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    2016 Election Tag

    Texas Democrats weren't happy when Governor Rick Perry headed overseas in spite of the first diagnosed cases of Ebola in the U.S. appearing in Texas. While this might have served as a valuable distraction from Wendy Davis's falling poll numbers, Perry's decision to maintain his international schedule is shaping up to put him ahead of the growing pack of candidates expected to seek the Republican presidential nomination. Even David Frum at The Atlantic has been forced to admit that Perry is building momentum both for his own campaign, and for America's foundering international reputation. In his article, Frum compares Perry's speeches overseas with those given during Obama's now-infamous "apology tour"---and emphasizes the crucial difference between the two statesmen:
    Like Obama, Perry acknowledged faults and flaws in American democracy and European history. But he seemed to have Obama’s ‘fault on both sides’ argument very much in mind when he countered with these words: “The shortcomings of Western democracies, the systematic savagery of the enemy—to a certain way of thinking, it all gets mixed up as one: ‘They’ve got bad guys over there, we’ve got a few of our own—what’s the difference?’” Perry’s London speech focused on the threat from ISIS and the Middle East. In Warsaw, he would have spoken about another—nearer—challenge: from Vladimir Putin and a revanchist Russia. In his prepared, undelivered remarks, Perry paid due tribute to the fact that it is the president, not governors—not even Texas governors—who make America’s foreign policy. ... The list of Republican candidates for 2016 is long. Still, a Texas governor always belongs near the top of that list given the state’s lode of electoral votes and deep-pocketed donors.
    You should really read the entire article; it's extraordinarily gracious considering Perry's history on the national stage. Conventional knowledge tells us that foreign policy is traditionally not the platform plank that gets voters to the polls; but that's not to say that Perry can't use the current crisis to his advantage.

    Will the third time be a charm for Mitt Romney? In a CNN poll run earlier this summer, 53% of Americans said that if the 2012 election were held today, they would vote for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama. (Obama managed to pull in 44% of respondents.) This poll, coupled with a few teasers from interviews with Romney himself, have refueled rumors that Romney is quietly preparing himself for another run at the Presidency. Via Byron York of the Washington Examiner:
    That belief is wrong. Romney is talking with advisers, consulting with his family, keeping a close eye on the emerging '16 Republican field, and carefully weighing the pluses and minuses of another run. That doesn't mean he will decide to do it, but it does mean that Mitt 2016 is a real possibility. ... A significant number of Romney's top financial supporters from 2012 have decided not to commit to any other 2016 candidate until they hear a definitive word from Romney. They believe they are doing it with the tacit approval of Romney himself. "Spencer Zwick has never said specifically to everyone to keep your powder dry," says the plugged-in supporter, referring to Romney's former finance chairman who remains very close to Romney. "But the body language, the intonation, and the nuance are absolutely there." So far, Romney's most dedicated supporters do not believe that his disavowals have been anywhere near definitive. They were particularly encouraged in late August, when Romney, in the middle of explaining to radio host Hugh Hewitt why he decided not to run in 2016, seemed -- at Hewitt's prodding -- to open the door just a bit by adding that "circumstances can change."

    It's fun to think about how the media would drive itself crazy trying to choose sides between Joe and Hillary. On one hand, Hillary is a woman and the media's expected inheritor of the presidency. On the other hand, Biden is part of the Obama administration. Justin Sink of The Hill recently reported:
    Biden fuels '16 talk with New Hampshire visit Vice President Biden will head to New Hampshire next week for an event on the economy that is certain to intensify speculation that he is readying a bid for the presidential nomination in 2016. Biden will be joined at the Wednesday event in Portsmouth by members of Congress, the White House said in a statement. The attendees at the event could include Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who is locked in a tough reelection fight against former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). Shaheen did not meet with Biden during his last trip to the state, a fact that was highlighted by the state's GOP.

    Texas Governor Rick Perry was booked today on charges of abuse of power, but before he went in to pose for the greatest mugshot in the history of mugshots, he took the time to speak at a pickup rally organized in support of the Governor and his fight against Texas democrats. The Washington Free Beacon has the video:
    I’m here today because I did the right thing. I’m going to enter this courthouse with my head held high, and not only were the actions that I took not only lawful and legal, but right. And if I had to do so, I would veto funding for the integrity unit again. You think any governor, Democrat or Republican, would expect this important unit with jurisdiction over state officials, be led by someone who lives up to the high standard of conduct and personal integrity. And this issue is far bigger than me. It is about the rule of law, about the constitution that allows not just a governor but every citizen to speak their mind free of political interference or legal intimidation. [ cheers and applause ] This indictment is nothing but an attack on the constitutional powers of the governor. There are important fundamental issues at stake, and I will not allow this attack on our system of government to stand. I’m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being. and we will prevail. and we’ll prevail because we’re standing for the rule of law.
    After Perry was booked, he went to Sandy's ice cream, as is the Texas way. Although these charges appear to be nothing more than a political power play, Governor Perry is playing a very smart long game by both hiring an excellent legal team, and welcoming the commentary from pundits on both sides of the aisle---almost all of whom believe that the indictment is nothing more than a transparent political play.

    Formed this year at the end of July, "Rick PAC," Rick Perry's Political Action Committee, is still going strong with their fundraising efforts ahead of the 2014 elections and 2016 presidential election cycle. I received this in my inbox this morning, and am taking it as proof positive that Rick Perry is beyond confident that he will not only beat Texas democrats' efforts to prosecute him for rightfully using his veto power, but that his reputation will remain untarnished when the dust settles. Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.04.41 PM Officially registered as a Political Action Committee, Rick PAC can legally raise money to both support or oppose multiple federal candidates; this means that if he chooses to stay in the running for 2016, Perry will be able to use the money raised from his recent groundswell of support to make another run for the Presidency.

    Hillary didn't have to defend the child rapist. Once she took the case, she had to do everything ethical to provide the defense. But she didn't have to take the case. Hillary could have just said no. And she didn't have to cackle about getting the guy off easy. There's nothing funny about it. Nothing. It's Mitt's dog, haircut, and secret tape cubed. If the media wants it to be. It also goes to a core political issue, Hillary’s sisterhood questioned again as rape victim speaks out. This will be a big f-ing deal if and when Hillary runs. It already is. (video via Free Beacon) Added:  Some background on the MSNBC segment, noting Hillary's explanations are inconsistent with past statements and correcting errors, from the Free Beacon:

    The latest frontrunner talk among the Republican insiders and DC media types is none other than Mitt Romney. But are Americans ready for a third run for President by the 2012 GOP loser to Barack Obama? With the economy in virtual stagnation for six years, Russia annexing Ukranian territory and Islamic terrorists on the doorstep of Baghdad -- Mitt Romney (circa 2012) suddenly seems like a wise soothsayer:
    “I’m saying in terms of a geopolitical opponent, the nation that lines up with the world’s worst actors, of course the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran, and nuclear North Korea is already troubling enough, but when these terrible actors pursue their course in the world and we go to the United Nations looking for ways to stop them, when [Syrian President] Assad, for instance, is murdering his own people, we go to the United Nations and who is it that always stands up for the world’s worst actors? It is always Russia, typically with China alongside, and so in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, that has the heft of the Security Council, and is of course a massive security power — Russia is the geopolitical foe.” - Mitt Romney, October 2012

    Who among us is surprised by this report by Alana Goodman at The Washington Free Beacon about Team Billary trying to impress upon the NY Times the importance of LEAVE HILLARY ALONE! Hillary to New York Times: Back Off:
    Some of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides blasted the New York Times for what they said was unfair coverage of the former first lady during a recent secret meeting with the paper’s Washington bureau, the Washington Free Beacon has learned. Sources said the meeting included Clinton advisers Philippe Reines and Huma Abedin, as well as Times Washington bureau chief Carolyn Ryan and national political reporter Amy Chozick, who has been on the Clinton beat for the paper. During the closed-door gathering, Clinton aides reportedly griped about the paper’s coverage of the potential 2016 candidate, arguing that Clinton has left public office and not be subjected to harsh scrutiny, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
    Even CNN mocked control freak Billary (via IJR Review):

    I've seen this coming for a couple of years. Julian Castro, the Mayor of San Antonio, reportedly is being nominated for a Cabinet post to give him the credentials to be Hillary's Veep pick. San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro Is Said to Be HUD Pick in Cabinet Reshuffling:
    President Obama is preparing to nominate Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio as his new secretary of housing and urban development, elevating one of his party’s Hispanic rising stars as part of a cabinet shuffle that has possible implications for the 2016 presidential race, Democrats informed about the plans said on Saturday. Mr. Castro, who has often been mentioned as a potential vice-presidential candidate for the Democrats, would take the place of Shaun Donovan, who would become director of the Office of Management and Budget.... Mr. Castro, 39, won national attention in 2012 as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, and he and his twin brother, Representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas, have become popular speakers on the party’s fund-raising circuit. Mr. Obama and the Democrats have predicated their future electoral hopes on appealing to the country’s growing Hispanic population as House Republicans have blocked their efforts to overhaul the immigration system.
    Scott Conrad also saw this coming, writing in August 2013, Vice President Julian Castro?:

    A better question might be should Dr. Ben Carson run for president? It's no secret that Dr. Carson enjoys tremendous support from American conservatives. When he spoke at CPAC in March of this year, the audience was sprinkled with signs which read "Run Ben, Run" but that doesn't necessarily form the basis of a campaign. Then again, maybe it does. Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard recently reported...
    Ben Carson Moves Toward Presidential Run Ben Carson is warming to the idea of running for president. Since the famous brain surgeon retired last year from Johns Hopkins Hospital, he’s been speaking around the country to enthusiastic audiences. And they’ve affected his thinking about seeking national office. “Over the years, there have been many attempts to get me to throw my hat in the political arena,” Carson writes in his new book, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future. “I have been offered support from around the country and tremendous financial resources if I decide to run for national office. But I have not felt the call to run.”
    Ramesh Ponnuru offered a counterpoint at Bloomberg News...

    Chelsea Clinton has announced she's pregnant. Congratulations. Best wishes for mother and child. It would be perfectly natural for Hillary to show off the grandbaby, particularly if, as expected, she runs for President. I can envision the family, including grandbaby, on stage at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 as Hillary accepts the nomination -- maybe with Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow playing in the background Hillary more than anyone needs humanizing, in what already is a multi-year rebranding project. And Hillary isn't waiting for the arrival to publicly express her joy: https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/statuses/456903198834700288 Will Hillary be treated like Sarah Palin was back in 2008, when Palin appeared with her own child Trig, and was accused of using him as a prop? From the Legal Insurrection archives:

    Yeah, me too. Donald Trump. But I don't think that's what the Ban Bossy campaign is about. The #BanBossy movement pretends to protect little girls from the humiliation of being called "bossy," and thereby will empower a generation of strong, powerful female leaders (so long as you don't call them bossy, because that would crush them). The movement is backed by "Lean In" Sheryl Sandberg and The Girl Scouts, for whom every girl is a potential victim. (Put aside all the objective evidence that girls are outperforming boys in almost every measure.) A slew of major corporations and celebrities have lined up behind the banning of bossy. ) There nothing wrong, and much good, at encouraging young girls to lead. But this campaign has a strong victimization narrative. This teaches young girls that they are victims and need the emotional protections that little boys don't. At best that is a mixed message. And why now? Why have the word police suddenly descended on us to shape our speech? Can't boys and men be bossy too? Has there been some epidemic of bossy such that now is the time to act. A follower on Twitter made the connection to prepping the battlefield for Hillary:

    Much like insurance, Hillary Clinton isn't bought, she's sold. And it's always been a hard sale. She has name recognition, and is the default candidate for a significant percentage of the electorate, but there's always been something missing. It's why Obama could appear out of nowhere to take her down, and it's why Elizabeth Warren could do the same thing if only she would run. That's why there is the Ready for Hillary shadow campaign apparatus -- we must want Hillary. The selling of Hillary by the Ready for Hillary PAC is playing out in the earliest stages of the Iowa caucuses, as Ruby Cramer at Buzzfeed reports, Clinton Supporters Want Iowa To Want Her:
    After the meetings, the exhausted team declared the day a success. Attendees had been excited; had pinned “Iowans Ready for Hillary” buttons to their lapels; had smiled wide watching video clips from Clinton speeches; had even, at one point, broke into spontaneous applause and cheering at her mention. “If we build it, she will come,” said one of the meeting’s organizers, Bonnie Campbell, a former Iowa attorney general and Clinton administration appointee.... Another frustration emerged during meetings. In spending time and resources on a candidate who isn’t even in the race yet, some said, Ready for Hillary stages a “total inversion” of the traditional primary, as state Rep. Jo Oldson put it. Iowa, Oldson said, likes its candidates to beg voters — not the other way around. “This is just a different twist on how Iowans view getting into presidential campaigns,” she said. “It’s Iowa asking her to run, rather than the candidate asking Iowa to elect her.”
    All this We Want You To Want Hillary stuff could backfire, as Michael Warren at The Weekly Standard points out, Hillary Supporters in Iowa: She Can't Be Seen As 'Ordained':
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