cons in this case. And neither did she. Her best bet is to retire as Secretary of State and start laying the groundwork for a 2016 run regardless of what happens. She can run to succeed Obama (most likely successor) or she can run to challenge the incumbent President Mitt Romney.

Klein has sources deep in the Clinton camp and he said that they said she is eager for a rest followed by a makeover. “She clearly is exhausted. She needs to lose weight and get her energy back for a four-year slog.”

So pull out those placards and bumper stickers and a sharpie folks. Hillary ’16??

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