December 17, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 22%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 39%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 51%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:05 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 15, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 22%
  • Somewhat approve 26%
  • Somewhat disapprove 11%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 48%
  • Disapprove 51%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 1:13 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 11, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 24%
  • Somewhat approve 23%
  • Somewhat disapprove 13%
  • Strongly disapprove 39%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:08 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 9, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 24%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 38%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 49%
  • Disapprove 50%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:54 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 6, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 21%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 46%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 12:03 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 4, 2014

An Open Letter To Mitt Romney

I just read the following in the Business Insider:

Mitt Romney held meetings with donors in New York this week that left one attendee convinced he is running for president again in 2016.

A member of Romney’s inner circle who spoke to Business Insider said the former governor of Massachusetts traveled to New York City on Monday where he met with key financial backers of his past campaigns to lay the groundwork for a 2016 White House bid.

In addition to potential donors, the source said Romney met with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) this week.

Christie endorsed Romney during his last race. However, he is expected to mount his own White House bid in 2016.

Romney’s meetings this week are not his first efforts to reconnect with former donors and campaign staff. In October, The Washington Post reported on a “flurry of behind-the-scenes activity” that Romney’s “friends” said was leading him to “more seriously consider” running for president again. This activity included multiple meetings with donors and “supporters in key states” as well as an October dinner in Boston that Romney and his wife hosted for “former campaign advisers and business associates.”

In September, Romney’s wife, Ann, indicated Romney would be discouraged from mounting another White House bid if former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) enters the 2016 field. … Bush has said he is thinking about launching a campaign. In an October interview, Ann said Romney was “done” running for president. However, the source who spoke to Business Insider said she would be fully supportive if her husband does decide to run in 2016.

(more…)

December 2, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 22%
  • Somewhat approve 26%
  • Somewhat disapprove 13%
  • Strongly disapprove 38%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 48%
  • Disapprove 51%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 12:03 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 1, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 23%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 11%
  • Strongly disapprove 39%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 48%
  • Disapprove 50%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 9:34 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

November 28, 2014

The UK Takes a Different Route

In sharp contrast to President Obama’s actions earlier this week, Britain’s Prime Minister proposed new rules to limit immigration (mostly by limiting welfare benefits to immigrants) and threatening, more openly than in the past, to take his country out of the EU if his actions are not accepted by that body.

David Cameron has urged other EU leaders to support his “reasonable” proposals for far-reaching curbs on welfare benefits for migrants.

Britain’s prime minister said lower EU migration would be a priority in future negotiations over the UK’s membership and he would “rule nothing out” if he did not get the changes he wanted.

Under his plans, migrants would have to wait four years for certain benefits.

Brussels said the ideas were “part of the debate” to be “calmly considered”.

Mr Cameron said he was confident he could change the basis of EU migration into the UK and therefore campaign for the UK to stay in the EU in a future referendum planned for 2017.

But he warned that if the UK’s demands fell on “deaf ears” he would “rule nothing out” – the strongest hint to date he could countenance the UK leaving the EU.

Details on Cameron’s proposals are at the link.

As with Obama’s actions, domestic political considerations are playing a big role here. David Cameron has an election coming up next year with a danger that he may lose much of his support on the right to the UK Independence Party.

by @ 8:06 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, International

November 26, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 23%
  • Somewhat approve 23%
  • Somewhat disapprove 11%
  • Strongly disapprove 41%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 46%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 11:26 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

November 25, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 23%
  • Somewhat approve 22%
  • Somewhat disapprove 11%
  • Strongly disapprove 41%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 45%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:53 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

November 24, 2014

Rand Paul Calls for Declaration of War to Combat ISIS

From The New York Times:

Senator Rand Paul is calling for a declaration of war against the Islamic State, a move that promises to shake up the debate over the military campaign in Iraq and Syria as President Obama prepares to ask Congress to grant him formal authority to use force.

Mr. Paul, a likely presidential candidate who has emerged as one of the Republican Party’s most cautious voices on military intervention, offered a very circumscribed definition of war in his proposal, which he outlined in an interview on Saturday. He would, for instance, limit the duration of military action to one year and significantly restrict the use of ground forces.

Unlike other resolutions circulating on Capitol Hill that would give the president various degrees of authority to use force against Islamic militants, Mr. Paul would take the extra step of declaring war — something

Full story here.

Related: Hagel OUT as Sec. Def.

by @ 12:09 pm. Filed under 2016, Barack Obama, Foreign Affairs, Rand Paul

November 23, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 23%
  • Somewhat approve 24%
  • Somewhat disapprove 10%
  • Strongly disapprove 41%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 51%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:50 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

November 21, 2014

Obama Was NOT Being Unconstitutional. He Was, However, Being Arrogant and Foolish

In spite of all you heard last night and this morning about Obama the king, the tyrant, the emperor, the trampler of the Constitution, what he did was not actually against the Constitution.

“What?”, you say, “What about the separation of powers in the Constitution?” Well, what about them? The Constitution gives Congress the power to create laws and the President to enforce them. Part of the power to enforce is also the power NOT to enforce them through a principle known as prosecutorial discretion.

There is an interesting thing about the Constitution of the United States. It actually sets no limits on a President’s power. Let me repeat that. There are NO limits on a President’s power expressed in the Constitution. You don’t believe me? Here is a link to the actual text of the Constitution of the United States. Read it. See if you can find any real limits on a President’s power. Good luck, they simply are not there. It puts limits some very specific limits upon what Congress, but there’s nary a word about what a President cannot do.

“Wait a minute”, you say. “Didn’t I learn in school that the Founding Fathers were afraid of a king?” Yes, you did. However, the framers of the Constitution had just lived for over a decade under governments of the various states that had had over-bearing legislatures. They knew first hand the evils of a legislature that had too much power. One delegate even commented that given the choice, “…we had better chuse a single despot at once. It will be more easy to satisfy the rapacity of one than of many.”

The Founders wanted a “vigorous Executive”. That phase crops up again and again in the notes of the Convention. They wanted the President to be strong so that he could do what he has to do, and they limited the power of Congress from handcuffing him as so many Legislatures had done (think Parliament). The genius the Constitution is that they somehow managed to limit the power of a President without actually placing any limits on his power.

Wow! (more…)

by @ 12:38 pm. Filed under Barack Obama

OPINION: Help Us, Chris Christie, You’re Our Only Hope

The 2014 midterm elections were long expected to go well for Republicans. What was surprising was just how good a night the GOP wound up having, and that is in large part due to the extraordinary success of Chris Christie and the RGA.  Long thought to be the Democrats’ silver lining in 2014, the governors races ended up delivering a succession of crippling blows to the President’s party. Holding key states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida, while adding blue states like Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois, was the unexpected highlight of the election and the crowning achievement of Christie’s record-breaking tenure as RGA chairman. This accomplishment has rightly put Christie back in the frontrunner’s position for 2016.

Naturally, his return to the top has angered some on the far right, as well as some Bush loyalists in the establishment. But despite the naysayers, Christie is still better positioned and better suited to be the party’s standard bearer in 2016 than anyone else. This is due not only to Christie’s strengths, but also the profound weakness of his competition. Here are a few reasons why the 2016 field doesn’t stand much of a chance against the New Jersey governor:

1. Bush Baggage – The notion of Jeb Bush as a frontrunner has been a perplexing one for me. True, his family connections and donor base will give him a early jump on some of the new faces looking at the race, but other than that what does a third Bush run offer? The former Florida governor has been out of office for over a decade, a lifetime in politics. He champions a number of policies despised by the conservative base and attempts to sell these positions with a stage presence and style that would make Al Gore seem exciting. Worst of all, after painstakingly moving the party out of the shadow of George W. Bush, brother Jeb would pull us right back in. In a field of candidates unburdened by votes for the Iraq War or a bailout for the financial industry, Jeb Bush will be made to defend both. He is uniquely positioned to be the only Republican still carrying those albatrosses around his neck.  Add that to the fact that the Democrats are relying on a dynastic relic of their own for 2016, and it all seems incredibly stupid for the GOP to do the same. Why would we want to create a contrast between the Clinton economy of the 1990’s and the Bush economic collapse of 2008? Why hinder ourselves with the burden of the Bush family when we can finally run a new generation candidate in a change election? Without question, Jeb Bush is the worst possible option for 2016.

2. Empty Resumes – After two terms of Barack Obama and years of complaining from the GOP faithful about how unqualified and unprepared this half-term senator was for the job, the conservative base seems eager to offer up even less qualified candidates of their own. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio all have resumes even weaker and devoid of accomplishments than Sen. Obama offered in 2008. While some would argue that Rubio doesn’t belong in this group due to his short time in the Florida legislature, I would argue his flip-flop on immigration reform (a bill he helped write) has damaged his credibility even more so than his unqualified fellow senators. If these three were not unfit enough, conservatives are also pushing Dr. Ben Carson, a man with no political or governing experience whatsoever. None. Zip. Zilch. The shocking lack of qualifications among this group would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

3. Untested Governors – The common refrain among Republicans is that the 2016 field is so deep and talented. This notion seems to stem from the accomplished crop of governors that the party has cultivated. At first glance this seems to be the case, but upon further review, this group of big talents appears to be a collection of paper tigers. Take Rick Perry, the outgoing governor of Texas, who humiliated himself in the last presidential race despite his state’s good economic record. There is Bobby Jindal, often cited as a big thinker, who has also made himself a punch-line on the national stage when he wasn’t busy being the South’s most unpopular Republican. Even Mary Landrieu, the about-to-be-ousted senior senator from Louisiana boasts a high approval rating. Gov. Mike Pence checks a lot of boxes for the GOP, but he has a stunning lack of accomplishment for someone who has been in office as long as he has. Compare his record as governor to his predecessor and you will quickly see that Pence is as big a do-nothing governor as he was a do-nothing congressman. He also has no real experience dealing with the opposition, a gaping hole in the resume shared by Perry and Jindal.

4. Retreads – The rest of the field of pretenders is full of candidates who have run and lost before, and in some cases multiple times. Rick Santorum is planning to run again, despite having spent the last 15 years losing elections and saying embarrassing, bigoted nonsense every time he’s on television. Mike Huckabee, a moderately successful television and radio entertainer, is pondering another run to be President of Iowa, but like his previous campaign proved, he has little appeal outside the tiny, caucus electorate.  Mitt Romney has seen a bit of a comeback in the media, almost entirely due to the failures of the man who soundly defeated him. While he would have a few “I told you so” points to make in another race with Obama, he has no real appeal in a race against anyone else. Paul Ryan could be considered the “next-in-line” candidate due to his role as Romney’s defeated running mate, but he faces the same daunting realities that plagued other defeated VP nominees. Add in the fact that no member of the House has won the presidency in over a century and his path becomes even more unrealistic.

5. Real competitors – For all the problems the field has, there are a few bright spots who could lead to real challenges for Christie. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio can claim to be just as tested and even more accomplished than the New Jersey governor. True, only Christie has a powerful Democratic legislature to deal with, but Kasich and Walker faced fierce opposition from labor unions, and came out winners. While neither can command a stage or a late night show with Christie’s charisma, their mid-western charms may be compelling to voters in search of candidates to relate to. Most importantly, both men have shown they can win in purple states, which is one of Christie’s biggest assets. Both men have a long way to go to be able to stand toe-to-toe with the New Jersey governor, but they have a better shot than anyone else considering a run.

When you really examine this “deep bench” you begin to see that it doesn’t live up to the hype. Gov. Christie became a national star for a reason; he possesses the intangibles and talent that often accompany successful politicians. He can masterfully play both wrecking ball and common man, someone who can both feel your anger and your pain. He has accomplished a lot in a state long bereft of leadership, and with a mountain of problems thirty years in the making. He showed real leadership during a natural disaster that tore through his state. He demonstrated a level of accountability unseen on the presidential level in years during his marathon Bridgegate press conference. He has withstood a full-court assault from the media in an attempt to destroy his 2016 prospects. Through it all he has shown a remarkable resiliency, even more amazing considering just how blue his home state is. Some will nitpick about New Jersey’s economic numbers, or they’ll attempt to hype non-scandals, but these efforts will likely fail, just as they did when they were used to attack Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.

Gov. Chris Christie is the best chance the GOP has at defeating Hillary Clinton and taking back the White House, and it will take an extraordinary effort by someone far less talented to change that reality.

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 23%
  • Somewhat approve 24%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:11 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

November 17, 2014

And So Begins the Race for 2016: Democratic Edition

The conventional wisdom is that 2016 will be the Year of Hillary — that she will easily dispatch the token opposition in the Democratic primaries, and that she will just as easily cruise to becoming the 45th president of the United States. So far, polls show that assumption to be true. But it is two years before the election right now, and in that time a lot can and will go wrong – and right – for candidates on both sides of the ring. The die has not yet been cast; after all, everyone thought 2008 would be the Year of Hillary as well.

There are two huge questions looming over the Democratic primary at this moment: will Hillary run, and if she does, can she win? At first blush, these seem like absurd questions. Of course she will run — the Clintons are power hungry and will not give up a golden opportunity like this to occupy the Oval Office again. And of course she will win — all the polls show her demolishing any and all opponents on both sides of the aisle by double digits. But what if we took a step back and questioned those assumptions for a moment?

Uncertain Certainties

I’ve predicted ever since 2008 that Hillary Clinton will not run for president again. How could she pass up such a perfect opportunity? Because it might not be so perfect after all, for all the following reasons:

  1. Age. Consider: on election day 2016, Hillary Clinton will be 69 years old. If elected, she will tie Ronald Reagan for the oldest president in the history of the country. Of course, that would be a Hillary supporter’s rejoinder: so what if she’s that old – so was Reagan. However, Reagan didn’t suffer major health concerns before running like Hillary’s fainting spells and head injury, and Reagan’s age did become an issue as early Alzheimer’s sadly set in during his waning years in the White House and dementia became more and more apparent. More to the point, not only will the American people need to decide if we want another septuagenarian in the White House, Clinton will have to decide herself if she (and Bill, who has had several heart surgeries now) is healthy enough to run — and if this is how she truly desires to spend her twilight years. Which leads us to the second point.
  2. Family. The Clintons have a new grandbaby, and while the hardened political cynics were quick to point out how a baby is a perfect “political prop,” the opposite could be just as true. A desire to spend time with their new grandchild is certainly part of the equation Clinton is processing.
  3. Campaigning. As in, Hillary Clinton is just no good at it. In this, she shares many similarities with Rudy Giuliani on the other side of the aisle. In 2007, when Giuliani was the larger-than-life NYC Mayor who helped rebuild after 9/11, he was skyrocketing and leading all the polls. As soon as he hit the road and actually started campaigning, his numbers fell to earth. The same could be said of Hillary Clinton: when people think of her in general terms, they get warm fuzzies remembering the 90s when Bill was president and thinking about the possibility of having a female president, among other things. Then Hillary shows up and starts talking, and those memories are shattered, replaced by a much grittier reality. This was never more on display than the 2008 primaries, and to a lesser extent during her book tour earlier this year. Hillary has always lacked the political acumen of her husband, and she realizes it. Which takes us to point four.
  4. Losing. Yes, the polls show Clinton ahead of her closest Democratic competitor by 50 or 60 points right now. There is still a very real possibility that she could lose if she chooses to run. The word from insiders is this is one of the major variables the Clintons are considering as they weigh whether or not to run. If Hillary runs and loses a second time, it will tarnish their legacy as a power couple in Washington. They risk damaging the Clinton brand, which would damage the work they are doing through the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as damaging prospects of high dollar speaking events.
  5. Obama. Hillary Clinton served the party faithfully by accepting Obama’s invitation to be his Secretary of State. What was supposed to be a goodwill gesture to help heal the party — and yes, to further her own potential future — turned out to be harmful instead. Russia, Syria, Iran, the Arab Spring, Iraq, ISIS, Benghazi… oh, and did we mention Russia? Hillary’s term as Secretary of State was nothing but one unmitigated failure after another. Is there a single foreign policy success Clinton oversaw while in the Obama administration? To be fair, many of these were not her fault: she was serving a feckless President who lacked the courage or the will to advance a strong foreign policy, and even when she attempted to do what was right (see: Syria response) her comments were walked back and overridden before she was back stateside. In 2008, Hillary Clinton had the glow of the 90s as well as the mini trail of success she had paved as a United States Senator; in 2016 she will have the stink of five years of failed foreign policy following her which open up brand new lines of attack should she run. Understanding that — and how it plays into point four above — may be enough to keep her out of the race.

Filling the Void

So if Hillary Clinton ends up not running, who will step in to fill the void? This is where the schism in the Democratic Party rears its ugly head, mirroring the struggle that will occur with the Republicans as well.

I’ve written about the DLC and the New Democrats several times before here at Race, but the backstory bears repeating because it will play a key role in what’s going to happen in the 2016 race.

After Jimmy Carter’s dismal failed term and Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory in 1980, the Democrats nominated ultra-liberal Walter Mondale to face Reagan in 1984. They watched, panic-stricken, as Reagan won an even larger landslide victory, and a rumbling began. Deciding that they were done playing to the fringe elements of their party, powerful factions of Democrats veered toward centrist moderation in an attempt to rebrand themselves and sell themselves to the American people anew.

These moderate factions came together to found the Democratic Leadership Council in 1985 in order to promote a more centrist approach to Democratic governance. They threw their weight behind moderate Senator Gary Hart of Colorado (runner-up to Mondale four years earlier) in the 1988 primaries, only to see their hopes dashed by his extramarital affairs. The Democrats ended up with yet another ultra-liberal nominee in Michael Dukakis and lost in yet another landslide.

Four years later, the DLC finally found success on the Presidential level when DLC’er Bill Clinton won the White House. Clinton ran a campaign (and ostensibly an administration) based on the new “third way” of centrism in national politics, rejecting the liberalism that Democrats had embodied for the previous three decades. And after Clinton became the first Democratic President to be re-elected since FDR, people really sat up and took notice of the DLC and their so-called “New Democrats”.

After eight years of George Bush in the White House, the 2008 election featured a great opportunity for the DLC to regain their power and prominence with their candidate of choice (and former DLC Chair) Hillary Clinton. Instead, Hillary lost to Barack Obama — who was not a member of the DLC and in fact went out of his way on multiple occasions to say he wasn’t aligned with or endorsed by the DLC. In fact, Obama probably ran the most anti-DLC campaign since Howard Dean infamously declared that the DLC “represented the Republican wing of the Democratic Party” in 2003.

It didn’t take long, despite shallow overtures of peace made by Obama, for the DLC to become disillusioned and angry with Obama and the liberal wing of Democratic politics he represented. The DLC shuttered their doors in 2009 when they couldn’t raise enough money to stay afloat, thanks to the perception (encouraged by Obama) that they were not an ally of the White House. Ever since, they’ve been harboring resentment and longing for the opportunity to put one of their own in power once again.

In This Corner…

That’s where it starts mattering in our story. The DLC (or, rather, the former members of the now-dissolved DLC) has an incredibly deep bench for the 2016 primaries. All they have to do is figure out who to coronate as their champion (or choose two or three of them for strategic purposes, to help drown out the din of the liberal wing of the party). Moderate Democrats like Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley, Brian Schweitzer, Jim Webb, and Mark Warner all make the list of potential 2016 hopefuls, and all are former members of the DLC. O’Malley and Warner may have been damaged a little by the results of the midterm elections, but by next year when the campaign begins that will be forgotten history.

This is one of the reasons I think Hillary will find it easier than some think to make the decision not to run. Bill and Hillary own the Democratic Party establishment (much in the same way Bush/Romney own the Republican establishment) because of their leadership of the DLC. Both have served as DLC chairs and have worked tirelessly to advance DLC causes. So then, here is Hillary’s out: she and Bill endorse one of the fellow DLC’ers in the 2016 race and work to get them elected. They work against the liberal wing of the party which burned them so badly for the past eight years, and exact revenge while rebranding the Democrat brand at the same time. Meanwhile, they never risk tarnishing their own legacy in the process. It’s a win-win for the Clintons.

On the other side of the schism sit all the liberal, grassroots candidates. This group will be comprised of folks like Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean (yes, he says he is eyeing another run), and Bernie Sanders (actual, literal Socialist) — and probably a surprise or two, like a Dennis Kucinich-type character.

So who will win? After eight years of an Obama presidency which has produced low approval numbers and a desire for change, the DLC candidates will be most likely to succeed. Among them, two stand out as top tier: Andrew Cuomo and Martin O’Malley. Cuomo has made a name for himself in New York and has managed to upset the liberal wing of his party while maintaining a decent approval rating among Republicans — a magical feat, to be sure, in a state like New York. And O’Malley is widely known as the hardest working potential candidate, willing to work long hours and embrace the daily grind in order to build a winning campaign structure. He did more fundraisers and campaign stops for more candidates than anybody on either side of the aisle during the midterms, which is impressive considering he did so in an unofficial capacity. But his goal went far beyond helping candidates win (which obviously didn’t happen) — his goal was to create and garner goodwill among a nationwide network of supporters that would be in place when he launches his campaign next year.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the major DLC players sit back and collaborate on which of them will enter the race, much like the Republican establishment is doing on the other side of the aisle. So far, with the potential exception of Elizabeth Warren, the DLC wing doesn’t have any serious competition for the nomination, which could make the general election very interesting – and a little tougher for the GOP.

by @ 4:00 am. Filed under 2016, Barack Obama, Democrats, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley

November 16, 2014

Oregon Sent Obama a Message, but He’ll Probably Ignore It

I had forgotten about this issue in Oregon, though I recall reading about it at some point this summer. At the time, I just assumed, as most folks did, I would imagine, that the issue would be voted down easily. Instead, it won easily.

The fate of a little-noticed ballot measure in strongly Democratic Oregon serves as a warning to President Barack Obama and his party about the political perils of immigration policy.

Even as Oregon voters were legalizing recreational marijuana and expanding Democratic majorities in state government, they decided by a margin of 66-34 to cancel a new state law that would have provided driver’s licenses to people who are in the United States illegally.

This happened, remember, in a blue state that was in the process of re-electing its Democratic Governor and Senator and returning strong majorities to both houses of the legislature; Democrats won four of the five US House races.
The article is framed in terms of the vote being a message to President Obama that opposition to illegal immigration is far stronger and far more widespread than he, and the rest of the coastal elite, think.

I agree with that assessment, but I have a growing feeling that Obama no longer cares what anybody thinks – that he intend to do whatever he wants for his remaining twenty-six months. I hope I’m not right about that, even if it would mean that the Republicans would win big in 2016.

by @ 3:03 pm. Filed under Barack Obama

November 12, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 23%
  • Somewhat approve 24%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 9:30 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

November 10, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 23%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 11%
  • Strongly disapprove 39%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 48%
  • Disapprove 50%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:07 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

November 9, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 23%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 11%
  • Strongly disapprove 39%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 48%
  • Disapprove 50%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 11:50 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

November 7, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 21%
  • Somewhat approve 27%
  • Somewhat disapprove 11%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 48%
  • Disapprove 51%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 9:43 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

November 6, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 21%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 46%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 8:22 am. Filed under 2016, Barack Obama, Poll Watch

October 23, 2014

Obama On The Ballot

In President Obama’s own and unambiguous words, he and his administration are on the ballot on November 4. Democratic Party strategists shuddered when he said it, but this time there was “no walking the statement back,” as they say in DC lingo. Mr. Obama and his wife on the campaign trail have repeated it since again and again.

This is as it should be in the national mid-term of a president’s second term. It gives the American electorate an opportunity to pass a judgment on the accomplishments, or lack of them, and a final chance to either encourage more of the same or to put a brake on policies and a direction they do not like.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-
Copyright (c) 2014 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved

by @ 6:47 pm. Filed under 2014, Barack Obama, Campaign Issues

September 30, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 22%
  • Somewhat approve 26%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 38%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 48%
  • Disapprove 50%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 9:00 pm. Filed under 2014, Barack Obama, Poll Watch

September 29, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 22%
  • Somewhat approve 24%
  • Somewhat disapprove 13%
  • Strongly disapprove 39%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 46%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:13 am. Filed under 2014, Barack Obama, Poll Watch

September 27, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 23%
  • Somewhat approve 24%
  • Somewhat disapprove 13%
  • Strongly disapprove 38%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 11:36 am. Filed under 2014, Barack Obama, Poll Watch

September 21, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 19%
  • Somewhat approve 27%
  • Somewhat disapprove 13%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 46%
  • Disapprove 53%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 11:33 am. Filed under 2014, Barack Obama, Poll Watch

September 20, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 20%
  • Somewhat approve 27%
  • Somewhat disapprove 13%
  • Strongly disapprove 39%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 11:30 am. Filed under 2014, Barack Obama, Poll Watch

September 4, 2014

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 20%
  • Somewhat approve 27%
  • Somewhat disapprove 11%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 47%
  • Disapprove 51%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:20 am. Filed under 2014, Barack Obama, Poll Watch

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