There’s an old saw in Washington that every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Utah’s Mike Lee doesn’t, though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Over the past two years, Lee has been delivering speeches and introducing policy proposals at a pace that far outstrips his tenure and experience. On the whole, it looks like the beginnings of a domestic policy agenda for a future presidential candidate.
In Athens in mid-January, two weeks before the election that would make 40-year-old engineer Alexis Tsipras Greece’s new prime minister, a bunch of cleaning ladies explained to me why they planned to vote for his party, the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza, for its Greek acronym). We met where they had lived, at least part of the time, for the past 16 months: among tents on the sidewalk in front of the economics ministry in downtown Athens.
Associated Press White House reporter Julie Pace said on Fox News Sunday that she believes some in the White House want to see Elizabeth Warren challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary nomination.
"For some of these people in the White House, who have worked for the president before, who really relish a great primary fight, a great political debate, that they would like to [Warren] in there," said Pace.
On April 5, 1933, Franklin Roosevelt did it right here in the White House. On August 15, 1971 Richard Nixon came back from Camp David and did it. On September 22, 1985, Ronald Reagan went to the Plaza Hotel and did it.
American presidents are not the only ones who did it. Chinese communists do it often and are doing it now, as is Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. And Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, finally decided to do it right there in Frankfurt even though his German overseers disapprove.
Listen to the president, his staff, and his supporters and you might be ready to believe that the economy is on a rocket ride to prosperity. More jobs, lower gas prices, increased consumer spending. So now, at last, we can afford to do away with sequestration and other implements of austerity. Time to grow and spend and prosper.
At an event this morning, Vice President Joe Biden told Democrats that, "To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country."
"And they've been really tough for our party. Just ask [former DCCC chair] Steve [Israel]. They've been really tough for our party. And together we made some really, really tough decisions -- decisions that weren't at all popular, hard to explain," said Biden.
President Obama can’t run again, as he noted in the State of the Union last month, but he sought to use his address to set the tone for the 2016 campaign. His repeated references to “middle-class economics” were tactful code, speaking in front of a Republican-controlled Congress, for that perennial Democratic favorite, the inequality debate.
Are you middle class? Upper middle class, maybe? Do you think you and your family are the people being talked about when politicians debate solutions for the middle class and its problems?
It’s a premise rooted in the very heart of the American project: that everyone is or can be middle class. So when Obama uses the presidential bully pulpit—starting but not ending with the State of the Union—to focus the nation on the plight of the middle class, he knows the theme will resonate, big time.
Two friends of mine, Walter Berns and Harry Jaffa, died on January 10. They had not been on friendly terms for many years, but death took them together. They were joined also by being leaders, with Herbert Storing, Martin Diamond, and Ralph Lerner, of a group of a dozen or so students of Leo Strauss (who died in 1973), the philosopher who revived philosophy and especially political philosophy from decline and irrelevance.
Meet the real Mitt Romney. The Mitt Romney you thought you knew from 2012, from 2008, from his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, from his run for the Senate against Teddy Kennedy—those versions of Mitt Romney were the constructs of political consultants, artifices designed to win elections but nowhere near the real Mitt Romney.
"More than 13 years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in a world still menaced by terrorists and in a city at risk of attack as few others, how is it possible that basic radio communications used by the District’s first responders could fail in an emergency?” asked the Washington Post editorial board. “How could the District’s transit system be unprepared to ventilate smoke from a subway tunnel? What other lapses in preparedness will the region’s residents discover, and will it take an emergency to discover them?”