1:32 PM, Jan 29, 2015 • By JAY COST
This item from Mike Allen is simply gobstopping:
Hillary Clinton, expecting no major challenge for the Democratic nomination, is strongly considering delaying the formal launch of her presidential campaign until July, three months later than originally planned, top Dems tell Playbook. The delay until summer, from the original April target, would give her more time to develop her message, policy and organization, outside the chaos and spotlight of a public campaign.
Let’s think about this. Hillary Clinton is expecting no competition for the Democratic nomination. When, in the era of primaries, has this ever happened?
The answer is: never. It has never happened. It is unprecedented.
This hardly suggests Hillary Clinton is an overawing candidate. She has strengths, no doubt, but she was beatable eight years ago by an upstart rookie senator from Illinois. She’s beatable today.
What it really suggests is: the Democratic bench is now so thin that the party cannot even give its voters a real choice. At this point, the only three other candidates seriously considering the race are: Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor who is decidedly lackluster; Jim Webb, the quirky one-term senator who -- oh by the way! -- used to work in the Reagan Administration (Democratic voters will love that); and Bernie Sanders, who does not even call himself a Democrat (he’s a socialist).
Why are the only three challengers such fourth-raters? Peruse the sitting governors who are Democrats. Don’t worry, it won’t take you very long. You’ll see that none of them could be serious contenders. They either hail from small states, were just recently elected, were barely reelected, or are quirky/problematic.
Now take a gander at the party’s Senate caucus. If you squint really hard you might imagine some of them could be presidential material, but not really. The overwhelming majority are too old, too dull, too new, or barely won reelection. Elizabeth Warren is the only exception out of these 45 senators, and she looks like she is not going to run.
The media, in their relentless focus on the micro-political cycle (not to mention their eager cheerleading for the Democrats), are representing the party as being in a strong position. “Obama is up in the polls (a little bit)! Hillary is going to raise lots of money! They’re back!”
But look past those two, and you see precious little in terms of quality would-be candidates. On an aggregate level -- combining House, Senate, state governments -- the Democrats have not been so weak since 1928.
That is why Hillary Clinton can hold off until July. Basically, the entire Democratic party is now the Obama/Hillary vanity project -- and Obama is term-limited. So, why shouldn’t she wait? It’s not quite right to say it is “smart politics” for her not to campaign; it is better to say what campaign is she supposed to engage in? A campaign implies that there is more than one person worthy of consideration. The Democrats appear institutionally incapable of offering that.
Jay Cost is a staff writer for the Weekly Standard. He is the author of A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption, to be published by Encounter Books on February 10.
And secret friend of the one percent.Feb 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 20 • By JAY COST
In last week’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama came across as the ultimate class warrior. His domestic agenda consists of more spending on roads and infrastructure, new entitlement programs for community college and preschool, and tax preferences targeted to low- and middle-income earners. All of this he would pay for with new inheritance taxes on the wealthy, a hike in the capital gains tax, and a special levy on the biggest financial institutions.
3:55 PM, Jan 21, 2015 • By CARRIE LUKAS and HEATHER R. HIGGINS
Given that nine in ten African-American women voted for Democrats in 2014, it may be no surprise that a focus group of urban, female, African-Americans had mostly contempt for all things “Republican” or “conservative.” But what was shocking is that this group also, unprompted, uniformly opposed both extended unemployment benefits and a minimum wage increase, and volunteered conservative economic and moral arguments about their potentially destructive impact on job creation, costs, and conduct.
11:01 PM, Jan 20, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama knocked "constant fundraising" in his State of the Union address delivered tonight from Washington:
I’ve served in Congress with many of you. I know many of you well. There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle. And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for – arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision.
Imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns. Imagine if we did something different.
10:16 PM, Jan 20, 2015 • By JAY COST
President Obama talked about spending a lot of money tonight -- on preschool care, community college, new infrastructure, and a variety of tax preferences for middle- and lower-income earners. All financed by new taxes, primarily on the wealthy.
Put simply, in the face of the most Republican Congress since the 1920s, President Obama has offered a defiantly liberal agenda. It has precisely zero chance of passage.
11:44 AM, Jan 18, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Stephanie Cutter, a deputy campaign manager in President Obama's reelection campaign, said this morning on CBS that Vice President Joe Biden "would be a very good candidate" in the 2016 presidential race:
Cutter made the comment in response to a question about who will run on the Democratic side if Hillary Clinton decides to pass this time.
And Declare 'Islam Has a Problem.'9:05 AM, Jan 14, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, will give a major foreign policy address next week in London. According to early excerpts of the address, Jindal will use the speech to bash Hillary Clinton, the likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, and to go after radical Islam in wake of last week's Paris terrorist attacks.
9:21 AM, Jan 5, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Fred Barnes, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
President Obama invited Mitch McConnell , soon to become Senate majority leader, to the White House on Dec. 3. At Mr. McConnell’s insistence, they met one-on-one. They discussed trade, tax reform and infrastructure, the three issues on which they believe compromises are possible in 2015.
3:31 PM, Dec 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The AP’s Dave Gram writes that Senator Bernard “Bernie” Sanders of Vermont continues to deliberate.
Should we be disturbed by another Bush candidacy?Jan 5, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 17 • By JAY COST
In mid-December, Jeb Bush announced his intention to explore a presidential bid. If he runs and wins the Republican nomination and then the election, he will be the third President Bush in 25 years. That unprecedented prospect has left many wondering: In a republic like ours, is it proper for one family to fill the executive seat so often?
Just saying no to Elizabeth Warren isn’t enough.Dec 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 16 • By JAY COST
Last week, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren threatened to derail the omnibus continuing resolution (“cromnibus”) that funds most of the government through the end of the fiscal year. She objected to the elimination of an obscure rule in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law known as “push-out.” Under Dodd-Frank, federally backed financial institutions must spin their “swap trades” off to uninsured subsidiaries; after cromnibus, they will no longer have to do this.
10:05 AM, Dec 12, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A group of more than 300 hundred former Obama staffers have written an open letter urging Elizabeth Warren to run for president of the United States. "We helped elect Barack Obama — now we’re calling on Elizabeth Warren to run in 2016," the letter is titled.
We believed in an unlikely candidate who no one thought had a chance.