10:35 AM, Oct 9, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
For years, it's been axiomatic among political observers that the GOP "brand" is damaged. There is certainly merit to this observation, though it is often bandied about in contexts where there's little to no evidence supporting that conclusion. The media has turned this talking point into such an endless drumbeat that you wonder how much of the GOP's brand problem is real and how much is the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Now let's take a look at the current election. It sure seems like the Democrats have a brand problem. As the New York Times recently reported, Democrats up for reelection are avoiding Obama like he has Ebola. "Even the slightest injection of the Obama brand into this election seems perilous for Democrats," notes Times reporter Jonathan Martin. Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Democratic Senate candidate, is even running ads where she declares "I'm not Barack Obama." College Democrats volunteering for Grimes campaign have had to cover-up their Obama T-shirts before canvassing in Kentucky.
How toxic is Barack Obama? Candidates don't even want his wife, who has heretofore had stellar popularity ratings, campaigning for them. "Yet despite the nail-biting closeness of state contests to decide which party will control the Senate, Michelle Obama has been largely absent from the campaign trail so far," reports the Times again. "'She’s awesome, but it just brings in the name Obama,' said a Democratic strategist in a state with a close Senate race, who, like most other Democrats interviewed, declined to be identified discussing politics involving Mrs. Obama."
But it's not that Obama's obvious incompetence and torrent of scandals has made him uniquely unpopular. A headline in yesterday's National Journal read: "Embattled House Democrats Turn Against Nancy Pelosi: She has long been among Republicans' top targets, but some of her own now see value in turning against their leader."
At a Democratic fundraiser last month, Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, who's in a very tight reelection race, was caught on tape decrying Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "If you asked a thousand Americans, is this the guy who’s best positioned to lead the U.S. Senate, people would laugh at you,” Pryor said in a recording obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. He added: "I think possibly the best thing that could happen … to this institution, this election cycle would be if [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell gets beat and Harry Reid gets replaced.”
Meanwhile, in Kansas, there was a senate candidates debate yesterday. Here's how Politico describes how that went down:
The star of Wednesday afternoon’s debate in Kansas’ critical Senate election wasn’t Republican Sen. Pat Roberts or independent Greg Orman. It was Harry Reid.
The Senate majority leader came up in nearly every answer the two candidates aimed at one another, with each professing more strongly than the other that he thinks Reid’s stewardship of the Senate has been abysmal.
1:51 PM, Jan 20, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, the boss writes that nothing about Hillary Clinton's candidacy, nomination, or election to the presidency in 2016 is inevitable. Here's an excerpt:
10:04 AM, Nov 26, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The politics of Obamacare have erased a lead Democrats once held in the generic congressional ballot for the 2014 elections, according to a new poll from CNN. Here are the details:
6:53 AM, Nov 26, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
At a Beverly Hills estate last night, President Obama heard a complaint from a major donor: There's no valet parking at the White House. The complaint was made by Haim Saban, who hosted a fundraiser with the president last night.
Via the pool report:
1:01 PM, Oct 25, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Charlie Crist, the former governor of Florida who lost a race for U.S. Senate in 2010, has a new ad that looks a lot like a campaign ad. Watch the video below:
'Portland's Weiner' resigns.3:49 PM, Sep 6, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Could we be witnessing a revival of moral standards in our politics?
2:31 PM, Jul 18, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
As witnesses have testified to the House Ways and Means Committee, the chief counsel for the Internal Revenue Service may have played a role in the IRS’s practice of reserving special scrutiny for Tea Party and other conservative political groups. William Wilkins, chief counsel and one of two political appointees at the IRS, was “closely involved in some of the applications” for tax-exempt status, according to a press release from the committee.
4:09 PM, May 29, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Off the top of his head, Democratic Senate candidate Ed Markey of Massachusetts can't think of a tax increase proposed by his party that he's opposed. Speaking to reporters, Markey, a longtime member of the House of Representatives, couldn't say if he'd voted against an income tax increase.
"Are there areas where you've broken with your party leadership where they've pushed for some kind of tax increase and you've said no?" a reporter asked Markey.
"I'm sorry, excuse me?" Markey responded.
"Fold it four ways and put it where the sun don't shine."11:16 AM, May 16, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey, his party's nominee for Senate in next month's special election, asked a former House colleague not to show up to a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. A Markey staff member reportedly called Ben Jones, a former Democratic congressman from Georgia who also starred as Cooter in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard, to disinvite him from a fundraiser.
2:40 PM, Sep 17, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The schools that were supposed to be open today will not be. The teachers need more time to study an offer that gives them a raise even as the city can't really afford it and they haven't done anything at all to deserve it. This, at a time when millions in the private sector would consider it a gift of providence to have reported for work this morning.
6:00 AM, Jun 27, 2012 • By JAY COST
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling on Obamacare--and, in particular, the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance whether they want it or not.