Archive for Presidential Race

May
22

Jebbie finds a message

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They’re scientists. They know stuff. Of course, they’re elitists.

In all the earned media former Jeb Bush got with his complaint about climate science, nobody noticed…. Well, first, his statement via Think Progress (emphasis mine):

In comments reported by CNN on Wednesday, the potential 2016 presidential candidate called the science of human-caused climate change “convoluted,” and questioned the degree to which carbon emissions are responsible.

“For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you,” he reportedly said. “It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t have a conversation about it, even.”

I’m loathe to call Bush’s statement brilliant, or to suggest that he planned it — it was probably just reflex — but that really is a clever bit of wedge politics. It plays to a carefully cultivated anti-intellectual sentiment among GOP base voters. You don’t have to be Richard Hofstadter to figure it out. What the left sees as pandering to anti-science sentiment on the right (or to oil interests) is really the politics of resentment. Also carefully cultivated. Us vs. Them. Real Americans vs. snooty intellectuals. Or the ever-popular city vs. county (deployed frequently around these parts).

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May
17

Any More Like Her At Home?

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From a Last Word segment on Friday:

Ivy Ziedrich, the 19-year-old Nevada college student who told Jeb Bush that his brother created ISIS, joins Lawrence O’Donnell for her first national interview in a Last Word exclusive.

May
02

Following the money

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Sen. Bernie Sanders just solved our get-out-the-vote problem here for 2016. At least for next year’s primary. In this very blue town, Dennis Kucinich handily won the county’s presidential primary over North Carolina’s John Edwards in 2004. Democratic insiders were mortified. Sanders entering the 2016 presidential race this week will goose our turnout for sure.

Clinton’s Twitter feed welcomed Sanders to the race on Thursday:

I’d have thought he would have to change his registration, but Steve Benen thinks not:

There is one nagging issue, though, that’s likely to come up in the coming months: Sanders is running in a Democratic primary despite not being an actual Democrat. In the Senate, the Vermonter caucuses with Dems, but is officially an independent. That remains true today – Sanders’ office has made it quite clear that, despite his bid for national office, the senator has not changed his party affiliation, is still not a Democrat, and remains a proud independent.

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Apr
23

The selling of “Hillary fraud”

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With Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, you knew the “Clinton Rumors” would be back with a vengeance. Along with the chain emails from your dad. David Mikkelson has been collecting them at Snopes.com since the 1990s:

As he did in 2007, Mikkelson has seen a recent uptick in interest in Clinton rumors. The popular one recently was that Clinton was fired from the Watergate investigation. “It’s everything that people want to believe of her,” Mikkelson said — “she’s a liar, she’s corrupt, she’s unethical — all in one piece.” It is also important to note: This rumor is false.

Somebody once said they’ll keep doing this stuff as long as they think it works.

A few days ago we had a media blitz over Clinton Cash written by Peter Schweizer, a former Bush speechwriter and Breitbart.com contributor. The pattern is familiar:

Schweizer explains he cannot prove the allegations, leaving that up to investigative journalists and possibly law enforcement. “Short of someone involved coming forward to give sworn testimony, we don’t know what might or might not have been said in private conversations, the exact nature of the transition, or why people in power make the decision they do,” he writes. Later, he concludes, “We cannot ultimately know what goes on in their minds and ultimately provide the links between the money they took and the benefits that subsequently accrued to themselves, their friends, and their associates.”

So then, nothing. Yet again.

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Apr
21

Best in Show?

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Apr
19

A Sen. In The Foxhouse

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Bernie Sanders representing today on Fox News Sunday:

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Apr
16

Not captured yet

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“The populists capture the Democratic Party,” declares the headline on Dana Milbank’s Washington Post column. “Can Hillary Clinton manage those rowdy populists?” asks Katrina vanden Huevel.

Well, not so fast. The big split to be managed soon is over a Senate resolution to give the president “fast track” trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Milbank writes:

Twenty years ago, half of Senate Democrats and 40 percent of House Democrats voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement. This time, even if Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, signs off on a fast-track deal, proponents say a best-case scenario has them winning only 10 of the 46 Democrats — and an even smaller percentage of House Democrats, despite aggressive lobbying by the usually passive White House.

Progressive Senators and Representatives from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) to Rep. Alan Grayson (FL), alongside labor leaders, may have staged a protest outside the Capitol yesterday, but the Obama administration has so far not flinched on supporting TPP. Milbank’s headline writer may have jumped the gun.

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Apr
15

But will she fight?

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Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich isn’t worried about Hillary Clinton’s values or ideals. “I’ve known her since she was 19 years old,” he writes, “and have no doubt where her heart is. For her entire career she’s been deeply committed to equal opportunity and upward mobility.” The question Reich poses is: Will she fight?

If she talks about what’s really going on and what must be done about it, she can arouse the Democratic base as well as millions of Independents and even Republicans who have concluded, with reason, that the game is rigged against them.

The question is not her values and ideals. It’s her willingness to be bold and to fight, at a time when average working people need a president who will fight for them more than they’ve needed such a president in living memory.

Hillary Clinton gave a nod to the vocal and enthusiastic “Elizabeth Warren Wing” of the Democratic party in her announcement video, echoing Warren by saying “the deck is still stacked” against ordinary Americans. In 2008, she spoke about “invisible Americans,” but she couldn’t make the sale. There is an “Elizabeth Warren Wing” because Warren is credible, and she’s credible because she’s proven she’s a fighter. The question is will Hillary Clinton come out swinging or will she follow Bill and “triangulate”?

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Apr
12

The Democrats’ “Iron Lady”?

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Hillary Clinton is “a pretty good person,” according to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. Today seems like a fine day for starting the competition for the best 2016 out of context quotes, so that’s my entry:

“Hillary Clinton is actually a pretty good person for us to run against,” he said in an interview on Fox News. “She unites the [Republican] Party, she allows us to raise a lot of money and allows us to recruit a lot of volunteers.”

There is much Sturm und Drang on the left over Hillary Clinton’s second run for president (the announcement is expected any minute). Clinton is not well liked on the left, considered yet another corporate Democrat, and in spite of hints that she might be “significantly to the left” of her husband on some issues. Elizabeth Warren’s economic populism is much more in keeping with the left’s sensibilities (mine included). But I wanted to play the contrarian this morning.

Publicly anyway, Republicans seem to relish the thought of running against Hillary Clinton. With its new “Stop Hillary” web ad and more:

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Mar
29

Who’s afraid of Elizabeth Warren?

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Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
(Public domain via Wikipedia.)

“It will not work,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said bluntly after reports last week that some Wall Street banks may withhold campaign donations from congressional Democrats over tensions with her:

“They want a showy way to tell Democrats across the country to be scared of speaking out, to be timid about standing up, and to stay away from fighting for what’s right,” Warren wrote. “… I’m not going to stop talking about the unprecedented grasp that Citigroup has on our government’s economic policymaking apparatus … And I’m not going to pretend the work of financial reform is done, when the so-called ‘too big to fail’ banks are even bigger now than they were in 2008.”

It’s that intensity, the appearance that Warren cannot be bought and is in the Senate more to represent the little guys than herself that has the effort to draft Warren for president hard at work in Des Moines, Iowa (funded by Moveon.org and and Democracy for America):

Toria Pinter, a law student who is on medical leave, said that she was drawn to Warren because of the senator’s vocal call to lower the interest rates on student loans. Pinter said people should not misconstrue this campaign as anti-Clinton effort, but rather a pro-Warren movement.

“The campaign is not about Clinton,” she said. “That’s not what we are here to talk about. We are here to talk about Warren and how important she is to us. Because she embodies the ideals and issues that are important to us at the end of the day.”

[Blair Lawton, Iowa Field Director for the Run Warren Run campaign] said even if Warren decides not to run, he believes there are some long-term benefits from this campaign including “putting a big investment into the progressive community.

Meanwhile back in Washington, D.C. (cue theme from The Empire Strikes Back), Republicans are pushing back on Warren, reports Politico:

Republicans are deploying a new taunt to needle Democrats they say refuse to consider even modest changes to financial oversight laws: Why are you so afraid of Elizabeth Warren?

It’s part of an effort by the GOP to portray Democrats as being completely inflexible when it comes to changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law because they are running scared from the populist wing of the party that views Warren, the most outspoken Wall Street critic in Congress, as their champion.

In an appearance at the American Bankers Association conference, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) joked that they might need extra help when lobbying Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Warren: “May the force be with you.”

Reading through the rest of the article about what changes Big Bidness wants to to see in Dodd-Frank, one comes away asking whether Congress would show the same level of effort and concern over the needs and wants of less well-heeled and less well-connected constituents. Which explains why volunteers are busting their tails for Warren in Des Moines.

Who knows what words Republican old boys are actually using in D.C. to cast Democrats as inflexible or “running scared” or weak-kneed by asking “Why are you so afraid of Elizabeth Warren?” But that strikes my ear as, “What are you afraid of, a girl?

With any luck, someone will catch one on tape saying explicitly what they really think.

(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)

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