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Grand Old Populists

2:22 PM, Apr 21, 2014 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Bill Kristol writes in his latest newsletter: 

Mort Kondracke recently came by to interview me for the book he and Fred Barnes are doing about Jack Kemp. As we went through Kemp's political career, I was reminded again of his boldness, especially of course in economic policy, of his willingness he to take on the conventional wisdom and the establishments of both parties. And of his populism. Which I'm convinced more than ever has to be a big part of the GOP message in 2016. I know populism has a problematic history and remains something of a mixed bag, and a few friends and allies have expressed surprise to me in recent months at the kinds words I've had for populism, at least populism rightly understood. But then you read an article like this in the New York Times, and you think about how to frame a 2016 race against Hillary Clinton (by the way, a savvy friend is absolutely convinced her running mate in 2016 will be David Petraeus—something worth thinking about, perhaps). And I think you've got to conclude that the way to defeat "the first woman president" (but also an elitist and dynastic one) is with a candidate from Middle America who speaks for Middle America in ways understandable to Middle America.

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