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Posts Tagged ‘Politico’

Can Paul Ryan sell austerity?

August 13th, 2012

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This piece was originally posted on Politico.

Can Republicans sell austerity? That’s the message Mitt Romney is sending by naming Paul Ryan as his running mate.

The Ryan move signals a major redefinition of the Romney campaign. It’s no longer about creating jobs and turning around the economy. It’s about fiscal discipline and turning around the budget. That’s Ryan’s calling. He is, after all, chairman of the House Budget Committee. Read the rest of this entry »

In picking VP, just find someone to help win

April 24th, 2012

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This piece was originally posted on Politico.

Predicting a vice presidential choice is a mug’s game. How many people predicted Sen. John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in 2008? Who predicted that George H.W. Bush would pick Dan Quayle in 1988? Or that his son would pick Dick Cheney — the man he put in charge of the selection process — in 2000?

There are 10 reasons why you pick a running mate. Reason No. 1: Pick someone who will help you win. The other nine don’t matter.

That’s because, when a candidate picks a running mate, his mind is focused on one and only one thing: winning. Oh yes, compatibility would be nice. But John F. Kennedy was not concerned about compatibility when he named Lyndon B. Johnson to the ticket in 1960. The two rivals were anything but compatible. JFK was concerned about winning. He could not win without Texas. And he could not carry Texas without LBJ on the ticket. End of story.

Since 1960, however, it’s hard to prove that running mates have made a great deal of difference. In the past 12 presidential contests, the party has lost its vice presidential candidate’s home state one out of every three times. Most recently when the Democrats failed to carry Sen. John Edwards’s home state of North Carolina in 2004. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Rick Santorum won’t stop

April 13th, 2012

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This piece was originally posted on Politico.

“Irrelevant.” With one word, Sen. John McCain dismissed Rick Santorum’s role in the Republican presidential race.

Santorum’s response? “I’ve endured about eight months of people saying that,” he told The New York Times. “I’ve never been the party establishment’s candidate, and that holds true today and that’s nothing new.”

So why is he still running?

Santorum is a movement candidate. A movement is something people believe in and belong to. A campaign is something people support. Santorum claims to be carrying the flag for the conservative movement. “As conservatives and tea party folks, we are not just wings of the Republican Party,” he told the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. “We are the Republican Party.”

Are they? The Republican Party nominated McCain for president in 2008. He had run against the conservative movement in 2000 and was distrusted by the right. The Republican Party is about to nominate Mitt Romney for president in 2012. Romney is, first and foremost, a businessman. Definitely not a movement politician.

Movement conservatives like Santorum consider Romney an imposter. He signed a health care mandate into law in Massachusetts, for goodness sake. Nonetheless, conservatives have begun to coalesce behind Romney. Why? Because he looks like the only candidate who can defeat President Barack Obama. Read the rest of this entry »

Bracing for Victory

December 20th, 2009

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Originally published in Politico

Advice to Democrats: brace yourselves for victory. Because if Congress passes health care reform, Democrats better be prepared to defend it.

“Our Democratic friends are about to walk off a political cliff here,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned during the Senate debate this week. “Do we really want to change one sixth of the economy without a single Republican vote?”

Read the rest of this entry »