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Posts Tagged ‘Ted Cruz’

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

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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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VAL 2016 | Som under alla valkampanjer har årets sin beskärda del av färgstarka politiska konsulter. En av dessa är Mike Murphy.

The Weekly Standard 29 mars- 4 april 2016

Right to Rise, som Murphy ansvarade för, var en välfinansierad Super-PAC som stödde Jeb Bush. Som mest samlade man in hela 118 miljoner dollar.

Matt Labash tecknar ett både roligt och intressant porträtt av Murphy i den konservativa tidskriften The Weekly Standard.

När Bush hoppade av var det också dags för Right to Rise att stänga butiken. Men Murphy är fortfarande stolt över att Bush inte nedlät sig till Donald Trumps nivå.

Han har en hel del att säga om valkampanjen och varför Right to Rise och Bush misslyckades. Och han är inte nådig när han talar om Trump och Ted Cruz.

Like all hired guns in his trade, he’s taken his share of mercenary money just for the check. But Murphy says when it comes to presidentials, he thinks it matters more and is a sucker for long shots. ”I have friends I believe in who want to run. I’m a romantic, so I keep falling for that pitch.” Jeb wasn’t exactly a long shot, I remind him. Like hell he wasn’t, says Murphy. It’s a hard slog, not being a Grievance Candidate this year. ”He was the guy who was handing out policy papers when Trump was handing out broken bottles.”

[…]

Even pre-campaign, however, when they were allowed to coordinate as Right to Rise was amassing its unprecedented war chest, well before Trump’s ascendancy, both knew that despite the media billing Bush the prohibitive favorite — a position they both detested — they were facing long odds. (The assumption was Ted Cruz would be occupying the anger-candidate slot that Trump has instead so ably filled.)

Murphy says Bush regarded this election as a necessary tussle between the politics of optimism and grievance. At a preseason dinner, Murphy gave Bush his best guess of their chances of winning — under 50 percent. ”He grinned,” Murphy says, ”and named an even lower number. I remember leaving the dinner with a mix of great pride in Jeb’s principled courage and with a sense of apprehension about the big headwinds we would face.” And though he’d also have told his friend, if he’d been allowed to speak to him, that he was proud of Jeb ”for fighting his corner,” ultimately, Murphy admits, ”there is no campaign trick or spending level or candidate whisperer that can prevent a party from committing political suicide if it wants to.”

[…]

Bush was incapable, Murphy says, of coming up with lines about ”electrifying the border” or ”cutting the index finger off of every Muslim-American so they can never reach a trigger. He would never do that. If Trump turns out to be the answer, I’m incredibly proud that Jeb Bush did not want to be any part of the vile question.”

The campaign, he admits, was rocked by Trump’s ”low-energy” label, which stuck and hurt Bush. It’s kind of rich, suggests Murphy, since Jeb was a famous workaholic as governor. ”If Trump kept up Jeb’s schedule for one day, he’d be in the hospital.” Trump’s low-energy charge, Murphy says, was ”code for ‘Jeb’s not furious at anybody.’ He doesn’t open a rally with ‘I want everybody to write down the name of any Mexican they know and put it in a bin because they are going to pay.’ It was all a code word for ‘civilized.’ Jeb was the anti-Trump in a Trump year. But being the anti-Trump is a huge badge of f — ing honor. I think you get that tattooed on your forehead: ‘I’m the anti-Trump.’ People will be congratulating him on that the rest of his life.”

[…]

But what especially irks him are critics (”the bumper sticker glue” crowd he calls them, as in outsiders who second-guess your campaign right down to the kind of glue used on the bumper stickers) acting as though it were Right to Rise’s duty to take out Trump.

Not only was Jeb taking swings at Trump last fall, back when the likes of Cruz and Rubio were gingerly padding around him, seemingly auditioning to be coat-check boys at one of Trump’s tremendous, amazing properties. But according to Right to Rise’s numbers, the super-PAC spent nearly 15 percent of their TV advertising on anti-Trump ads.

Yes, they went after others, including and especially Rubio, just as hard if not harder, spending 33.4 percent of their TV advertising on ”other candidate contrast ads.” But, Murphy reasons, even if they had successfully taken down Trump, Jeb wasn’t about to get Trump’s voters anyway. In essence, Murphy would have been using hard-won donor money to clear the field for competitors who stood a much better chance of picking off Jeb’s voters (Rubio), as well as Trump’s (Cruz).

Not to mention, nobody has figured out the secret sauce for taking down Trump. Several deep-pocketed PACs have thus far not managed to. Even Trump seems unable to stop Trump, though it sometimes feels as though he’s trying harder than anyone.

[…]

As for Cruz, Murphy does not TrusTed and has no plans to fall in line with the man shaping up to be the Establishment’s hold-your-nose-and-kiss-your-sister Trump alternative: ”I think he’s cynical, totally cynical. .  .  . I don’t think he could win a general election, so he’ll be wiped out. It’s a choice between Trump, who is terrible for the country, and Cruz, who is terrible for the party. He’s too smart for his act .  .  . and he’s probably pissed that a bigger con man showed up.”

Murphy does speak well of John Kasich, his choice of the leftovers. ”I like Kasich a lot. He’s the only grown-up running.” He wishes Kasich well, as he labors to stay above the Friars Club roast, to be substantive and constructively positive, to offer people hope. But Kasich, Murphy adds, has an impossibly tall order this year: ”He’s trying to start an opera club at a tractor pull.”

Läs mer: Rebecca Bergs ”Mike Murphy: The Man Selling Jeb! to America” på Real Clear Politics.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Weekly Standard, 28 mars-4 april 2016.

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VAL 2016 | Donald Trump ser allt mer ut att kunna bli republikanernas presidentkandidat.

“He’s got the mo, he’s got the masses”, säger den politiska strategen Rick Hohlt. ”He’s attracting a new class of voters.”

Försöken att stoppa Trump har så här långt misslyckats. Inte minst för att han blivit smartare ju mer han har varit ute och kampanjat. “He knows when to push and when to back off.”

Men hans motståndare måste försöka göra något för att stoppa honom om man skall ha en rejäl chans att bli nominerad.

Enligt David Von Drehle på tidskriften Time har Ted Cruz plockat fram en gammal strategi som användes av Barry Goldwater redan 1964.

Men om denna strategi lyckas kan det mycket väl innebära att Cruz splittras och sänka möjligheterna för Cruz att bli president om han skulle lyckas bli nominerad.

The man is moving people, and politics does not get more basic than that. Trump is a bonfire in a field of damp kindling—an overcrowded field of governors and former governors and junior Senators still trying to strike a spark. His nearest rival, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, has traction in Iowa among the evangelical bloc and—in contrast to Trump—is a tried-and-true Suite 3505 by F. Clifton Whieconservative. But with little more than half the support Trump boasts in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Cruz has a long way to go to show that he can move masses.

Cruz staffers, tellingly, have been studying a 1967 tome titled Suite 3505 as a playbook for their campaign. This F. Clifton White memoir, long out of print, tells the story of the 1964
Barry Goldwater campaign. That was the last successful populist rebellion inside the Republican Party, propelling a rock-ribbed conservative past the Establishment insiders–just as Cruz hopes to do. But this triumph of intramural knife fighting proved a disaster at general-election time. Goldwater suffered one of the worst defeats in American political history. It’s no wonder that GOP leaders are every bit as wary of Cruz as they are of Trump.

In short, the GOP has awakened less than a month from the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary to find itself in bed between a bombshell and a kamikaze. It’s a sobering dawn for a political party that seemed, not long ago, just a tweak or two away from glory.

Bild: Omslaget till boken Suite 3505 av F. Clifton White.

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USA | Ännu har John McCain inte lagt av. Trots sin svidande förlust mot Barack Obama i presidentvalet har senatorn från Arizona fullt upp.

The New York Times Magazine 22 december 2013

McCain, 77 år och senatens nionde äldste medlem, ägnar numera mesta av sin arbetstid åt att kritisera presidenten för hans hantering av utrikespolitiken samt att försöka hindra att det egna partiet helt tas över av Tea Party-rörelsen.

Dessutom har McCain meddelat att han funderar på att ställa upp till återval 2016. (”I am very much considering it.”)

McCain är onekligen en av USA:s intressantaste politiker.

Han är dessutom en av få politiker som fortfarande vågar vara spontan och säga vad han tänker. (“They are lovely, gentle people [the Fijians] even though they used to eat each other.”)

Mark Leibovich, ”national correspondent” för The New York Times Magazine, har följt senatorn en tid för tidskriftens räkning:

John McCain is a cliché.

It is not his fault, or not entirely. Many of us become walking self-caricatures at a certain point, and politicians can be particularly vulnerable, especially those who have maneuvered their very public lives as conspicuously as McCain. They tell and retell the same stories; things get musty. They engage in a lot of self-mythologizing, and no one in Washington has been the subject and the perpetrator of more mythmaking than McCain: the maverick, the former maverick, the curmudgeon, the bridge builder, the war hero bent on transcending the call of self-interest to serve a cause greater than himself, the sore loser, old bull, last lion, loose cannon, happy warrior, elder statesman, lion in winter . . . you lose track of which McCain cliché is operational at a given moment. He does, too. “I think I was the brave maverick when I was taking on Bush,” McCain told me, “and then I was the bitter old man when I was criticizing Obamacare.”

Critics will take their shots, he says, it comes with being “in the arena.” That cliché isn’t McCain’s exclusively — it’s the self-consoling Teddy Roosevelt line that politicians are always trotting out. “It’s not the critic who counts” but “the man who really was in the arena.”

McCain has another favorite Teddy Roosevelt phrase, “the crowded hour,” which I have heard him invoke several times over the years. It comes from a poem by the English writer Thomas Mordaunt, and T. R. used it to famously describe his charge on San Juan Hill. In McCain’s philosophy, “the crowded hour” refers to a moment of character testing. “The ‘crowded hour’ is as appropriate for me right now as any in a long time,” McCain told me as we walked through the Capitol. In some respects, this is just a function of public figures’ tendency to overdramatize the current moment and their role in it. But five years after losing to Barack Obama, after enduring the recriminations between his splintered campaign staff and rogue running mate, Sarah Palin, and after returning to the Senate and falling into a prolonged funk, McCain finds himself in the midst of another crowded hour, maybe his last as an elected leader.

Along with his Senate Tonto, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, McCain has been the most ardent critic of the White House’s foreign policy in pretty much every hot spot in the world.

[…]

McCain also finds himself in the thick of the latest “fight for the soul of the G.O.P.” against the Tea Party right, a cohort that arguably would not have the influence it has if McCain had not chosen Palin as his running mate. They are represented in the Senate by McCain’s junior colleagues Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky — or “wacko birds” as McCain has referred to their far-right ilk.

[…]

McCain is sick of talking about Cruz. “We have a cordial relationship,” he insists, which in the Google translation of political code is something between abject disgust and minimal tolerance. Cruz is an upstart, whose goal seems to be to position himself to run for president in 2016. He appears indifferent to the traditional markers of Senate experience and prestige — passing bills, leading committees, dutifully winning the respect of colleagues. “You know, it’s a funny thing about Cruz,” McCain says, and then stops himself. “No, actually, it’s not funny. It aggravates me more than anything else” — the way Cruz called his fellow Republicans a bunch of wimps and talks about “how we’ve been around too long.” Cruz is the Senate’s modern-day maverick, it would seem, while McCain has become one of the institution’s fiercest traditionalists.

[…]

To pass the time on the drive back, I engage McCain in a game of hypothetical-question roulette: If he were a young man living in Arizona today, not a politician, would he register to vote as an Independent? “I would think about it,” he says, but then catches himself and reasserts his faith in “the party of Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.” Would he consider supporting an Independent presidential candidate if Ted Cruz were the Republican nominee? “No, because I have to respect the process.” Would he support his friend Hillary Clinton in a head to head against Cruz? “I will support the Republican ticket,” he says, then adds: “With all due respect, that is a foolish question, my friend.”

Läs mer: “Behind the Cover Story: Mark Leibovich on Checking In With John McCain” av Rachel Nolan på bloggen The 6th Floor.

Tidskriftsomslag. The New York Times Magazine den 22 december 2013.

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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.

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