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Elizabeth

Drottning Elizabeth II fyllde 90 år den 21 april. Firandet pågår för fullt. Bilder från själva firandet finns på BBC. Här ett foto från drottningens jultal 1961.

VAL 2016 | Rimligtvis inser Bernie Sanders att han inte har en chans mot Hillary Clinton. Så varför fortsätter han kampanja.

Bernie Sanders

Enligt Ryan Lizza och The New Yorker siktar han på att maximera sitt inflytande. Genom att fortsätta kampanja vill han tvinga Clinton modifiera sin politik inför hennes nominering.

Den andra orsaken till att Team Sanders inte ger upp är att undersökningar visar att Clinton har ett imageproblem. Hon anses inte vara trovärdig och inte heller helt pålitlig.

Tre federala undersökningar, relaterat till hennes tid som utrikesminister, pågår parallellt medan hon kampanjar.

Och skulle det bli några uppseendeväckande avslöjanden innan Clinton nomineras på Demokraternas partikonvent kan allt hända.

Lizza skev så här i mars om Sanders kampanj:

Sanders has a large campaign war chest—he raised more than a hundred and thirty-five million dollars from more than 1.5 million individuals—and he is likely to score more victories. By staying in the race to the end, he will continue to force Hillary to respond to the anger and the frustrations in the electorate.

[…]

“The small donors can keep fuelling his campaign,” Joe Trippi, who ran Dean’s campaign, said. “Now you either have a super PAC or a small-donor base, and if you have one of those things you can keep going. So is he going all the way to the Convention? Yeah, if he wants to.”

There are two reasons for Sanders to soldier on. One is to exact concessions, as Warren was able to do on legislation restricting Wall Street employees. Sanders’s presence has required Clinton to adopt more populist economic policies, and the influence could go further. “She’s basically a conservative person, except on issues of gender and inclusiveness,” Gary Hart, who, with his insurgent primary campaign in 1984, almost beat former Vice-President Walter Mondale, told me.

[…]

If Sanders arrives at the Convention with a sufficient number of primary victories and between a third and half of the delegates, he will also be able to influence the Party’s platform. His advisers told me that Sanders will fight for more anti-free-trade measures, a commitment to campaign-finance reform, and breaking up big banks.

“He will come out of this with a prominent voice, with a committed e-mail list of people united around his issues,” Anita Dunn, who worked for Bill Bradley’s unsuccessful campaign against Al Gore, in 2000, and was one of Obama’s top strategists during the 2008 race and later in the White House, said. “That is the beginning of a potential movement, if he chooses to build on it. It’s not as though these issues are going to go away. Fundamental inequality and the inequities in the political process are not suddenly going to be fixed by anyone.”

[…]

The other reason for Sanders to stay in the contest is one that most Democrats, even Sanders, are reluctant to discuss. Polls show that Clinton’s greatest vulnerability has to do with trustworthiness and character. She is navigating three federal investigations resulting from her handling of classified data while she was Secretary of State.

[…]

At a Democratic debate last October, Sanders declared the scandal a non-issue. He said, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.” Some of his strategists have been trying to get him to change his mind, but they say that his wife, Jane, has opposed attacking Clinton too harshly.

[…]

Democrats outside the campaign remain surprised by Sanders’s decision not to raise the e-mail issue more directly and alarmed that more Democrats are not talking about the potential fallout from the investigations. “The person that the White House cleared the field for, and that everyone has fallen in line for, has three federal investigations going on,” a prominent Democratic consultant told me. “The guy who set up the system for her took the Fifth. You’re not supposed to read anything into that, but please. It’s the elephant in the room, and Sanders took it off the table. Trump will have no problem going after this stuff.”

[…]

Sanders has become increasingly aggressive in attacking Clinton’s relationship with the financial world. […] Meanwhile, Sanders’s aides have started to talk more openly, and delicately, about some of Clinton’s vulnerabilities. “Trust and honesty,” Tad Devine, a senior adviser to the Sanders campaign, told reporters on the morning after Super Tuesday. “Rightly or wrongly, the Secretary, when you poll independents, has some real problems with independents. They just don’t have confidence that what they’re hearing is what they’re going to get. And to overcome that hurdle in a general-election environment when you’re being pounded by Donald Trump day after day after day—I’m not sure that that can be done.”

But Sanders seems far more interested in affecting policy than in taking advantage of Clinton’s scandals. It might be the right decision in the long run; it’s not clear that attacking Clinton helps him win over the older and nonwhite partisans who are the core of her support. Sanders’s real legacy may be proving to the Democratic Party that the new generation of voters has no affinity for the old Clinton-era politics of moderation.

Bild: (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer).

Glenn McCoy

Bild: Glenn McCoy. Mer Bernie Sanders och valet på CoComics.

VAL 2016 | Ted Cruz har inte gett upp sina drömmar om Vita huset. Men rent röstmässigt kommer han att förbli den ständiga tvåan efter Donald Trump.

Time april 20 2016

Ett tecken på att han försöker ta sin kampanj ända till det republikanska konventet är att han nu är mindre aggressiv och anslår en mildare ton i sina tal.

Han vill på så sätt öka chanserna att kunna fungera som en kompromisskandidat om det blir en strid om delegaterna på kommande partikonvent.

Ett exempel på denna ändrade stil är att han nu t.o.m. börjat citera John F. Kennedy i sina tal. Det hör inte vanligheterna bland konservativa republikaner vars bas är evangeliska kristna. Men det är sådant som brukar kallas signalpolitik.

Frågan är bara om det är speciellt trovärdigt. Cruz har varit en av de ledande figurerna inom Tea Party-rörelsen och är inte speciellt älskad av vare sig partietablissemanget eller bland partikollegor han kritiserat.

Att försöka vinna över de mer moderata konservativa är nödvändigt men kan också komma att skada hans trovärdighet så här sent i valrörelsen.

Michael Scherer skriver om hans nya stil i tidskriften Time:

Good politicians know how to recast their message for the moment. The great ones seem to do it without contradiction, alienation or any actual change in position. This is the leap that Cruz is now attempting. He won the Iowa caucuses with devotion and red meat. His rallies began like prayer circles and continued into fury. He would describe the hatred for him from his own party as “the whole point of the campaign.” He promised not just to repeal Obamacare but to rescind “every word” on Day One. More than unwind the Iran nuclear deal, he vowed to rip it “to shreds.” He would not just destroy Islamic extremism, he would find out if “sand can glow in the dark.”

Those bold positions all remain, but their packaging has been muted. The clenched fists are now open arms. “From the beginning, our objective was to reunite the old Reagan coalition to bring together Republicans and independents and libertarians and Reagan Democrats,” he said. “I believe the path to winning the Republican nomination and winning the general election is standing up for hardworking men and women of America who have been left behind by Washington.” The conservative caterpillar is becoming a general-election butterfly.

This same pivot animates his campaign. After Wisconsin, Cruz planned to work hard to move beyond the white, evangelical, mostly male voters who have always been his core supporters. In his campaign speeches, he has begun to address “single moms” and “working moms” directly, with a message of economic populism to match the appeal of Trump and the Democrats. The day after Wisconsin, he traveled to a meeting with black and Latino pastors in the Bronx, spoke halting Spanish with reporters afterward and repeatedly referred to “our community” when talking about Latinos.

Then there are the gauzy new references in his public remarks. The speech he had prepared for the network cameras the night he won Wisconsin included a quote from former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill about ending the quarrel between past and present to focus instead on the future. He would even quote Democratic President John F. Kennedy, who Cruz has long argued, improbably, would be a conservative Republican if he were alive today. “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future,” Cruz said, repeating Kennedy’s words.

But it is another President who he said gave him hope his gambit could succeed. “Throughout the course of this campaign, as others have gotten nasty and gotten personal, have engaged in a war of insults and petty personal attacks, I haven’t responded in kind,” Cruz explained, referencing, among other things, Trump’s recent attack on the appearance of his wife Heidi. “That is very much the model of Ronald Reagan, even when Reagan primaried Gerald Ford in ’76.”

Tidskriftsomslag: Time, 18 april 2016

VAL | Andrés Sepúlveda, som avtjänar ett tio år långt fängelsestraff, säger sig ha manipulerat en lång rad valrörelser i Latinamerika.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Han har nu beslutat sig för att berätta vad han vet om olika olagligheter han varit involverad i. Genom att berätta hoppas han få ett förkortat fängelsestraff.

“My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumors—the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see,” säger han till Bloomberg Businessweek i Colombia.

Men skall man tro en politiska rådgivare som var utsatt för Sepúlveda dirty tricks är detta inte speciellt ovanligt i valrörelser i Latinamerika.

“Having a phone hacked by the opposition is not a novelty. When I work on a campaign, the assumption is that everything I talk about on the phone will be heard by the opponents”, säger Luis Costa Bonino.

Sepúlveda säger sig bl.a. varit involverad i Enrique Peña Nietos valkampanj i Mexico. Jordan Robertson, Michael Riley och Andrew Willis skrev om honom i april:

For eight years, Sepúlveda, now 31, says he traveled the continent rigging major political campaigns. With a budget of $600,000, the Peña Nieto job was by far his most complex. He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices, all to help Peña Nieto, a right-of-center candidate, eke out a victory.

[…]

Sepúlveda’s career began in 2005, and his first jobs were small—mostly defacing campaign websites and breaking into opponents’ donor databases. Within a few years he was assembling teams that spied, stole, and smeared on behalf of presidential campaigns across Latin America. He wasn’t cheap, but his services were extensive. For $12,000 a month, a customer hired a crew that could hack smartphones, spoof and clone Web pages, and send mass e-mails and texts. The premium package, at $20,000 a month, also included a full range of digital interception, attack, decryption, and defense. The jobs were carefully laundered through layers of middlemen and consultants. Sepúlveda says many of the candidates he helped might not even have known about his role; he says he met only a few.

His teams worked on presidential elections in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Venezuela.

[….]

Many of Sepúlveda’s efforts were unsuccessful, but he has enough wins that he might be able to claim as much influence over the political direction of modern Latin America as anyone in the 21st century.

[…]

Usually, he says, he was on the payroll of Juan José Rendón, a Miami-based political consultant who’s been called the Karl Rove of Latin America. Rendón denies using Sepúlveda for anything illegal, and categorically disputes the account Sepúlveda gave Bloomberg Businessweek of their relationship, but admits knowing him and using him to do website design. “If I talked to him maybe once or twice, it was in a group session about that, about the Web,” he says. “I don’t do illegal stuff at all. There is negative campaigning. They don’t like it—OK. But if it’s legal, I’m gonna do it. I’m not a saint, but I’m not a criminal.” While Sepúlveda’s policy was to destroy all data at the completion of a job, he left some documents with members of his hacking teams and other trusted third parties as a secret “insurance policy.”

[…]

Sepúlveda says he was offered several political jobs in Spain, which he says he turned down because he was too busy. On the question of whether the U.S. presidential campaign is being tampered with, he is unequivocal. “I’m 100 percent sure it is,” he says.

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Businessweek, 4-10 april 2016.

VAL 2016 | Vad är skillnaden mellan Donald Trump och Ted Cruz? En sak som sticker ut är deras förhållande till religion.

The New Yorker Febuary 1 2016

Trump framstår inte bara som ointresserad av religion utan också direkt obekväm i religiösa situationer.

I The New Yorker ger Ryan Lizza ett exempel när Trump hänvisade till ett avsnitt från ”Two Corinthians” snarare än från ”Second Corinthians”

Cruz däremot kan inte få nog av religion. Han framhäver ständigt religionens betydelse för hans kampanj.

En cyniker skulle säga att detta bara beror på att han är ute efter de väljare som brukar kallas socialkonservativa (d.v.s. troende, konservativa och med ett intresse för sociala frågor).

Men detta ger inte hela bilden av olikheterna mellan de två.

Lizza konstaterar att många av dessa socialkonservativa även verkar tilltalas av Trumps budskap. Och ofta av samma anledning som andra republikaner med mindre intresse för trosfrågor.

De anser ofta att Trump är en person som vågar säga obekväma sanningar.

Han är inte rädd att gå emot partihöjdarnas taktiserande och önskan att alla presidentkandidater bör följa partietablissemangets definition av vad som anses lämpligt för att vinna ett presidentval. Många av de frågor som republikanska politiker brukar driva har inte alltid gynnat deras väljarbas.

Trumps ekonomiska oberoende gör att han dessutom framstår som betydligt hederligare eftersom han inte är beroende av inflytelserika lobbyisters donationer.

Lizza skriver om hur Trump och Cruz förhåller sig till de fyra väljargrupper som utgör Republikanska partiets väljarbas enligt Dante J. Scala och Henry Olsens ”The Four Faces of the Republican Party”.

In “The Party Decides,” published in 2008, the political scientist Hans Noel and three co-authors showed that, since 1980, the best predictor of the Democratic and Republican nominee has been endorsements by elected officials.

Trump—a media-created populist who has no such endorsements and is despised by Party insiders—defies that theory. “If Trump wins, he’d be forcing himself on the Party,” Noel told me. Cruz, too, represents the kind of hostile takeover that Polsby warned about. He is the consummate political insider—a U.S. Senator from Texas with a long history of activism in the G.O.P.—but he is hated by Republican élites, and none of his Senate colleagues are backing him. The two candidates offer visions for the future of the Republican Party that are starkly different from one another and from what the Party seems to envisage for itself.

Pundits have taken to endlessly discussing the different “lanes” the candidates occupy, an idea best articulated in a new book, “The Four Faces of the Republican Party,” by Dante J. Scala and Henry Olsen. They describe a Republican primary electorate that, since the nineteen-eighties, has been divided into four well-defined groups: moderate and liberal voters, who make up twenty-five to thirty per cent of the electorate; somewhat conservative voters (thirty-five to forty per cent); very conservative evangelical voters (about twenty per cent); and very conservative secular voters (five to ten per cent). A successful candidate starts off by appealing to one of the lanes and then absorbs voters from one or more of the others as opponents drop out and their supporters look for someone else. Cruz is assiduously following this road map by presenting himself as the champion of the two “very conservative” voting blocs. He obeys every traffic sign and rarely veers left, hoping that later in the primary season he can expand into the other lanes.

[…]

Trump, though, has effectively ignored the conventional wisdom about Republican lanes. He’s like a snowplow barrelling across the highway. State and national polls consistently show that he draws strongly from all four ideological segments of the party. His strongest supporters are less educated and less well off; his fiercest opponents are Republicans with advanced degrees and high incomes. Trump has turned what is traditionally an ideological fight into a class war.

“The biggest thing to understand about Trump is that he is effectively redefining the G.O.P. by asking a different question than the one the Party has been answering for fifty years,” Henry Olsen told me. Since at least the Goldwater nomination of 1964, he said, every nomination battle has aimed to answer the question “To what extent should the G.O.P. be the vehicle for the conservative movement?” In addressing it, the Republican primary electorate has always sorted along a spectrum based on ideology: moderates and liberals oppose the idea; very conservative voters, the kind that Cruz is courting, champion it; and somewhat conservative ones split the difference. Trump draws from all four factions because he’s uninterested in how conservative the G.O.P. should or shouldn’t be. “He is not trying to answer this question at all,” Olsen said. “Instead, he is posing a new question: to what extent should the G.O.P. be the advocates for those struggling in the modern economy?”

[…]

In the unlikely event that Cruz wins the nomination, he will find it difficult to gain the loyalty of other elected officials and Party leaders, and he will make a poor opponent for Hillary Clinton. His nomination will be akin to Barry Goldwater’s victory in 1964, or, on the Democratic side, McGovern’s victory in 1972. Both Senators were too far outside the mainstream to win in a general election. Cruz would likely lose, but he wouldn’t necessarily destroy the G.O.P. in the process. However much his colleagues dislike him, he’s still one of them.

Trump is not. Some prominent Republicans fear that a Trump nomination would fundamentally alter the identity of the Republican Party, even if he goes on to lose the general election, which seems likely. The Party would become more downscale, a potential asset if it meant drawing in disaffected Democrats, but also more alienating to non-whites, who represent the largest source of potential growth in the electorate. It would be defined by ethno-nationalism at home and an anti-interventionist retreat from America’s obligations abroad. The last major figure in Republican politics who came close to Trump’s brand of nationalism was Pat Buchanan, the former Nixon aide who ran for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996. Buchanan was driven from the Republican Party by mainstream conservatives, who called him an isolationist and an anti-Semite; in 2000, he captured the nomination of the Reform Party. If Trump wins the nomination, it will be his opponents who are driven from the Party.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New Yorker den 1 februari 2016.

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