Not so long ago, it looked like Marcus Bachmann might be a liability for his wife's campaign, what with all the talk of his clinic's unusual therapeutic approach. But with its post-Ames buzz vanished, the Bachmann campaign has now apparently decided that Marcus is an asset to be deployed, based on this missive that just arrived in my in-box: Dear Fellow Conservative, Michele is the real deal. Not only does she continue to inspire me every day with her strength, but she is the same woman of character as when I first met her 35 years ago. Michele is not your typical politician.
What’s driving Rick Perry?
What’s driving Rick Perry?
A few days ago, before this blog was launched, we got word in the paper of record that new Census data showed the county around Greenwood, S.C. as the one hardest hit by the Great Recession: the 70,000-person county's poverty rate more than doubled between 2007 and 2010, to 28 percent, the largest increase for any county in the country, and median income plunged by 28 percent, a drop of $12,000.
In my first cover story for the magazine, which went up on-line today and will hit newsstands next week, I tell the story of Rick Perry's remarkable rise, with a focus on the enterprise he's built around himself in Texas: a flow of money (campaign contributions coming in; contracts, appointments, and awards from his $800 million in economic development accounts going out) that is unprecedented in scale even in Texas, where the sky's the limit for political donations. Perry's primary rivals have already tried to give this enterprise a name -- the dread alliterative, crony capitalism.
If you thought there was something missing from the 2012 campaign season, something that made it less compelling or uplifting than the cycle of four years past, well, today we are here to fill that void: we are resurrecting the Stump. Four years ago, I was an avid reader of TNR’s campaign blog from the outside, following Noam Scheiber and Mike Crowley’s posts in my capacity as a political reporter for the Washington Post.
Rick Perry’s campaign for the presidency largely consists of touting the pro-growth policies of Texas—a state with no personal income tax, and the 47th lowest tax burden in the country—as a model for the rest of the United States. Perry’s claim is that his state, where he has served as governor for the past 11 years, has found more creative and more business-friendly ways to fill its coffers. Don’t tell that to one of the state’s most vibrant industries: its nearly 200 strip clubs.
The drab Amtrak depot in Detroit, Michigan, was recently the venue for a truly surreal scene: A Republican governor accepted—gratefully—a check from the Obama administration. This was not just any federal funding, either, but $200 million for that most Europhiliac of abominations: passenger rail. Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Ohio’s John Kasich, and Florida’s Rick Scott had all rejected the money. But here was Rick Snyder, the state’s new Republican governor, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Carl Levin, John Conyers, and John Dingell, beaming genially and brandishing a giant check.