23 June 2014
Senator Ted Cruz reads this blog?
Jeffrey Toobin spilled some New Yorker ink on Ted Cruz, and has this quote:
The chattering classes have consistently said, 'You crazy Republicans have to give up on what you believe and become more like Democrats.' And, I would note, every time Republicans do that we lose." Cruz then offered a short history of recent Presidential politics. Richard Nixon ran as a conservative, twice a winner; Gerald Ford, moderate, loser; Ronald Reagan, also twice a winner. "President George Herbert Walker Bush ran as a strong conservative, ran to continue the third term of Ronald Reagan, continue the Ronald Reagan revolution," Cruz went on. "Then he raised taxes and in '92 ran as an establishment moderate -- same candidate, two very different campaigns. First one won, second one lost. In 1996, you got Bob Dole; 2000 and 2004, you have George W. Bush; 2008, John McCain; 2012, Mitt Romney. And what does the entire D.C. Republican consulting class say? 'In 2016, we need another establishment moderate!' Hasn't worked in four decades. 'But next time will be the time!' "
Compare that to what I said a year ago in response to Stu Rothenberg's column that Republicans needed to nominate a "less ideological" and "more compromising" nominee:
[Nominating a moderate] is certainly conventional wisdom in Washington, DC, and has been for decades. But past results, while not necessarily indicative of future performance, completely belie Rothenberg's claim.
More ideological/less compromising nominees
Less ideological/more compromising nominees
Res ipsa loquitur. In the past 40 years, it looks like the GOP only won when they did the opposite of what you want them to do, Stu.
You win by unifying the party, and for the last few decades it has been nominees from the country club wing of the party that have done so poorly at it.
12 June 2014
Texas needs a Costa
If you don't follow Washington Post reporter Robert Costa (@costareports) on Twitter, then you are missing out. His tweets consistently break news. He is one of the few reporters who DC Republicans will talk to candidly, because they know he won't play gotcha politics. He reports, and his work at the National Review on the government shutdown made him so indispensable that the Washington Post had to hire him.
He's one of the extraordinarily rare instances that a major national media outlet has hired someone from a center-right publication. From a New Republic interview with him:
Q: [D]o you think being the National Review Washington editor helps you get scoops on the Republican side that reporters at The New York Times or other nominally neutral outlets, to say nothing of a liberal outlet, wouldn't get?
RC: Of course, and that's obvious, and I've known that from the start. But it's how I've developed that access. My job is connecting the dots with all these sources I have on the right. It gives me the ability to understand the language of conservatism. When I cover Tea Party activists and conservative House members, it's not like I'm a reporter going into a zoo and raising my eyebrows at the scene and filing some color piece. I'm really taking seriously the ways conservatives think, use power, and practice politics, and reporting that straight.
What is amazing is that Texas media does not have a Costa. TEXAS. There are some good reporters in Texas, but none has shown the ability to cover conservatives. Not only does it frequently lead to some milquetoast reporting and weak analysis, it means that citizens don't actually have a good sense of what is happening in their state government.
I continued to be surprised that no Texas media outlet has even attempted to find a Costa. There is an opening.
11 June 2014
Rick Perry will not be the VP nominee in 2016
Paul Burka has to win the award for Earliest Veepstakes Speculation. Put aside the fact that the Veepstakes is pretty silly in and of itself, speculating before we even know who is going to run for the nomination is particularly impressive.
Out of Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, Governor Perry is by far the least likely to be picked as VP. I can't even see a scenario where Rick Perry even makes someone's shortlist.
If you look back at who gets picked to be the Republican VP nominee, you'll notice that it is very definitely not people who fit Rick Perry's profile.
2012: Rep. Paul Ryan
2008: Gov. Sarah Palin
2000: Sec. Dick Cheney
96: Rep. Jack Kemp
88: Sen. Dan Quayle
80: CIA director/ Rep. George HW Bush
76: Sen. Bob Dole
Notice how many of those were governors? Just one, and what is interesting about Sarah Palin is that she was purposely a high-risk pick -- John McCain's lackluster, ad-hoc campaign needed to throw a Hail Mary. She was undefined in national politics, but what little identity she had at that point was as a maverick. She'd been governor for just a year and a half in a small state several timezones removed from most of America's population.
While it isn't impossible that the VP pick is a governor, being the VP isn't really something that a governor is likely to be good at. If you look at the Democrats's VP picks, you'll see a very clear trend: senators. Biden, Edwards, Lieberman, Gore, Bentsen, Ferraro, Mondale. None of them governors, and it's worth noting that Rep. Geraldine Ferraro is the only non-Senator picked by the Dems -- another high-risk pick by a weak campaign looking for a Hail Mary.
In fact, if you were to look to history, John Cornyn fits the profile of a VP pick much better than Cruz, Paul, or Perry. Strangely, Burka didn't even mention him.
10 June 2014
Ted Cruz no longer eligible to be a Canadian
Alberta-born Sen. Ted Cruz has given up his Canadian dual citizenship. The renunciation became official on May 14, roughly 9 months after he learned he wasn't only an American.
Cruz received notification by mail on Tuesday at his home in Houston.
In early 2011, staffers from an opposing #txsen campaign went to significant effort trying to anonymously make hay out of the fact that Cruz was born in Canada. There was even a blog for a bit of time to accompany the requisite rumormongering.
Nobody cared. Except maybe for the Dallas Morning News, who has been all over it.
09 June 2014
"We're tired of the 90s"
Yesterday's Politico Playbook led with snips from Hillary Clinton's book that are unintentionally hilarious:
--Chapter 1, "2008: Team of Rivals," p. 12-13: "Bill's cell phone rang. When he answered he heard the voice of the President-elect, who told him he wanted to talk to both of us. Bill explained that we were in the middle of a nature preserve and needed to call back when we got home. When we got back to our house .. [t]he President-elect picked [Bill's] brain about possible members of the economic team ... Then he told Bill that he was looking forward to getting together with me sometime soon."
1. Bill Clinton refuses to take Barack Obama's call just after he'd been elected president in 2008. Think about that. And it is self-evident he can't blame bad cell phone coverage.
2. Even in Hillary's own telling, Obama wasn't interested in her judgment of "possible members of the economic team." Of course Bill Clinton needs his ego stroked, but Obama could and should've at least pretended to care about Hillary's opinion. Nope.
Over the past year, as I've traveled around our country once again, the one question I'm asked more than any other is: Will I run for President in 2016? [SPOILER ALERT!] The answer is, I haven't decided yet. ... Having run for President before, I understand exactly how challenging it is on every front – not only on candidate but on their families as well.
"And having lost in 2008, I know that nothing is guaranteed, nothing can be taken for granted."
You know who says "nothing is guaranteed, nothing can be taken for granted?" In my experience, it is just about always from entitled people who feel like they should be able to take it for granted.
If you don't feel entitled to it, then you'd never say something like "nothing is guaranteed, nothing can be taken for granted."
Hillary's faux-indecision on running for president is silly.
Also, the title of this post is brought to you by the band Travis. Here is "Tied to the 90s":
04 June 2014
Making the Van de Putte face
Now we know why Leticia Van de Putte has a hard time answering easy questions.
Because if Van de Putte doesn't make lots of funny faces over a 9 second awkward pause, then she shoots awkwardly from the hip (as awkward as Wendy Davis with a gun?).
And is Van de Putte awkward:
At one point she was talking about Austin insiders and said, "If you can't drink their liquor, if you can't eat their food, if you can't (blank) their women, and then have the balls to go out on the next day and vote against them; then you don't belong in the legislature."
Later in the same interview Van de Putte gave a sage assessment on love, saying, "It's kind of like men. The worse you treat them, the more they keep coming back. You know they just, they just can't get enough."
If a Republican had said that, the Texas media would talk about nothing else between now and November.