As part of their commitment to being on the cutting edge of journalism Politico write that it’s 95% certain Rand Paul will run for President in 2016. Next they’ll be writing and in-depth series on how the Pope is a Catholic and ice is cold.
This has been a certainty since Paul won his Senate seat in 2010. The real question is whether he can win anything. I have my doubts. Don’t be surprised if he keeps alive the family streak of not winning any states in a GOP primary.
In Quid Pro Quo at it’s finest Senate Majority Leader in waiting Mitch McConnell today endorsed Rand Paul if the junior Kentucky Senator runs for President. I say if because of course you can’t endorse something that isn’t happening yet. Here are McConnell’s exact words:
McConnell also is intrigued by Paul’s plans for 2016, when Kentucky’s junior senator faces re-election to his Senate seat while potentially running for president.
It’s a safe bet that Paul won’t be the only member of McConnell’s GOP caucus who considers trying for a move to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Does that require a tricky balance?
“(It’s) not tricky at all,” McConnell said. “Obviously, I’m a big supporter of Rand Paul. We’ve developed a very tight relationship, and I’m for him.”
“Whatever he decides to do,” McConnell said. “I don’t think he’s made a final decision on that. But he’ll be able to count on me.”
Of course McConnell did this. First, he doesn’t want all the Paul supporters in Kentucky on his ass for months about this. Second, more than anything McConnell wants to get rid of Paul. McConnell knows Paul can’t run for President and re-election under Kentucky law. So if he gets Paul to run, and by the way Paul ain’t winning the nomination, Paul will leave the Senate and McConnell won’t have to deal with him anymore. Once Paul is gone, guess who’ll took control of picking Paul’s replacement? Oh yeah, Mitch McConnell.
Apparently, not everyone has joined the rush of media hailing the upcoming Libertarian golden age. Of course it is hard to believe considering how much press Libertarians get for doing so little.
It turns out that the young folks may actually be not just socially liberal but also supportive of government programs to help the poor.
Research from Emory University finds voters under 30 identify as liberal and not libertarian but a margin of 35-16. Their attitude towards social welfare spending is more favorable than those over 30 by a 10 point margin. Numbers like this show that the GOP might be fooling itself if they think younger votes will automatically flock to them if they nominate someone like Rand Paul.
After coming of age during the Great Recession some people don’t automatically embrace the market as the solver of all life’s problems. Go figure.
Studies like this should give the GOP pause to think that simply changing their position on gay marriage or pot (neither of which will be easy) and leaving everything else in place is suddenly going to bring in a whole new flock of voters. In some places it may turn off many of their socially conservative supporters but that is a story for another post.
Seattle has just elected it’s first Socialist to the city council. Kshama Sawant won a narrow victory over long-time council member Richard Conlin. While she has been profiled in the Nation and on MSNBC, can you imagine the amount of media coverage a Libertarian candidate would be getting if they won a city council seat in a major American city?
They would be profiled in the Wall Street Journal, FOX News, Washington Post, New York Times, NPR. Columnists like George Will would be hailing them as the way forward for the GOP.
Don’t believe me? Look at how much media coverage Libertarians have received from outlets here, here, or here. These links do not include John Stossel’s FOX Business Network show, which is a nightly propaganda piece for the Libertarian point of view.
Just something to keep in mind the next time you hear conservatives or Libertarian-Republican crying about media bias.
I will admit it when I am wrong. Robert Sarvis did better than I thought. He pulled 6.6% instead of the 4% I thought he’d get.
Sarvis really ended up being a factor, especially in places like Bath, Craig and Alleghany counties were he pulled 10%. In all three of those counties Obenshain ran up bigger scores against the Democrats than Cuccinelli did against the Republicans. The vote for Sarvis is the key reason for that.
Before Libertarians start celebrating too much, remember the Sarvis vote there was not ideological. As I wrote earlier, that vote was driven by anger at Cuccinelli over a dispute with the energy companies and land owners. If that dispute didn’t happen or Bolling had been the nominee those counties most likely give the GOP nominee the same margins they gave Obenshain.
Of course, I am sure some in the media will ignore that last part and proclaim this as another example of the Libertarian moment dawning in America.
The conservative movement is determined to destroy Robert Sarvis. Here is the latest example from the National Review. Apparently he is really not a Libertarian at all.
Why is Sarvis getting all of this attention from conservative media and thought leaders? Namely, they see him as a prime obstacle to Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for governor. In their view if the Sarvis voters return to the GOP fold then Cooch will be able to defeat the terrible Terry McAuliffe.
Interestingly though it turns out BigMac has a 47-45 lead over Cooch with Sarvis voters when asked who of the two major party candidates they’d support if Sarvis dropped out. So maybe something else is going on here?
It could be that the conservatives are looking for someone to blame. Sarvis is an easy scapegoat. He has limited resources and will be probably be done with electoral politics when the race is over. Also, at this point it is better to have someone to go after who is keeping the holy, sacred base from uniting. Because we all know when the conservative base is united the GOP absolutely cannot lose.
Is it smart right for Cooch to be trying to out-Libertarian the Libertarian? Cooch keeps saying he is the most liberty candidate elected in his lifetime (was there liberty-off that I missed?) but is this where he wants to be?
Remember, we are just coming off a government shutdown and people in Virginia are still pretty ticked at the GOP for it. Should Cooch really be going around saying “hey, look at me federal employees and government contractors I want less of you. And all of you people who were mad at the Tea Party for the shutdown, well they’re my buddies!!”
I guess we’ll learn the answers to these questions in 5 days.
Can they save Cooch?
The Republican cavalry appears to be on its way to Virginia. While BigMac may be closing with President Obama, Cooch has a preliminary 2016 GOP roster coming in to help. On Saturday Cooch will campaign with Scott Walker and Monday he’ll do events with Marco Rubio and Ron Paul.
Both sides are putting everything into mobilizing their base, which is the norm at the end of a campaign. For Cooch the message seems aimed squarely at Libertarians and Tea Party activists. Of course, there is a risk of alienating moderate voters who blame the GOP over the shutdown.
In addition, it is a little surprising that at this stage of the game Cooch needs to rally them. Even with Robert Sarvis in the race you would still think those folks would have come back to the GOP by now.
If they haven’t come back by now it may be a sign that they aren’t coming back at all, regardless of who campaigns with Cooch.