Political Hay

Political Hay

Here Are Two Leading GOP Presidential Contenders — In 2020

By 3.3.15

Ambitious politicians never openly root for their party’s presidential nominee to lose. Even if that’s what they probably secretly want.

When Republican standard-bearer Bob Dole (predictably) came up short against President Bill Clinton in 1996, Texas Gov. George W. Bush had the most to gain. While publicly behind the Bobster, Bush — son of the most recent Republican president — benefited from Dole’s loss because it opened up the 2000 GOP field.

Twenty years later Republicans may face a similar scenario. Two Republican senators, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Cory Gardner from Colorado, will be finishing up their first-terms as the 2020 election cycle rolls around. Should Democratic-nominee-in-waiting Hillary Clinton win the presidency in 2016, young-ish, dynamic GOP senators like Sasse and Gardner would both be well positioned to challenge her.

Granted, there are a lot of ifs in that scenario. But their political chops to this point suggest each is potential White House candidate material.

Political Hay

Mitch McConnell Caves

By 2.26.15

You can almost see Ronald Reagan rolling his eyes and saying, “There they go again.” Republicans in the Senate are ready to cave. Yes, they promised something different when they were running a few months ago. If voters just put them in charge, boy would things be different! But hey: now they’re going to fund the Department of Homeland Security and pretend they’re actually living up to their campaign promises to oppose the president on amnesty. Call them the “tacticals.” It’s all about the tactics, you see? 

Over at Breitbart was this quoted from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

Political Hay

Smearing Walker With Giuliani

By 2.23.15

We can tell who the Democrat media fears among the GOP 2016 presidential field; it’s tipping its hand.

Fresh off the castigation of Scott Walker for his lack of a college degree and his refusal to be dragged into the question of evolution vs. creationism, Walker is now being dragged through the mud for failing to repudiate statements made by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani assailing the patriotism of President Barack Obama.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” said the former mayor at a Manhattan fundraiser for Walker a week ago. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

Political Hay

Will Reince Priebus Dump NBC from GOP Debates?

By 2.19.15

Imagine this: Fox News selects Karl Rove, a Fox contributor, to moderate a debate between candidates for the Democratic Party’s 2016 nomination. Joining Rove on the panel of questioners will be Dana Perino, a co-host of the Fox show The Five, along with talk radio hosts Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham.

The Fox announcement is followed by this statement from the Democratic National Committee:

“The 2016 cycle is underway, and I can tell you it will be a landmark election for Democrats,” Democratic National Committee Chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said. “By constructing and instituting a sound debate process, it will allow candidates to bring their ideas and vision to Americans in a timely and efficient way. This schedule with a Fox debate ensures we will have a robust discussion among our candidates while also allowing the candidates to focus their time engaging with Democratic voters. This sanctioned debate process ensures Democratic voters will have a chance to gain a chance to hear from our candidates.”

Political Hay

Better Questions

By 2.17.15

This month it has become apparent that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is a major candidate in the 2016 GOP primary race, and thus the predictable media assault on his character and intelligence has begun.

Every GOP candidate for national office gets the third degree from the Democrat press, and since Walker hails from a state where hostility to Republicans among the public employee union crowd and the loopier-than-usual university Left takes a back seat only to California in its gusto, he’s surely prepared for the current wave of attacks. After all, some $140 million was spent by the unions and the Democrats’ other sugar-daddies to keep Walker out of the governor’s mansion in Madison in three elections over four years, and Walker neither moderated his conservative positions nor lost a race. This is a man who can take a punch.

Political Hay

Brian Williams for President?

By 2.12.15

The statement from NBC News President Deborah Turness was blunt and to the point. Among other things it said this in the announcement the network was suspending NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams for six months without pay:

While on Nightly News on Friday, January 30, 2015, Brian misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position.

In addition, we have concerns about comments that occurred outside NBC News while Brian was talking about his experiences in the field.

In other words? NBC is saying Brian Williams looked the camera in the eye and lied. Wow. The obvious? What better candidate for president of the United States than Brian Williams?

Political Hay

Scott Walker’s Opening Move

By 2.9.15

With his recent appearance in Iowa generating rave reviews, Scott Walker, the intrepid Republican Governor of Wisconsin, has made his opening move in the 2016 presidential primary.

Walker, of course, is the man who has basically been running, non-stop, for office while engaging in a take-no-prisoners battle with the public employee unions in the Dairy State. He has had to manage, in close succession, an election campaign, a fight against a recall, and an impressive re-election victory. He is the Iron Man of state electoral politics. He racked up wins in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” said Friedrich Nietzsche.

Walker’s January 24th speech to the Freedom Summit in Iowa prompted the seasoned political observer Michael Barone to ask, “Can a single speech at an Iowa political event change the course of a presidential nomination race?” His answer: “Maybe.”

Political Hay

Smart Medicine, Foolish Politics

By 2.5.15

I believe that parents should vaccinate their children. Because children are vulnerable, the media have a responsibility to inform parents about the risks involved when they don’t vaccinate their children.

Instead, I see news outlets turning vaccines into a political issue starring anti-science Republicans in need of correction by pro-science Democrats. “Measles moves to forefront for GOP,” read the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wednesday headline. “Potential presidential hopefuls jump into vaccination debate.” You see, GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, an ophthalmologist who should know better, spoke of “many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound medical disorders after vaccines.” Paul also said vaccines are “a good thing” but parents should have “some input.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another Republican, said his children are vaccinated but he believes “parents need to have some measure of choice in things.” Team Christie sort of walked back that vanilla remark later.

Political Hay

Republicans Should Go Big to Win the Budget Showdown

By 2.4.15

On Monday, the news broke that our president and his cadre of Top Men were fulfilling his duty to submit a budget to Congress by releasing a $4 trillion boondoggle replete with tax increases and leftist fantasies of burgeoning government swag. Barack Obama’s new budget never balances. In fact, by his own estimate he’ll be leaving the federal debt at $26 trillion in ten years—and the real effect, were Congress to allow this insanity to become reality, would be far worse.

Political Hay

Sarah Palin and the Sons of Liberty

By 2.3.15

Oh the humanity! Good heavens. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has a bad day and suddenly out comes this stream of ill-disguised venom going after the woman. She’s a this and a that and “we told you so.” Yada yada yada.

Get the smelling salts! Methinks all this commotion over Sarah Palin is really representative of something else. 

Let’s go back to an event from last week that was presented courtesy of the History Channel. It was a show called Sons of Liberty, a three-parter that dramatized the events in Boston leading up to the Declaration of Independence. The show was riveting. Yes, the telling of this famous American tale was a trifle Hollywoodized. Growing up in Massachusetts and spending time tromping the Freedom Trail and other landmarks of the Revolution in Boston, I am pretty sure that Sam Adams was kind of your basic portly guy. Hardly the glamorous English actor Ben Barnes who portrayed him. (Although in fact Barnes did an excellent job capturing the Sam Adams spirit.)