2016 presidential election

O’Malley=O’Doofus

Featured image There has been lots of talk that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wants very much to run for president in 2016 or perhaps 2020, and yesterday he gave the surest sign that he will indeed be a candidate in the Democratic primaries: he said something irredeemably stupid. In a long and very boring interview with CNN yesterday O’Malley said that “WiFi is a human right.” The most salient thing about the »

Lindsey Graham contemplates presidential bid — bring it on

Featured image Lindsey Graham tells Steve Hayes that if he’s reelected to the Senate, he will begin exploring a presidential bid. I hope Graham does run for president. He will liven up the proceedings and provide a good test of the debating skills of those with a serious chance of being nominated. Graham, I am confident, has no serious chance. If Republicans nominate a pro-amnesty candidate, it will likely be Marco Rubio. »

The politics of the vote on arming and training syrian rebels

Featured image This week, the Senate voted 78-22 in favor of arming and training Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. Noah Rothman points out that four possible 2016 presidential contenders were among the “no” votes. They are Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Kristen Gillibrand and Republicans Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. A fifth potential contender, Marco Rubio voted “yes.” Rothman suggests that the contenders who voted against arming and training the rebels “calculat[e] that »

Bobby Jindal looks like a solid 2016 contender to me

Featured image It has long been clear that you need to get up very early in the morning to beat Scott Johnson to a story. Now it appears that you need to get up even earlier to scoop Scott’s daughter Eliana. Today, Bobby Jindal delivered an address on energy policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. I attended not as much to hear about energy policy as to figure out what »

Hillary Clinton scrubs the vanilla from her website, leaving it calorie-free

Featured image Jeryl Bier reports that Hillary Clinton’s website, Hillaryclintonoffice.com, has removed the only substantive content it contained. The “remarks” button on the website, which made a little bit of content available, vanished sometime between July 23 and August 27. The content that formerly appeared consists of February 14, 2013 remarks at the Joint Civilian Service Award Presentation; April 2, 2013 remarks at Vital Voices (a non-governmental organization promoting women’s leadership); and »

Obama’s (G)Rand Strategy?

Featured image There is a decent case to be made that the United States is overextended in the world, or that the United States should not be, as the simpleminded phrase has it, the “world’s policeman.” Even short of that view, we often overestimate our capacities for intervening and controlling events in chaotic places like Libya. I thought Obama was actually correct to stay out of Syria, though if so he should »

Rubio flips again on immigration

Featured image Sen. Marco Rubio says that if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought the immigration reform bill that Rubio sponsored last year to the floor for a vote now, he would vote against it. Rubio explained that passing his immigration bill wouldn’t be productive, and thus the vote would only be for show. But if “unproductive” and “show votes” automatically deserved a “no,” our solons would rarely vote “yes.” If his »

A Hawkish Rick Perry addresses the Heritage Foundation

Featured image Gov. Rick Perry stopped off in Washington today, on his way to New Hampshire, to give a speech at the Heritage Foundation. His address came at the conclusion of a panel discussion (which Perry did not participate in) called “The Border Crisis and the New Politics of Immigration.” Perry talked for a while about immigration but, exercising potential presidential candidate’s prerogative, his speech focused primarily on a different topic — »

Rick Perry’s Real Mugshot

Featured image If you followed the news you’ll know that Texas Gov. Rick Perry turned up yesterday to be processed for the bogus charges against him, which included taking a mugshot.  Given the old saying about grand juries, one of our readers suggests this in fact ought to be the official Perry mugshot, and it’s so good I didn’t think it could wait until Saturday’s weekly photo spread: »

Photo Essay: The Implausibility of the Hillary Candidacy

Featured image One of the axioms of modern presidential politics is that successful candidates need to be appealing personalities, nay, even good looking.  This is why we’re unlikely ever to see another presidential nominee who is bald. Does this apply to the first plausible female nominee, Hillary Clinton?  Maybe not, and yes it is unfair to judge a person by his or her appearance, but then it would be a double-standard for »

Opportunism knocks in Missouri

Featured image Add Rand Paul’s name to the list of opportunists seeking to exploit for political purposes the tragic shooting of young Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The race-hustlers populate the list, of course. So does President Obama, who sees a topic in his supposed wheelhouse (but in reality a local matter) through which he can distract attention from his disastrous foreign policy. Writing in Time Magazine, Paul sees the opportunity to »

Hillary Clinton’s high wire act

Featured image I’d like to thank David Axelrod for his not so subtle reminder that Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. As Scott noted, Axelrod responded to Clinton’s statement that “‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ [President Obama's foreign policy slogan] is not an organizing principle,” by tweeting: “Just to clarify: ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.” Bad decision »

Hard-line Hillary: where is it coming from?

Featured image Jeffrey Goldberg reports on his remarkable interview with Hillary Clinton. The report and accompanying transcript make the former Secretary of State sound like a neo-conservative, at least in the loose sense in which the term is tossed about. First, Clinton takes President Obama to task for not intervening against ISIS in Syria. “The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of »

Hillary Clinton and the hard choice of centrism

Featured image Anne Applebaum finds little merit in Hillary Clinton’s book Hard Choices from a policy or historical standpoint. She contends, however, that it provides insight into how candidate Clinton will portray herself over the next two years, and perhaps into the kind of president she would be. Applebaum is surely right to suppose that Hard Choices has much to tell us about how Clinton intends to present herself during her campaign »

Hillary Clinton and the decision to intervene in Libya

Featured image Hillary Clinton has been working full-time to control the story of her time as Secretary of State. That was the point of her clunky, largely unread book, and the point of her awkward, gaffe-laden book tour. Clinton argues (plausibly) that she wanted a more activist approach to Syria than that served up by her boss. She argues (implausibly) that she wasn’t really sold on the “reset” with Russia. As to »

Romney 53%, Obama 44%? Don’t Get Excited

Featured image Matt Drudge is promoting this CNN poll, out today, in which respondents were asked whom they would vote for if the 2012 election were re-run today. Romney beats Obama, when “leaners” are counted, 53% to 44%. And that’s not all: lots of Obama’s numbers are quite poor. In categories like “is a strong and decisive leader,” “generally agrees with you on issues you care about” (43%/56%), and “can manage the »

Is Hillary Clinton washed up?

Featured image Robert Merry is a veteran Washington journalist. John and I had lunch with him once when he was in charge of Congressional Quarterly. It was a pleasant encounter, though he seemed disappointed and perhaps a little bit put off by our support for the war in Iraq. Merry is also a historian and a scholar of the presidency. He wrote a rather good biography of James Polk and a flawed »