This is basically what happened:
President Barack Obama wanted Congress to pass a variety of trade-related proposals, and he didn’t want to have to rely on Republican votes in order to see that happen. He lobbied his fellow Democrats in favor of trade, and he lobbied them hard. In the end, it wasn’t enough. On Friday, the president endured a stern censure from the very members of the party for whom he once served as a savior. Barack Obama’s presidency is all but over. It’s Hillary Clinton’s party now, but she does not seem inclined to lead it so much as to emerge as its supervisor by default and through a process of attrition. She is not in a hurry to rush that process, and there is no alternative Democratic leader waiting in the wings. Inadvertently, what House Democrats did on Friday was to decapitate their own party.
Continue reading Resign yourself to not having Barack Obama to kick around very much anymore.
Before we get into the meat of this story from the National Journal, let me just note that this – “One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama’s tenure in office” – has always been properly appreciated by me. I noticed this issue a while back. Sorry, but I felt the need to establish that.
…less attention has been paid to how the shrinking number of Democratic officeholders in the House and in statewide offices is affecting the party’s Senate races. It’s awfully unusual to see how dependent Democrats are in relying on former losing candidates as their standard-bearers in 2016. Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold, Pennsylvania’s Joe Sestak, Indiana’s Baron Hill, and Ohio’s Ted Strickland all ran underwhelming campaigns in losing office in 2010—and are looking to return to politics six years later. Party officials are courting former Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina to make a comeback bid, despite mediocre favorability ratings and the fact that she lost a race just months ago that most had expected her to win. All told, more than half of the Democrats’ Senate challengers in 2016 are comeback candidates.
Continue reading The Democrats heat up some leftovers for the 2016 Senate races.
No! Really? Do tell:
No Democrat is having a harder time moving away from the tough-on-crime 90s than former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, whose potential presidential campaign has been plagued in the last week by questions over his policing policies as mayor of Baltimore. On Sunday, O’Malley continued to defend his record and said Baltimore would be the setting of his presidential campaign announcement if he decides to run.
The brutal truth of things is this: being tough on crime does indeed work. If you are tough. Rudy Giuliani could make the streets safer in NYC because he had the grit to see the job done. Martin O’Malley just knew what were the things that one said, and when was the statistically best time to say them. You simply cannot expect better from a progressive Democratic executive; which is what you get in Martin O’Malley, so that’s convenient, at least. Continue reading Martin O’Malley embraces his Baltimore albatross.
Because Jeb Bush has precisely the right idea, here.
[Jeb] Bush’s team has been quietly taping his private appearances in hopes of pushing back on false narratives dished by donors to reporters and to have a record to disprove any misinformation wafting from closed-door events.
“We want to have a full record of his comments,” said Tim Miller, a senior adviser to Bush’s Right to Rise PAC and the expected communications director for his expected presidential campaign. “Full information awareness.”
As the article notes, the idea here is to cut down on the number of incidents in 2016 where the media gets to spin an event without fear of contradiction. As the article also notes, the other idea here is to train the candidate into never treating an event as being off the record. That charming conceit is as dead as leaded gasoline. The sooner we all accept that, the happier we’re all going to be.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: I assume everyone understands that the Clinton campaign is too institutionally cowardly to set up something similar, right? – And that will cost them, at some point. I say that, serene in the knowledge that they won’t listen to me.
One chart is all you need. From NBC’s 2012 exit polls:
||Dem % ’12
||GOP % ’12
|All other races
Continue reading This is why the Democratic Establishment is still desperate to run Hillary Clinton.
OK, this I gotta push back on. From Hot Air:
Democrats ages 18 to 29, surprisingly, tend to disagree that the next Democratic nominee must pledge to continue down the course set by Obama. Those ages 30 to 44 strongly disagree with this assertion. Only 33 percent of Democratic voters in their 30s and early 40s think the next Democratic nominee must be an Obama Democrat. Similarly, voters who make less than $50,000 are not thrilled about a third term for Obama.
Bolding mine, and… why is this surprising? Anybody who is going to be 18 in 2016 is going to be somebody who has spent the last eight years at school being fed federally-mandated slop that would start a prison riot. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but then you haven’t been forced to eat that particular, nigh-literal, sh*t sandwich.
Gonna be an interesting tableau when the 2016 exit polls come in, let me tell you…
Normally I’d bow to the realities on the ground and write that as “Sen. Barbara Mikulski to retire?” – but what the heck. We got lucky in Maryland last year; I’m willing to spend a little of that on optimism gone mad. Anyway: “U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski will announce her retirement this morning in Baltimore, according to multiple sources… The Democrat will address the media at 11 a.m. in Fells Point, promising an “important announcement about her future plans.” No further details were available.”
This has been expected: Sen. Miklulski was either going to retire this term, or next one. I’m not going to lie: flipping this seat would be an uphill battle. On the bright side, nobody’s going to take the Republican candidate seriously until it’s too late… and, as Governor Larry Hogan can tell you, that can be a precious thing to have going for you. Guess we will, as they say, see. Continue reading Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D, Maryland) to cut and run?
How interesting: “Hillary Clinton and her close advisers are telling Democratic donors that she will enter the presidential race sooner than expected, likely in April, a move that would allay uncertainties within her party and allow her to rev up fundraising.” Not least because such a move implies that there were unexpected and unanticipated problems along those lines. Which probably everyone reading this could have told the Clinton campaign ahead of time, assuming that the Clinton campaign had had the mother-wit to ask anyone for real feedback.
The rest of the WSJ article is probably going to be filled with things that you already know, but this passage is still of note: “Mrs. Clinton, according to some close associates, doesn’t relish the campaign trail…” Really? Really? I find that a little hard to believe; because the only way that a candidate can overcome a visceral dislike of campaigning is to be so good at it that it doesn’t matter. And Hillary Clinton, is, sad to say, not a very good campaigner.
Oh, the fun we will have. Yeah, I know that I said that in 2008 and 2012, too. I also said it in 2004, and the only reason I didn’t say it in 2000 was because I was a lot less political back then. That’s the thing about eight year cycles: they, well, cycle.
The acceleration of radical Islamist attacks in Europe – I don’t think that the jihadists are afraid of us anymore – is probably going to continue. I’m hoping like Hell we don’t have another terrorist attack on American soil, of course: and I think that our counter-terrorism apparatus is going to cocoon the White House when it comes to operational decisions, assuming that they haven’t done that already*. But even if we don’t have another Boston Marathon bombing it’s going to be thin going for any candidate who has had a hand in shaping American foreign policy between 2009 and today. Continue reading Foreign policy is going to be a BIG deal in 2016. Get used to it.