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.


Head Midwest Young Man

The Republican National Committee is looking at having a so-called “Mid West Super Tuesday” after the early states go.  The idea would be to have Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin all vote on the same day shortly after the Florida primary.

If this went through it would shake up the race a great deal. First, it would make fundraising even more important than it already is for candidates.  Having to cover five or six big states with only a week or two to campaign would make television ads even more critical.  That will be costly because those states have some good sized media markets (Columbus, Detroit, Chicago). Of course, this will make Super PACs even more important than ever.

Second, it gives the party’s moderate wing more of say.  States like Illinois and Ohio still have good sized moderate wings (they are a minority for sure) that could unite behind one candidate (say Chris Christie) in a divided field and give them the votes need to squeak out a win.  Have we seen this movie before, in say 2008 or 2012?

Third, it helps potential candidates like Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, or Scott Walker.  All of them are from the Great Lakes area and would start out with higher name ID and built in bases of support.

Lastly, it does take away power from the South and West.  If someone comes out of that day winning all or more of the states (and the delegates) it could effectively end the race before the most Republican parts of the country even vote (minus South Carolina).  You would have the Great Lakes deciding who the nominee is for a party based in the South.

The next question will be how do the delegates get allotted.  If it’s winner-take-all then you really do have a big change coming to the GOP primary.

Should Reince Priebus Keep His Job

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has not been on a roll since he took over.  In 2012, his party failed to oust Obama, saw the Democrats majority in the Senate grow, and had Democratic House candidates get a million more votes than their GOP counterparts.  This past week he saw the Virginia lose the Governor and Lt. Governor’s races (with the Attorney General contest heading for a recount).

In addition, his autopsy report on the 2012 elections and its recommendations have all but been ignored by the party.

Based on these results should he keep his job?  Remember his number one priority is to win elections.  You can’t really say he’s doing that.


That’s a Pretty Easy Question to Answer

Congressman Ted Yoho has a problem. He needs someone, anyone to convince him why we need to raise the debt ceiling.  That’s a pretty simple one, Congressman.  If we don’t raise the debt ceiling the global economy is fucked.

There are numerous policy blogs that can explain that in greater detail.   Erza Klein makes a living doing that over at the Washington Post so feel free to go check his stuff out sometime.

Politically statements like this must terrify anyone at the Republican National Committee  who has a brain.  Being the party associated with the U.S. defaulting means would be an electoral nightmare.  Outside of the core of the GOP voters would punish the party for years if they had that label.

So maybe another answer for Congressman Yoho is that unless he wants to be one of 100 Republicans in the House of Representatives he might want to raise the debt ceiling.

Guess the Debates Are On CNN

It looks like CNN will be able to host to some GOP debates for the 2016 primary.  The movie they were doing on Hillary Clinton just got 86’ed.  Apparently no one wanted to work with them on the project.

Hopefully this will end the RNC’s call to not allow CNN to co-sponor any debates for 2016.   If things work out we will be able to get television magic like this:


Money Race is on JET$ Style

Many GOP hopefully made the pilgrimage up to the Big Apple to see Woody Johnson and other big time RNC donors.  The event was billed as an RNC fundraiser at Johnson’s home.  In reality it was a cattle call for the big money donors in the GOP (the kind who can create a super PAC with the change in their couches) to get a feel for the new crop of candidates.


Johnson also thought this was a good idea.

Each of the candidates made their rounds and obviously some impressed more than others.  Events like this will more and more common as the race starts to heat up.

While I may have joked about it these kind of big donors can have a profound impact on the contest now that we live in the age of super PACs.  Just one really rich guy who is convinced you’re the candidate does have the ability to pump millions into supporting a campaign with tv commercials.   Having a friend or two like that can really help.

It was reported that Rand Paul was the last to leave.  I guess that is an indication that his brand of conservate-libertarianism has some traction with the big donors. For what it’s worth I wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to get Johnson’s support.  This is the man who gave the final ok to hiring Eric Mangini, so you know his judgment is a little off.

Rand Paul’s Not Afraid of CNN

In response to being asked about the RNC’s decision not to partner with CNN or NBC for Presidential primary debates, if they go through with movies about Hillary Clinton, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul disagreed with the party committee.   He said:

“I don’t know exactly whether any kind of prohibition should be made on a network… I think that a Republican primary is for Republicans, and we’re trying to get to a Republican audience, so if there’s a presidential primary, I think we ought to choose people who are going to be fair moderators, I’ve been with fair moderators on all the networks, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a network thing, but I think it is finding someone who is not thought to be already agreed with the other side.”

Attacking CNN and NBC resonates with conservatives.  So, it’s interesting to see someone who is so busy trying to woo that base go against them on this one.

If a contender like Paul isn’t bothered by the networks, this also gives both news outlets a chance to call the RNC’s bluff.  What if they held nationally televised debates, are you really telling me no Republican candidates would show up?  They would all pass up free television time to please a guy named Reince?

I have my doubts.