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Posts Tagged ‘Jeb Bush’

Jack Ohman 16 dec 2014

Bild: John Ohman. Fler av hans teckningar på GoComics.

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POLITIK |  Jeb Bush har meddelat att han nu vill bli sitt partis presidentkandidat. Eller som det heter: ”actively explore the possibility”.

Jeb Bush - Photo Tony Gutierrez-AP

Vilket är politikerspråk för att känna av om han har tillräckligt stöd, om han kan attrahera tillräckligt med pengar och om han ens själv känner för det maratonlopp som en presidentvalskampanj innebär.

Bush räknades som konservativ under sin tid som guvernör i Florida. Idag ses han av många inom Tea Party-rörelsen som farligt liberal.

The Economist skriver:

More recently he has been a spokesman for his party’s pragmatic, pro-business wing. He is known for two positions, above all, that enrage conservative hardliners: his support for the nationwide education standards known as Common Core (seen on the right as a liberal plot), and his belief that Republicans must embrace comprehensive immigration reform with enthusiasm and compassion, or face long-term irrelevance.

[…]

Mr Bush speaks sense when he talks of the need for Republicans to compromise occasionally, if they want to govern. A few weeks before Christmas he told a summit of chief executive officers that a Republican presidential candidate in 2016 might have to adopt a “lose the primary to win the general” strategy. That is code for running from start to finish on policies that can win some centrist and independent votes, rather than following the pivot strategy attempted by such figures as Mitt Romney. To win the 2012 presidential nomination Mr Romney declared himself “severely conservative” and called for laws so tough that immigrants would despair and deport themselves. Too late, he tried to tack back to his real interest: business-friendly policies to fix the economy.

Mr Bush’s counsel is brave: many Republican members of Congress, governors and other officials only dare cheer him on silently. But for all that, an unmistakable rebuke lurked in his statement. Put another way, Mr Bush was signalling that the dedicated bands of grassroots activists who decide many party primaries are a menace. Even if he is right, that is quite a box to crack open. Bluntly, many of the business bosses, big donors and establishment Republicans who have spent years longing for Mr Bush to run do not just disagree with the conservative grassroots, they dislike them and resent their influence. The antipathy is mutual: perhaps no other candidate for 2016 so angers Tea Party types.

Att inte stryka Tea Party-rörelsen medhårs är en vansklig strategi om man i dessa dagar siktar på att bli republikanernas presidentkandidat .

Om inte annat för att Bush garanterat kommer att möta motkandidater som har så små chanser att bli nominerade att de inte har något att förlora på att inta ståndpunkter som t.o.m. kan få en Tea Party-anhängarna att tveka.

Det finns alltid gott om kandidater som bara är ute efter att göra ideologiska markeringar eller bara vill höja sin egen profil hos väljarna utan någon tanke på dynamiken i själva presidentvalet.

Risken är att andra kandidater då ser sig tvingade att hänga på för att inte tappa väljare bland gräsrötterna. Tea Party-rörelsen är idag till stora delar gräsrötterna inom det republikanska partiet.

Även om Bush enligt alla objektiva kriterier är konservativ riskerar han i alla fall uppfattas som alltför liberal inom partiet. Ett parti där t.o.m. Ronald Reagan skulle ha haft svårt att bli nominerad.

Men i ett presidentval räcker det inte bara med att tilltala det egna partiets väljare, man måste också kunna vinna över osäkra väljare och väljare från motståndarsidan.

Bild: Tony Gutierrez, AP.

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USA | Vem är republikanernas svar på Barack Obama? Finns det någon som skulle kunna locka unga, kvinnor och latinos i ett presidentval?

Moterh Jones - June 2014

Ännu har partiet inte hittat någon som har samma ljuskraft som Obama när han dök upp på den politiska scenen. Ingen ser ens ut att kunna utmana Hillary Clinton om hon skulle bli demokraternas presidentkandidat.

Man har haft vissa förhoppningar knutna till guvernör Bobby Jindal (föräldrar från Indien), senatorerna Marco Rubio och Ted Cruz (båda med föräldrar från Kuba).

Men ingen har riktigt lyckats entusiasmera gräsrötterna på samma sätt som Ronald Reagan. Och det är en ny Reagan man måste hitta om man ser till partiets opinionssiffror.

Dessutom står både Rubio och Cruz Tea Party-rörelsen nära. Det är svårt att se att detta kan vara en fördel om man skall vinna över mittenväljare och demokrater.

Med tanke på att Hillary Clinton ser ut att bli demokraternas presidentkandidat skulle republikanerna dessutom behöva en kvinna vid rodret.

Det är här Susana Martinez kommer in i bilden.

Som guvernör i New Mexico, och med mexikanska föräldrar, har hon potential att locka den allt mer betydelsefulla väljargruppen latinos.

Om det nu inte var för at hon är kontroversiell även inom det republikanska partiet. Hon och hennes närmaste medarbetare har t.o.m. kallats hämndlystna och småaktiga.

Hennes främste rådgivare, den politiska konsulten Jay McCleskey, har beskrivit som mannen som styr bakom kulisserna.

”They’ve got this Sherman’s march to the sea mentality, burning everything in sight until they get to the finish.” Allt enligt en donator inom Republican Party.

Exakt samma kritik riktades en gång mot Sarah Palin, en person som Martinez har liknats vid.

Andy Kroll skriver bl.a. om hennes konfrontativa stil i Mother Jones.

Since her election in 2010, she and her team have meticulously cultivated the image of a well-liked, bipartisan, warm-hearted governor by avoiding tough interviews and putting her in photo ops greeting veterans, reading to kids, or cutting ribbons. ”This administration is very disciplined,” says New Mexico pollster Brian Sanderoff.

[…]

In the general election, Martinez ran as the clean-government advocate who would do away with everything New Mexicans disliked about her predecessor. Once hugely popular, Bill Richardson had been dogged by grand jury investigations, corruption allegations, rumors of sexual misconduct, and growing disenchantment over his perennial presidential aspirations. Martinez’s campaign slogan (”Bold Change”) was straight out of the Obama playbook, and it was all the more cutting given that her Democratic opponent, Diane Denish, had spent eight years as Richardson’s lieutenant governor.

On policy, Martinez drew on borrowed ideas (her education plan largely came from Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education) and flashy initiatives such as repealing a law allowing undocumented immigrants to get state driver’s licenses.

[…]

Martinez’s crew saw enemies everywhere. A former staffer recalls the campaign on multiple occasions sending the license plate numbers of cars believed to be used by opposition trackers to an investigator in Martinez’s DA office who had access to law enforcement databases.

[…]

The campaign emails and audio recordings also show how Martinez and her team strategized to maintain her straight-shooting image while avoiding actually being up-front with the public. Throughout the campaign, Martinez praised teachers and insisted she’d ”hold harmless” funding for public education. In private, Martinez implied teachers earned too much: ”During the campaign, we can’t say it, I guess, because it’s education, but…they already don’t work, you know, two and a half months out of the year.” She and McCleskey acknowledged that cuts to education could well be necessary, so her aides plotted about how to respond if they were ever called out for it once elected: ”Put up a YouTube video that no one will ever see where you talk about making everyone feel the pain,” McCleskey suggested. ”And when you win, we say, ‘See, we said this shit the whole time. What are you guys talking about?'”

[…]

Prominent Republicans around the state have blamed McCleskey for devising a political strategy that’s left the Martinez administration estranged from its natural allies. In a 2012 state Senate election, the governor endorsed a primary challenge to a Stetson-wearing rancher named Pat Woods, whom Martinez and McCleskey didn’t like; they bankrolled their candidate, Angie Spears, with money from SusanaPAC. In an unprecedented move, Martinez herself traveled to Woods’ district to campaign for his opponent. The plan backfired: Woods made the campaign about McCleskey, a ”slick…Albuquerque political consultant” meddling with local politics, and won easily.

The Woods-Spears race infuriated members of the New Mexico GOP. State Rep. Anna Crook, a Republican whose district overlaps with Woods’, wrote in the local newspaper that the ”nastiness, misinformation, innuendo, slanderous mailings, robocalls, and, in some cases, flat-out lies have created a toxic political environment the likes of which I have never seen before.”

[…]

Despite the growing discontent among New Mexico party leaders, Martinez enjoys approval ratings in the high 50s and low 60s—among the highest of any Republican governor. Her advisers seem keenly aware of how those numbers could help her achieve higher office, and appear determined to maintain them. Martinez’s aides have closely guarded her travel schedule and her media appearances, protecting her from tough and unflattering questions. Unlike such popular Republican governors as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Ohio’s John Kasich, Martinez has for more than three years largely avoided the Sunday talk shows; the lone national news figure to get substantial time with her is Fox’s Van Susteren. As she runs for reelection this fall with a full war chest and no strong contender among the Democrats challenging her, Martinez is well positioned to shape the debate and control her own image.

Yet Democrats and Republicans alike wonder if she has what it takes to succeed at the national level.

Tidskriftsomslag: Mother Jones, juni 2014.

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USA | Inget är vad det ser ut att vara i amerikansk politik. Senast minimilönen ökade i USA var t.ex. under George W. Bush. Alltså inte under Barack Obama!

republikaner & demokrater

John R. MacArthur, utgivare av tidskriften Harper’s Magazine och författare till You Can’t Be President, skriver i The Spectator om de paradoxer och likheter som finns mellan demokraterna och republikanerna när man väl skalat bort den politisk retoriken.

In 2008, there was virtually no difference in the positions of Obama, promoted by the Chicago Democratic machine, and Hillary Clinton, supported by her husband’s staff machine. Obama could cite his one speech opposing the Iraq invasion. But the Obama-Clinton duel was little more than an intra-party factional fight fueled by human ambition. Obama’s votes in the U.S. Senate were identical to Mrs. Clinton’s in support of continued funding of Bush’s military folly. Both parties agree on the value of outsourcing jobs to Mexico and China – that is, the value of receiving in return big contributions from corporations, law firms and banks that benefitting from ‘free trade’. Similarly, both Obama and Clinton pretended to criticize the North American Free Trade Agreement during the Ohio primary six years ago, and today they both support the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which if approved is guaranteed to close more factories in the Rust Belt. In order to understand American politics, it is essential to know that NAFTA was launched by President George H.W. Bush and rammed through Congress by President William Jefferson Clinton.

With manufacturing jobs leaving the country for cheap-labor locales and the economy still sluggish, it would make sense to raise the federal minimum wage. But Obama’s current rhetoric on the subject is merely hot air. When he had big majorities in both houses of Congress, he did almost nothing to help ordinary workers, but much to reward Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, his top corporate contributor in 2008. The last time the minimum wage was increased was during the administration of that notorious leftist George W. Bush. Meanwhile, Obama, Jeb Bush and Clinton go on about ‘immigration reform’, but not one of them will ever cross the restaurant and farm lobbies that love illegal Mexican labor, since it can’t unionise, can’t complain about working conditions, and is happy to toil for $ 3 an hour.

Then there’s ‘Socialist’ Obamacare, which is merely a bigger version of Republican Mitt Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts. Whatever its bureaucratic failings, Obamacare is marvelously efficient – from the standpoint of Democratic party functionaries – at transfer taxpayers’ money to private insurance companies (in the form of government-subsidised policies) That are happy to return the favour with donations to Democrats.

It is perhaps not a coincidence that the rigid, top-down political control of the electoral process coincides with the Commerce Department’s report that last year corporate profits, as a proportion of GDP, reached a record high – the highest since 1929 – while the employee compensation fell to its lowest level, as a percentage of GDP, since in 1948.

Det är knappast en sund bild av den amerikanska demokratin som MacArthur målar upp.

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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).

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