Feeds:
Inlägg
Kommentarer

Posts Tagged ‘George W. Bush’

INTERVJU | Michael Bloomberg, New Yorks borgmästare, är en av dessa politiker som lyckas vara både kontroversiell och populär på samma gång.

The Atlantic, november 2012

I en intervju med James Bennet, editor in chiefThe Atlantic, delar han med sig om sina tankar kring bl.a. politiskt ledarskap, förtroendeundersökningar och politikers öppenhet gentemot media.

Mycket av detta handlar om att våga tänka själv och våga leda. Här finns en hel del även svanska politiker borde kunna ta till sig.

[W]hat leaders should do is make decisions as to what they think is in the public interest based on the best advice that they can get, and then try and build a constituency and bring it along.

The public, I believe — and I’ve always thought this — is much more likely to follow if the public believes that you are genuine. I’ve said this before, and yesterday in this economics speech, I gave a kiss to George W. Bush. But that’s true. George W. Bush, who I don’t agree with on a lot of things — I think he got elected and reelected because the public thought he was genuine. They think his father was genuine. Jeb — I know [him] very well; he’s on the board of my foundation — he is genuine, they believe.

And Al Gore and John Kerry tried to be on both sides of every issue. ”I voted for the war, but not to fund it.” And that’s Mitt Romney’s problem, I think. He walked away from everything he did. He actually was a pretty good governor of Massachusetts, where I come from. I think that’s a losing strategy, to not have values. I think the public wants you to have them and will respect you for them. They may carp a little bit, but in the end, that’s the kind of person they want. They want somebody who has real conviction.

[…]

I said one time that if I finish my term in office — at that time, we were talking about eight years, or four years — and have high approval ratings, then I wasted my last years in office. That high approval rating means you don’t upset anybody. High approval rating means you’re skiing down the slope and you never fall. Well, you’re skiing the baby slope, for goodness’ sakes. Go to a steeper slope. You always want to press, and you want to tackle the issues that are unpopular, that nobody else will go after.

[…]

The president — how often does he talk to the press? His press secretary talks to the press every day, okay. But I happen to think the public should demand he should. I think he should; I think that’s his job. But regardless, it is in an election year, just before the election, maybe I cut you a break. Where I don’t cut you a break is the day after the election. I believe you do the tough stuff first. Why? Number one, you have an obligation to those who voted for you, to do what you promised. Number two, if you believe they’re the right things, you need some time to let them work out, adjust them, explain them, maybe cancel and change them — or whatever — before the next election.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är The Atlantic, november 2012. Intervjun fanns med i samma nummer. En längre variant finns på nätet.

Read Full Post »

Information: American Crossroads är en super-PAC som leds av Karl Rove. Rove var en av president George W. Bushs strateger.

Read Full Post »

KAMPANJ | Newsweek slår ett slag för Barack Obama i senaste numret genom att definiera Mitt Romney som en “mes” på omslaget.

1987 publicerade Newsweek en artikel som kom att förfölja George H. W. Bush långt efter att blivit president. Titeln var ”Fighting the ’Wimp Factor’”.

Nu gör man det igen med Mitt Romney.

Michael Tomasky skriver:

In 1987, this magazine created a famous hubbub by labeling George H.W. Bush a “wimp” on its cover. “The Wimp Factor.” Huge stir. And not entirely fair—the guy had been an aviator in the war, the big war, the good war, and he was even shot down out over the Pacific, cockpit drenched in smoke and fumes, at an age (20) when in most states he couldn’t even legally drink a beer. In hindsight, Poppy looks like Dirty Harry Callahan compared with Romney, who spent his war (Vietnam) in—ready?—Paris. Where he learned … French.

[…]

Harvey Mansfield, the Harvard political philosopher, is a godhead to conservatives. He wrote a book while Bush was president called Manliness. It was a self-parodic volume, but conservatives loved it. In 2006 an interviewer asked Mansfield his definition of manliness, and he said: “confidence in a situation of risk.”

By this definition, the conservative definition, Romney is a total bust. He’s the most risk-averse major politician to come along in ages.

[…]

The catalog of Romney flip-flops is lengthy and by now famous: abortion rights; support for Planned Parenthood, to which he and his wife once wrote checks, now in his gun sights; Grover Norquist’s “no tax increases” pledge, which he admirably refused to sign as a gubernatorial candidate but since 2007 has taken up with gusto; on immigration, where he once supported a path to citizenship; on guns (he supported the Brady Bill in the 1990s); on “don’t ask, don’t tell”; and, most famously of all, on health care.

[…]

All politicians undergo a tuck here and a trim there. Comparatively few turn outright somersaults on big issues, let alone half a dozen or more of them. What gives? Most pols in Romney’s position would think: OK, I’ve got to change some stances, but I’d better keep one or two, just to show I stand for something, and accept the consequences. But not Romney.

Politicians change positions for three main reasons: financial ambition, political ruthlessness, and political cowardice. Romney already has the big money, so that’s out. Ruthless? Not really—a ruthless change of position is one designed to please one group of people but equally to piss off another group. Romney’s flip-flops are solely about making a group of highly suspicious voters like him. That, folks, is door No. 3.

Att detta är rena rama julafton för Obamakampanjen är uppenbart. Trots detta lyckades Romney låta ganska avslappnad när han skulle kommentera omslaget i en intervju i programmet Face the Nation.

Att det inte lät likadant bakom kulisserna kan man förstå när man läser hur George W. Bush reagerade när han fick beskedet att Newsweek hade stämplat hans far som ”mes”.

Barbara Bush placed a furious call to her son, future president George W., who had vetted journalist Margaret Garrard Warner. “Have you seen Newsweek?” Barbara Bush growled, according to her son’s recent memoir, Decision Points. “I quickly tracked down a copy and was greeted by the screaming headline: ‘Fighting the Wimp Factor,’ ” Bush 43 wrote. “I was red hot. I got Margaret on the phone. I. . . told her I thought it was part of a political ambush. She muttered something about her editors being responsible for the cover. I did not mutter. I railed about editors and hung up. From then on, I was suspicious of political journalists and their unseen editors.”

Läs mer: Michael Tomasky on Wimpy Mitt Romney’s Missing Backbone” samt ”Answering Tomaskyav David Frum. (Bild: Tidskriftomslagen är från den 6 augusti 2012 respektive den 19 oktober 1987.)

Read Full Post »

USA | Karl Rove har kallats George W. Bushs hjärna. Han är också hjärnan bakom Crossroads som är en av valets viktigaste organisationer.

De organisationer som av skattemässiga skäl i USA har beteckningen ”527” (s.k. super-PAC:s) eller ”501(c)(4)” kommer att inta en framträdande plats när man snart skriver historien om valrörelsen 2012.

Organisationerna får lagligen inte samordna sina aktiviteter med presidentkandidaternas egna kampanjorganisationer.

Men alla utgår i realiteten ifrån att det finns tysta strategiska överrenskommelser kring vilka politiska budskap organisationerna skall driva för att det skall gagna den egna favoriten i valet.

Dessutom kan dessa organisationer attackera motståndaren på ett sätt som knappast någon av kandidaterna skulle våga för att inte riskera att stötta bort väljare.

Och i år är det de organisationer som attackerar Barack Obama – och därmed indirekt gynnar Mitt Romney – som drar in mest pengar.

Men vad som ofta glöms bort när det rapporteras om organisationerna i media (inte minst i Sverige) är att det var liberala grupper, sympatiskt inställda till demokraterna, som drog igång vad som idag har blivit en gigantisk penningslukande verksamhet.

Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek, skriver:

In the strange realm of campaign finance, the Internal Revenue Service classifies Crossroads GPS as a nonprofit, nonpolitical “social welfare” organization—a 501(c)(4) in tax code parlance—that does not have to identify its backers. Crossroads GPS channels money into “issue” advertisements, which implicitly, but not very subtly, attack Obama and other Democrats.

[…]

To maintain its supporters’ anonymity, a social welfare group like GPS must not have a “primary purpose” of a political nature, and it cannot coordinate strategy with candidates. In an election season, however, only a very naïve or obtuse viewer would miss the point of the organization’s prolific ads.

For conservative donors willing to reveal themselves, Rove designed a sister group, a “super PAC” called American Crossroads, which operates from the same offices as GPS, with some of the same executives, employees, copywriters, and consultants. It, too, is technically independent from the Romney campaign. Known as a 527, it does report its donors to the Federal Election Commission, and it can indulge less coyly in pushing Romney and other Republicans.

[…]

Back in the 2000s, Rove says in an e-mail interview, it was Democratic-leaning labor unions and liberal plutocrats such as hedge fund financier George Soros and insurance tycoon Peter Lewis who provoked the unlimited-outside-money boom. Whoever started the gonzo fundraising wars—and in 2010, the Supreme Court played an important, if misunderstood enabling role with Citizens United v. FEC—the Crossroads operation is way out in front this election cycle. Along with the billionaire Koch brothers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other conservative allies, the Crossroads-led offensive is collectively poised to spend more than $1 billion on the 2012 elections, according to Republican operatives. That’s roughly twice—repeat: twice—what Democrats expect to spend by means of their super PACs and social welfare groups.

[…]

It irritates Rove that Obama has succeeded in crafting the conventional wisdom on Citizens United. According to Obama’s account, a 5-4 conservative judicial pronouncement liberated a cabal of zillionaires and corporations to launch a hostile takeover of American politics.

[…]

“The left,” Rove notes, “pioneered the use of 527s and 501(c)(4)s years ago, spending millions of dollars to influence public opinion and the policy landscape, on issues spanning the environment to the Iraq War. Drawing on their example, Crossroads was being planned before Citizens United, and would exist with or without Citizens United.”

[…]

In 2004 a 527 called America Coming Together led a $200 million initiative, partly financed by Soros and Lewis, to unseat George W. Bush. One reason many forget this liberal financial surge is that it failed; Kerry, a diffident campaigner, lost by 34 electoral votes. Republicans, for their part, didn’t fully appreciate the advent of outside groups because they were lulled by Bush’s talent for gathering direct-contribution checks with the assistance of “bundlers,” the dedicated supporters and lobbyists who aggregate individual donations.

Rove and his consultant friend Ed Gillespie—now a paid senior adviser to the Romney campaign—had warned from the inception of McCain-Feingold that it would lead to problems for Republicans. Borrowing from the chorus of the classic Sonny Curtis song, Gillespie joked that as RNC chair for the 2004 election cycle, he “fought the law, but the law won.” In 2009, Rove and Gillespie decided it was time for Republicans to stop whining and turn the tables.

[…]

“It’s ironic,” he says, “that many of those who are squealing the loudest now [about Crossroads] are the same people who were mute when groups on the left were pioneering the use of 527s and 501(c)(4)s. … Liberals cheered then but are now quick to try and stop conservatives from using the techniques they used in the past.”

He and his acolytes are clearly enjoying themselves. This is something that Rove’s many psychoanalysts in the media and among Democrats seem to forget: He really loves the fight.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Bloomberg Businessweek den 30 juli-5 agusti 2012.

Read Full Post »

IDENTITET | Om Mitt Romney förlorar i november kommer republikanska partiet med all sannolikhet kastas in i en identitetskris.

Vad som slår en när man läser om partiet är hur genuint förvånade många skribenter är över partiets politiska utveckling under senare år.

Även ledande politiker inom partiet är oroade över utvecklingen.

Governör Jeb Bush, George W. Bushs bror, har t.ex. ifrågasatt om hans far George H. W. Bush eller ens Ronald Reagan skulle haft en chans att bli nominerade som partiets presidentkandidat idag.

Här är tre läsvärda artiklar om GOP – the Grand Old Party.

Monika Bauerlein och Clara Jeffery: “WTF, GOP?” (Mother Jones, juni 2012)

Ryan Lizza: “Life of the Party” (The New Yorker, 12 mars 2012)

John Heilemann: “The Lost Party” (New York, 5 mars 2012)

Läs även: David Frums ”When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?” och ”George and Mitt Romney & the Death of Moderate GOP”.

Övrigt: Om tecknaren Bob Staakes tidskriftsomslag ”State by State” och storyn bakom (och en twist på den).

Read Full Post »

Läs mer: Om ceremonin och traditionen kring de officiella presidentporträtten.

Read Full Post »

POLITIK | Mitt under Super Bowl sändes en reklamspot från Chrysler som nu misstänks vara förtäckt politiskt stöd för president Barack Obama.

Chryslers reklamvideo är smått briljant. Till och med republikaner som kritiserar reklamen erkänner det.

Och det är en del av problemet. Hade det varit ännu en anemisk reklamfilm med en tillsynes förarlös bil som planlöst susar omkring i ett anonymt landskap skulle ingen bry sig.

Men filmen sticker inte bara ut för att den har bra bild och manus (och Clint Eastwood i huvudrollen). Filmen har dessutom ett budskap.

Och budskapet låter som något en kreativ kampanjstrateg för en Super PAC med sympatier för Barack Obama skulle ha kunnat hitta på.

Oavsett vilket skall man komma ihåg att Chrysler, precis som General Motors, räddades med hjälp av skattebetalarnas pengar under president Barack Obama (och George W. Bush).

Filmen kan uppfattas som ett tack till Obama för hjälpen.

Karl Rove, f.d. politisk rådgivare till president George W. Bush, säger:

I’m a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the President of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising and the best-wishes of the management which is benefited by getting a bunch of our money that they’ll never pay back.

Texten till ”It’s Halftime in America” i sin helhet:

It’s halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half.

It’s halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared, because this isn’t a game.

The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.

I’ve seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life. And, times when we didn’t understand each other. It seems like we’ve lost our heart at times. When the fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead.

But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that’s what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can’t find a way, then we’ll make one.

All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win?

Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And, what’s true about them is true about all of us.

This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.

Yeah, it’s halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin.

Namnet “It’s Halftime in America” låter påfallande likt Ronald Reagans klassiska “Morning in America” (som officiellt heter ”Prouder, Stronger, Better”). Vilket naturligtvis bara förstärker känslan av att filmen har politiska undertoner.

Read Full Post »

VALPROCESS | Republikanernas sätt att välja presidentkandidat har ofta liknats vid tronföljden i ett kungarike.

Den republikan som uppfattas stå på tur blir också nominerad. Och i år ser det ut att vara Mitt Romneys tur.

David von Drehle gör samma liknelse i senaste numret av Time.

So can anyone stop Romney? As first Bachmann, then Perry, then Herman Cain, then Gingrich, roared past him in the polls, it seemed that everyone could beat Romney, but no one has. Now the answer depends on whether the GOP, after its tempestuous Tea Party uprising, has turned a new page or is back to the same old nominate-the-next-guy story.

[…]

That’s Romney, who finished the 2008 campaign season behind John McCain, who finished in 2000 behind George W. Bush, who never had to finish behind anyone because he was the second nominee named George Bush, who finished in 1980 behind Ronald Reagan, who finished behind Gerald Ford in 1976. The house of Windsor is more unpredictable than the House of Reagan.

[…]

The struggle to be the most conservative in the bunch left everyone wounded – but Romney perhaps least of all.

[…]

Romney slipped through an interminable series of debates with few bruises as the others battled for a chance to fight him. He wasn’t flashy, but he wasn’t foolish either. He set out from the beginning to be the last man standing.

Övrigt: Både tidskriftsomslag och text är hämtat från Time  den 16 januari 2012. (Texten endast i pappersupplagan. Omslaget är den amerikanska upplagans.)

Read Full Post »

ETT OMSLAG som är lika aktuellt idag som för två år sedan. Rubriken ”Yes, he did. But what if he can’t?” och på insidan artikeln ”The Making of George W. Obama”.

Yes, there wil be changes ahead […] But despite all that, Obama’s foreign policy likely won’t depart radically from Bush’s.

[…]

There will even likely be a great deal of continuity in the fight against al Qaeda. There’s consensus now that preemtion is necessary to fight terrorism; Obama himself has advocated for it.

Och mycket riktigt. I början av 2011 gav presidenten klartecken till en militär raid in i Pakistan för att eliminera Usama bin Ladin.

Artikeln (endast tillgänglig för prenumeranter) skrevs av Christian Brose, tidskriftens senior editor, och tidigare talskrivare åt Condoleezza Rice och Colin Powell. Båda utrikesministrar under George W. Bush.

Övrigt: Numret är Foreign Policy, januari/februari 2009. Den enda informationen om tidskriftsomslaget och bilden på Barack Obama är följande: ”Charles Ommanney/(Contact Press Images)”.

Read Full Post »

MÅNGA LIBERALER tycker att Rick Perry t.o.m. är värre än George W. Bush. Men en som har förstått att Perry kan få Barack Obama återvald är Obama själv!

I en valkampanj skulle Obama definitivt föredra Perry framför Mitt Romney. Endast Michele Bachmann skulle vara bättre.

John Heilemann, i New Yorker, skriver:

[P]erry was hammered mercilessly by every liberal under the sun—except one. “I think that everybody who runs for president, it probably takes them a little bit of time before they start realizing that … you’ve got to be a little more careful about what you say,” President Obama told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “But I’ll cut [Perry] some slack. He’s only been at it for a few days now.”

It’s no secret that the White House would prefer to run next fall against the likes of Perry (or, perish the thought, Bachmann) than Romney, the easier to paint Obama’s opponent as unacceptably outré and even scary. Less appreciated is how significant a player Obama’s reelection team—along with its allied outside groups—may be in the Republican primaries. By spending millions of dollars on anti-Romney ads and pointing out the similarities of his Massachusetts health-care plan to Obamacare at every opportunity, they may be able to function effectively as a pro-Perry “super pac”—and one with greater resources and media reach than anything Perry and his allies can muster.

Se mer: Fler Steve Benson teckningar på GoComics.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »