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Power User
Posts: 32844

« Reply #200 on: March 10, 2015, 04:47:32 AM »

Patrick O’Connor
Updated March 9, 2015 11:35 p.m. ET

The two most recognizable figures in the 2016 presidential race start off in very different positions within their own parties, and with Americans overall feeling more positive toward Hillary Clinton than Jeb Bush .

Those findings in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll reinforce the view that while the Democrats’ nominating contest now looks like a foregone conclusion, provided Mrs. Clinton enters the race, the Republican contest appears to be wide open, with no clear front-runner.

The survey found that 86% of likely Democratic primary voters say they are open to supporting Mrs. Clinton for the party’s nomination, and 13% said they couldn’t. Those polled view the former secretary of state more favorably than unfavorably, with 44% holding positive views and 36% with negative views of her.

Mr. Bush, an early favorite for the Republican nomination among GOP donors, faces more resistance within his party. Some 49% of people who plan to vote in GOP primaries said they could see themselves supporting Mr. Bush and 42% said they couldn’t, the survey found. Poll participants view him more negatively than positively, with 34% seeing him in an unfavorable light and 23% viewing him favorably.
More than 40% of GOP primary voters could not picture supporting Jeb Bush as the Republican nominee, a new WSJ/NBC News poll finds. WSJ's Patrick O'Connor explains. Photo: Getty

The Journal/NBC poll of 1,000 adults was conducted March 1 through 5, a period when news reports surfaced disclosing Mrs. Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email account to conduct official business as secretary of state. Critics and some fellow Democrats have said the disclosures raise questions about Mrs. Clinton’s commitment to transparency in public office.

The two Republicans who begin the race on the strongest footing in the poll are Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. More than half of GOP primary voters said they were open to supporting Messrs. Rubio or Walker, compared with 49% who said so of Mr. Bush.

Resistance within the party to Messrs. Rubio and Walker is far lower than for Mr. Bush: Some 26% said they couldn’t see themselves supporting Mr. Rubio, and 17% said so of the Wisconsin governor.

The good news for Mr. Bush is that he has nearly a year to reshape his image before voting begins, and none of his likely rivals shows signs of running away with the race.
Poll Methodology

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll was based on nationwide telephone interviews of 1,000 adults, including 350 respondents who use only a cellphone. It was conducted from March 1-5, 2015, by the polling organizations of Bill McInturff at Public Opinion Strategies and Fred Yang at Hart Research Associates. Individuals were selected proportionate to the nation’s population in accordance with a probability sample design that gives all landline telephone numbers, listed and unlisted, an equal chance to be included. Adults age 18 or over were selected by a systematic procedure to provide a balance of respondents by sex. The cellphone sample was drawn from a list of cellphone users nationally. Of the 1,000 interviews, 350 respondents were reached on a cellphone and screened to ensure their cellphone was the only phone they had. In addition, 36 respondents were reached on a cellphone but reported also having a landline. The data’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Sample tolerances for subgroups are larger.

In fact, he would begin the 2016 campaign in much the same place that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney began the 2012 race in which he locked up the nomination after a long primary slog. Mr. Romney was viewed positively by 43% of GOP primary voters and negatively by 12% about a year before primary voting began, about the same as Mr. Bush is viewed among GOP primary voters today.

“He still has room to change his image,” Mr. Yang, the Democratic pollster, said of Mr. Bush. He noted that 43% of the public is still on the fence about Mr. Bush or doesn’t know him well enough to form an opinion.

Messrs. Rubio and Walker are the two most acceptable candidates across different segments of the GOP, including very conservative voters and those moderate-to-liberal Republicans who say they would vote in a GOP primary. Of the two, Mr. Walker remains more of an unknown; more than half the country—including a quarter of Republican primary voters—said they didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion.

“We should be cautious about how unformed this race is,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democrat Fred Yang.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would start the race in a deep hole, the new survey found, with 57% of likely GOP primary voters saying they couldn’t see themselves supporting his candidacy, compared with the 32% who said they could. Only Donald Trump , the businessman and reality television star, fared worse, with three out of four primary voters doubtful they could support him.

Mrs. Clinton would enter the 2016 race enjoying widespread support across just about every slice of the potential Democratic electorate, with 80% or more of every sub-group-men, women, liberals, centrist, whites and non-whites among them-saying they could see themselves voting for her.

“Sen. Clinton’s numbers are just extraordinary,” said Mr. McInturff. “She is like one of those large naval ships. It will take more than one torpedo to sink the boat.”

One attribute of both Mr. Bush and Mrs. Clinton—their membership in prominent political families—seems to weigh on them to varying degrees. Some 59% of those polled say they are looking for a presidential candidate “who will bring greater changes” over one who is “more experienced and tested.”

Some 51% view Mrs. Clinton, a former first lady and New York senator, more as a return to the past than a candidate for the future, compared with the 44% who say the reverse, according to the new poll.

For Mr. Bush, 60% of the country sees the first-time White House hopeful—the son and brother of the last two Republican presidents—as a figure representing the past, compared with the 27% who agreed with the statement that he would bring “new ideas and vision the country will need for the future.”

“We just seem to be stuck in this rut—the Clintons and the Bushes,” said Isabel Sovocool, a 43-year-old preschool teacher from Quakertown, Pa., who voted for Mr. Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush, and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, but has no desire to vote for the former Florida governor. “It just seems to go around in circles. And I don’t think things are getting all that better.”

The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3.1%, but higher for the Republican and Democratic primary voters.

The survey pointed to a challenge for Republicans in addressing middle-class economic anxieties. Nearly half of all respondents, some 47%, said the GOP doesn’t represent the values of the middle class “very well,” compared with the 33% who said that about Democrats. Similarly, Mrs. Clinton scored much higher on the question than Mr. Bush.

Additionally, those polled are more likely to see improvements in the economy than they were a year ago. Almost half, some 47%, credited President Barack Obama for those gains.

The survey also found that Americans are willing to adopt a war footing against Islamic State. Some 55% of the country would look more favorably on a candidate who supports the use of combat troops to battle the Islamic militants. That includes roughly three-out-of-four Republicans and a plurality of liberal Democratic primary voters.
Popular on WSJ

Power User
Posts: 4419

« Reply #201 on: March 14, 2015, 08:08:39 PM »

Every time Bush says he is the grown up in the room I feel like he is insulting me and others who would consider themselves conservative

I think he should be careful who he insults.   He will not get a vote from me if he keeps this up.

I will sit out '16.   
Power User
Posts: 6376

« Reply #202 on: March 17, 2015, 02:10:58 PM »

This list doesn't add much to what is already posted in this thread.  Hard to take serious anyone listed behind Bernie Sanders, Terry McAuliffe, and others.  But who knows?
Here, in roughly ascending order of feasibility, are 21 prominent or semi-prominent Democrats who could step up for a 2016 presidential run:

Dannel Malloy
Malloy was supposed to be headed for a tough 2014 re-election race for governor of Connecticut, but he ended up winning easily. A spokesman said he was not interested in the Oval Office — but also indicated the Washington Examiner is not the first publication to ask. "As the Governor has said repeatedly, he loves his current job as Governor of Connecticut and has no interest in running for President," Malloy's office said. "He believes that should Secretary Clinton become a candidate for President, she has the outstanding credentials, experience and record to be a very strong candidate."

Tom Udall
The son of a Kennedy-era secretary of the interior and nephew of a powerful Arizona congressman, Udall won a senate seat in New Mexico in 2009. He brings no youth at age 66, but he hails from American royalty. Udalls have had starring political roles in the American Southwest for more than a century. Is it time for a President Udall? Udall declined to comment.

Bernie Sanders
Vermont's junior senator is the most prominent (out of the closet) socialist in American politics, a status that makes him a favorite with reporters (because he gives good copy) and the Democratic base (because he's a socialist). Strangely, the usually forthright and garrulous Sanders has turned coy about his previous 2016 talk. Sanders told Politico Friday he was not eager to run "a poor campaign" that was "not well funded," adding that he had not raised much money. The 73-year-old did not respond to Examiner requests for comment.

Jay Nixon
For better or worse, the Ferguson riots made the governor of Missouri a national figure, and he declined to give a flat "No" when Politico asked him about being a potential Hillary replacement in February — before the email story broke. Nixon did not respond to requests for comment.

Bill Nelson
At 72 years young, the senior senator from Florida is a reliable liberal who occasionally finds common ground with Republicans on defense and intelligence votes. He would also be America's first spaceman president, having traveled into the vacuum as a payload specialist on space shuttle Columbia in 1986. A Nelson spokesman told the Examiner his 2016 answer "is a no."

Martin Heinrich
That New Mexico boasts two Democratic senators is a rare success story for the party. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 3-to-2 ratio in the Land of Enchantment, Democrat hold large majorities in both chambers of the state house, and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez runs moderate to liberal on the GOP spectrum. Nevertheless, Heinrich — though he toes the party line on abortion and environmentalism — is careful to shore up conservative appeal. While he now supports gay marriage, the epiphany that brought his deeply held beliefs into compliance with Democratic Party norms came very late — in 2012 — and only when a primary opponent attempted to flank him on the issue. He opposes the federal "assault weapons" ban. He is just about as handsome and untested as Barack Obama was in 2008. Heinrich declined to comment.

Tom Wolf
A one-time forklift operator with a Ph.D., Wolf successfully ran his family's York-based building materials company for 30 years, before spending a generous chunk of his fortune on a successful 2014 campaign for governor of Pennsylvania. He has assumed office at a time when the Keystone State has nowhere to go but up. GDP growth was anemic under Republican predecessor Tom Corbett, and the city of Chester boasts the second-highest violent crime rate in the country. None of that may add up to a presidential profile for the 66-year-old, but Democrats could use a candidate who has not spent his life seeking one political office after another. Wolf did not comment.

Steve Beshear
Governor of Kentucky since 2007, Beshear has followed a familiar economic-management pattern, with predictable results: A scheme to lure manufacturing of environmentally correct Zap cars went nowhere, as have his efforts to get the Bluegrass State a bigger share of the declining casino gambling business. Kentucky has nevertheless enjoyed reasonable prosperity during his administration, and with two of the Republican Party's most prominent senators, it's the kind of state Democrats need to know how to win. Beshear will be 71 next year, and while fans frequently propose him as a prospective Hillary Clinton running mate, he declined to comment for this article.

Al Gore
What Democrat can ever forget that Al Gore beat George W. Bush in the popular vote in 2000? Like many folks on this list, the two-term vice president is of a certain age. But he has not been idle in his 66 years, having amassed a fortune estimated at $200 million. Various media have quoted anonymous sources saying Gore — whose work history includes honorable service in Vietnam and employment as a journalist, senator and knockabout presidential candidate even before environmentalism made him a Nobel laureate – is interested in a 2016 run. Gore did not respond to requests for comment.

Amy Klobuchar
The senior senator from Minnesota can't quite boast of having appeal in a battleground state: Her colleague Al Franken, also on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party ticket, snoozed his way to re-election last November. A Republican wave across the great lakes region has failed to reach the Gopher State, where the DFL still holds the governor's office and one house of the legislative branch. Which means at this point, big labor may need a Minnesotan, and Klobuchar does her part, most recently lamenting U.S. Steel's decision to close a major plant by noting that she's in contact with Local 2660 about the matter. She declined to comment and remains an outside bet at best.

Joe Manchin
If the Democrats are interested in again finding the center of American politics, they could ask West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin the way. Republicans have repeatedly tried to lure him to switch parties. Crucially, he is untainted by Obamacare, having come into office after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, and he is generally pro-gun and pro-coal. Although he'd be running from the Senate, Manchin has executive experience as governor of West Virginia. So far he has made no 2016 moves. Nor has he ruled out the possibility of a run. "I'm not serious about running," Manchin told a West Virginia CBS affiliate. "On a national ticket, it would be a pretty far reach probably for me."

John Hickenlooper
The governor of Colorado could put together a coalition of labor, hipsters and louche libertarians. A secession movement during Hickenlooper's administration went nowhere. A concentrated backlash against his extremely broad gun control law cost several Centennial State Democrats their jobs, but Hickenlooper is still around. He declined to comment.

Rahm Emanuel
Emanuel combines the vices of Andrew Cuomo (unions hate him) and Terry McAuliffe (clinging Clinton odor). On the plus side, Chicago's GDP has grown 10.5 percent since he assumed office, and despite widely reported murder spikes, the city's violent crime rate has declined on his watch, according to a database of violent crime statistics from all law enforcement agencies in cities with populations more than 25,000. Wealth in Chicago is highly concentrated, and Emanuel is highly connected there and in Los Angeles. He declined to comment to the Examiner.

Cory Booker
Booker's passion for retail politics gave him a national profile even before he became mayor of Newark, N.J., in 2006 (the 2005 documentary "Street Fight" details his first, unsuccessful attempt to beat the Sharpe James machine). He ran the Brick City with a penchant for colorful — usually unverifiable — tales of hands-on constituent service. Since joining the Senate in 2013, Booker has more than once found common ground with likely Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky. He declined to comment on the 2016 election.

Jerry Brown
A fixture of California politics since the time of Zorro, Jerry Brown will be 77 next year. But he is an American original whose idiosyncratic career includes a serious challenge to candidate Bill Clinton in the 1992 primary (Brown ran on a flat-tax platform) and a lifelong desire to become president. Now in the second term of his second tenure as California governor, Brown has arguably been a more conservative executive than his Republican predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's also remarkably popular, though claims of a broad California recovery don't bear scrutiny. But he says he's no longer eyeing the Oval Office. "Running against Hillary is like running against Jerry Brown in California," Brown told the Washington Post Friday. "In the Democratic Party, it's not going to happen."

Terry McAuliffe
A gleefully political animal, the current governor of Virginia had the good fortune of following Republican Bob McDonnell, whose recent conviction on corruption charges softens McAuliffe's own reputation for pushing the limits (of good taste if not political ethics). McAuliffe is a longtime Clinton crony, but intriguingly, he said last year he has no intention of helping her campaign. "I've done that," McAuliffe told Richmond's NBC affiliate. "It's been a great part of my life, but to be honest with you, I'm past the politics, I'm now into governing."

Andrew Cuomo
Cuomo wouldn't comment to the Examiner about his presidential thoughts, but he is one of the Democratic Party's most effective fundraisers, and he's the governor of the not-inconsiderable state of New York. The Empire State's dire finances sometimes put him at odds with the labor unions essential to all Democrats. Idealistic leftists — who will be crucial in the primaries — have no passion for him. Last year unnamed Cuomo associates told the New York Post the son of Mario Cuomo is keeping his powder dry for 2020.

Jim Webb
Webb has one of the most impressive résumés in America: Vietnam veteran with a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts; Reagan administration secretary of the Navy; Emmy-winning journalist; inspired author of both fiction and non-fiction; and former Virginia senator who chose to leave office after one term. He told Politico last year he could run a "first-class campaign" reminiscent of his upset over Republican Sen. George Allen. Webb is a Jacksonian Democrat, a type of populism with potentially broader appeal than Warren's professorial jabs at inequality. That could also be his Achilles heel: The Democratic base has moved steadily leftward, and Webb's Scots-Irish candor and emotional patriotism make him a tough sell in the primaries.

Martin O'Malley
O'Malley completed two terms as Maryland governor this year, and his legacy is mixed at best. In a very surprising upset, Old Line State voters elected a Republican over his chosen successor, and painful memories of his "rain tax" and other schemes linger. But he is on record as wanting to run, and "Vote for M.O'M" is a campaign slogan that writes itself. On MSNBC this week he criticized Clinton over the email scandal and said he would decide this spring whether to run.

Joe Biden
The vice president is one of a handful of Democrats who have expressed verbal interest in running for president next year. "There's a chance, but I haven't made my mind up about that," he told ABC in January. "We've got a lot of work to do between now and then. There's plenty of time." Biden is hamstrung by his age, a strong habit of putting his foot in his mouth, and an even stronger habit of putting his hands on uncomfortable-looking women during photo ops. But he is the Democrats' sort-of-lovable uncle, and his current job is a natural — though far from guaranteed — springboard to a presidential run.

Elizabeth Warren
The freshman senator from Massachusetts provided much of the intellectual firepower for Obama-era innovations like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. More than any other potential candidate (Clinton included), she speaks to the hard economic Left that provides most of the party's grassroots energy these days. When Democrats look in their hearts, it's Elizabeth Warren they see. Warren repeatedly disclaims any interest in a 2016 run, a stance she has maintained through Clinton's current troubles and repeated when asked by the Examiner.
Power User
Posts: 6376

« Reply #203 on: March 19, 2015, 09:52:03 AM »

We have kind of ignored John Kasich here.  However, he is a two term Governor of a major state and also with big-time Washington experience, especially on the budget. 

Kasich isn't going to go out and compete with Jeb Bush and others for the big donors, but he is sitting there in Columbus with all his ideas, ready to serve.

He is not my first choice, but could be a very acceptable choice.  Goes to show what a deep bench this is for just one side.

Read George Will today:
Power User
Posts: 32844

« Reply #204 on: March 20, 2015, 02:07:28 PM »

Kasich is a very good man and I concur on the depth and quality of his congressional experience with regard to budget issues.

That said, intuitively I do not see him resonating well with many major voting blocks or exciting much passion.  The case for him would perforce be rather wonky.

Power User
Posts: 679

« Reply #205 on: March 24, 2015, 07:49:47 AM »

This man represents our last, best hope of beginning the hard work of restoring this nation.  The Left is simply telegraphing its abject fear of Cruz with its snarky commentary.  I don't believe anyone is able to avert an inevitable economic collapse at this point, and we may be in for another massive terrorist attack on American soil before long thanks to Obama and Congress's inaction, but I don't see anyone as qualified - let alone better qualified - to take over the helm at this point of crisis than Ted Cruz.  The Left ought to be afraid.  Cruz is the crucifix to the Dracula that they represent.

The Left’s Ted Cruz Freakout

Posted By Matthew Vadum On March 24, 2015 @

Much of the political world went into full freakout mode yesterday as crusading conservative Ted Cruz became the first candidate from either of the major parties to formally announce he is running for president in 2016.

The ritual denunciations of Cruz, the junior Republican senator representing Texas, from all across the fruited plain quickly piled up. Since he assumed office in January 2013, Cruz has come under intense fire from the Left and from a few corners in the GOP. Some of the criticism is well thought out but much of it doesn’t rise above the level of schoolyard taunts. Some consider it a negative that Cruz, like Barack Obama, began running for president soon after becoming a U.S. senator.

His willingness to buck members of his own party –and to openly criticize other Republicans– when his conservative principles require it has won him legions of admirers across America, but few friends in official Washington. GOP leaders don’t like him because he questions what they stand for, tries to force them to honor their promises, calls them “squishes,” and works to derail their legislative priorities. He has even tried to engineer mini-rebellions in the House by whipping House members to vote against GOP leadership. Finding sympathetic lawmakers is like shooting fish in a barrel because Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) disappoints conservatives nearly every day.

To some, Cruz’s strengths are really weaknesses. His brash air of rectitude is arrogance. His eloquence is unctuousness. His unquestioned brilliance is viewed with suspicion.

Cruz put his oratorical gifts to use yesterday. In a moving, headline-grabbing speech at Liberty University in Virginia, unaccompanied by a teleprompter, Cruz talked about “reigniting the promise of America.”

“For so many Americans, the promise of America seems more and more distant. What is the promise of America? The idea that — the revolutionary idea that this country was founded upon, which is that our rights don’t come from man. They come from God Almighty. And that the purpose of the Constitution, as Thomas Jefferson put it, is to serve as chains to bind the mischief of government. The incredible opportunity of the American dream, what has enabled millions of people from all over the world to come to America with nothing and to achieve anything. And then the American exceptionalism that has made this nation a clarion voice for freedom in the world, a shining city on a hill. That’s the promise of America. That is what makes this nation an indispensable nation, a unique nation in the history of the world.”

To the delight of the conservative audience, Cruz promised to repeal Obamacare, abolish the Internal Revenue Service, oppose immigration amnesty, respect First and Second Amendment rights, fight for traditional marriage, repeal Common Core and embrace charter schools, combat Islamic terrorism, and steadfastly support Israel. “I believe in you,” Cruz said.

“I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America, and that is why today I am announcing that I’m running for president of the United States. It is a time for truth. It is a time for liberty. It is a time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States. I am honored to stand with each and every one of you courageous conservatives as we come together to reclaim the promise of America, to reclaim the mandate, the hope and opportunity for our children and our children’s children. We stand together for liberty. This is our fight. The answer will not come from Washington. It will come only from the men and women across this country, from men and women, from people of faith, from lovers of liberty, from people who respect the Constitution.”

The speech was well-received, even by many of Cruz’s detractors who acknowledge the former debating champion’s speaking skills.

It is no surprise that Democrat-turned-Republican political strategist Mark McKinnon has dubbed Cruz “the Republican Barack Obama.”

In 2013 Democratic strategist James Carville called him “the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years.” Cruz is “perhaps the most influential freshman senator in American history. He’s going to run for president, and don’t be fooled — he is going to wreck [sic] havoc for years to come.”

The reaction to Cruz’s announcement largely mirrored reactions to Cruz’s first few months in the Senate — intense and overwhelmingly negative.

The media and other left-wingers spent all day yesterday mocking Cruz. At least one Republican office holder joined the ridicule fest.

On CNN Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who himself is considering running for president, blasted Cruz, calling him a “big mouth” who “basically led the Republican Party over the cliff.”

“We have very, very complex issues facing the country today, and he goes out of his way to oversimplify,” the congressman said of Cruz. “Ted Cruz may be an intelligent person, but he doesn’t carry out an intelligent debate. He oversimplifies, he exaggerates … he doesn’t provide leadership and he has no real experience.”

King released a separate statement on Cruz’s famous talkathon in which he held the Senate floor for 21 hours in a long-shot bid to defund Obamacare.

“Shutting down the federal government and reading Dr. Seuss on the Senate floor are the marks of a carnival barker not the leader of the free world,” King wrote.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a fellow Texas Republican, didn’t badmouth Cruz but made it clear he won’t be supporting him, at least not initially.

“You know, we’ve got a lot of Texans who are running for president, so I’m going to watch from the sidelines,” said Cornyn when asked if he would get behind Cruz. Cornyn, a member of the GOP establishment Cruz loves to hate, may have been referring to Rick Perry, a former Texas governor, who is also thinking about running for the presidency again.

Cornyn, who has amassed a huge campaign war chest, said “nope,” when asked if he would help Cruz financially. “You got a lot of people involved, and I don’t see any benefit to them or to me.”

A pro-amnesty, open borders group assailed Cruz, going as far as questioning his authenticity as a Latino.

“We reject Ted Cruz, which is sad, because while he is the first Latino to declare his candidacy, he may be the most anti-immigration candidate on stage during the debates,” said Cesar Vargas and Erika Andiola, co-directors of the Dream Action Coalition. “While Ted Cruz has a Latino name and immigration in his past, that’s where the similarities between him and the Latino community end.”

Jonathan Bernstein of Bloomberg News dismissively compared him to the late Sen. Joe McCarthy and labeled Cruz “a loudmouth loser.”

“Fortunately, Tailgunner Ted’s chances of winning the Republican nomination are extremely slim at best,” he wrote.

“The bottom line: Opposition from Republicans who care about winning in 2016 will doom the chances of a senator whose tactics (his role in the 2013 government shutdown, for example, and the recent Homeland Security funding fight) have established him as a loudmouth loser. They might look past the loudmouth part, but not the losses.”

On TV’s “The View,” guest co-host Michelle Collins declared herself a “Ted Cruz birther” and demanded to “see the birth certificate.” Cruz “was not born in America. He was born in Canada. So how can he run — how can he run for president? I actually don’t get it. I know he has to go to court.”

At the New Republic, Danny Vinik ridiculed the Texas senator in a piece titled “Ted Cruz Cannot Be Serious.”

“His positions, regardless of where they fall within the Republican Party, are ill-conceived fantasies,” he wrote.

Then Vinik engaged in what the Internet-savvy call “concern-trolling,” offering dubious campaign advice. Cruz wants to repeal the Obamacare law “and then basically see what happens … [this is] unacceptable as a presidential candidate’s health care agenda,” he pontificated. Repeal and replace is the only sensible route to take, he counseled.

Vinik pilloried Cruz for promising to abolish the IRS and not providing a detailed plan to reporters like him on the very first day of his official campaign. “A Cruz government would eliminate the agency but it would still collect taxes—somehow. Cruz has never said how that would work.”

Well, that’s what a campaign is for.

In a snotty column, John Cassidy of the New Yorker, called Cruz the “Texan terror” and wrote off his candidacy.

“The conventional wisdom is that Cruz hasn’t got a chance, and, as far as the Presidency goes, it’s probably accurate. To many Americans, he is the uppity loudmouth who, in the fall of 2013, less than a year into his first term as a senator, helped bring the federal government to a halt. Noted for railing against President Obama and denying the existence of climate change, he holds views that, according to an analysis by the Web site FiveThirtyEight, make him ‘more conservative than every recent G.O.P. nominee, every ’12 contender and every plausible ’16 candidate.'”

At Gizmodo, Adam Clark Estes implied Cruz was an idiot because he didn’t believe in the leftist fantasy known as manmade global warming.

“‘Ted Cruz is a climate change denier?’ you ask. Yes, he sure is. (Ted Cruz is also, very unfortunately, the overseer of NASA.) And just because the loud-mouthed Texan thinks he’s fit for the nation’s highest office doesn’t mean he’s going to yield his absurdly misled beliefs about the planet Earth.”

A New York Times article knocked Cruz’s performance as senator.

“Cruz has not been much of a law maker: He sponsored or co-sponsored 112 pieces of legislation, only one of which became law. Rather, he has made his mark trying to undo or gut administration policies with which he disagrees.”

But in a column on the same newspaper’s website, Jonathan Martin opined that Cruz has a serious shot at winning the presidency.

“By virtue of his strong rhetorical skills, biographical appeal and uncompromising conservatism, Mr. Cruz is the most logical nominee in a party that has turned sharply to the right. In a general election, fatigue toward the Obama years and the difficulty any party has in holding the White House for three consecutive terms could vault him to victory.”

Washington Post leftist Greg Sargent was amazingly restrained and thoughtful.

“But how different is Cruz from other Republicans on the issues themselves? How much of an outlier is Cruz in today’s GOP? Those are not rhetorical questions. A Cruz run will be a good thing, because it will bring clarity to them,” Sargent wrote.

“It’s good that Cruz is running,” he concluded. “We’ll hopefully find out soon enough how much of a conservative outlier Cruz really is in today’s Republican Party.”

It was just two years ago that Sargent was calling Cruz a demagogic nutjob.

Cruz “keeps untold numbers of base voters in a state of perpetual delusion,” he wrote soon after Cruz was sworn in as a member of the Senate.

He does this with “the hints about creeping socialism, the suggestions that Dems are anti-American, the notion that Obama’s modest executive actions reveal him as an enemy of the Constitution, etc.”

One of the co-founders of the modern American conservative movement, Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of, cheered Cruz’s early entry into the presidential contest.

The rest of the candidates will have to “move right to respond to Cruz, or be left behind by a grassroots conservative electorate fed-up with Republican candidates who are merely principle-free messengers for an out of touch Washington elite.”

Is America really ready for a swing to the right, Ted Cruz-style?

After eight years of Obama’s catastrophic presidency, voters just might be.


"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Power User
Posts: 4419

« Reply #206 on: March 24, 2015, 08:59:58 AM »

I like Cruz too.  He was very good on Hannity last night. 
Power User
Posts: 32844

« Reply #207 on: March 25, 2015, 05:33:42 PM »

Dick gets back in his lane and is the better for it:  cheesy

Who Is Jeb's Main Rival?


Published on on March 24, 2015

Though the GOP nominating process for 2016 is just beginning, CNN/ORC issued a poll
this week that sheds light on how it is unfolding. The survey tested the GOP
candidates in a head-to-head match-up, and with only 14 percent undecided, it shows
the beginning of the makeup of the Republican field.

Jeb Bush garnered 16 percent in the poll, leading the field, with Scott Walker (13
percent) and Rand Paul (12 percent) following closely behind. Mike Huckabee came in
next with 10 percent, and Ben Carson won 9 percent. Chris Christie and Marco Rubio
tied at 7 percent support and were followed by Ted Cruz and Rick Perry, both at 4
percent. Bringing up the rear were John Kasich (2 percent), Rick Santorum (1
percent) and Bobby Jindal (1 percent).

To understand what's going on, you need to put yourself in the place of the typical
Republican primary voter. And the first thing you need to do is decide if you are
for or against Bush.

The former Florida governor been anointed by the media as the front-runner -- he is
the best-known and has the most money. The most notable fact is that Bush is only at
16 percent of the vote in this poll. His name, resources, Florida base and broad
appeal should put him much higher. Among GOP donors and elites, he likely runs much
better. But 84 percent of the primary electorate isn't buying him right now and
wants an alternative. While Bush has not declared, there is no doubt that he is
running. And even though he has not projected his credentials and ideas nationally,
his lack of appeal, despite full name recognition, should be troublesome for his

Next, you look down the list of candidates and see if there is anyone else you would
vote for -- or, on the other hand, can't support. Paul stands out. You either
support the Kentucky senator's novel brand of economic libertarianism, social
liberalism and neo-isolationism or you don't. Because Paul isn't likely to change
his views or persuade national security or evangelical voters to change theirs, he
is not likely to move up.

Huckabee faces a similar problem. The former Arkansas governor is trapped in an
ecclesiastical ghetto -- he beats the hell (or heck) out of Santorum, but to grow,
he needs to wage a secular campaign on issues like income inequality, Wall Street
deceit and other topics that grow out of his spirituality. He might just do that,
but hasn't done it yet.

Christie, the embattled New Jersey governor, needs Bush to fall for him to gain. Not
very likely.

Setting aside the poll's stragglers, we have to view the candidacies of Walker,
Rubio, Carson and Cruz as a unit, together getting 33 percent of the vote. Some
voters may prefer one or the other, but their support is, at the moment, likely
interchangeable. The winner of this four-way contest will emerge to challenge Bush
-- and the former Florida governor is vulnerable.

Which candidate that will be requires a more subtle calculation.

Walker has a big lead in financial support, seeming to be the favorite of Charles
and David Koch and their allies. But the Wisconsin governor has not yet shown the
depth and grasp of issues necessary for the national stage.

Rubio has a positive image but has flip-flopped on immigration and hasn't motivated
anyone to storm the barricades ... yet. The Florida senator's public appearances
have been too milquetoast and too biographic. He needs to use issues to win.

Cruz turned people off with his stridency on the Senate floor in October of 2013 but
may be capable to motivating the greatest positive passion among the bunch. He's
probably the brightest and best informed. The Texas senator knows how to use issues,
and is currently is the darling of the Tea Party.

Carson is a first-time candidate in an era in which, after our experience with
Barack Obama, we distrust ingenues. He still has to prove himself.

Of course, none of these defects are lethal and all can be overcome. Any of the four
could do it. (And don't count Huckabee out. He's the most likable and articulate of
them all.)
Power User
Posts: 6376

« Reply #208 on: March 26, 2015, 12:00:16 AM »

Interesting, and mostly right, I think.  Morris is a pollster so I presume this is a pretty good poll for this point in time.  That still means + or - 3 or 4% for all of them.  I like that my pick Rubio is being careful not to peak too early, lol.  He keeps getting just enough support to stay relevant.

The Morris bracket framework of quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals fits the Republican path to the Presidency pretty well this time around.  The nomination will most likely be wrapped up about 11 months from now unless it goes to the convention.  That leaves some time but it's not that far off either.

Morris' first test, that you are either for or against frontrunner Jeb Bush is a valid one, except that most people don't really know Jeb yet.  He is more likable and more politically skilled than people think so that number should go up some.  And, as mentioned, he will have the money to do that.

I think Morris reads Rand Paul's support correctly.  His fans already know him.  There are a good number of them.  They won't leave him easily, if ever.  Nor will he gain much as the process unfolds.

Scott Walker perhaps is peaking too early.  Based on the 2012 experience with Newt, Michele Backmann, Hermann Cain and others all having big surges that fizzled, it is easy to think that with the scrutiny of being front and center too early, Walker may eventually stumble.  However, he also is an underestimated politician and we don't know how far he can go. 

Morris wrote:  "Setting aside the poll's stragglers, we have to view the candidacies of Walker,
Rubio, Carson and Cruz as a unit, together getting 33 percent of the vote. Some
voters may prefer one or the other, but their support is, at the moment, likely
interchangeable. The winner of this four-way contest will emerge to challenge Bush
-- and the former Florida governor is vulnerable."

Add Kasich and Jindahl's support to that and that bracket reaches 36%, which could become a winner take all.

Of that group, I still see Rubio as the one emerging to challenge Bush and Paul.  Walker is the successful governor of the group, but now they argue his results are no better than the bordering states.  I will refute that, but can he, and can he hold his own on foreign policy and all kinds of other issues that don't come up as Governor of Wisconsin?  Walker appeared on Hugh Hewitt (radio) today and was questioned hard on foreign policy.  He did surprisingly well and will only get better.  He did have to say a couple of times that I agree with Rubio on that.

Carson is great and I wish he was ready for this but he isn't.  No one can be in that short of a time. 

Cruz is Cruz.  He is great but he has crossed too many people to suddenly become well liked.  This is partly a popularity contest, not just how good would you be if elected.  Ted Cruz didn't shut down the government but he did take the rap for it.  It's supposed to work just the opposite, you build up favors and cash in chips to win the nomination.  A groundswell of hundreds of thousands of conservatives won't push Cruz over the top.  He needs tens of millions.

It's going to be exciting; I hope we pick the right one this time.

Bigdog, if you are out there, I am ready to meet up with you in Iowa. 
Power User
Posts: 6376

« Reply #209 on: March 28, 2015, 03:28:16 PM »

CK made some remark like that and the warning is fair, we should be careful to pick someone ready for the job.  But those with the longest, widest and deepest experience (Kasich?) are not necessarily best for the job either. 

The column I was teeing off on was this one at the Federalist (Cruz thread):

Charles redeems himself here I think.  This is a first look at what he thinks will happen.  He is right that Cruz is a long shot, may break out - especially in the debate setting.  He pick Rubio first, also a first termer and also a long shot at this point.

The GOP racing form: First edition
By Charles Krauthammer  March 27

With Ted Cruz announcing and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio soon to follow, it’s time to start handicapping the horses and making enemies.

No point in wasting time on the Democratic field. There is none. The only thing that can stop Hillary Clinton is an act of God, and He seems otherwise occupied. As does Elizabeth Warren, the only Democrat who could conceivably defeat her.

On to the GOP.

First Tier

1. Marco Rubio. Trails badly in current polls, ranking seventh at 5 percent, but high upside potential.

Assets: Foreign policy looms uncharacteristically large in this election cycle, and Rubio is the most knowledgeable and fluent current contender on everything from Russia to Cuba to the Middle East. The son of Cuban immigrants, he can break into flawless Spanish (so can Jeb Bush) and speak passionately about the American story in a party that lost the Hispanic vote by 44 points in 2012.

Liabilities (in the primaries): His Gang of Eight immigration apostasy, though his current enforcement-first position has wide appeal. Second, after Barack Obama, will voters want another first-term senator with no executive experience? (Same for Cruz and Paul.)

Major appeal: Fresh, young, dynamic persona is a powerful counterpoint to Clinton fatigue.

Goes out at 3-1.

2. Jeb Bush. The consensus favorite (though I remain a bit skeptical). Solid, soft-spoken, serious, with executive experience and significant achievements as governor. What he lacks in passion, he makes up for in substance. And he has shown backbone in sticking to his semi-heretical positions on immigration and Common Core.

Obvious liability: His name. True, it helps him raise tens of millions of dollars, but it saddles him with legacy and dynastic issues that negate the inherent GOP advantage of running a new vs. old, not-again campaign against Hillary.

Odds: 7-2.

Cruz announces 2016 run for president(2:07)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) announced his intention to run for president in the 2016 election during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. (AP)
3. Scott Walker. A fine record of conservative achievement. Has shown guts and leadership in taking on labor unions and winning three elections (five if you count proxy elections) against highly energized Democrats.

Good, rousing speech in Iowa, but has stumbled since, flubbing routine questions on evolution and patriotism, then appearing to compare the Islamic State to Wisconsin demonstrators. Rookie mistakes, easily forgotten — if he learns from them.

Pandered on ethanol and fired a staffer who complained about Iowa’s unwarranted influence. Sure, everyone panders to Iowa, but Walker’s calling card is standing up to pressure.

Most encouraging sign: ability to maintain altitude after meteoric rise. Numbers remain steady. And his speeches continue to impress.

Odds: 4-1.

Second Tier

4. Chris Christie. Some politicians have their one moment. Christie might have missed his in 2012 when his fearless in-your-face persona was refreshingly new. Over time, however, in-your-face can wear badly. That plus Bridgegate cost him traction and dropped him out of the first tier. Biggest problem: being boxed out ideologically and financially by Jeb Bush for the relatively-moderate-governor-with-cross-aisle-appeal slot. 12-1.

5. Ted Cruz. Grand, florid campaign launch with matching rhetoric. Straightforward base-oriented campaign. Has developed a solid following. Could break out, especially in debate. 15-1.

6. Mike Huckabee. Great name recognition, affable, popular. But highly identified with social/cultural issues — how far can that carry him beyond Iowa and evangelicals? 15-1.

7. Rand Paul. Events have conspired against him. Obama’s setbacks and humiliations abroad have created a national mood less conducive to Paul’s non-interventionism. His nearly 13-hour ­anti-drone filibuster would not fly today. Is trying to tack back, even signing the anti-Iran-deal letter of the 47 senators. Strong youth appeal, though outreach to minorities less successful thus far. Bottom line: High floor of devoted libertarians; low ceiling in today’s climate. 30-1.

Longer Shots

8. Carly Fiorina. Getting her footing. Given current societal taboos, she is best placed to attack Hillary and has done so effectively. Can she do a Huckabee 2008 and, through debates, vault to the first tier? Unlikely. But because she’s talented and disciplined, not impossible. 50-1.

9. Ben Carson. Polling high, but is a novice making cringe-worthy gaffes, for example, on the origins of Islam and on gay choice (“a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight, and when they come out, they’re gay”). And not knowing that the Baltic states are in NATO. Truly good man, brilliant doctor, great patriot. But not ready for the big leagues. Chance of winning? Zero.


Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and John Kasich — still below radar. If they surface, they’ll be featured in the next racing form
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