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Posts Tagged ‘Zeke J. Miller’

USA | Jeb Bush är det vuxna alternativet bland de republikaner som nu har tillkännagett sitt intresse för att bli partiets presidentkandidat.

Time March 16 2015.

Men är amerikanarna redo för ännu en Bush i Vita huset? Och kommer en framgångsrik valstrategi kräva att han distanserar sig från sin bror?

Kritik om att han inte skiljer sig nämnvärt från den politik hans bror George W. Bush stod för kommer garanterat dyka upp från utmanare, både inom partiet och från demokraterna.

Alex Altman och Zeke J. Miller i Time har tecknat bilden av en politiker med både enorma resurser men också mycket historiskt bagage.

Jeb has always been more substance than style, a technocrat who doesn’t often display his brother’s gift for gab. “He doesn’t like the backslapping of politics,” says T. Willard Fair, the CEO of the Miami Urban League and a longtime friend who teamed with Bush to build Florida’s charter-school network. “If you could put him in the corner with a book, he’d rather do that.” Even close friends say he doesn’t kibitz much, charging through pleasantries on the phone to cut to the heart of the matter. But he has mastered the niceties that count in campaigns, like entering donors’ numbers into his personal cell phone so he can greet them warmly when they call.

For a politician who operates as a soloist, Bush has built an ensemble of allies with rare devotion. The ardor was clear on a Tuesday afternoon in mid-February, when 300 longtime supporters showed up at a Tallahassee hotel with a view of the state capitol for a fundraiser to benefit Bush’s super PAC. Lobbyists and former aides wearing circular red jeb! ’16 stickers on their chests scribbled out checks on tall cocktail tables as they waited to enter a ballroom with baubly glass chandeliers. “There are a lot of us who would do almost anything for him,” says former Bush political director David Hart, pulling from his pocket an index-card-size printout detailing the state’s education gains since Bush took office.

[…]

The 43rd President’s biography of the 41st, coupled with a hagiographic HBO documentary, formed the core of a quiet campaign to stoke nostalgia for the first Bush presidency and thaw opposition to a third. At the same time, Obama’s struggles to tame Islamic extremism refired the Restoration instincts in Republican politics. By June 2014, George W. Bush’s approval rating trumped Obama’s in Gallup polling, breaking the 50% threshold for the first time in nearly a decade.

And so a year ago, Bush asked his top political advisers to map out a role in the 2014 midterms with an eye toward a possible presidential run. As he campaigned for Republican candidates, he met privately with policy bigwigs. He had his fundraisers gin up cash for key governors, always a good way to test the waters around the country.

[…]

As his team sees it, Bush has four main weaknesses among primary voters. He is a longtime champion of comprehensive immigration reform in a party suspicious of amnesty. He supports Common Core education standards, which have emerged as a grassroots bugbear. His refusal to sign antitax pledges calls up for skeptics the “read my lips” promise broken by his father, and his recent statement that conservatives should respect gay couples who marry made social conservatives skittish.

Then there are the liabilities of his lineage. The conservative base came to regard George W. Bush as a Big Government Republican, a profligate spender who ran up big deficits, passed now-unpopular policies like No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D and presided during the greatest economic crash since the Depression. Many presume Jeb is much the same. And polls and party operatives agree that in the coming battle against Clinton, the party would benefit from a fresh face.

Few people outside Florida know much about Jeb, and his advisers acknowledge that the campaign’s success may hinge on its ability to distinguish the new family man from the Bushes who have preceded him. (It is no accident that the candidate’s signage and swag don’t include his last name.) But at some point this may require a public break from his brother. Jeb–who supported George W.’s wars and has argued that Obama’s troop withdrawal paved the way for the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS)–gently conceded during a recent appearance in Chicago that his brother had also made mistakes in Iraq. But the muscular foreign policy vision he laid out left audiences wondering exactly how his approach would differ.

Tidskriftsomslag: Time, 16 mars 2015.

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OBAMACARE | Barack Obama har sett sig själv som garanten för att den federala nivån skall leverera moderna och effektiva tjänster till medborgarna.

Bloomberg Businessweek 4-10 nov 2013

Den bilden fick sig en rejäl knäck vid den katastrofala lanseringen av hemsidan healthcare.gov i oktober.

In i det sista försökte Obama få det att låta som om problemen bara handlade om att tjänsten var så populär hos medborgarna. Men till sist gick det inte att förneka problemen längre.

Så här skriver t.ex. Zeke J. Miller och Massimo Calabresi i Time:

At the time, President Obama was still arguing that the main culprit for the breakdowns was the popularity of the site. “The website got overwhelmed by the volume,” he said on Oct. 4. The reality, of course, was far more dire.

[…]

After three weeks of breakdowns, Obama decided that he could no longer stand by his own spin. “Nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working,” he said Oct. 21 in a Rose Garden speech that instructed others to stop “sugarcoating” the problems. In fact, the warning signs have been clear for months inside government, even if the White House failed to sniff them out. Federal auditors raised alarms in June, warning of missed deadlines and unfinished work. Administration officials have since put out the call for new contractors, and Silicon Valley talent, to fix the work.

Och Ezra Klein i Bloomberg Businessweek fyller på:

In the 2008 election, President Obama’s advisers talked of their boss’s belief that it was time for an “iPod government.” Obama, a technology addict who tools around on his iPad before going to sleep and who fought the U.S. Secret Service bureaucracy for the right to carry a smartphone, would be the first president truly at home in the Digital Age. That put him, he thought, in a unique position to pull the federal government into the Digital Age, too. His administration wouldn’t just be competent. It would be modern. And it would restore America’s faith that the public sector could do big things well.

[…]

The disastrous launch of healthcare.gov,the online portal that was supposed to be the linchpin of the Affordable Care Act, has dealt a devastating blow to Obama’s vision. In the months leading up to the Oct. 1 rollout of the site, the president rarely compared his signature policy achievement to Medicare or Social Security. Instead, he favored analogies to e-commerce sites such as Orbitz (OWW), Travelocity, and Expedia (EXPE). Obamacare was supposed to be the model for a 21st century social program, not a replica of programs built in the 20th.

[…]

Even Obama’s allies acknowledge that the healthcare.gov debacle could do damage beyond the health-care system. “This plays into the suspicion that resides in really all Americans that, outside of narrow functions they can see and appreciate like Social Security and national parks, the government just can’t get it done,” says Austan Goolsbee, who was Obama’s top economic adviser during the 2008 campaign.

[…]

Jeffrey Zients, the White House official tasked with running the rescue of Obamacare, promises a swifter recovery. He says that “by the end of November, healthcare.gov will work smoothly for the vast majority of users.” If he’s able to deliver, that will leave the law plenty of time to stabilize. Like Medicare Part D, it could emerge from a troubled launch to become a wildly successful program. But reviving the idea that government can do big things right will be harder.

Läs mer: “The Obamacare Website Didn’t Have to Fail. How to Do Better Next Time” av Paul Ford i Bloomberg Businesweek.

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Businessweek, 4-10 november 2013.

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