Feeds:
Inlägg
Kommentarer

Posts Tagged ‘Rick Santorum’

USA | Allt fler har börjat tala om guvernör Chris Christie som republikanernas självklara presidentkandidat. Om man vill ha en chans att vinna vill säga.

Han har i alla fall en klar fördel framför övriga namn som det talas om (t.ex. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio) och det är att han inte är rädd att ta strid med Tea Party-anhängarnas favoriter.

Detta är om inte annat en nödvändighet om en republikansk kandidat skall ha en chans att locka väljare bortom de egna gräsrötterna.

Här nedan är utdrag från två reportage där man följt guvernören och tagit pulsen på hans möjligheter att bli republikanernas frontfigur.

Time 18 nov 2013 US edition

Michael Scherer, Time, skriver:

The Christie for America 2016 calculation goes like this: All Republican nomination contests usually go the same way. Primary voters claim to be big-C Conservatives, but they vote with a small c. After months of carping and griping, after rubber-chicken dinners, purity tests and endless debates, the party always settles on the most viable center-right option who has earned his place in line—Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney. As Christie might say it, the party decides it wants to win.

Christie’s strategy is clear enough, to execute a political coup de main: to try to clear the field (or his side of the field) by coming on very strong at the outset to take up the Establishment real estate. With four or five others (Cruz, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and others) battling to become the purist on the right, Christie’s initial goal is simply to be the Electable One. Yes, he may command only 15% of the total GOP electorate at the outset, but in a fractured field, that’s fine with him. If he is lucky, he might win Iowa by a little, New Hampshire by a lot. If he can squeeze by, the big states will love the big guy.

To aid in the effort, Christie will have some significant financial—and logistical—advantages. Sitting governors are much better fundraisers than any other kind of politician. And in a few weeks, Christie is going to supercharge that claim when he takes over command of the Republican Governors Association, which is looking to protect 22 governors who are up for re-election in 2014, including, conveniently enough, the leaders of South Carolina, Florida and Iowa. He will soon be traveling the country, collecting cards and chits and IOUs, all at someone else’s expense. “In the big cities where the GOP money will be raised,” says Wayne Berman, a leading Republican fundraiser and consultant, “Christie is already the default choice.”

From that perch, Christie can raise perhaps $50 million next year and borrow the fundraising networks of every other GOP governor. They will owe him. And together, those networks are worth $250 million. That is Hillary scale, something none of his current challengers can access as easily. And then there is the outside money. In 2012 several billionaires were involved in the draft-Christie movement.

New York augusti 2012

Benjamin Wallace-Wells i tidskriften New York:

We have never had a president as outwardly angry as Christie, but then this country has rarely been as angry as it is now. In the tea-party era, conservative anger has often been channeled by figures such as Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz into a hysteria over very abstract and inflated threats: health-care death panels, the national debt, the specter of a country overrun by illegal immigrants. Christie’s use of anger is very different: It is much more targeted, and therefore potentially much more useful.

The contrast was on display last week in the fight he picked with Rand Paul. The senator from Kentucky, having watched Christie denounce libertarianism, called him the “King of Bacon,” presumably referring both to his pleas for immediate federal help after Hurricane Sandy and to his weight. Christie had pointed out that New Jersey is a “donor state,” taking only 61 cents for every dollar it sends to Washington, while Kentucky takes back $1.51. (No acknowledgment from Christie that this is owed not to New Jersey’s superior character but to its good fortune of existing next to the great economic buoy of Wall Street, while Kentucky is near no economic buoy at all.) “So if Senator Paul wants to start looking at where he is going to cut spending to afford defense,” Christie had said, “maybe he should start looking at cutting the pork-barrel spending he brings home to ­Kentucky.” For Christie, the villain is always specific: not government, not socialism, not impersonal historical forces, but one moron in particular—the teachers union, or Steve Sweeney, or in this case Rand Paul, the libertarian ophthalmologist, high-mindedly denouncing government while his state is on its dole. “He’s not the first politician to try to use me to get attention,” Christie said later, dismissing Paul’s slight. “And I’m sure he won’t be the last.”

What Christie is doing when he starts arguments with other Republicans—and it is telling that what looks very much like a presidential run has begun with a sequence of fights—is offering his party the chance to preserve its anger, while trading in its revolutionaries for a furious institutionalist.

Läs mer: Blogginlägget ”Vem kan utmana demokraterna?”

Tidskriftsomslag: Time (amerikanska utgåvan), 18 november 2013 och New York, 12 augusti 2012.

Read Full Post »

DEBATT | Inför deras första debatt har Barack Obama och Mitt Romney gått inför att skapa låga förväntningar kring deras egen debattskicklighet.

Strategin går naturligtvis ut på att överraska väljarnas med att de gjorde bättre ifrån sig än väntat när det väl är över.

“Governor Romney he’s a good debater, I’m just okey”, poängterade t.ex. Obama under ett kampanjevent i Las Vegas under förra söndagen.

Och Romney spelade samma spel i en intervju med Fox News i vecka som gick.

”I don’t know how to raise or lower expectations,” sade Romney. ”The president is a very eloquent, gifted speaker. He’ll do just fine. I’ve never been in a presidential debate like this and it will be a new experience.”

James Fallows, nationell korrespondent på tidskriften The Atlantic, har tittat närmare på debatternas betydelse för utgången av ett presidentval och de två kombattanternas olika styrkor och svagheter.

Mitt Romney is far less effective as a big-speech orator than Barack Obama, and in many other aspects of campaigning he displays what appear to be laboriously studied moves rather than anything that comes naturally. But debates are and have been his strength. He grew up enjoying “big, boisterous arguments about everything around the dinner table,” according to his campaign strategist and main debate-prep specialist, Stuart Stevens. “He loves the dialectic of arguing the different sides, and he’s most uncomfortable when no one is disagreeing with him.” He will enter this fall’s encounters with very recent, successful experience in a very wide range of formats and challenges.

In none of the Republican-primary debates was Romney judged the big loser; in many he was the clear winner, and as the campaign wore on, the dominant image from the debates was of a confident Romney, standing with a slight smile on his face and his hands resting easily in his pockets, looking on with calm amusement as the lesser figures squabbled among themselves and sometimes lashed out at him.

Civics teachers won’t want to hear this, but the easiest way to judge “victory” in many debates is to watch with the sound turned off, so you can assess the candidates’ ease, tenseness, humor, and other traits signaled by their body language. By this standard, Ron Paul, with his chronically ill-fitting suits, often looked cranky; Rick Santorum often looked angry; Rick Perry initially looked pole­axed and confused; Jon Huntsman looked nervous; Newt Ging­rich looked overexcited—and so on through the list until we reach Mitt Romney, who almost always looked at ease. (As did Herman Cain, illustrating that body language is not everything.) Romney looked like the grown-up—the winner, the obvious candidate—with or without sound. “He is as good as it gets in debating,” former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who was the first major contender to drop out of the Republican race, told me. “He is poised, prepared, smart, strategic—tactical, too.”

[…]

Romney is very strong as a debater but has also shown two repeated weaknesses: a thin command of policy details, and an awkwardness when taken by surprise.

When the subject is one he’s prepared for, he rarely falters. When it’s not, or when an exchange goes on longer or in a different direction than expected, many of his ad-libbed responses turn out to be mistakes (“I’ll bet you $10,000!”). Thus the Romney team has the impossible challenge of trying to imagine every question or attack line that might come up in debates with Obama, while the Obama team tries to imagine what Romney’s might have missed. This kind of chess game is always part of debate preparation, but it is unusually important this year, because the gap between Romney at his best and at his worst is so wide.

[…]

“The history is that challengers tend to profit, particularly in the first debate,” David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist, told me in June. “Just the act of being on the stage with a president is an elevating thing.” This sounds like a small matter, but through the years, analysis of debate reactions has shown that the public takes a candidate more seriously after seeing him, for the first time, on equal footing with an incumbent president.

[…]

In this year’s debates, Barack Obama’s most inspiring and powerful message as a candidate will no longer be available to him. Four years ago, “Change we can believe in” suggested that things could be different and much better with him in charge. Now even his most fervent backers doubt how much better things are likely to get in a second Obama term. His critics put the same point more harshly. “This time, the president won’t have the luxury of making stuff up and speaking aspirationally,” Tim Pawlenty told me on a campaign swing through Pennsylvania with Romney in June. “He actually has to defend his record and attach facts to it.”

One more factor is working against Obama in the debates. When the economy is bad and an incumbent is beset, the challenger’s task is simplified. He doesn’t need to belabor the case against the incumbent. Reality has already done that; everyone knows what’s wrong with the president they have now. All the challenger has to do is say: “Look me over. I’ll be okay in this job. You can feel comfortable with me.” This is what Ronald Reagan did in 1980, and Bill Clinton in 1992. Meanwhile, the incumbent has to work twice as hard, in order to make two arguments at once. He must prove something about himself: that, while battered, he’s still energetic, visionary, and up to the job. He must also prove something about his opponent: that he is bad for the country, unready, and overall worse.

And he must do all this without seeming defensive or tense; while appearing easily in command to those who see images without hearing words; and, in Obama’s uniquely straitjacketed case, while avoiding the slightest hint of being an “angry black man.”

[…]

If economic trends are bad enough—or, improbably, good enough—to turn the election into a runaway, we might look back and say that the debates didn’t matter. But in what gives every sign of being a close, bitter, expensive, and mostly negative contest, the way these men interact onstage could make a major difference.

Övrigt: Se även Fallows video “Romney the Debater: His Strengths and Weaknesses”. Inför valet 2008 gjorde Fallows en liknande analys som ovan i essayen ”Rhetorical Questions”. (Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är The Atlantic, september 2012.)

Read Full Post »

USA | Rick Santorums tillkännagivande att han inte längre tänker fortsätta sin valkampanj kommer att göra livet lite lättare för Mitt Romney.

”We were winning in a very different way because we were touching hearts. We were raising issues that, well, frankly, a lot of people didn’t want to have raised.”

Så sammanfattade Santorum sin kampanj. Men skall man vara noggrann tillkännagav han inte formellt att han drar sig ur valkampanjen utan bara att han tillsvidare skjuter upp (”suspends”) valarbetet.

I vilket fall som helst bör Newt Gingrich och Ron Paul knappast kunna utgöra något riktigt hot mot Romney.

Vad dessa två möjligtvis kan göra är att skada Romneys möjligheter att besegra Barack Obama genom att förlänga valkampanjen och fortsätta med den hårda retoriken. Vilket i sig inte är ett osannolikt med tanke på allt ont blod som flutit under valkampanjen.

Det finns inget demokraterna skulle önska sig mer än ett fortsatt inbördeskrig bland republikanerna. Varje attack riktat mot Romney tar Obama närmare att bli återvald.

Brian Knowlton, International Herald Tribune, skriver:

Rick Santorum said his daughter’s illness prompted him to halt his fight for the Republican nomination, making Mitt Romney the near-certainty to challenge Barack Obama. Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who had risen from the bottom of the Republican presidential polls to become the prime challenger to Mitt Romney, suspended his campaign on Tuesday, almost certainly making Mr. Romney the party’s nominee for the election on Nov. 6.

[…]

 ‘‘We were touching hearts,’’ Mr. Santorum said. ‘‘We were raising issues that frankly a lot of people didn’t want to have raised.’’

He said that he wanted to be a ‘‘witness’’ of what Americans were living through, and help be an ‘‘interpreter’’ to provide them a voice.

[…]

By suspending rather than formally ending his campaign, Mr. Santorum can continue to raise money, file for federal matching funds and keep himself available in the wings, should something unexpected derail the Romney campaign.

Despite a succession of earlier primary victories that had kept his hopes alive, Mr. Santorum’s prospects of winning the nomination had grown increasingly slim, and his campaign faced both personal and political challenges.

Bella, 3, who suffers from a chromosomal disorder, had been hospitalized twice — most recently over the weekend — and Mr. Santorum was also facing the possibility of losing the primary on April 24 in his home state, where polls show a tight race.

[…]

Analysts said that his full-throated criticism that Mr. Romney would be a weak candidate against Mr. Obama — because he had supported an Obama-like healthcare program in Massachusetts — had been some of the most telling arguments leveled against the former governor.

Mer: Läs också Joe Kleins förvånansvärt respektfulla beskrivning av Santorums valkampanj på hans blogg In the Arena. Bild: Urklippet och citerade texten från International Hearald Tribune den 11 april 2012.

Read Full Post »

USA | Rick Santorum tog hem Louisiana med 49 procent av rösterna. Mitt Romney fick 27 procent.

Segern ger Rick Santorum det alibi han behöver för att hänga kvar ett tag till i republikanernas presidentvalskampanj.

Han har under senare tid kommit under ökad press att dra sig ur valkampanjen för att göra det möjligt för Romney att koncentrera sig på Barack Obama.

Howard Kurtz, The Daily Beast, skriver:

It was an impressive performance, with Santorum winning every income group except those earning more than $200,000 a year, who went for Romney, according to CNN exit polls. He even won a plurality among those who say the economy is the most important issue, usually a Romney strength, CBS found. Romney won among those who placed the most emphasis on electability in November.

[…]

The outcome adds to the list of states where Romney has performed poorly, despite his frontrunner status, and suggests he was kept off balance by the flap over a top aide comparing his campaign to an Etch a Sketch. (Only 18 percent in a CBS exit poll said the toy story was an important factor in their vote, but it erased Romney’s message for days.)

Bild: Ett urklipp från framsidan av The Times-Picayune den 25 mars 2012. Tidningen publiceras i New Orleans, Louisiana.

Read Full Post »

USA | Sheldon Adelson har pumpat in 11 miljoner dollar till en super-PAC som stödjer Newt Gingrich. Och det är bara början.

Tills nu har han undvikit media. Steven Bertoni har dock lyckats få en eftertraktad intervju i senaste Forbes.

I den antyder han bl.a. att han kan tänka sig stödja Mitt Romney eller Rick Santorum om Gingrich inte skulle lyckas bli republikanernas presidentkandidat.

Sheldon Adelson plays as stubbornly in politics as he does in business. So the criticisms that he’s trying to personally buy the presidential election for Newt Gingrich are met with a roll of the eyes. “Those people are either jealous or professional critics,” Adelson tells me during his first interview since he and his wife began funneling $11 million, with another $10 million injection widely expected, into the former speaker’s super PAC, Winning Our Future. “They like to trash other people. It’s unfair that I’ve been treated unfair—but it doesn’t stop me. I might give $10 million or $100 million to Gingrich.”

[…]

So with Gingrich looking increasingly unviable, does that mean he’ll throw his largess behind another candidate? “If Ron Paul is chosen I certainly wouldn’t do that.” […] I know Romney; I like him. I know Santorum; I like him. … The likelihood is that I’m going to be supportive of whoever the candidate is. I just haven’t decided that yet and will wait to see what happens.”

Whomever he supports, Adelson claims he won’t pay for mudslinging. “I don’t believe in negative campaigning. […] “Money is fungible, but you can’t take my money out of the total money you have and use it for negative campaigning.” Of course, that stance ignores the fact that an avalanche of negative ads against Romney won Gingrich South Carolina, and that Adelson’s $5 million injection was the dominant source of his funding. “That’s what everybody says, but that doesn’t mean it’s true,” the billionaire says, waving his hands dismissively. “Most of what’s been written about me in this is untrue.”

Övrigt: Läs Bertonis huvudartikel – ”The billion dollar bet – i Forbes. Se även en intervju med Bertoni med anledning av intervjun med Adelson. Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är Forbes den 12 mars 2012.

Read Full Post »

IMAGE | Mitt Romney lyckades inte vinna alla valen under SupertisdagenDet var Rick Santorums nya stil som satte käppar i hjulet för Romney.

Sandhya Somashekhar skrev redan om Santorums nya strategi i Washington Post den 12 februari.

In the opening weeks of the Republican presidential race, Rick Santorum came across as a prickly, exasperated figure on the fringe of the debate stage, spending much of his airtime complaining about the lack of attention from the moderators.

But Santorum gradually has taken on a different image, one of a confident, good-natured and almost fatherly presence on the campaign trail who has shrewdly taken advantage of the shifting political landscape.

While his rivals attacked one another in the media glare, Santorum’s campaign has followed a carefully calibrated strategy to leverage his status below the radar.

Hearing from voters that Santorum’s electability was an issue, his advisers honed his message and focused his attention on a handful of states where he could win.

[…]

Santorum’s embrace of social issues has been a stealth benefit in the primary because those issues galvanize grass-roots voters, said Ralph E. Reed Jr., a longtime Republican operative and founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

“The upper echelon of the party, the givers and bundlers, tend to be Chamber of Commerce Republicans. But the grass roots of the party, they’re primarily driven by cultural and social issues,” Reed said. “The message and the raison d’etre of the Santorum candidacy could be summed up in one sentence: The way to have a strong economy is to have strong marriages and families.”

Bild: Ett urklipp från Chicago Tribune den 11 mars 2012 med anledning av Santorums seger i Kansas under lördagen.

Read Full Post »

ESSAY | Politiska nördar kände säkert till Newt Gingrich redan innan starten av republikanernas valkampanj. Samma kan nog inte sägas om Rick Santorum.

Så för alla som gillar att dyka ner i tidningsarkiven kommer här två långa personporträtt publicerade 2005 respektive 2009 i The New York Times Magazine.

Båda håller än idag för en genomläsning. Och när man läst dem får man en betydligt mer nyanserad bild av personerna än om man bara följer dagsnyheterna. (För att inte tala om man följer amerikansk politik via svenska medier.)

Michael Sokolove skrev 2005 i The New York Times Magazine:

Santorum has never entirely shed his image as someone not quite fit for polite political company — he is the senator as hyperactive political pugilist, quick to engage in combat, slow to yield the floor, a little too eager to crush opponents. His instinct runs more toward total victory than to meeting somewhere in the middle. He has become important, a man for the political times, partly because he understands the Senate’s courtly veneer as just that — a fiction. He likes to fight from the extremes and disdains political moderation as wishy-washiness. He respects Democrats like Representative Henry Waxman of California; Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin; and the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota — determined, passionate liberals. ”They’re out there because they really believe this,” he said. ”This is from their core. They’re true believers, God bless them. That’s what political discourse is all about. You bring in your moral code, or worldview, and I bring in mine.”

[…]

Some of Santorum’s supporters, however, say they believe that his faith leads him into terrain that has been abandoned by other social conservatives. David Kuo, the former deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, says he has come to believe that, on social issues, the hard right of the Republican party is concerned too much with behavior, primarily abortion and homosexuality, and too little with poverty. He considered Santorum the exception. ”He was a singular voice in Republican leadership fighting for antipoverty legislation,” Kuo said. ”He kept pushing it. I was in meetings when people would start rolling their eyes when he started talking about it. It is very much at odds with the public perception of him. He fought behind the scenes where nobody could see it. His compassion is genuine.”

Om Newt Gingrich skrev Matt Bai i The New York Times (2009) följande:

“He’s a total idea factory,” [Paul] Ryan said. “The man will have 10 ideas in an hour. Six of them will be brilliant, two of them are in the stratosphere and two of them I’ll just flat-out disagree with. And then you’ll get 10 more ideas in the next hour.”

A lot of these e-mail messages are deeply wonkish, written in single-sentence paragraphs without punctuation or capital letters. It’s almost as if you can see Gingrich twittering away at a Starbucks while doing calculations on a wrinkled napkin.

[…]

Gingrich is a historian and a futurist; he’s comfortable looking backward or ahead, but he doesn’t actually do all that well with the present. Possessed of a chaotic mind that moves from one obsession to the next, Gingrich flailed from objective to objective, while his missteps came to dominate the news.

[…]

This has long been the chief criticism of Gingrich among those who share his ideological convictions — that there is a randomness to his brilliance, a lack of prioritization or discipline. Gingrich may be an “idea factory,” as Paul Ryan puts it, but it sometimes seems like a factory working on triple shifts without a floor manager or anyone keeping the books. Even Gingrich’s modestly bulging waistline, which expands and contracts on some kind of lunar schedule to which only fellow Republicans seem especially attuned, is mentioned as evidence that Gingrich can’t focus on any one objective for very long.

Läs mer: Artiklarna och tidskriftsomslagen är från The New York Times Magazine den 22 maj 2005 respektive den 1 mars 2009.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »