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 on: April 15, 2015, 11:35:41 AM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by DougMacG
First this, the case against Marco Rubio by Paul Mirengoff at Powerline.  Even his biggest critic in conservative media says, "Marco Rubio is smart, likable, talented, and conservative".  "We don’t know how Rubio will perform as a candidate over the long haul, but all indications are that he is a gifted politician."
"The money and votes will gravitate to whoever can win – if, that is, the person is somewhat ideologically acceptable to the rank and file."

Why Marco Rubio Is Probably The GOP’s Best Hope
When it comes to raw political talent, it unlikely the Republicans can do better
By David Harsanyi

Marco Rubio announced his candidacy for presidency of the United States at the Freedom Tower in Miami on Monday, highlighting his family’s hardscrabble immigrant roots, embracing traditional values but also vowing to usher in a “new American century.”

As a matter of political pragmatism, is there any convincing reason Rubio shouldn’t be the Republican to take on Hillary Clinton in 2016? Because when it comes to natural political talent, it unlikely the GOP can do better.

For starters, Rubio is the most compelling speaker in the Republican field.

Sen. Mike Lee says Rubio “can bring grown men to tears with emotion.” This is something voters value. And judging from yesterday’s performance, Rubio’s speeches can be infused with an emotional quality that  much of the prefabricated rhetoric we hear does not have. Not only do you sense that his belief in American exceptionalism is genuine, but that his populist sensibilities will allow him to credibly broach the subject of inequality – mostly, because he has a captivating family story to lean on.

Let’s face it, even if Rubio is overrated, he’s probably the kind of consensus candidate GOP primary voters are going to have to settle on, anyway.

Other than his futile shot at immigration reform, Rubio has been reliably conservative. The Jeb Bush candidacy, driven by oodles of cash but little popular support, makes Rubio seem more palatable, while the Cruz candidacy, almost exclusively propelled by the grassroots, makes him seem less severe. The money and votes will gravitate to whoever can win – if, that is, the person is somewhat ideologically acceptable to the rank and file.

As Politico points out:

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last month reflected that upside among the rank-and-file. More Republicans, 56 percent, said they could back Rubio than any other candidate, including Bush (49 percent). Only one-quarter in that survey said they could not back Rubio, compared to 42 percent for Bush.
Rand Paul? As appealing as libertarian-ish ideas probably are to a number of voters – and you hope that the GOP embraces some of these reforms – it seems unlikely that the entire party can undergo a historic ideological shift during a primary season. That is especially true on foreign policy. Rubio is a hawk, and world events insure that a hawk will win the GOP nomination.

After a temporary dovish turn, the Right has gotten more aggressive on foreign policy. Some of this is, no doubt, a reaction to President Obama’s polices on Iran, Russia, ISIS, and Israel. According to a Pew poll taken late last year, 54 percent of Americans overall believed that Obama’s approach on foreign policy was “not tough enough” – which includes a sizable majority of Republicans. Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is one of the more passionate advocates for a more aggressive United States in the world.

Now, it’s also true that Rubio is a first-term senator with no record of any tangible accomplishments other than working his way into a presidential run.

If you believe this is a disadvantage, you haven’t been paying attention to contemporary politics. If Americans were concerned with achievement, Barack Obama would never have been allowed near the presidency. What voters want is someone who makes them feel secure, someone who can empathize with their struggles, confirm their ideological worldview, and someone who will give them the soaring rhetoric that makes them feel that their politics matter.

So, for Rubio, a lack of a record may be helpful in a number of ways. Today, a record is an opportunity for others to mangle every decision you’ve made. A blank slate allows voters to imagine all the wondrous things you can provide them and allows the politician a malleable set of policy goals.

To be fair, as a member of a congressional minority, Rubio didn’t really have many opportunities to build a record. Still, in the primaries, GOP contenders (who aren’t senators) are going to have tough time accusing Rubio of being slacker. What will they say? He wasn’t obstinate enough in stopping Obama’s agenda in the Senate? To some extent, Obama has also inculcated Rubio from media attacks regarding his experience as a first-term senator running for president, for obvious reasons.

The Left’s reaction to Rubio’s announcement also tells us that the Florida senator is a formidable pick. There were far fewer histrionic hit pieces about a GOP candidate’s extremism than usual. If the most potent attack mocking a candidate is a single awkward water-bottle incident, then demonizing him won’t be easy.  Whereas liberals quickly found distractions for nearly all other presidential announcements – Rand Paul is a misogynistic hothead with crazy ideas; Ted Cruz is nutty theocrat with crazy ideas – the Left was grasping for an effective line of attack.

Don’t get me wrong. In the end, no matter what Republican candidate offers, he will be cast as a thug looking to steal bread and condoms from the poorest single working moms in the country. So the most vital skill any candidate can have is the ability transcend coverage and make his or her case to voters. Setting aside reservations about policy, is there any other Republican who can do that more effectively than Rubio?

Of course someone – maybe Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Lindsay Graham, and who knows who else? – can change the dynamics of the race. Perhaps someone will surprise us. Although, it seems unlikely any of them could be the kind of compromise candidate that the establishment and the rank-and-file could agree on. And none of them will be able to contrast themselves with a tedious and creaky Hillary rollout the way Rubio just did.

 on: April 15, 2015, 09:59:43 AM 
Started by Bob Burgee - Last post by Bob Burgee
Greetings DBMA Association Members!

New DBMA Association Vid Lesson:

Munhoz Kali Tudo 10 - Dracula Fang Variations - Part 2

All the best.


 on: April 15, 2015, 07:43:37 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: April 15, 2015, 07:38:12 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: April 15, 2015, 06:20:04 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: April 15, 2015, 06:13:53 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: April 15, 2015, 06:05:00 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: April 15, 2015, 05:21:53 AM 
Started by Crafty Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: April 14, 2015, 10:21:28 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: April 14, 2015, 09:01:23 PM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by Crafty_Dog
You think Team Rubio is euphoric about the way Drudge handled his campaign kick-off?
That’s Rubio in the middle, with his parents. No, no, I kid. I really like the guy and was writing about him back in August 2009, when he was a little-known long-shot in the Senate primary. I’m just saying I wouldn’t send Rubio to buy beer without his ID.
Stephen Miller with a pretty good observation: “His other strength is none of the potential GOP candidates have had the practice to run against someone like Clinton. Marco Rubio has, having dispensed limousine loving, ventriloquist dummy Charlie Crist to the political ash heap. Crist and Clinton are cut from the exact same elitist cloth, believing themselves entitled and destined, the voters be damned. Both of them have gotten creamed in elections staking out that position by someone an electorate found more charismatic and in tune with every day values.”
You can argue that Scott Walker ran against and beat a larger collective opponent in his recall election and, perhaps, his 2014 reelection bid. Ted Cruz might argue he was as big a long-shot when he began against David Dewhurst in the Texas Senate primary. Bobby Jindal’s early 20-point lead helped drive then–Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco to not seek reelection, but she was seriously damaged goods after her bumbling response to Hurricane Katrina. And the one other caveat is that Rubio beat Crist in a three-way race in 2010. Having said that, you could argue Rubio beat Crist twice, once by driving him to quit the GOP primary and declare himself an independent, then again on Election Day.
Over on NRO’s home page, I take a look at Marco Rubio’s two years spent as Speaker of the Florida House -- his management and leadership style, what he accomplished and what he left unfinished, and how he dealt with a thoroughly uncooperative Florida senate and the shamelessly demagogic, opportunistic Crist.
As Speaker and in earlier leadership positions in the Florida House, Rubio demonstrated a willingness to delegate to focus on his strengths, communicating and negotiating. The record suggests that a President Rubio would drive a hard bargain, and hold out until the eleventh hour, but rarely walk away from the table without a deal.
The Speaker of the Florida House is an important and powerful position, but one perhaps a bit easier to reach than comparable positions in other states. Representatives in Florida are limited to four two-year terms. The Speaker of the House is elected by his fellow representatives for a two-year term, and is usually in his final term -- meaning the Florida House is effectively led by a new speaker every two years.
Because of the term limits and constant turnover at the top, careers in the Florida state legislature accelerate quickly. The legislature works a brief, fast-paced schedule, a 60-day session starting in March, supplemented by occasional special sessions. The legislature is the GOP’s ballgame; Republicans have controlled the Florida House and Senate since 1996. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t often deep divisions; Rubio’s tenure as speaker exacerbated friction with the man who would later become his defeated Senate rival, then-governor Charlie Crist.
This is part of my new year’s resolution to attempt some actually useful campaign journalism by digging into chapters of the GOP contenders’ lives that haven’t been covered extensively yet. The first offering was looking at Ted Cruz’s work for the Federal Trade Commission from 2001 to 2003, where he earned a reputation as a passionate boss intent on tracking the success of the office’s efforts in granular detail.
I had some material that didn’t quite fit in the Rubio piece. If you’re not a fan of Rubio, curse the heavens, because his political career came close to ending quite early.
For starters, he nearly lost his first Florida House election, coming in second in the first round and winning the runoff by 64 votes.
In his early years in the state legislature, he was skyrocketing in stature -- he was named Majority Whip within his first nine months on the job -- but going through extreme financial difficulties.
He was making $72,000 as an often-unavailable land use and zoning attorney at the now-defunct law firm Ruden McClosky and made $28,608 as a state legislator. Money was so tight for the young lawmaker and his wife and then-one child that he sold his car and moved in with his mother-in-law. In his autobiography, An American Son, Rubio writes he strongly contemplated leaving politics to focus on earning enough money to support his growing family.
A new job offer came along before Rubio finalized his decision to quit politics; in 2001, Rubio moved to Becker & Poliakoff to expand the firm’s practice in Miami-Dade, making $93,000 per year. By 2004, when Rubio was the Speaker-in-waiting, the law firm Broad and Cassel hired him at $300,000 per year.
The Alleged Democratic Contender Everyone Forgot About
Yesterday I mentioned how Democrats and their allies can convince themselves that their candidate is the perfect to handle any situation. (Admittedly, Republicans do this as well.) I distinctly remember the night of Biden’s selection in 2008, some enthusiastic young Democratic talking head on CNN insisting that Biden was a foreign-policy “genius.” It was a good example of the Democrats’ need to not merely tout their candidates, but to whip themselves into a frothing frenzy of enthusiasm for the messiah-like choices of Obama.
Obama’s first Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, saw things differently, calling him “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Asked to back up his harsh words Jan. 13, 2014, on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, Gates replied:
“Frankly, I believe it. The vice president, when he was a senator — a very new senator — voted against the aid package for South Vietnam, and that was part of the deal when we pulled out of South Vietnam to try and help them survive. He said that when the Shah fell in Iran in 1979 that that was a step forward for progress toward human rights in Iran. He opposed virtually every element of President Reagan’s defense build-up. He voted against the B-1, the B-2, the MX and so on. He voted against the first Gulf War. So on a number of these major issues, I just frankly, over a long period of time, felt that he had been wrong.”
For what it’s worth, it’s not clear Biden applauded the fall of the shah. He just offered to send the Mullahs a couple hundred million dollars shortly after 9/11, “no strings attached.”
Here we are today:
Vice President Joe Biden said he had not made a decision on whether he will run for president and sounded the alarm about Republican plans to cut estate taxes.
Biden made the statement in a roundtable discussion with reporters at the White House Monday including The Detroit News a day after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her run for the Democratic nomination. He said he has plenty of time to decide.
“I haven’t made up my mind on that. I have plenty of time to do that, in my view,” Biden said. “If I am wrong, I’m dead wrong, but there’s a lot the president and I care about that has to get done in the next two, three months and when you run for president you’ve got to run for president — and I’m not ready to do that — if I am ever going to be ready to do that.”
Remember, Joe Biden isn’t a joke. Newsweek assured us of this:

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