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February 10, 2016

Posts in "Democrats"

February 1, 2016

Revenge of the Old Fogies


UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26 - Kenny Jackson, from Knoxville, Iowa, smoke a cigarette as he dons a shaved head in support of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders before a meeting at the United Steelworkers Local 310L in Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Kenny Jackson, of Knoxville, Iowa, shows who he’s supporting before Sanders spoke to a meeting of the United Steelworkers Local 310L in Des Moines on Jan. 26, 2016. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

While the decision makers at news organizations from the Public Broadcasting System to CNN and the three major networks scramble to appeal to younger viewers, often by skewing younger with their hosts and commentators, Republican and Democratic voters in Iowa and nationally have embraced a remarkably “mature” handful of top tier candidates.

And by “mature,” I really mean old.

Full story

January 26, 2016

Hillary and Jeb: Destined to Play the Long Game?


UNITED STATES - JANUARY 24 - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton greets the crowd during a Get Out the Caucus event with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at Vernon Middle School, in Marion, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Clinton greets the crowd during a Get Out the Caucus event with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at in Marion, Iowa, on Sunday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In a previous election cycle, or maybe a previous decade, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush might, at this point, be coasting to their parties’ nominations. This cycle, however, both resemble tragic heroes — politicians who have worked hard to prepare themselves for the presidency yet face possible rejection by voters.

Some Clinton and Bush supporters hope their candidates have an advantage that is still being underestimated: their ability to remain in their respective presidential nominating contests until voters decide to turn to them.

Full story

January 19, 2016

Goldwater vs. McGovern in 2016?


UNITED STATES - JANUARY 15 - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at an event at the Living History Farms Visitor Center in Urbandale, Iowa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The strangest election in our lifetime continues to get stranger.

Very rarely, one party decides to make a suicidal statement about its views and values. It happened in 1964 and again in 1972, for example. But this time, both parties are at least flirting with the idea of nominating candidates who, under normal circumstances, appear unelectable in 2016. Full story

December 10, 2015

GOP’s Brand In More Trouble Than Its Candidates


Donald Trump 2016 is xxxx. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An ongoing civil war in the GOP, especially one in which Trump was a combatant, would be a heavy burden for any Republican nominee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Political brands are important,” I wrote more than a year and a half ago in a lede that was much less interesting than the entire column. Now, though, I am wondering whether political party brands are so different from soap brands or over-the-counter medicine brands, which loyal consumers often stick with no matter what the competition is selling.

Full story

December 6, 2015

Rothenberg’s End of the Year Awards


What if Trump won. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It has been almost 20 years since I started writing a best/worst end of the year column. Since I’m committed to doing them until I finally get one right, here goes this year’s attempt.

Weirdest Political Development of 2015 Full story

November 30, 2015

Obama Still Channeling George W. Bush


DALLAS, TX - APRIL 25:  U.S. President Barack Obama (L) listens as former President George W. Bush speaks during the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. The Bush library, which is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, with more than 70 million pages of paper records, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails and four million digital photographs, will be opened to the public on May 1, 2013. The library is the 13th presidential library in the National Archives and Records Administration system.  (Photo by Tony Gutierrez-Pool/Getty Images)

Both Obama and Bush promised they would bring Americans together but instead contributed to the increased polarization and anger in the country. (Tony Gutierrez/Pool Via Getty Images File Photo)

It has been almost 16 months since I wrote about the comparative positions of President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush as they approached their second midterm elections. Since then, the two presidents, and two administrations, have continued to resemble each other increasingly.

Many Republicans, no doubt, will take issue with the comparison, arguing that the surge in Iraq was working when Bush left office, Obama’s foreign policy has been a mess, and the current incumbent’s reliance on big government is very different from Bush’s approach. (Other Republicans will agree that Bush grew government, arguing that that is exactly the problem they are trying to address in 2016.)

Full story

November 18, 2015

Paris Attacks Will Keep Obama and Democrats Playing Defense


US President Barack Obama gestures during a press conference following the G20 summit in Antalya on November 16, 2015. Obama said on November 16 the United States had no precise intelligence warning of the Paris bombing and shooting attacks that have been claimed by Islamic State group jihadists. The United States has agreed to speed up its sharing of military intelligence with France to try to avert such assaults, the US leader added in a news conference after a summit in Turkey. AFP PHOTO /OZAN KOSE        (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

The is no political upside for Obama and Democrats over the Paris terror attacks. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

I say it repeatedly: Events matter. And for President Barack Obama, the terror attacks in Paris present a no-win political situation, at least until other, compelling news changes the subject.

That is not to say the president, the Democratic Party or the likely Democratic 2016 nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will be fatally damaged by the attacks that killed at least 129 people. The extent of any political damage is yet to be determined and rests, in part, on unforeseen events that will occur in the weeks and months ahead.

Full story

November 16, 2015

Don’t Get Too Caught Up in the Trump and Carson ‘Panic’


Republican presidential hopefuls  Donald Trump and Jeb Bush speak during the Presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump stepped into a campaign hornet's nest as his rivals collectively turned their sights on the billionaire in the party's second debate of the 2015.  AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite his lead in the polls, Trump hasn’t yet been put to the test on a ballot. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images file photo)

The panic is palpable from the media and too many GOP “insiders.”

The Republican Party is going to nominate Donald Trump or Ben Carson for president, guaranteeing Barry Goldwater-style losses in the 2016 elections and threatening the Republic. Or, as The Washington Post put it on Page 1 of its Nov. 13 issue, “GOP preps panic button,” and “Party elites see doom if Trump or Carson win.”

Full story

November 11, 2015

EMILY’s List Support Isn’t Early Enough for Senate Hopeful


UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 21: Democratic candidate Pam Keith, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Florida, is interviewed by CQ Roll Call, September 21, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Keith is running against much better-funded candidates for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pam Keith is a pro-choice Democratic woman running in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, but the first-time candidate is having trouble getting EMILY’s List interested in her candidacy in Florida.

EMILY’s List was founded 30 years ago to elect pro-choice Democratic women to office. EMILY is an acronym for “Early Money Is Like Yeast,” because “it makes the dough rise.”

Full story

November 9, 2015

Hillary Clinton and the Two-Term Jinx


It wasn't a jinx that kept McCain from winning the White House in 2008. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It wasn’t a jinx that kept McCain from winning the White House in 2008. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

I hear it all the time: Voters want change after one party has held the White House for eight years, and that’s why only once over the past six decades has a party held the presidency for three consecutive terms. Tough luck, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The observation has merit, but it isn’t nearly as significant a factor as it may initially seem. Full story

October 6, 2015

Early Iowa Presidential Polls a Better Predictor Than National Ones


Democratic presidential hopeful former North Carolina senator John Edwards (R) makes a point as Illinois Senator Barack Obama (C) and New York Senator Hillary Clinton (L) listen during the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate hosted by CNN and the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute 21 January 2008 at the Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  AFP PHOTO/STAN HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

National polls in 2007 showed Clinton with a big lead over Obama and Edwards going into the Iowa caucuses. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

Last month, national polls by CNN/ORC, Fox News and NBC News/Wall Street Journal got plenty of attention, and they certainly helped readers and viewers understand what is going on in the Republican and Democratic presidential contests.

But if history is any guide, early national polls are far less valuable in understanding what is happening in the presidential contest than are reliable surveys of Iowa voters, such as the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.

Full story

September 28, 2015

Does Voter Anger Explain the Success of Presidential Outsiders?


UNITED STATES - September 25: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Values Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington D.C., Friday, September 25, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The past 18 months have radicalized some in the GOP grass roots, which helps explain the rise of candidates such as Trump. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Those of us who report on and analyze politics for a living have been talking ad nauseam about voters’ frustration and anger.

It’s the hot topic that presumably explains Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Bernard Sanders, as well as the problems that political veterans such as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jeb Bush have encountered.

Full story

September 21, 2015

Young, Ambitious and Wealthy Isn’t Enough in Arkansas


U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge speaks at a Little Rock, Ark., civic club Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Beebe’s wins as a Democrat in Arkansas won’t provide Eldridge with a roadmap to victory in the Senate race. (Danny Johnston/AP File Photo)

Former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge announced on Sept. 9 he will seek the Arkansas Democratic Senate nomination and the right to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman in 2016.

Writing in the Arkansas Times before Eldridge entered the race, veteran political journalist Max Brantley observed the Democrat would be “a sparkling candidate in a long tradition of young, ambitious, smart lawyers — [Dale] Bumpers, [David] Pryor, [Jim Guy] Tucker, [Bill] Clinton, [Vic] Snyder.”

Full story

September 14, 2015

And the News Gets Worse for Clinton


Compared to the Republican race for president, the Democratic contest looks almost normal.

Yes, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s poll numbers have plummeted so far and so fast that she trails an avowed socialist in Iowa and New Hampshire polls, and she looks so damaged that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been encouraged to consider whether he should run for his party’s nomination. Full story

August 11, 2015

Stop the Presses: O’Malley Nabs Swalwell Endorsement


WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23:  Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks during an event at the Truman Center for National Policy July 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. O'Malley discussed the need for additional Wall Street reforms while speaking with former Congressman and House Finance Committee Member Brad Miller (D-NC).  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

O’Malley’s playing up Swalwell’s endorsement says a lot about his campaign. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Who knew the Democratic presidential race would be fundamentally changed in the blink of an eye? But that happened recently when California congressman Eric Swalwell, 34, endorsed former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a little.

Full story

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