Apr
19
2015
1

John Kerry, v2.0. …Not that they really wanted v1.0, either.

I kind of agree, kind of disagree.

The more one watches the coverage of Mrs Clinton, the more it becomes apparent that it won’t be the serious scandals – the Benghazis or the private email account – that will matter. Rather, the much greater danger is that she could become a joke.

Unlike Barack Obama’s early days, Mrs Clinton isn’t viewed as “off limits” to the entertainment and media worlds. And unlike her husband, former president Bill Clinton, Mrs Clinton must get elected in a world where conservative websites and citizen journalists with camera phones are ubiquitous.

(more…)

Apr
18
2015
10

So, Gov. Rick Snyder (R, Michigan) is thinking of jumping into the 2016 fray.

Ed Morrissey has the details. On Gov. Rick Snyder’s actual prospects I’m… shrugging.  He’s a successful two-term governor in a swing state who has a solid conservative win (right-to-work) under his belt.  But we’ve got a lot of those right now, if you know what I mean?

And that’s the real story, isn’t it?  In 2012 that description would have – did – propel a candidate instantly to the top of the list.  In 2016 it’s – well, Snyder’s record is something to be proud of, but it’s nothing too special.  I really, really enjoy having a candidate pool this deep.  It gives us a margin for error.

Moe Lane

PS: Kind of significant that there’s no shortage of successful Republican politicians deciding that the political situation is worth a little speculative activity. We had a certain lack of that in 2012, alas.

Apr
10
2015
1

Hillary Clinton to go the Max Headroom campaign strategy route. No, really.

(H/T @charlescwcooke) This will set the tone for the Clinton candidacy: “A person familiar with the Clinton team’s plans confirmed that she will make the initial announcement [that she’s running for President] in a video on Sunday before heading to Iowa.”  Basically, the Clinton campaign has decided to do the bare minimum necessary to signal that she’s running for office, while at the same time giving the press the same mushroom treatment that Barack Obama pioneered.  No questions taken, no opportunities to see how the woman reacts under pressure*, and this may be the first time in history that a major political candidate deliberately attempts to avoid media coverage of her campaign rollout: Ed Morrissey argues here that Hillary wants the media to stay focused on Marco Rubio’s campaign announcement Monday, and not raise inconvenient questions about hers**. (more…)

Apr
09
2015
1

Democrats: Save us, Lincoln Chafee, you’re ou… no, they’d probably prefer even Martin O’Malley.

Lincoln Chafee is the sort of candidate that runs when your party’s basic electoral strategy can be best described as ‘YOLO.’

(Via The Campaign Spot) How seriously should you take this Q-poll showing Hillary Clinton faring badly in battleground states?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lead is wilting against leading Republican presidential candidates in three critical swing states, Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, and she finds herself in a close race with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in each state, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today. In head-to-head matchups, every Republican candidate effectively ties her in Colorado and almost all Republicans effectively tie her in Iowa.

This seriously.

Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee on Thursday announced he will launch a presidential exploratory committee, a surprising move for the Democratic nomination by a veteran public servant who was not previously considered a potential contender… And he’s already indicated that hitting Hillary Clinton on her vote for the Iraq War — which he opposed — will be central to his rationale for running, introducing a foreign policy foil to Clinton’s cast of potential rivals.

(more…)

Mar
09
2015
3

The Last Temptation of Russ Feingold.

Oh, poor Russ Feingold.  He must be so sorely, sorely tempted to run: “Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold’s departure from the State Department has political experts predicting a highly contested rematch of the 2010 race in which the Madison-area senator was defeated.” Russ Feingold, of course, lost to Ron Johnson in that race; and as Senator Johnson is at the top of most people’s Senators Most At-Risk lists it makes a good deal of sense that Feingold might want a rematch. I can’t imagine that losing in 2010 made Feingold feel good about himself, after all.  The man had (still has, I suppose) a carefully-constructed mental vision of himself as being a Servant of the People: that the People took the opportunity to remove him from service very probably eats at Mr. Feingold.  At least a little.

But there’s a solution, right? Russ Feingold runs for office again, beats Ron Johnson, and goes back to his old life.  And then everything will be good again and there will be pie.  No problems there, no problems at all… well. There’s a small problem. (more…)

Mar
01
2015
4

WSJ: Hillary Clinton suddenly planning to start campaigning in April.

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.

Feb
24
2015
5

It’s gonna be a runoff in the Chicago Mayor’s election.

And if Rahm Emanuel’s 45.56% percentage holds up, it’s gonna be a gutter war.  Admittedly, it’s gonna be a gutter war between two Democrats, but that just makes it more fun. In those cases you can just throw the verbal grenades into the room and not worry about who you hit.

Seriously, I was expecting a 48% vote share for ol’ Rahmbo.  Admittedly, that was a gut call; equally admittedly, my gut can’t call Chicago elections.  Go figure…

Feb
22
2015
9

:raised eyebrow: Of course Hillary Clinton is the inevitable *Democratic* nominee.

I can sum up this NYT article on the subject in one sentence: Nobody credible has signed up to run against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, and it’s getting to be too late for anybody to try.  That first part is particularly problematic for Democrats because they don’t have anybody really credible to run against her, either.  The crop of governors and senior Senators that might have hoped to run have retired, died, or been defeated in re-election bids; a couple are even sweating looming indictments. It is a measure of how poor the field is that Martin O’Malley almost shines in it; I assume that he’ll end up being the designated primary sacrifice, largely because the man is… remarkably optimistic and impressed with his own talents.

All of which means that the presumptive candidate on the Democratic side will probably be spending as much of the next year as possible hiding. She will have absolutely no practical reason to get out more, and Hillary Clinton doesn’t particularly like people much, so why complicate matters by displaying her personality to a wider world. …Yeah, it’s an exquisitely boring strategy that she’s come up with.  Your point?

Feb
10
2015
7

Ready for Hillary… actually, could you come back in a few months?

Turns out that the inevitability train hasn’t actually left the station yet: “The main super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton is struggling in its early efforts to line up cash towards a fundraising goal of as much as $500 million, according to sources with knowledge of its fundraising.” The PAC in question is Priorities USA, and it’s apparently still trying to figure out what it name actually means; the Politico article notes that there’s a lot of disputation going on over strategy and goals.  There’s probably also a good deal of internal speculation on whether David Brock’s abrupt resignation from the group yesterday was due to… well, it would be impolite for me to suggest that it was paranoia, so I shan’t.

Come, I will conceal nothing from you: Hillary Clinton will eventually raise enough money to allow her to run for President.  The donors dragging their heels now will eventually pony up for her, if she becomes the nominee.  And the Left will dutifully declare that they are, indeed, ready for Hillary.  But they’re not very happy about it, are they? In fact, they sound a lot like we did in 2008 and 2012: all rah-rah in public (albeit without too much affect) and kind of resigned about it all in private*. Like… MoveOn (and savor THAT irony for a moment), they’re actually kind of ready for somebody else.  Except that there’s nobody else. (more…)

Feb
09
2015
2

Tweet of the Day, Bernie Sanders Should Still ‘Run’ edition.

But I’m not going to try to beat Dan’s snark, though.

I mean: it CAN be done, but you have to work at it.

Jan
25
2015
2

Democratic Election season in Iowa off to a slow start.

At least, that’s the impression that I’m getting here. Admittedly, back in 2007 the fun didn’t really start until the second half of the year, but the general take from that piece seems to be …Ehh. Hillary will show up, and we’ll go rah-rah, and then she’ll win and that’ll be that. It’s not that they’re jumping up and down for her; it’s that nobody apparently really expects that Hillary Clinton will be seriously challenged in Iowa this go-round, so she might as well take it slow. (more…)

Nov
30
2014
16

The Democrats’ surprisingly complicated 2016 Senate problem.

Interesting list of potential Democratic retirements from the Hill, here:

  • Barbara Boxer, 74
  • Joe Manchin, 67
  • Patrick Leahy, 74
  • Barbara Mikulski, 78
  • Harry Reid, 74

Manchin’s on the list because he’s doing all the things that Senators who are planning to run for Governor do: to wit, talking about how much he hates Washington DC, and letting the state party apparatus dip their beaks into his fundraising war chest.  Boxer is… tired, I think.  Also, not raising money. Of the other three: Leahy is actually younger than I thought he was; he’s probably staying.  Reid has two years of pain ahead of him.  Mikulski… Barbara Mikulski would be 80 in 2016.  That’s old for a reelection campaign. (more…)

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