No One Saw this Coming

Jeb Bush is going to actively explore a run for the White House.  I wonder what he’ll find?  Maybe diamonds, gold, a lost civilization, or a many rich, older,white guys who are really pumped to have yet ANOTHER Bush in the White House.

Hard to say isn’t it.

This does have HUGE implications on the race.  First, Chris Christie is no longer the favorite to win the backing of Bush Republicans (what some call the Establishment).  Bush will have instant access to their money and support, which Christie was banking on for a run. Second, Marco Rubio will feel the squeeze.  Although his star was already on the decline having Bush in the race means many Florida people will be torn between the two and probably go with the elder over the Senator.

Third, Democrats can no longer assume 2016 will be a slam dunk.  If Bush is the nominee he will be a tough opponent.  He puts Florida, Colorado and Nevada back in play and takes away the chance for the Democrats to take Arizona or North Carolina.

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Big Winner Last Night

Everyone is looking at last night’s results to see who won and who lost.  Looking past the winners and losers of races it’s important to see people not on the ballot and how they were impacted.

In this regard, Chris Christie was the big winner last night (insert fat joke here).  As head of the Republican Governor’s Association Christie played a key role in getting Republicans elected in Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Florida.  Those governors will owe the New Jersey Governor a favor and what better way to pay it back than down the road in late 2015 or early 2016 with an endorsement?

Keeping in mind that governors are key players in state GOPs.  In most cases they control the state party apparatus and can play a big role in helping determine when a state’s primary or caucus may be.  Doubt this?   See what Branstad is going in Iowa to the Straw Poll?

Having these guys as your allies will give Christie a big advantage in locking up establishment support,

Also, after having just spent a year traveling the country Christie has raised his profile even more and had more time with state and county party chairs and committee members.  That kind of face time can again prove invaluable in building the type of far reaching national network that is needed to win a Presidential primary.

When Chris Christie runs last night will be a key springboard to any success.

A Brave New World

Well, gentlemen start your engines.  You can bet after last night’s many victories the GOP will have a plethora of candidates looking to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Why not?  They won big and feel the political wind is at their backs after having crushed Obama and the Democrats.

Who will in this cast of characters?  Here is a preliminary list:

  • Chris Christie
  • Rand Paul
  • Ted Cruz
  • Mike Pence
  • Scott Walker/Paul Ryan
  • Jeb Bush
  • Marco Rubio
  • Ben Carson
  • Peter King
  • John Bolton
  • Rick Santorum
  • Bobby Jindhal
  • Rick Perry
  • At least one Congressman you’ve never heard of
  • Someone who’s never held elected office

Of it’s going to fun.  Welcome to the brave new world.

Guess They Don’t Stand with Rand on this One

A poll from the Washington Post-ABC News shows 63% of conservative Republicans and 61% of all Republicans back Obama’s airstrikes in Iraq.

First, Obama has actually done something conservatives support.  That don’t happen every day.  Second, this is a sign that reports of the death of the neocons are greatly exaggerated.  Now, they will not call themselves neocons or Bush Republicans but those are exactly the kind of policies Republicans are supporting when they are willing to back even Obama on Iraq.  Imagine if it was President Walker or Christie who ordered the strikes, support would be in the 80’s.

Third, this is a big problem from Rand Paul.  It is impossible for Paul to escape this non-interventionist foreign policy roots.  Hell, it’s probably what drives half of his support in the GOP.  The thing is that going into a primary where your first goal is to build support among the GOP base it’s a little harder when you and them have a big disagreement on a big issue.  Also, it probably won’t help that your opponents will be CONSTANTLY reminding the voters of that difference.  

It’s not all bad Rand.  The staff of Reason Magazine loves you more than ever.  That’s good for 20-25 votes. 

Credit Where It’s Due

Any reader of this blog knows I am no fan of Rand Paul.  Ok, that’s putting it mildly.  But I’ll also give him credit for writing the following things in a Time.com piece:

When you couple this militarization of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury—national security letters, no-knock searches, broad general warrants, pre-conviction forfeiture—we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands.

Given these developments, it is almost impossible for many Americans not to feel like their government is targeting them. Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.

The problem is that I am liberal and my views are not representative of the GOP base at all.   Does anyone think Chris Christie would EVER write something like this?  Do people think this is going to play well with the law and order GOP base?  Do GOP voters really want to hear a lecture on the police being too tough or the system unfairly discriminating against minorities?  I have my doubts.  This seems almost tailor made for a “he’s soft on crime” attack.

 

One Year From Now

In 12 months we will be in the thick of the GOP 2016 primary race.  By this point we will probably have had our first debate and will have some kind of big event going on in Iowa.  Lord willing it will be the Straw Poll.  Also, all of the candidates will have announced and at least one will be in the middle of a scandal about their past.

Good times await.

Chris Christie’s Determined to Win MSNBC Primary

Chris Christie will be the darling of the non-conservative media in the 2016 GOP primary.  The title that had been held by Jon Huntsman and John McCain will carried forward by Christie.  Let’s review, he’s done slow jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon, been on Saturday Night Live, spoken in favor of gun control and now this:

You might say Christie can laugh at himself and to a general election audience but how will it play to an activist audience?  Do they want someone chummy with the so-called Mainstream Liberal Media?  No they want someone out for blood.  Someone who is going to lead the charge and smack some sense into the kind of people who watch Fallon on Morning Joe.

Plus on a cultural level it does remind the Southern, midwestern, small town GOP faithful that Christie is a Northeastern city guy, a.k.a. not one of them.