Playtime’s over. This week’s roundup of new Congressional and Senate super PACs includes big spenders and big names, like former Newt Gingrich benefactor Sheldon Adelson; Harold Simmons, one of this election cycle’s top donors; a key financier of Jon Huntsman’s presidential super PAC; and Citizens United lawyer James Bopp. Freedom PAC Supports Rep. Connie Mack (R), Florida U.S. Senate candidate Freedom PAC hadn’t even existed for two weeks before it dumped a moderate $50,000 into ads for Florida Senate hopeful Connie Mack. And there’s plenty more where that came from.
A False Choice For Obama's Anti-Romney Message
April 23, 2012
Left without a manufactured scandal or over-hyped gaffe to talk about these past few days, the media circus has turned its attention to matters of a higher order: campaign semiotics.
Et Tu, Santorum?
March 20, 2012
If Rick Santorum loses as handily in today’s Illinois primary as the polls predict, it will be interesting to see if he expands on his eye-opening new tack: going after Mitt Romney’s lucrative years at Bain Capital. Until this week, Santorum had stood out among Romney’s GOP challengers for refusing to hammer him on his business background, arguing that it was un-conservative for Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman to take up that attack.
March 14, 2012
Since launching his second campaign for the White House, Mitt Romney has resolutely insisted he favored a health care requirement only for Massachusetts residents, not as a matter of national policy.
Slideshow: What If the GOP Candidates Were Movie Stars?
February 25, 2012
The 84th Academy Awards are on Sunday, and this year’s nominees are a large group of crowd pleasers who spend a lot of time—sometimes too much—addressing war, infidelity, the sanctity of life, and nostalgia for the 20th century. Sound familiar? It should: That also sums up the GOP’s 2012 presidential field.
The Zombie Candidate: What Newt’s Campaign Looks Like Going Forward
February 01, 2012
After last night’s bitter defeat, Newt Gingrich is vowing to stay in the presidential race for a long, long time (“six to eight months” he said in Florida yesterday). Of course, that’s what candidates usually say just before and immediately after bitter defeats (see Jon Huntsman’s “Ticket to Ride” sound bite after finishing a poor third in New Hampshire), even if they have every intention of cutting a deal with a better-positioned candidate and getting off the campaign trail.
Romney Took Florida, But the Real Prize Was Sheldon Adelson
January 31, 2012
In that moment just before New Hampshire, when it was briefly possible to imagine Jon Huntsman fighting deep into the primaries, New York magazine’s John Heilemann made an astute observation. He pointed out that Huntsman’s real audience on election night wouldn’t be the country or the voters in other early states or even the political media. It would consist of exactly one person: Jon Huntsman Sr., the billionaire chemical magnate who, if the mood struck him, could take out his checkbook and completely upend the race. “An investment of, say, $10 million — a rounding error on the Huntsman Sr.
The Have-Nots and the Have-Lots
January 28, 2012
The Wall Street Journal reports that Mitt Romney is in the top .0025% of American income earners. That makes him poorer than Warren Buffett, George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, probably even than Jon Huntsman, the father of the junior Jon Huntsman, who, with all his money and a very decent record, scored virtually nothing in the Republican presidential sweepstakes. So the question about Romney is whether the electorate will resent his wealth or take it as an index of initiative, imagination and hard work. Also, I suppose, a real drive to be rich. No, not just rich, but downright wealthy, super-wea
When Does Speaking a Foreign Language Get a Candidate in Trouble?
January 23, 2012
Every four years, it seems, one of the major issues in the U.S. presidential campaign is how many languages the candidates speak, the implication being: the fewer, the better. This year, we’ve seen Newt Gingrich knock Mitt Romney for speaking French, as well as general mockery of Jon Huntsman for his displays of speaking Mandarin Chinese. In 2004, it was John Kerry who was derided by George W.
"At Peace With The Rest Of Society"
January 17, 2012
I don't expect to have anything more to say about Jon Huntsman until he is named Commerce Secretary under either a Romney or second-term Obama administration, but this nugget from today's Washington Post valedictory piece by Phil Rucker and Jason Horowitz was worth passing along: This past week, even as his candidacy collapsed, Huntsman took to saying he was still “in the hunt.” But except for some rare flashes, Huntsman failed to demonstrate the killer instincts required to remove Romney from his political path. “He was a shooter, a target shooter, but he was not a killer,” Huntsman’s younger