2016 presidential election

Discipline in the 2016 race

Featured image John Sears, Ronald Reagan’s one-time campaign manager, once said “discipline is nine-tenths of politics.” And, as Tevi Troy reminds us: Candidate Reagan put Sears’ dictum into action, running a relentlessly focused communication operation that kept to its message of the day, often to the consternation of the reporters following the campaign. This approach continued into Reagan’s presidency. As the authors of All the President’s Spin put it: “Ronald Reagan’s administration »

Mea Trumpa, Mea Maxima Trumpa!

Featured image Back in early July I took to the op-ed pages of the Los Angeles Times to analyze the phenomenon of Donald Trump, placing him in the context of business-protest candidates past like Ross Perot, and predicting confidently at the end that “He’ll be gone by Thanksgiving.” With turkey carving 48 hours away (mine is brining peacefully right now), it doesn’t look like my prediction is going to come true. I »

Ted Cruz surges in Iowa

Featured image A new Quinnipiac poll of likely Iowa caucus-goer shows Ted Cruz surging into a virtual tie for first place with Donald Trump. Cruz comes in at 23 percent, just two points behind Trump. Ben Carson has slipped to 18 percent (from 28 percent in the previous Quinnipiac poll). Marco Rubio is in fourth place at 13 percent. The margin of error is +/-4 points. Cruz is the natural beneficiary of »

Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Carly

Featured image Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us. Dave was busy in Council Bluffs yesterday covering the appearance of Marco Rubio (here) and the appearance of Carly Fiorina (below): Three new and brief items from a house party appearance by Carly Fiorina in Council Bluffs on Monday night. One. The women in attendance were enthralled by her. They were »

Poll: Mitt is considerably more popular than Trump among New Hampshire Republicans

Featured image According to most polls, Donald Trump’s support among Republicans is close to 30 percent, and the conventional wisdom, I think, is that he has the solid support of 20 to 25 percent of Republicans. In a field as crowded as the GOP’s is likely to remain for a good while, even 25 percent support can carry a candidate a long way, and Trump’s number surely will increase as candidates drop »

Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Marco Rubio

Featured image Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us. Today Dave attended the appearance of Senator Marco Rubio in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Des Moines Register has posted its report of Rubio in Carroll this morning before his appearance in Council Bluffs here. Dave’s report is below. When I saw Marco Rubio in person, I was reminded of a line »

Almost Anyone Beats Hillary

Featured image The latest Fox News poll of 1,000 registered voters is pretty stunning. To begin with, nearly every Republican tested beats Hillary Clinton in the presidential race. Marco Rubio does best at 50%-42%, but Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie also lead her. Carly Fiorina ties Hillary at 42%-42%. This is partly an artifact of the moment, with terrorism rated first among important issues, with 24%. »

Laugh, laugh [With Comment by John]

Featured image Ed Morrissey takes a look at the story reported here by Judicial Watch regarding the Clinton campaign’s unamused response to the stand-up comedians mocking Madam Hillary at the Laugh Factor. I took the Judicial Watch report at face value in “(No) good mockin’ tonight.” The Clinton campaign denies that it responded as reported. Ed collects the evidence and suggests that the appropriate response to Judicial Watch’s report would have been »

Sanders’s socialism: A footnote

Featured image Professor Jean Yarbrough is Professor of Government and Gary M. Pendy, Sr. Professor of Social Sciences at Bowdoin College. She wrote the indispensable book on the political thought of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition. She writes to comment on Bernie Sanders’s attribution of his “democratic socialism” to Franklin Roosevelt: Just remember that FDR got it from TR, who called for a new social contract in the »

Is Carson fading in Iowa?

Featured image Politico claims that Ben Carson is “los[ing] his hold on Iowa’s conservatives: Across the state and at a major gathering of politically active evangelicals on Friday night, foreign policy was top-of-mind for the voters and state lawmakers once considered natural constituents for Carson. But after a week of confused comments from the former neurosurgeon and a dismissive critique by his own advisors, Iowans are now consistently voicing doubt about Carson’s »

Sanders’s socialism in one country

Featured image Bernie Sanders gave his supposedly long-awaited speech on Democratic Socialism in the United States at Georgetown this week. We are not the ones who’ve been waiting for it, but the folks at Mother Jones are pretty excited about it. Sanders’s democratic socialism isn’t socialism. He disclaims public ownership of the means of production. Sanders’s socialism is Franklin Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights, only more so. It’s the welfare state above »

Deep thoughts by the DNC

Featured image The ad posted by the Democratic National Committee (video below) has a Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey feel to it. Like Handey’s deep thoughts, it is laughably stupid. In this case, however, the laughter evoked is unintentional. The stupidity reflects the current line of Madam Hillary and the Democratic Party. Condemnation of “radical Islam” is equated with condemnation of “Islam” and bigotry is imputed to those who identify “radical Islam” »

Cruz’s vulnerability

Featured image I wrote here and here about what I take to be Marco Rubio’s greatest vulnerability in the GOP presidential race — his sponsorship of immigration reform legislation that would have granted amnesty and a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants. However, one views the merits of Rubio’s Gang of Eight legislation, I think it’s beyond dispute that this represents a serious problem for his campaign. Not surprisingly, Ted Cruz is »

Abedin warned that Hillary “is often confused”

Featured image Judicial Watch, that heroic organization, has released a new batch of emails written by Huma Abedin, a top Hillary Clinton aide at the State Department. In one of them, from January 2013, Abedin advised another Clinton aide, that it was “very important” to go over phone calls with Clinton because the former Secretary of State was “often confused.” Here is the text: Abedin: Have you been going over her calls »

Hillary Clinton: “I come from the ’60s, a long time ago”

Featured image I didn’t watch the Democrats’ presidential debate on Saturday night. There was too much good college football on tap, which probably helps explain why the Dems staged the event in this time slot. Or is it just coincidence that the debate, held in Iowa, conflicted with the game between undefeated Iowa and the University of Minnesota? This report from the Washington Post suggests that the Democrats were wise to hold »

Radical Islam? What’s That?

Featured image Last night’s Democratic presidential debate was conducted in the shadow of the ISIS attacks on Paris, but the contenders still don’t want to acknowledge that radical Islam is our enemy. In the clip below, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders dodge and twist to avoid acknowledging that reality. Why? I’m not sure. The language they use is code for something, but I’m not certain what. There can hardly be enough radical »

After last night

Featured image Watching the Democratic presidential candidates’ event on CBS last night, I thought we had entered the Twilight Zone. You know, “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension…” John Dickerson played Rod Serling. Herewith my impression of the highlights. Bernie Sanders explained that the phenomenon formerly known as global warming (PFKAGW) was the cause of the Paris massacres. Sanders is no outlier. He represents »